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Cambridge History Essay Competition

The Woolf Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information

In 1928, Virginia Woolf addressed the Newnham Arts Society on the Subject of ‘Women and Fiction’, and from this talk emerged her seminal text, A Room of One’s Own. Newnham is very proud of its place in the history of women’s education, and we are delighted in the continuation of the Woolf Essay Prize. A Room of One’s Own raises a number of questions surrounding the place of women in society and culture, and the competition allows students to contemplate these themes and ideas while developing the independent research and writing skills essential to university-level study.

This prize may be of particular interest to those studying English Literature, History, Politics, Philosophy or Sociology, but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Entrants are invited to submit a response to anyoneof the questions set out in ‘2018 Questions & Information’ above, which should be between 1,500 and 2,500 words (including footnotes and captions). All sources must be appropriately acknowledged and cited, and a bibliography – including websites consulted – should be attached (though excluded from the word count). Up to five entries may be submitted per school.

The winning entries from previous competitions can be found above and may be useful as you decide how to answer your chosen question. However, it is to be noted that there are many angles from which to approach each question and those available here are only a limited sample. Good essays will present a clear argument using specific examples, but outside of this many different approaches are welcome.

Winners of the Woolf Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Eleanor Graham
2nd Prize: Charlie Matheson
3rd Prize: Georgia Mitchell

Highly Commended: Kate Lucas
Highly Commended: Evie Patel

Commended: Florence Anderson
Commended: Suzanne Azim
Commended: Millie Bloom
Commended: Hanna Hughes
Commended: Eliza Jones
Commended: Cassandra Somers-Joce
Commended: Annabel Stock


The Engineering Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information

Newnham is offering an annual prize for a submission on Engineering, intended to encourage students to think creatively about how some of the scientific knowledge gained at school may be applied in later life, in particular in industry, so as to improve matters (the aim of most engineers). The prize also aims to recognise the achievements of high-calibre students and those who teach them, and also to encourage more girls to study Engineering at University.

Winners of the Engineering Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Thea Krumins
2nd Prize: Sita Tailor
3rd Prize: Tamilore Ayo-Famola

Highly Commended: Alice Ertl
Highly Commended: Anna Mills
Highly Commended: Amelia Standing

Commended: Rosanna Fresen
Commended: Justine Hong
Commended: Bridget Withers
Commended: Shannen Zeller

 


The Weston-Smith Physical Sciences Essay Prize and The Biological Sciences Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information (Physical)

2018 Questions & Information (Biological)

The Newnham Science Prizes may be of particular interest to those studying Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics or Geography but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Entrants are invited to submit one response to either a Physical or Biological title.

The Physical Sciences Prize is kindly sponsored by Meg Weston-Smith, a scientist and author, who read Natural Sciences at Newnham.

Winners of the Weston-Smith Physical Sciences Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Josephine Jones
Joint 2nd Prize: Charlotte Ghali
Joint 2nd Prize: Sarah Walberton

Highly Commended: Aine McColgan
Highly Commended: Eve Pope
Highly Commended: Urvi Sonawane
Highly Commended: Anna Stevenson

Commended: Claudia Chavasse
Commended: Neha Ramu

Winners of The Biological Sciences Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Amelia Irwin
Joint 2nd Prize: Srishti Agarwal
Joint 2nd Prize: Elina Ganatra
3rd Prize: Rachel Jones

Highly Commended: Hannah Lin
Highly Commended: Chloe Palma

 


The History Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information

The Newnham History Essay Prize may be of particular interest to those studying History, Politics, English Literature, Philosophy or Sociology, but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Entrants are invited to submit a response to any one of the questions set out in ‘2018 Questions and Information’.

Winners of the History Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Ashlan Richards
2nd Prize: Sanjana Gunasekaran
Joint 3rd Prize: Eleanor Graham
Joint 3rd Prize: Helen Markus

Highly Commended: Georgia Brown
Highly Commended: Helena Heyndrickx
Highly Commended: Eve McMullen

 


The Philosophy Essay Prize 

2018 Questions & Information

Please note that the deadline for the 2017-18 Philosophy essay prize has been extended to 12:00pm (midday) on Friday 6th April 2018.

The Newnham Philosophy Essay Prize is designed to give students the opportunity to think and write about philosophy and philosophical matters in the broadest sense, while developing their independent study and writing skills. This prize may be of particular interest to those either currently studying, or considering studying, Philosophy, but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects.

Winners of the Philosophy Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Cherry Dicko
2nd Prize: Heléna Vegas Quinn
3rd Prize: Maia Webb

 


The Modern and Medieval Languages Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information

The Newnham Modern and Medieval Languages Essay Prize is now in its second year. This prize may be of particular interest to those currently studying languages, but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Entrants are invited to submit a response to any one of the questions set out in the ‘2018 Questions and Information’. Essays should be written primarily in English.

