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John Locke Institute Essay Competition: All You Need to Know

john locke essay competition tutor

By Eric Eng

a female student writing an essay

The philosopher John Locke left a big mark with his ideas. His work has inspired people to think about how we’re governed, our freedoms, and what role the state should play. The John Locke Institute Essay Competition keeps his ideas alive by inviting young minds to think about how his ideas relate to today’s world.

Let’s talk about the John Locke Institute Essay Competition. We’ll give you an overview of the rules and share some helpful tips to craft a winning essay. This comprehensive guide will help you make your essay submission shine.

What Is the John Locke Institute Essay Competition?

The John Locke Institute Essay Competition—also called the John Locke Institute’s Global Essay Prize—is a yearly event hosted by the John Locke Institute , an organization passionate about encouraging young people to excel academically and enjoy learning. Named after the famous English philosopher John Locke, it aims to honor his legacy by inspiring young students to think deeply and critically.

A student writing her essays

Students from anywhere in the world can enter by writing an essay on topics like politics , economics , philosophy , and history . You can pick from a wide range of topics for your essay, so you can write about what you’re really interested in and show off how curious you are. A group of experts will read all the essays and pick winners based on how original, well thought out, and clear they are.

If you win, you’ll get a scholarship and your work will get published on the John Locke Institute’s website, which is a big deal for your academic record.

What Are the John Locke Institute Essay Competition’s Prizes?

If you win in any subject category or the Junior category of the John Locke Institute Essay Competition, you’ll get a US$2000 scholarship. This scholarship can be used for any program offered by the John Locke Institute, and your winning essay will be published on the Institute’s website.

Plus, if you’re chosen as the overall best essay writer, you’ll become an honorary John Locke Institute Junior Fellow. This includes a US$10,000 scholarship for participating in the Institute’s summer schools or visiting scholars programs.

The prize-giving ceremonies take place in London, where you’ll have the chance to meet judges and faculty members. And whether you win a prize or not, if you’re short-listed, you’ll receive an eCertificate to recognize your achievement.

What Are the John Locke Institute Essay Competition’s Guidelines?

If you’re thinking about joining the John Locke Institute Essay Competition, it’s important to know the rules. Here’s a handy guide to get you started:

Eligibility

Students from any country and school can take part. There are two levels: one for high schoolers aged 15 to 18, and the Junior Prize for middle schoolers aged 14 and under.

There are seven categories to choose from: Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology, and Law. Each category has its own set of questions (listed in the next section).

Essay format

Your essay should only answer one question from your chosen category. It should be no more than 2000 words, not counting diagrams, tables, bibliography, or authorship declaration. Don’t include footnotes, but you can have endnotes and a bibliography.

Your essay needs to be in PDF format and follow the filename format: FirstName-LastName-Category-QuestionNumber.pdf. Example: John-Locke-Economics-1.pdf.

Registration starts on April 1, 2024, and ends on May 31, 2024. Essays must be submitted by June 30, 2024.

You’ll find out if you’re short-listed by July 31, 2024. The academic conference is scheduled for September 20-22, 2024, and the awards night is on September 21, 2024.

Other requirements

There’s no submission fee. It’s free for everyone.

You’ll also need to provide the email address of an academic referee who knows your academic work well. They can be a teacher or another adult who’s not related to you. The institute will email them to verify that your essay is your own work.

If you have any questions, you can email [email protected] . Don’t forget to read through these guidelines carefully before submitting your essay.

John Locke Institute Essay Competition: Topics

Now that you’re familiar with the contest guidelines, it’s time to choose a topic for your essay . Here are the topics you can choose from, organized by category and question number. Remember to use the category and question number in titling the file you will submit:

Academic Literature

  • Q1. Do we have any good reasons to trust our moral intuition?
  • Q2. Do girls have a (moral) right to compete in sporting contests that exclude boys?
  • Q3. Should I be held responsible for what I believe?
  • Q1. Is there such a thing as too much democracy?
  • Q2. Is peace in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip possible?
  • Q3. When is compliance complicity?
  • Q1. What is the optimal global population?
  • Q2. Accurate news reporting is a public good. Does it follow that news agencies should be funded from taxation?
  • Q3. Do successful business people benefit others when making their money, when spending it, both, or neither?
  • Q1. Why was sustained economic growth so rare before the later 18th century and why did this change?
  • Q2. Has music ever significantly changed the course of history?
  • Q3. Why do civilisations collapse? Is our civilisation in danger?
  • Q1. When, if ever, should a company be permitted to refuse to do business with a person because of that person’s public statements?
  • Q2. In the last five years British police have arrested several thousand people for things they posted on social media. Is the UK becoming a police state?
  • Q3. Your parents say that 11pm is your bedtime. But they don’t punish you if you don’t go to bed by 11pm. Is 11pm really your bedtime?
  • Q1. According to a study by researchers at four British universities, for each 15-point increase in IQ, the likelihood of getting married increases by around 35% for a man but decreases by around 58% for a woman. Why?
  • ​Q2. There is an unprecedented epidemic of depression and anxiety among young people. Can we fix this? How?
  • Q3. What is the difference between a psychiatric illness and a character flaw?
  • Q1. “I am not religious, but I am spiritual.” What could the speaker mean by “spiritual”?
  • Q2. Is it reasonable to thank God for protection from some natural harm if He is responsible for causing the harm?
  • Q3. Does God reward those who believe in him? If so, why?

Junior Prize

  • Q1. Does winning a free and fair election automatically confer a mandate for governing?
  • Q2. Has the anti-racism movement reduced racism?
  • Q3. Is there life after death?
  • Q4. How did it happen that governments came to own and run most high schools, while leaving food production to private enterprise ?
  • Q5. When will advancing technology make most of us unemployable? What should we do about this?
  • Q6. Should we trust fourteen-year-olds to make decisions about their own bodies?

John Locke Institute Essay Competition: Writing Tips

The contest website states: “The John Locke Institute encourages young people to cultivate the characteristics that turn good students into great writers: independent thought, depth of knowledge, clear reasoning, critical analysis, and persuasive style .”

Let’s zoom in on the five main things they’re after:

1. Independent thought

Independent thought means coming up with your own ideas that challenge the status quo or offer unique insights. Don’t just analyze existing literature. Try to bring new perspectives or suggest innovative solutions to complex problems.

critical thinker

For example, in the Philosophy category, instead of just discussing whether girls should be allowed to compete in sports that exclude boys, you could explore deeper ethical principles. This might involve thinking about fairness and equal opportunity, or looking at how gender segregation in sports affects society.

2. Depth of knowledge

Having a deep understanding is super important for nailing the John Locke Institute Essay Competition. Know the key concepts, theories, and historical contexts of your topic. This could also mean checking out different views on historical events, analyzing primary sources, or considering other theories. You should be able to analyze information effectively, making connections and spotting patterns that deepen your understanding.

In the History category, for example, if you’re writing about the fall of civilizations, it’s not enough to just list events. You need to dig into why it happened, like economic pressures or cultural changes.

3. Clear reasoning

It’s essential to think logically when writing your essays. This means laying out your arguments in a way that makes sense, so each point flows smoothly into the next.

To do this well, you’ll want to avoid common mistakes like using emotional appeals instead of solid reasoning. If you’re debating whether news agencies should be funded by taxes, you’d need to make your case using economic principles and real-world evidence.

Another important aspect of clear reasoning is addressing counterarguments. Acknowledging and responding to opposing views shows that you understand the complexity of the issue. This not only makes your argument stronger but also demonstrates respect for different perspectives. By presenting a well-rounded argument, you can make a compelling case for your position in the competition

4. Critical analysis

Thinking critically means going beyond just summarizing facts. You need to analyze and interpret data, arguments, and evidence to come up with a thoughtful conclusion.

To do this effectively, you can’t just focus on your own viewpoint. You also need to think about other perspectives and respond to them. This shows that you’re open to different ideas and can think critically. For instance, when talking about the ideal global population, you should consider what environmentalists, economists, and policymakers might think, and then integrate those views into your analysis.

Another important part of critical analysis is choosing your sources carefully. Make sure you’re using reliable, up-to-date sources to back up your arguments. Avoid using biased or outdated information. By carefully evaluating your sources and selecting the most relevant and reliable ones, you can make your argument stronger and show that you’ve done thorough research.

