Trinity Cambridge History Essay Competition

Trinity College was pleased to launch the Robert Walker Prize for Essays in Law in 2013. The prize is named after an Honorary Fellow of the College, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and former law student at Trinity. Lord Walker has for many years been a supporter of Law at Trinity, meeting students at College social events and, more formally, judging moots (legal debates) and helping to connect the practice of law with its academic study.

The Robert Walker Prize has three objectives:

  • to encourage students with an interest in Law to explore that interest by researching, considering and developing an argument about a legal topic of importance to modern society;
  • to encourage those interested in Law to apply for a university course in Law; and
  • to recognise the achievements of high-calibre students, from whatever background they may come.

The topic for the 2018 competition is:  ‘Can the law effectively regulate social media? Should it?’

The rules for the competition are as set out below:

  • Essays can be of any length up to 2,000 words (including any footnotes).
  • Entries must be submitted online by Monday 23 April 2018 using the form below.
    • If there are special reasons why a potential candidate cannot submit an essay online, a request exceptionally to submit in hard copy may be made. Requests will be considered by the Law Fellows. Please contact the Admissions Office at Trinity College Cambridge, CB2 1TQ; tel: +44(0)1223 338422; fax: +44 (0)1223 338584; email: admissions@trin.cam.ac.uk.
  • The competition is open to students in their final or penultimate year of secondary school, except students who have entered the competition in the past. No individual student may submit more than one entry into the competition.
  • Candidates may discuss the subject matter of the essay with other students and teachers at their school; however, the formulation of the argument and the writing of the essay must be the work of the student alone.
  • Essays will be assessed by reference to a range of factors, including the development of argument, the quality of expression and the appropriate use of supporting facts and material.
  • Entries will be considered in two divisions: a United Kingdom Division and an International Division.
  • It is anticipated that first prizes of £300 and second prizes of £200 may be awarded in each Division; the prizes may be shared.
  • It is anticipated that the authors of the ten top-placed essays in each Division will be invited to a Prize Ceremony at Trinity to see the College and to meet the Law Fellows.
  • The decisions of the judges are final; no correspondence will be entered into. Essays will not be returned, so candidates should keep a copy for their own reference.

Submit

This is an annual Linguistics competition for Year 12 (Lower 6th) students. The Essay Prize aims to raise awareness of the systematic study of language as an interesting and multifaceted subject in and of itself. It is hoped that the Prize will encourage students with an interest in linguistics to explore this further and to apply for a University course in this subject. In addition, the Prize aims to recognise the achievements of high-calibre students from whatever background they may come, as well as the achievements of those who teach them.

The competition is open to all students with an interest in how language works regardless of the specific subjects they are currently studying at A-Level (or similar qualification). For example, it may be of interest to students taking A-Levels in Modern Languages, English Language or Classics, but also to students taking Psychology or Mathematics.

The topic for the 2018 competition is as follows:

‘Many of us feel that we can communicate with some animals, for example, our pets.  But do animals have language?’  Address this question by defining the important features of human languages and then consider instances where animals do or don’t exhibit them.

You could use some of these free online resources as introductory background reading:

https://ed.ted.com/lessons/do-animals-have-language-michele-bishop

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121016-is-language-unique-to-humans

https://owlcation.com/stem/The-difference-between-animal-and-human-communication

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_language

Candidates are invited to submit an essay of between 2,000 and 2,500 words. Essays should be submitted using the form below by the deadline of 1 August. All candidates will be notified with the results of the competition by early September.

Any queries should be directed to Dr Napoleon Katsos at linguisticsprize@trin.cam.ac.uk.

The competition carries a First Prize of £600, to be split equally between the candidate and his or her school or college, and a Second Prize of £300, which again is to be shared equally between the candidate and his or her school or college. The school or college’s portion of each prize will be issued in the form of book tokens with which to buy linguistics books. In addition, up to three further essays of a high quality will be commended.

Submit

Past Prize Winners

2017

  • 1st Prize: Julia Southern-Wilkins (Bedford Girls’ School)
  • 2nd Prize: Martha Birtles (Holy Cross College, Bury)

2016

  • 1st Prize: Shefali Chander (Westminster School)
  • 2nd Prize: David Fenton-Smith (High Storrs School)

2015

  • Joint 1st Prize: Olivia Bonsall (Holy Cross College, Bury)
  • Joint 1st Prize: Georgina Connors (The British School of Paris)
  • 2nd Prize: Kirsty Bailey (Croydon High School)

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