Winners of the Modern and Medieval Languages Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Hemma Jari
2nd Prize: Effie Webb
3rd Prize: Mary Osborne

Highly Commended: Daisy Coombes
Highly Commended: Georgina Findlay
Highly Commended: Emma Tinn

Commended: Esther Leong
Commended: Anna Zakonyi


The Music Essay Prize

2018 Questions & Information

The Newnham Music Essay Prize is new to 2017-18. This prize may be of particular interest to those currently studying Music or History, but we welcome entries from interested students studying any combination of subjects. Entrants are invited to submit a response to any one of the questions set out in the ‘2018 Questions and Information’.


The Architecture Essay Prize (not continued in 2018)

Winners of the Architecture Essay Prize 2017

1st Prize: Poppy Mitchell
2nd Prize: Lucy Dabbs
3rd Prize: Dorothy Zhang

Highly Commended: Lydia Cronin
Highly Commended: Lucy Jones
Highly Commended: Catherine Sheridan
Highly Commended: Bernice Wong

The R.A. Butler Prize for essays in Politics and International Studies is a competition that can be entered by students in Year 12 or the Lower 6th. Candidates are invited to submit an essay on a topic to be chosen from a list of general questions announced in March each year, and to be submitted by the beginning of September.

The Prize is jointly organised by Trinity College Cambridge and Cambridge University’s Department of Politics and International Studies. The Prize was established in memory of the former Master of Trinity College, Lord Butler, who most famously served as Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and who was responsible for the introduction of free secondary education for all students in the UK.

The objectives of the R.A. Butler Prize are twofold. Firstly, it aims to encourage students with an interest in modern politics and world affairs to think about undertaking university studies in Politics, International Studies or a related discipline; it is not limited to those already studying these subjects or indeed other social sciences. Secondly, its intention is to recognise the achievements both of high-calibre students and of those who teach them.

The 2018 competition is now open. The list of questions is here.

The deadline for submitting the essay is 20th August 2018.

Format. Essays should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words (not including the bibliography).  It’s worth considering the use of examples in your essays: the best essays often use a diverse selection of contemporary, historical or literary examples.  We encourage you to provide references to your sources of information, and to include a bibliography at the end of the essay.

Submission. Essays must be submitted by email to butlerprize@trin.cam.ac.uk. Word or PDF file formats are acceptable. It will be helpful if you could name the file with your surname and initial, in the style (for example): SmithJ.pdf or SmithJ.docx. On the first page of your essay, please include the following information: your name, email address, school name and address, your year at school (e.g. Year 12), and the subjects you are studying and to what level (e.g. A-level). Please include a statement of originality: “I confirm that this essay is written in my own words and is the result of my own work. All sources used have been acknowledged in the essay.” Please ‘sign’ that statement (i.e. put your name, electronically is fine) and put the date on which you are submitting the essay.

If you cannot submit the essay electronically, please post it to R.A. Butler Prize, c/o Dr Glen Rangwala, Trinity College, Cambridge CB2 1TQ.

Eligibility. The Prize is for students in Year 12 or Lower 6th at the time the questions are released (in the school year 2017-18). Students based abroad are most welcome to participate. They should, however, be in their penultimate year of school.

Prize. The competition carries a First Prize of £600, to be split equally between the candidate and his or her school or college (the school or college’s portion of the prize to be issued in the form of book tokens), and a Second Prize of £400, which again is to be shared equally between the candidate and his or her school or college. Winners will be announced in September, and will be invited to visit the College to meet some of the teaching staff.

Contact. Any queries from teachers with students who may be interested in submitting work for the prize should be directed to Dr Glen Rangwala by email to: butlerprize@trin.cam.ac.uk.

Past Prize-winners

2017:

1st Prize: Folu Ogunyeye (Aylesbury High School)
2nd Prize: Eve McMullen (Minster School, Southwell)

2016:

1st Prize: Silas Edwards (St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School, Bristol)
2nd Prize: Eliza Harry (Greene’s Tutorial College, Oxford)

2015:

1st Prize: Stephen Horvath (Westminster School, London)
2nd Prize: Grace Elshafei (Sevenoaks School, Kent)

2014:

1st Prize: Oscar Alexander-Jones (St Paul’s School, London)
2nd Prize: Sam Maybee (King Edward VI Five Ways School, Birmingham)

2013:

1st Prize: Eleanor Shearer (Westminster School)
2nd Prize (joint): Stephanie Clarke (Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School)
2nd Prize (joint): Will Barnes (Manchester Grammar School)

2012:

1st Prize: Kiah Ashford-Stow (King Edward VI School, Southampton)
2nd Prize: Jamie Sproul (Stamford School)

2011:

1st Prize: Aman Rizvi (Winchester College)
2nd Prize: Frans Robyns (Kings College School, Wimbledon)

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