5. Persuasive style

In any writing competition , having a persuasive writing style is key. You need to be able to convince the judges of your ideas and arguments. If you’re debating whether a company should be allowed to turn away business based on public statements, you’d need to make a strong, well-supported argument. This could involve citing legal cases, analyzing examples, and providing clear explanations to back up your point.

john locke essay competition tutor

To make your essay even more persuasive, try using rhetorical devices like ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos means showing why you’re a credible source, pathos means appealing to the judges’ emotions, and logos means using logic and reason. Using these devices can make your argument stronger and more compelling.

It’s also important to think about your tone and voice. You want to sound confident but also open-minded. Acknowledge any potential counterarguments or limitations to your argument, and respond to them respectfully. Strike the right balance in your tone, and you can make sure your essay is persuasive and engaging to the judges.

John Locke Institute Essay Competition: Sample Winning Works

Another sure way of standing out in the John Locke Institute Essay Competition is to read and study past winning works. Here are a few 1st placers and let’s see what we can learn from them:

1. Hosai Kishida – 1st place, Philosophy Category, 2023

Question: Is tax theft?

Summary: The essay says that taxation is like stealing, even though some people think it’s okay because we agree to it in the social contract. But the author argues that no one would really agree to give up their money to the government if they had a choice, because governments don’t always do a good job of protecting our rights and are often influenced by people who just want to make money. In the end, the author says that because taxation isn’t something we agree to, it’s basically stealing from us.

Analysis and tips

In the winning essay, Kishida used several smart writing tricks to argue against taxation. First off, they made sure to define important terms, like theft and rational consent, right at the start. This helped lay the groundwork for their argument and made sure readers were on the same page. For example, they defined theft as taking someone’s stuff without their okay, setting things up to argue that taxation is a type of theft.

The essay was also well-organized, with each point building on the last. This made for a clear and convincing argument. They started by talking about rational consent and how it relates to state power, then moved on to critique Kant’s ideas about the state, and finished up by discussing why some people think taxation is okay. This logical progression made it easy for readers to follow along.

Kishida also used rhetorical techniques, like logos and ethos, to make their argument stronger. They used logos by giving logical explanations and examples to back up their points. They also used ethos by mentioning famous philosophers like Locke, Kant, and Friedman, which made their argument seem more credible.

To make their argument even stronger, Kishida used real examples and evidence. They talked about bad things that governments have done in the past and argued that not everyone values the goods and services that governments provide equally, which weakens the case for taxation.

Lastly, Kishida kept things respectful and reasonable. Even though they were making a controversial argument, they stayed calm and used logic and evidence to back up their points, instead of using angry or rude language. This helped them keep their credibility with the audience.

Law student office

2. Joonyoung Heo – 1st place, Junior Category, 2021

Question: Should the law ever prevent people from freely making self-harming decisions? If so, what should and shouldn’t be forbidden — and according to which principles?

Summary: In the essay, the author talks about why it’s not cool for the government to make laws that try to protect people from themselves, which is called legal paternalism. The main idea is that while it might make sense for the government to step in and make laws that protect people (like seatbelt laws), it’s not okay when those laws stop people from making choices that only affect themselves. The author thinks this principle is strong because it respects individual choice, even when the government doesn’t think it’s the best choice.

The winning essay shows how to write a great essay for the John Locke Institute Essay Competition. First, Heo starts by clearly explaining important terms and ideas. This makes sure everyone knows what they’re talking about. For example, they explain legal paternalism and the harm principle right at the start.

Next, the essay is put together in a logical way. Each point builds on the last. This makes the argument strong and easy to follow. The author also uses real examples and evidence to back up their points. They talk about things like Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban and the recent change in Germany’s laws about assisted suicide to support what they’re saying.

Another smart move is how the author thinks about and answers arguments against their own. They show they really know their stuff by considering other viewpoints and responding to them in a smart way. Finally, the author keeps a cool and respectful tone throughout the essay. This helps them stay believable and makes their argument even more convincing.

Joining the John Locke Institute Essay Competition is a great chance to tackle some big philosophical and ethical questions, while also sharpening your critical thinking and writing skills . You’ll get to dive into topics that are not just interesting, but also really relevant to what’s going on in the world today.

So, it’s not just about winning a prize—it’s about growing intellectually, opening up new perspectives, and becoming part of a community of people who love exploring the big ideas that shape our lives.

Who can join the John Locke Institute Essay Competition?

Any student from any country and school can join in. High schoolers aged 15 to 18 can compete in the regular categories, while the Junior Prize is for middle schoolers aged 14 and under.

Can you submit more than one entry to the John Locke Institute Essay Competition?

Yes. Feel free to submit as many essays as you’d like in any or all categories.

Does the John Locke Institute Essay Competition have an entry fee?

The good news is that there’s no entry fee. However, if you miss the regular deadline, there’s a 20.00 USD fee for late submissions.

What is the John Locke Institute?

The John Locke Institute is an educational organization that’s all about encouraging independent thinking, critical thought , and clear reasoning among young people. They run the annual Essay Competition to get students thinking about important philosophical and ethical questions.

Who was John Locke?

John Locke was a 17th-century philosopher and physician, known as one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers. His thoughts on liberty, property, and the social contract had a big impact on modern political thought.

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Everything You Should Know about the John Locke Institute (JLI) Essay Competition

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By Jin Chow

Co-founder of Polygence, Forbes 30 Under 30 for Education

3 minute read

We first wrote about the world-famous John Locke Institute (JLI) Essay Competition in our list of 20 writing contests for high school students . This contest is a unique opportunity to refine your argumentation skills on fascinating and challenging topics that aren’t explored in the classroom.

The Oxford philosopher, medical doctor, political scientist, and economist John Locke was a big believer in challenging old habits of the mind. In that spirit, the JLI started this contest to challenge students to be more adventurous in their thinking. 

While not quite as prestigious as getting published in The Concord Review , winning the grand prize or placing in one of the 7 categories of the John Locke Essay Competition can get your college application noticed by top schools like Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge. Awards include $2,000 scholarships (for category prize winners) and a $10,000 scholarship for the grand prize. (The scholarships can be applied to the JLI’s Summer Schools at Oxford University, Princeton University, or Washington DC, or to its Gap Year programs in Oxford University, Guatemala, or Washington DC) 

But winning isn’t necessarily the best thing about it. Simply entering the contest and writing your essay will give you a profound learning experience like no other. Add to that the fact that your entry will be read and possibly commented on by some of the top minds at Oxford and Princeton University and it’s free to enter the competition. The real question is: why wouldn’t you enter? Here’s a guide to get you started on your essay contest entry.

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Eligibility

The John Locke Institute Essay Competition is open to any high school student anywhere in the world, ages 15-18. Students 14 or under are eligible for the Junior prize. 

John Locke Essay Competition Topics

The essay questions change from year to year. You can choose from 7 different categories (Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology, and Law). Within each category, there are 3 intriguing questions you can pick from. When you’re debating which question to write about, here’s a tip. Choose whichever question excites, upsets, or gives you any kind of strong emotional response. If you’re passionate about a topic, it will come through in your research and your writing. If you have any lived experience on the subject, that also helps. 

There are some sample questions the 2023 contest for each of the seven JLI essay subject  categories and the Junior Prize (the questions change each year):

Philosophy: Is tax theft? 

Politics: Do the results of elections express the will of the people?

Economics: What would happen if we banned billionaires?  

History: Which has a bigger effect on history: the plans of the powerful or their mistakes?

Psychology: Can happiness be measured?

Theology: What distinguishes a small religion from a large cult?

Law: Are there too many laws?

Junior Prize: What, if anything, do your parents owe you?

John Locke Writing Contest Requirements

Your essay must not exceed 2,000 words (not counting diagrams, tables of data, endnotes, bibliography, or authorship declaration) and must address only one of the questions in your chosen subject category. No footnotes are allowed, but you may include in-text citations or endnotes. 

Timeline and Deadlines

January - New essay questions are released

April 1st - Registration opens

May 31st  - Registration deadline

June 30th - Essay submission deadline

We highly recommend you check the JLI website as soon as the new questions are released in January and start researching and writing as soon as you can after choosing your topic. You must register for the contest by the end of May. The deadline for the essay submission itself is at the end of June, but we also recommend that you submit it earlier in case any problems arise. If you start right away in January, you can have a few months to work on your essay. 

John Locke Institute Essay Competition Judging Criteria

While the JLI says that their grading system is proprietary, they do also give you this helpful paragraph that describes what they are looking for: “Essays will be judged on knowledge and understanding of the relevant material, the competent use of evidence, quality of argumentation, originality, structure, writing style and persuasive force. The very best essays are likely to be those which would be capable of changing somebody's mind. Essays which ignore or fail to address the strongest objections and counter-arguments are unlikely to be successful. Candidates are advised to answer the question as precisely and directly as possible.” (We’ve bolded important words to keep in mind.) 

You can also join the JLI mailing list (scroll to the bottom of that page) to get contest updates and to learn more about what makes for a winning essay.

The words will fly off the page!

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Research and Essay Writing Tactics

Give yourself a baseline. First, just write down all your thoughts on the subject without doing any research. What are your gut-level opinions? What about this particular question intrigued you the most? What are some counter-arguments you can think of right away? What you are trying to do here is identify holes in your knowledge or understanding of the subject. What you don’t know or are unsure about can guide your research. Be sure to find evidence to support all the things you think you already know. 

Create a reading/watching list of related books, interviews, articles, podcasts, documentaries, etc. that relate to your topic. Find references that both support and argue against your argument. Choose the most highly reputable sources you can find. You may need to seek out and speak to experts to help you locate the best sources. Read and take notes. Address those questions and holes in the knowledge you identified earlier. Also, continue to read widely and think about your topic as you observe the world from day to day. Sometimes unrelated news stories, literature, film, songs, and visual art can give you an unexpected insight into your essay question. Remember that c is a learning experience and that you are not going to have a rock-solid argument all at once.

Read past essays . These will give you a sense of the criteria judges are using to select winning work. These essays are meant to convince the judges of a very specific stance. The argument must be clear and must include evidence to support it. You will note that winning entries tend to get straight to the point, show an impressive depth of knowledge on the subject with citations to reputable sources, flow with excellent reasoning, and use precise language. They don’t include flowery digressions. Save that for a different type of writing.

Proof your work with a teacher or mentor if possible. Even though your argument needs to be wholly your own, it certainly helps to bounce ideas around with someone who cares about the topic. A teacher or mentor can help you explore different options if you get stuck and point you toward new resources. They can offer general advice and point out errors or weaknesses. Working with a teacher or mentor is important for another reason. When you submit your entry, you will be required to provide the email address of an “academic referee” who is familiar with your work. This should be teachers, mentors, or other faculty members who are not related to you.

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The Ultimate Guide to the John Locke Essay Competition [Everything you need to know]

Humanities and social sciences students often lack the opportunities to compete at the global level and demonstrate their expertise. Competitions like ISEF, Science Talent Search, and MIT Think are generally reserved for students in fields like biology, physics, and chemistry.

At Lumiere, many of our talented non-STEM students, who have a flair for writing are looking for ways to flex their skills. In this piece, we’ll go over one such competition - the John Locke Essay Competition. If you’re interested in learning more about how we guide students to win essay contests like this, check out our main page .

What is the John Locke Essay Competition?

The essay competition is one of the various programs conducted by the John Locke Institute (JLI) every year apart from their summer and gap year courses. To understand the philosophy behind this competition, it’ll help if we take a quick detour to know more about the institute that conducts it.

Founded in 2011, JLI is an educational organization that runs summer and gap year courses in the humanities and social sciences for high school students. These courses are primarily taught by academics from Oxford and Princeton along with some other universities. The organization was founded by Martin Cox. Our Lumiere founder, Stephen, has met Martin and had a very positive experience. Martin clearly cares about academic rigor.

The institute's core belief is that the ability to evaluate the merit of information and develop articulate sound judgments is more important than merely consuming information. The essay competition is an extension of the institute - pushing students to reason through complex questions in seven subject areas namely Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology, and Law​.

The organization also seems to have a strong record of admissions of alumni to the top colleges in the US and UK. For instance, between 2011 and 2022, over half of John Locke alumni have gone on to one of eight colleges: Chicago, Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale.

How prestigious is the John Locke Contest?

The John Locke Contest is a rigorous and selective writing competition in the social sciences and humanities. While it is not as selective as the Concord Review and has a much broader range of students who can receive prizes, it is still considered a highly competitive program.

Winning a John Locke essay contest will have clear benefits for you in your application process to universities and would reflect well on your application. On the other hand, a shortlist or a commendation might not have a huge impact given that it is awarded to many students (more on this later).

What is the eligibility for the contest?

Students, of any country, who are 18 years old or younger before the date of submission can submit. They also have a junior category for students who are fourteen years old, or younger, on the date of the submission deadline.

Who SHOULD consider this competition?

We recommend this competition for students who are interested in social sciences and humanities, in particular philosophy, politics, and economics. It is also a good fit for students who enjoy writing, want to dive deep into critical reasoning, and have some flair in their writing approach (more on that below).

While STEM students can of course compete, they will have to approach the topics through a social science lens. For example, in 2021, one of the prompts in the division of philosophy was, ‘Are there subjects about which we should not even ask questions?’ Here, students of biology can comfortably write about topics revolving around cloning, gene alteration, etc, however, they will have to make sure that they are able to ground this in the theoretical background of scientific ethics and ethical philosophy in general.

Additional logistics

Each essay should address only one of the questions in your chosen subject category, and must not exceed 2000 words (not counting diagrams, tables of data, footnotes, bibliography, or authorship declaration).

If you are using an in-text-based referencing format, such as APA, your in-text citations are included in the word limit.

You can submit as many essays as you want in any and all categories. (We recommend aiming for only one given how time-consuming it can be to come up with a single good-quality submission)

Important dates

Prompts for the 2023 competition will be released in January 2023. Your submission will be due around 6 months later in June. Shortlisted candidates will be notified in mid-July which will be followed by the final award ceremony in September.

How much does it cost to take part?

What do you win?

A scholarship that will offset the cost of attending a course at the JLI. The amount will vary between $2000 and $10,000 based on whether you are a grand prize winner (best essay across all categories) or a subject category winner. (JLI programs are steeply-priced and even getting a prize in your category would not cover the entire cost of your program. While the website does not mention the cost of the upcoming summer program, a different website mentions it to be 3,000 GBP or 3600 USD)

If you were shortlisted, most probably, you will also receive a commendation certificate and an invitation to attend an academic ceremony at Oxford. However, even here, you will have to foot the bill for attending the conference, which can be a significant one if you are an international student.

How do you submit your entry?

You submit your entry through the website portal that will show up once the prompts for the next competition are up in January! You have to submit your essay in pdf format where the title of the pdf attachment should read SURNAME, First Name, Category, and Question Number (e.g. POPHAM, Alexander, Psychology, Q2).

What are the essay prompts like?

We have three insights here.

Firstly, true to the spirit of the enlightenment thinker it is named after, most of the prompts have a philosophical bent and cover ethical, social, and political themes. In line with JLI’s general philosophy, they force you to think hard and deeply about the topics they cover. Consider a few examples to understand this better:

“Are you more moral than most people you know? How do you know? Should you strive to be more moral? Why or why not?” - Philosophy, 2021

“What are the most important economic effects - good and bad - of forced redistribution? How should this inform government policy?” - Economics, 2020

“Why did the Jesus of Nazareth reserve his strongest condemnation for the self-righteous?” - Theology, 2021

“Should we judge those from the past by the standards of today? How will historians in the future judge us?” - History, 2021

Secondly, at Lumiere, our analysis is that most of these prompts are ‘deceptively rigorous’ because the complexity of the topic reveals itself gradually. The topics do not give you a lot to work with and it is only when you delve deeper into one that you realize the extent to which you need to research/read more. In some of the topics, you are compelled to define the limits of the prompt yourself and in turn, the scope of your essay. This can be a challenging exercise. Allow me to illustrate this with an example of the 2019 philosophy prompt.

“Aristotelian virtue ethics achieved something of a resurgence in the twentieth century. Was this progress or retrogression?”

Here you are supposed to develop your own method for determining what exactly constitutes progress in ethical thought. This in turn involves familiarizing yourself with existing benchmarks of measurement and developing your own method if required. This is a significant intellectual exercise.

Finally, a lot of the topics are on issues of contemporary relevance and especially on issues that are contentious . For instance, in 2019, one of the prompts for economics was about the benefits and costs of immigration whereas the 2020 essay prompt for theology was about whether Islam is a religion of peace . As we explain later, your ‘opinion’ here can be as ‘outrageous’ as you want it to be as long as you are able to back it up with reasonable arguments. Remember, the JLI website clearly declares itself to be, ‘ not a safe space, but a courteous one ’.

How competitive is the JLI Essay Competition?

In 2021, the competition received 4000 entries from 101 countries. Given that there is only one prize winner from each category, this makes this a very competitive opportunity. However, because categories have a different number of applicants, some categories are more competitive than others. One strategy to win could be to focus on fields with fewer submissions like Theology.

There are also a relatively significant number of students who receive commendations called “high commendation.” In the psychology field, for example, about 80 students received a commendation in 2022. At the same time, keep in mind that the number of students shortlisted and invited to Oxford for an academic conference is fairly high and varies by subject. For instance, Theology had around 50 people shortlisted in 2021 whereas Economics had 238 . We, at Lumiere, estimate that approximately 10% of entries of each category make it to the shortlisting stage.

How will your essay be judged?

The essays will be judged on your understanding of the discipline, quality of argumentation and evidence, and writing style. Let’s look at excerpts from various winning essays to see what this looks like in practice.

Level of knowledge and understanding of the relevant material: Differentiating your essay from casual musing requires you to demonstrate knowledge of your discipline. One way to do that is by establishing familiarity with relevant literature and integrating it well into their essay. The winning essay of the 2020 Psychology Prize is a good example of how to do this: “People not only interpret facts in a self-serving way when it comes to their health and well-being; research also demonstrates that we engage in motivated reasoning if the facts challenge our personal beliefs, and essentially, our moral valuation and present understanding of the world. For example, Ditto and Liu showed a link between people’s assessment of facts and their moral convictions” By talking about motivated reasoning in the broader literature, the author can show they are well-versed in the important developments in the field.

Competent use of evidence: In your essay, there are different ways to use evidence effectively. One such way involves backing your argument with results from previous studies . The 2020 Third Place essay in economics shows us what this looks like in practice: “Moreover, this can even be extended to PTSD, where an investigation carried out by Italian doctor G. P. Fichera, led to the conclusion that 13% of the sampling units were likely to have this condition. Initiating economic analysis here, this illustrates that the cost of embarking on this unlawful activity, given the monumental repercussions if caught, is not equal to the costs to society...” The study by G.P. Fichera is used to strengthen the author’s claim on the social costs of crime and give it more weight.

Structure, writing style, and persuasive force: A good argument that is persuasive rarely involves merely backing your claim with good evidence and reasoning. Delivering it in an impactful way is also very important. Let’s see how the winner of the 2020 Law Prize does this: “Slavery still exists, but now it applies to women and its name in prostitution”, wrote Victor Hugo in Les Misérables. Hugo’s portrayal of Fantine under the archetype of a fallen woman forced into prostitution by the most unfortunate of circumstances cannot be more jarringly different from the empowerment-seeking sex workers seen today, highlighting the wide-ranging nuances associated with commercial sex and its implications on the women in the trade. Yet, would Hugo have supported a law prohibiting the selling of sex for the protection of Fantine’s rights?” The use of Victor Hugo in the first line of the essay gives it a literary flair and enhances the impact of the delivery of the argument. Similarly, the rhetorical question, in the end, adds to the literary dimension of the argument. Weaving literary and argumentative skills in a single essay is commendable and something that the institute also recognizes.

Quality of argumentation: Finally, the quality of your argument depends on capturing the various elements mentioned above seamlessly . The third place in theology (2020) does this elegantly while describing bin-Laden’s faulty and selective use of religious verses to commit violence: “He engages in the decontextualization and truncation of Qur'anic verses to manipulate and convince, which dissociates the fatwas from bonafide Islam. For example, in his 1996 fatwa, he quotes the Sword verse but deliberately omits the aforementioned half of the Ayat that calls for mercy. bin-Laden’s intention is not interpretive veracity, but the indoctrination of his followers.” The author’s claim is that bin-Laden lacks religious integrity and thus should not be taken seriously, especially given the content of his messages. To strengthen his argument, he uses actual incidents to dissect this display of faulty reasoning.

These excerpts are great examples of the kind of work you should keep in mind when writing your own draft.

6 Winning Tips from Lumiere

Focus on your essay structure and flow: If logic and argumentation are your guns in this competition, a smooth flow is your bullet. What does a smooth flow mean? It means that the reader should be able to follow your chain of reasoning with ease. This is especially true for essays that explore abstract themes. Let’s see this in detail with the example of a winning philosophy essay. “However, if society were the moral standard, an individual is subjected to circumstantial moral luck concerning whether the rules of the society are good or evil (e.g., 2019 Geneva vs. 1939 Munich). On the other hand, contracts cannot be the standard because people are ignorant of their being under a moral contractual obligation, when, unlike law, it is impossible to be under a contract without being aware. Thus, given the shortcomings of other alternatives, human virtue is the ideal moral norm.” To establish human virtue as the ideal norm, the author points out limitations in society and contracts, leaving out human virtue as the ideal one. Even if you are not familiar with philosophy, you might still be able to follow the reasoning here. This is a great example of the kind of clarity and logical coherence that you should strive for.

Ground your arguments in a solid theoretical framework : Your essay requires you to have well-developed arguments. However, these arguments need to be grounded in academic theory to give them substance and differentiate them from casual opinions. Let me illustrate this with an example of the essay that won second place in the politics category in 2020. “Normatively, the moral authority of governments can be justified on a purely associative basis: citizens have an inherent obligation to obey the state they were born into. As Dworkin argued, “Political association, like family or friendship and other forms of association more local and intimate, is itself pregnant of obligation” (Dworkin). Similar to a family unit where children owe duties to their parents by virtue of being born into that family regardless of their consent, citizens acquire obligations to obey political authority by virtue of being born into a state.” Here, the author is trying to make a point about the nature of political obligation. However, the core of his argument is not the strength of his own reasoning, but the ability to back his reasoning with prior literature. By quoting Dworkin, he includes important scholars of western political thought to give more weight to his arguments. It also displays thorough research on the part of the author to acquire the necessary intellectual tools to write this paper.

The methodology is more important than the conclusion: The 2020 history winners came to opposite conclusions in their essays on whether a strong state hampers or encourages economic growth. While one of them argued that political strength hinders growth when compared to laissez-faire, the other argues that the state is a prerequisite for economic growth . This reflects JLI’s commitment to your reasoning and substantiation instead of the ultimate opinion. The lesson: Don’t be afraid to be bold! Just make sure you are able to back it up.

Establish your framework well: A paragraph (or two) that is able to succinctly describe your methodology, core arguments, and the reasoning behind them displays academic sophistication. A case in point is the introduction of 2019’s Philosophy winner: “To answer the question, we need to construct a method that measures progress in philosophy. I seek to achieve this by asserting that, in philosophy, a certain degree of falsification is achievable. Utilizing philosophical inquiry and thought experiments, we can rationally assess the logical validity of theories and assign “true” and “false” status to philosophical thoughts. With this in mind, I propose to employ the fourth process of the Popperian model of progress…Utilizing these two conditions, I contend that Aristotelian virtue ethics was progress from Kantian ethics and utilitarianism.” Having a framework like this early on gives you a blueprint for what is in the essay and makes it easier for the reader to follow the reasoning. It also helps you as a writer since distilling down your core argument into a paragraph ensures that the first principles of your essay are well established.

Read essays of previous winners: Do this and you will start seeing some patterns in the winning essays. In economics, this might be the ability to present a multidimensional argument and substantiating it with data-backed research. In theology, this might be your critical analysis of religious texts .

Find a mentor: Philosophical logic and argumentation are rarely taught at the high school level. Guidance from an external mentor can fill this academic void by pointing out logical inconsistencies in your arguments and giving critical feedback on your essay. Another important benefit of having a mentor is that it will help you in understanding the heavy literature that is often a key part of the writing/research process in this competition. As we have already seen above, having a strong theoretical framework is crucial in this competition. A mentor can make this process smoother.

Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you’re looking for a mentor to do an essay contest like John Locke or want to build your own independent research paper, then consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program . Last year over 2100 students applied for about 500 spots in the program. You can find the application form   here .

You can see our admission results here for our students.

Manas is a publication strategy associate at Lumiere Education. He studied public policy and interactive media at NYU and has experience in education consulting.

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Complete Guide to John Locke Essay Competition 2024

  • Last modified 2024-06-07
  • Published on 2021-04-01

Unlock Your Writing Potential: Students in Our Writing Competition Preparation Class Are More Likely to Secure Awards

1. what is the john locke essay competition.

The John Locke Essay Competition is organized by John Locke Institute, an independent education organization located in Oxford, UK. Professors at the John Locke Institute are from famous universities like Oxford, Princeton, Brown, and Buckingham University.

The John Locke Institute encourages young people to cultivate characteristics of great writers: independent thought, depth of knowledge, clear reasoning, critical analysis, and persuasive style. Students are challenged to explore a wide range of questions beyond their school’s curriculum.

Obtaining prizes in the competition can greatly enhance the competitiveness of undergraduate applications at American, Canadian, and British universities. College admission for past winners include Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Chicago, Oxford, Cambridge, University of Toronto, and other world-renowned schools.

2. When does the John Locke Essay Competition start?

The John Locke Essay Competition typically releases essay questions in February. Participants are given several months to submit their essay, with the submission deadline typically set for June 30 each year.

However, if for any reason students miss the June 30 deadline, they can make a late entry by paying $20, and submitting their essay before July 10 11:59 pm BST.

For 2024, the submission deadline is June 30, 2024.

  • Registration opens on April 1, 2024.
  • Registration deadline: May 31, 2024. (Registration is required by this date for subsequent submission.)
  • Submission deadline: June 30, 2024.
  • Late entry deadline: July 10, 2024. (Late entries are subject to a 20.00 USD charge, payable by July 1)
  • Notification of short-listed essayists: July 31, 2024.
  • Academic conference & awards dinners: September 21, 2024.

3. Who is eligible for the contest?

Students from any country are eligible to submit essays to the competition. However, only students whose 19th birthday falls after June 30 of the current year (which is the submission deadline). Candidates for the Junior Prize must be fourteen years old, or younger, on that date. For example, if the current deadline for the 2024 competition is June 30, 2024, only students who are 18 years old or younger before June 30, 2024 will be eligible for a prize or a commendation. In the case of the Junior Prize category, only students who are 14 years old or younger before June 30, 2024 will be eligible for a prize or a commendation.

4. Who should participate in the competition?

The competition welcomes students who are passionate about philosophy, politics, economics, history, psychology, theology, or law to participate. Regardless of your academic background or level of expertise, if you’re interested in writing and willing to delve deeper into thought-provoking topics and complex societal issues, the John Locke Essay Competition is an excellent opportunity for you.

5. Is the John Locke Competition free?

Yes, the John Locke Essay Competition is free to enter. Participants are not required to pay any fees, and they can submit as many essays as they please across any or all categories.

6. Is the John Locke Essay Competition prestigious?

The John Locke Essay Competition has always been a prestigious competition, attracting talented writers around the world. All of the competition’s essays are judged by a panel of senior academics drawn from leading universities, including the University of Oxford (#5 in Best Global Universities) and Princeton University (#1 in National Universities in the U.S).

In addition, the judges will choose their favorite essay from each of the seven subject categories, along with a junior category for under 15s, which is a very rigorous evaluation process.

Moreover, the essay topics chosen for the competition often tackle current issues and challenges facing society today, requiring students to be well-rounded and up to date with the topics that they’re interested in.

7. How competitive is the John Locke Essay Competition?

With approximately 19,000 entries in total, the John Locke Essay Competition attracts a pool of excellent participants from around the world. Each year, a select few—typically 24-25 individuals—are awarded prizes. 

For more context, in 2021, the competition received 4,000 submissions, yet only 24 prizes were awarded, indicating a marked increase in competitiveness over time.  With a win rate of approximately 0.6%, securing a prize in the John Locke Essay Competition is definitely an exceptional achievement.  Notably, each category witnessed a substantial number of submissions, with Philosophy shortlisting 108 candidates, Politics 55, Economics 239, History 190, Junior Essay 93, Law 80, Theology 50, and Psychology 100. In total, these categories shortlisted 915 candidates, which is 23% of all submissions. Within 915 shortlists, there were only 24 students being awarded, representing 3% of all shortlists. This data paints a vivid picture of the competitiveness among participants, and the academic rigor demanded by the competition in order to be shortlisted and finally rewarded. In 2022, there were 6805 participants and 20% were shortlisted.

8. What are the categories in the competition?

Students are required to submit an argumentative essay of fewer than 2,000 words. The overarching themes of the competitions are: philosophy, politics, economics, history, psychology, theology, and law.

John Locke Essay Competition Prep Program

9. What are the questions in the competition?

For 2024, the questions for John Locke Essay Competition are: 

Philosophy  

Q1. Do we have any good reasons to trust our moral intuition?

Q2. Do girls have a right to compete in sporting contests that exclude boys?

Q3. Should I be held responsible for what I believe?

Expert Guide to the John Locke Essay Competition Philosophy Questions

Q1. Is there such a thing as too much democracy?

Q2. Is peace in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip possible?​

Q3. When is compliance complicity?

Economics  

Q1. What is the optimal global population?

Q2. Accurate news reporting is a public good. Does it follow that news agencies should be funded from taxation?

​Q3. Do successful business people benefit others when making their money, when spending it, both, or neither?

Expert Guide to the John Locke Essay Competition Economics Questions

Q1. Why was sustained economic growth so rare before the later 18th century and why did this change?

Q2. Has music ever significantly changed the course of history?

Q3. Why do civilisations collapse? Is our civilisation in danger?

Expert Guide to the John Locke Essay Competition History Questions

Psychology  

Q1. According to a study by researchers at four British universities, for each 15-point increase in IQ, the likelihood of getting married increases by around 35% for a man but decreases by around 58% for a woman. Why?

Q2. There is an unprecedented epidemic of depression and anxiety among young people. Can we fix this? How?

Q3. What is the difference between a psychiatric illness and a character flaw?

Q1. “I am not religious, but I am spiritual.” What could the speaker mean by “spiritual”?

Q2. Is it reasonable to thank God for protection from some natural harm if He is responsible for causing the harm?

Q3. Does God reward those who believe in him? If so, why?

Expert Guide to the John Locke Essay Competition Theology Questions

78% of Aralia Students Win Prizes in the John Locke Essay Competition

Q1. When, if ever, should a company be permitted to refuse to do business with a person because of that person’s public statements?

Q2. In the last five years British police have arrested several thousand people for things they posted on social media. Is the UK becoming a police state?

​Q3. Your parents say that 11pm is your bedtime. But they don’t punish you if you don’t go to bed by 11pm. Is 11pm really your bedtime?

JUNIOR prize (for age 14 and younger)  

Q1. Does winning a free and fair election automatically confer a mandate for governing?

​Q2. Has the anti-racism movement reduced racism?

​Q3. Is there life after death?

​Q4. How did it happen that governments came to own and run most high schools, while leaving food production to private enterprise?

​Q5. When will advancing technology make most of us unemployable? What should we do about this?

Q6. Should we trust fourteen-year-olds to make decisions about their own bodies?

10. How to win the John Locke Essay competition?

With the competitiveness of this competition, it’s crucial for students to have a clear structure for approaching their question of choice. We will take an example from the grand prize-winning essay “Is tax theft?” by Hosai Kishida as an example to provide winning tips from Aralia teachers:

Analyze the question and link them to John Locke’s philosophy

Take the time to understand the essay prompt and what the question is asking for. Approaching the question “Is tax theft?”, some of the outstanding themes are the ethical implications of taxation and theft, the legal definition of theft within the context of taxation, and the redistribution of wealth and socioeconomic inequalities. Students could approach this question in several ways, but it should always link to John Locke’s philosophy. In their essay, Hosai linked the taxation issue with John Locke’s “Two Treatises on Government” idea of social contract.

Clear reasoning with evidence drawn from extensive research :

Once you decide on your stance about the question, it’s important to present your argument with logical reasoning and strong evidence from reputable sources. Students can utilize a variety of reputable sources, including academic journals, books, and scholarly articles, to gather relevant information and develop a well-informed argument. In addition, make sure that your structure and ideas are presented clearly and allow your reader to navigate your essay with ease.

For example, in Hosai’s essay, they laid out foundational principles of state power and the requirement of rational consent for legitimizing state authority. Then, they logically deduce that taxation, as an exercise of state power, necessitates the consent of taxed individuals to avoid being considered theft. The author supports their argument with references to Locke and Kant, renowned philosophers and scholars.

Engage in critical analysis

In addition to providing reasoning and evidence that support students’ arguments, students can also examine alternative perspectives to show that they have the ability to evaluate evidence critically– specifically the strengths and weaknesses of different viewpoints.

For example, Hosai evaluates opposing viewpoints and potential objections to their argument that taxation is theft. They brought up David Friedman’s concept of privatized approaches to order, and Michael Huemer’s critique of the state’s neutrality to provide a well-rounded analysis of the issue. They also reference historical events, such as the Holocaust under Nazi Germany, to illustrate potential abuses of state power.

Refine Your Writing Style

This type of essay falls under the argumentative essay type. This essay type requires a third person perspective throughout the introduction, body, and conclusion. Students should also use headings and transitions to create a smooth flow and overview of ideas without providing an excess of information, like how Hosai provides a heading for each of their arguments such as “Rational consent as a justification of state power” or “Taxation and hypothetical returns.” Don’t forget to use the active voice to make your writing more direct and engaging. Active voice sentences are clearer and more concise than passive voice, allowing you to communicate your ideas more effectively.

Proofreading and Editing

Before submitting your essay and throughout the writing process, always seek feedback from peers and teachers to gain valuable insights and perspectives on your essay to help you make revisions and create the best essay you possibly can.

11. How will your essay be evaluated?

According to the competition, your essay will be evaluated on 7 criteria, with the overarching goal of writing an essay that can change somebody’s mind in a way that’s as precise and direct as possible. Let’s go into detail about what those criteria are:

  • Knowledge and Understanding of the Relevant Material: This criterion assesses students on their ability to understand the question and the relevant concepts and theories related to the topic.
  • Competent Use of Evidence : The judges will evaluate the essay upon participants’ ability to use credible and relevant evidence to support their arguments.
  • Quality of Argumentation : This criterion examines the quality and overall strength of the reasoning provided by the participant.
  • Originality : In this criterion, the judges evaluate the originality of the ideas and arguments. In addition, all essays will be checked for the use of Artificial Intelligence. AI normally reiterates common knowledge and repeats well-established arguments without providing fresh ideas. If your essay is generated by AI, your essay will be disqualified.
  • Structure: The judges will evaluate your essay based on how well you structure and organize the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion, as well as transitions between paragraphs.
  • Writing Style : This criterion evaluates the participant’s writing style– from grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure to the coherence and clarity of sentences.
  • Persuasive Force : Persuasive force refers to the participant’s capability to persuade the audience of their arguments. Methods of persuasion can range from their use of persuasive techniques to emotional appeals, and more.

12. What abilities of students are examined through the John Locke Essay Competition?

  • The foundational understanding of concepts and structures in philosophy, politics, economics, history, psychology, theology, or law 
  • The mastery of basic writing format and the skills to write argumentative essays 
  • The independent thinking, logical analysis methods, persuasive writing skills  

Guide to john Locke Essay Competition

13. What’s the general structure of the argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is different compared to other types, because it requires a straightforward and easy-to-follow structure, with a clear point of view and reasoning. We will use an example of an essay from 2020 achieving the First Prize in the Junior Category from the John Locke Essay Competition. The prompt for that year was “Who should own your data? The companies with which you agree to share your data, everybody, just you, or nobody?” The link to the essay can be viewed here .  

A good argumentative essay should follow this structure: 

Introductory paragraph:

This paragraph should outline the topic of discussion with background information related to your argument.  

Today, we produce unfathomable amounts of data, leading the OECD to call data a “key pillar of 21st-century growth.”[1] Legislators, politicians and the popular press have increasingly called for ownership of data.[2] 

Outline the topic of discussion and background information. Here, the author explains the current state of data ownership.

Ownership is generally defined as “full and complete control with recognised legal rights,” with legal discretion for the rightsholder to exploit, change, destroy, possess, exclude others from and transfer their property.[3] An ownership right for personal data does not currently exist in the legal statutes of any industrialised country.[4] Property laws intentionally exclude personal data from subject matter definitions and newly introduced regulatory frameworks do not specify data ownership.[5] [6]

Define the subject matter at a high level. In this paragraph, the writer discusses the definition of ownership and the problem of data ownership not specified in the ownership regulation. 

The thesis statement

This is where students should state their thesis, along with the evidence they will present. The thesis statement should be a concise summary of your main point and introduce the main arguments that will be discussed in the body paragraphs: 

In 1893, Sir William Blackstone noted the human fascination with ownership, saying we desire “sole and despotic dominion … in total exclusion of rights of other individuals in the universe.”[7] In this case, that fascination detracts from the problems and solutions surrounding personal data today. An ownership right should not be created for data. To illustrate this, I shall explore the implications of assigning a data ownership right to corporations, everybody, individuals and then discuss why data should not be owned at all.

State your perspective on the matter and provide an overview of your evidence for the argument. In responding to who should own the data, the writer stated that data should not be owned by corporations, individuals, and everybody, which he discusses later in the body paragraph.

Body paragraph:

A body paragraph explains the main reasons for your thesis. If you have three main points you want to discuss, each body paragraph should cover each one (and only one) idea. You can support your claims with examples, research, studies, statistics, and any other information to add credibility and gain trust from readers. In the body paragraphs, you can also bring up opposing claims and provide explanations for why you disagree with the claims. The overall idea of the argument is to convey your idea, explain why the reader should agree, and present opposing claims with evidence-based arguments.

In the winner’s essay, he provided four main arguments why data should not be owned by corporations, individuals, and everybody, as well as why data should be owned by nobody. He also discussed the consequences of data ownership by these groups.

The conclusion should summarize your arguments and restate your thesis. A good conclusion also expands the reach of the paper to include themselves and their audience, making it both personal and showing why their audience should care about the implications of their argument. An example of making your conclusion personal is including an anecdote or a personal story related to the topic.

Today, policy makers must strike a balance between individual rights and extracting societal benefits of data. It is the subject of age-old philosophical debate; whether to prioritise a categorical imperative of privacy at the expense of utilitarian societal progress. Assigning data ownership to a single party means choosing a side, one side will inevitably lose out – sacrificing progress or privacy. Thankfully, reality does not reflect this simplistic trade-off. Ergo, legislators must continue to push for a sector-specific rights-based regulatory framework to complement existing efforts and forgo the need to legislate through assigning data ownership. Therefore, I believe, data should remain as is, res nullius – “property of no one.”

This is an example of a great conclusion, as the writer restates what would happen if you provide data ownership to people, and restates his original thesis that data should not be owned by anyone.

14. What are the prizes of the John Locke Essay Competition?

  • The prize for each winner of a subject category will receive a scholarship worth $2000 (US Dollars) towards the cost of attending any John Locke Institute program
  • The best essay overall will receive a $10,000 (US Dollar) scholarship to attend one or more of our summer schools and/or gap year courses.
  • The essays will be published on the Institute’s website.
  • Networking opportunities with judges and other faculty members of the John Locke Institute.

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John Locke Essay Competition Guide

John Locke Essay Competition Guide

This manual is for high school students who want to enter the John Locke Essay Competition but are unsure of where to begin.

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What is the John Locke Essay Competition?

The John Locke Institute, a non-profit institution of higher learning with offices in Oxford, UK, hosts the John Locke Essay Competition. The John Locke Institute employs professors from prominent institutions like Oxford, Princeton, Brown, and Buckingham University.

Young people are urged by the John Locke Institute to develop the qualities of great authors, including independence of thought, breadth of knowledge, clarity of reasoning, critical analysis, and persuasiveness. Students are pushed to investigate a variety of issues outside the scope of their academic program.

Participants may be students from any country and institution. The tournament has two levels: a high school level for students between the ages of 15 and 18 and a junior prize level for middle school children between the ages of 14 and 13.

What subjects will be covered throughout the competition?

Less than 2000 words must be used in the argumentative essay that students must submit. Philosophy, politics, economics, history, psychology, theology, and law are the major themes of the competitions.

The questions for the John Locke Essay Competition for 2021 are:

Q1. What is the likelihood of the multiverse? Would it make a difference if we discovered the theory was correct (somehow)?

Q2. Do we ultimately bear responsibility for our decisions if our capacities and preferences—which in turn are products of our genetic make-up and the environment in which we happen to live—are the causes of our actions?

Q3. Is it right to use the power of the law to extort money from individuals in order to pay philosophers to engage in philosophical discourse?

Q4. If ever, when may actions involving only willing adults be morally wrong?

Q1. Should political donations be permitted?

Q2. If anything, what do wealthy countries owe developing ones?

Q3. Do you believe in the concept of a common good?

Q4. Is it true that a good citizen is also a decent person? Do decent people make good citizens by default?

Q1. Blessing or curse: Bitcoin?

Q2. What’s wrong with the housing market, specifically? How can this be fixed?

Q3. Should Amazon increase employee pay? What would happen if they upped every employee’s pay by 20% right away?

Q4. Is the land value tax proposed by Henry George just, effective, both, or neither?

Q1. Did the British empire have any positive aspects?

Q2. Does China have an imperial past?

Q3. Has Western civilization been slipping away?

Q4. Do events create leaders, or do leaders create events?

Q1. Do humans become nastier over time?

Q2. Is there a psychological difference between males and women? Is it important?

Q3. Are there any mental illnesses that don’t end up being physical?

Q4. Is it rational to despise someone for their opinions?

Q1. Why would God be so vague?

Q2: “A primitive human’s conception of a tremendous entity is the God of the Bible and the Koran… However, a really ultimate deity would not behave in such a way.” Is it a holy book with evidence of divine authorship?

Q3. And your faith is worthless if Christ has not been risen, according to question three. Is it possible to be a Christian without acknowledging Jesus’ extraordinary resurrection?

Q4. Is faith anything more than an unsure belief based on scant evidence?

Q1. Does prison work?

Q2. “People who serve on juries are uninformed, prejudiced, and not shrewd enough to escape jury duty.” Should Trial by Jury be eliminated?

Q3. Should “hate crimes” receive harsher penalties than similar crimes with different motivations?

Q4: How do justice and the law relate to one another?

JUNIOR award (for age 14 and younger)

Q1. Which existential peril are people underestimating?

Q2. What age should be required for consent for permanent sex reassignment surgery?

Q3. How valuable were the lockdowns?

Q4: What does it mean to be equal to others?

Q5. If there were a 100% inheritance tax, what would happen?

Q6. Which era and location would you visit on your next vacation if you could go back in time? How would you get ready for your journey? What difficulties would you encounter over the first 24 hours and how would you handle them?

Q7. Should it be okay to give away some products but prohibited to sell others?

Which student skills are evaluated by the John Locke Essay Competition?

  • Basic knowledge of ideas and principles in philosophy, politics, economics, history, psychology, theology, or the law
  • Mastery of fundamental writing structures and expertise in argumentative essay writing
  • Autonomous thought, logical analysis techniques, and written persuasion

What is the argumentative essay’s basic organization?

An argumentative essay differs from other sorts in that it needs to have a simple, understandable structure, as well as a strong point of view and supporting evidence. We’ll use an essay from the John Locke Essay Competition in 2020 that won first place in the junior category as an example. The prompt was “Who should own your data? Whichever businesses you choose to share your data with, everyone, just you, or nobody?” You can access the essay’s link here .

An effective argumentative essay should have the following format:

Introductory paragraph:

This paragraph should give a general overview of the subject under debate and provide background information relevant to your argument.

Today, we produce unfathomable amounts of data, leading the OECD to call data a “key pillar of 21st-century growth.”[1] Legislators, politicians and the popular press have increasingly called for ownership of data.[2] 

Describe the discussion’s focus and provide background data on data ownership.

Ownership is generally defined as “full and complete control with recognised legal rights,” with legal discretion for the rightsholder to exploit, change, destroy, possess, exclude others from and transfer their property.[3] An ownership right for personal data does not currently exist in the legal statutes of any industrialized country.[4] Property laws intentionally exclude personal data from subject matter definitions and newly introduced regulatory frameworks do not specify data ownership.[5] [6]

Give a broad definition of the topic. The definition of ownership and the issue of data ownership that is not addressed by the ownership rule are covered by the author in this paragraph.

The thesis statement:

Here, students should state their position and the supporting evidence they will use to support it. The major arguments that will be covered in the body paragraphs should be introduced in the thesis statement, which should be a succinct exposition of your main point.

In 1893, Sir William Blackstone noted the human fascination with ownership, saying we desire “sole and despotic dominion … in total exclusion of rights of other individuals in the universe.”[7] In this case, that fascination detracts from the problems and solutions surrounding personal data today. An ownership right should not be created for data. To illustrate this, I shall explore the implications of assigning a data ownership right to corporations, everybody, individuals and then discuss why data should not be owned at all.

Give your opinion on the subject and the first supporting piece of evidence. In response to the question of who should own the data, the author said that data shouldn’t be held by businesses, people, or anybody else, as he detailed later in the body paragraph.

Body paragraph:

A body paragraph explains the primary arguments supporting your thesis. If you want to focus on three primary ideas, only one notion should be included in each body paragraph. To increase credibility and win readers’ trust, you can back up your arguments using examples, research, studies, statistics, and any other data. You can also raise competing arguments in the body paragraphs and explain why you disagree with them. The main goal of the argument is to express your viewpoint, justify the reader’s acceptance of it, and support any contrary claims with solid evidence.

The student offered four primary justifications in the winning essay for why businesses, people, and everyone else shouldn’t own data. He also talked about the effects of these entities owning the data.

Conclusion : 

In conclusion, you should restate your thesis and summarize your points. The hardest part of writing a conclusion is making it personal by inserting an anecdote or a personal experience that relates to the subject.

Today, policy makers must strike a balance between individual rights and extracting societal benefits of data. It is the subject of age-old philosophical debate; whether to prioritize a categorical imperative of privacy at the expense of utilitarian societal progress. Assigning data ownership to a single party means choosing a side, one side will inevitably lose out – sacrificing progress or privacy. Thankfully, reality does not reflect this simplistic trade-off. Ergo, legislators must continue to push for a sector-specific rights-based regulatory framework to complement existing efforts and forgo the need to legislate through assigning data ownership. Therefore, I believe, data should remain as is, res nullius – “property of no one.”

This is an excellent example of a conclusion because the author reiterates his original thesis—that data shouldn’t be held by anyone—as well as what would happen if you gave people control of their data.

What are the John Locke Essay Competition’s awards?

  • Each subject category winner will get a scholarship for any John Locke Institute program worth $2000 (US dollars) as part of their prize.
  • The author of the overall winning essay will receive a scholarship of $10,000 (USD) to attend one or more of our summer schools and/or gap year programs.
  • The essays will be posted online by the Institute.
  • Networking possibilities with judges and other John Locke Institute professors.

Each year, hundreds of students compete in the prestigious John Locke Essay Competition. If you plan to be part of them, we highly recommend you find out more about our Essay Counseling program by clicking here . We have specialized tutors who can help you write a compelling essay. Schedule your free trial now !

john locke essay competition tutor

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Columbia | Economics

Graders Needed for Essay Competition

The  John Locke Institute  is seeking final-year undergraduate and graduate students who might be interested in becoming graders of our Essay Competition for appropriate remuneration.

The globally renowned John Locke Institute annual essay competition covers topics in the categories of Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Law, Theology, and Psychology. Free to enter, the competition attracts entries from students of 14 to 18 years old from all over the world. Since its launch, it has been growing apace. Last year, we received about 7,400 entries from students with the widest possible range of socioeconomic backgrounds from over 100 countries.

For most participants, the competition provides their first opportunity to research, write and have graded a university-style essay that makes an original argument. The experience motivates many of them to raise their sights to institutions of learning of the highest quality – such as the Ivy League in the USA, and Oxbridge in the UK – that they would otherwise have not considered.

Submitted essays are graded in the first instance by academically talented graduates and final-year undergraduates, before the very best of them are sent to Professors in the relevant disciplines for final marking and the selection of prize-winners.

The three questions in the Economics category for which we are looking for graders are as follows.

Q1 . A government funds its own expenditure by taxing its population. Suppose, instead, it relied solely on money newly created by the central bank? What would be the advantages and/or disadvantages?  

Q2 . In his thought experiment, the Iowa Car Crop, David Friedman tries to show that growing wheat is, in an important sense, just another ‘technology’ we can use for manufacturing cars, and in some circumstances a much more efficient one.

If international trade is thus a way of using less valuable inputs to produce more valuable outputs, why would governments impose trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas, thereby forcing producers to be more wasteful and less efficient?

Q3 . What would happen if we banned billionaires?

The grading work will be intense, interesting and satisfying, and begin on  July 1, to be completed in about two weeks . Graders have flexibility regarding their hours and speed at which they work.

Essays are up to 2000 words long and need only be given a numerical grade. We will pay  $2 per essay  and require a  commitment to grade 500 essays  (or more only if the grader wishes to do more). A grader who has hit his or her stride should be able to make at least $25 an hour.

Further details and examples of previous years’ questions can be viewed on our  website .

Interested final-year undergraduate and graduate students should email  [email protected]  to declare their interest and obtain further details.

john locke essay competition tutor

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John Locke Institute Essay Writing Course (20 Lessons)

John Locke Institute Essay Writing Course (20 Lessons)

Subject: Understanding the world

Age range: 11-14

Resource type: Lesson (complete)

Rosanna Killick's Shop

Last updated

22 February 2024

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john locke essay competition tutor

An essay writing course on the John Locke Institute Essay Competition (junior prize, 14 and under), focusing on past questions and how to tackle them.

The attached PDF contains a link to a Google Drive folder containing 20 sets of Google Slides, each one a separate lesson (outline below).

To make edits, copy and paste the slides into your own Google Drive.

Lesson 1: Why is John Locke sometimes called the father of liberalism?

Lesson 2: Before a certain time almost everybody would have held some belief which we now find repugnant. Does this mean we cannot admire or commemorate the people who helped to shape the modern world?

Lesson 3: Should the John Locke Institute change its name?

Lesson 4: Is Oxford overrated?

Lesson 5: What, if anything, do your parents owe you?

Lesson 6: What is something important, about which nearly everybody is wrong?

Lesson 7: Have things improved?

Lesson 8: If you had $10 billion to spend on making the world better, how would you spend it?

Lesson 9: Just because you’re a millionaire doesn’t mean you should get better healthcare than the rest of us, does it?

Lesson 10: What should we do to improve the lives of poor people?

Lesson 1: Should we raise the voting age to 25?

Lesson 2: Is safety more important than fun?

Lesson 3: Should the law ever prevent people from freely making self-harming decisions? If so, what should and shouldn’t be forbidden – and according to which principles?

Lesson 4: Who should own your data? The companies with which you agree to share your data, everybody, just you, or nobody?

Lesson 5: When, if ever, have there been ‘good’ revolutions?

Lesson 6: Who was the best leader of all time?

Lesson 7: Should candidates for high office be judged unfit on the basis of something they said or did when they were very young?

Lesson 8: According to Nobel Laureate, Milton Friedman, ‘there is one and only one social responsibility of business…to increase its profits…’ Do you agree?

Lesson 9: Is inequality increasing? Does it matter? What, if anything, should we do about it?

Lesson 10: How socialist is Sweden?

Each lesson contains the following 12 slides:

  • A title slide featuring the essay title
  • Course and lesson aims + a relevant quote
  • Relevant research and content for the essay question, including YouTube videos
  • Introduction guidance and a model introduction
  • Body paragraph guidance and a model body paragraph
  • Conclusion guidance and a model conclusion paragraph
  • Overall structure + bibliography guidance with an example
  • A 10-question recap quiz (with answers in the speaker notes)
  • A 30-word glossary of key terms
  • Recommended sources e.g. books, podcasts and websites
  • Homework: link to an online vocab quiz + task for the next essay

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Justin Segal Excellent, well thought out resource which I used for my overseas students. The course is extremely well organised and contained challenging material that thoroughly engaged them in a way I haven't seen before. The discussion topics and content were stimulating and brilliantly structured. Thank you!

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California Pioneers

ESSAY COLLECTION

The Pioneer Essay Contest was held annually from 1958 until 2012 and was open to anyone writing on subjects of Santa Clara County history. The contest was reintroduced in 2019, with each year adding more possibilities for entry.

Some of the best essays are published in our quarterly journal, The Trailblazer, and all winning essays are maintained on file in the Mary Lou Lyon Research Library, and in the California Room of the Martin Luther King/San Jose State Library.

Soon we will have all past essay contest entries and winners available online – below you can find our most recent entries from the 2020-21 contest!

First Prize: Kathryn a Collins Philp “The Boiler Explosion at the J.C. Penny Company Building: San Jose, California, 1963”

FIRST PLACE: Michael A. Shea MD Nineteenth Century Medicine in the Santa Clara Valley

Russ Robinson The McKee Family Letters

Lynn Rogers LIGHTING A SPARK Santa Clara Valley Autism Pioneers in the 1980s and 1990s

1st Place, Sandra Lathrop Mueller PIONEERING A PLACE FOR ECOLOGY

2nd Place, Stephen Scordelis SELLING A NAME: PAUL MASSON, CHAMPAGNE KING OF CALIFORNIA

3rd Place, Mrs. Rosalinda G. Oneto A.P. GIANNINI: SAN JOSE AND ALVISO YEARS AND THE ONETO FAMILY

Honorable Mention, Lan-Uyen Trang Stephanie Nguyen LEARNING SKILLS TO LAST A LIFE TIME AND TRADITIONS TO LAST FOREVER

Honorable Mention, Kimberlee Manzo LEGACY OF PRUNES: A TRIBUTE TO THE ORSETTI FAMILY

Honorable Mention, Rebecca Leahy STANFORD UNIVERSITY: ITS HISTORY, LEGACY AND INFLUENCE

FIRST PLACE: Elizabeth Barratt

FIRST PLACE: Elizabeth Ahrens-Kley Dr. Ben Cory Pioneer and First Medical Physician of San Jose, California

SECOND PLACE: Gage Mckinney Santa Clara Valley Troubadour A Life & Selected Poems of Thomas Clarence Urmy ( read additional poems )

THIRD PLACE: Kathleen Kozacek WHERE THE GIRLS ARE Castilleja: A College Preparatory School for Girls in Santa Clara County Castilleja

HONORABLE MENTION: Grace Andriola Purpura A WOMAN’S PLACE, A Personal Journey in the Changing Santa Clara Valley

HONORABLE MENTION: JOANNA HERZ If Walls Can Talk

HONORABLE MENTION: Susan Sargent Presidential Visits Then and Now

Ruth McCaffrey The Indelible Stamp

Elizabeth Barratt The F.R.F.G. Women’s Study Club

FIRST PLACE: John Figueira Jr . Portuguese Museum Plaza Design and Construction Project

FIRST PRIZE: Kathryn Collins Philp The President, Politics, and the Police

SECOND PRIZE: Elizabeth Barratt The Pioneer James Ingham Family

THIRD PRIZE: Mary Miller Chiao Sarah Brown

Honorable Mentions

Gloria Jabaut The San Jose Hi-Spot

Nan G. Hunter An Immigrant’s Contribution

Roy Mize Aviation Pioneering in the Santa Clara Valley

P.O. BOX 8208 SAN JOSE, CA 95155 – 8208

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The Annual International Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence 2022
stages open to all current full-time registered students in an undergraduate architecture degree program, undergraduates majoring in architecture, or diploma students in accredited schools of architecture worldwide. 25,000USD Purse.

The Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Design Excellence endowment was established in the Department of Architecture at the   College of Environmental Design to promote the investigation of architecture as a social art. Each year the Prize Committee selects a topic important to the understanding of the interaction of people and the built world that becomes the focus of the Essay Competition. 

The Committee poses a Question on this website related to the topic. Students enrolled in any accredited undergraduate architecture program or diploma in architecture program throughout the world are invited to submit a 500-word essay proposal in English responding to the Question.  Qualified students may also team up with undergraduates from allied arts and social sciences programs and submit proposals in teams of two. (For specific yearly requirements see the page). 

From the pool of essay proposals received, approximately 25-28 are selected by the Prize Committee as particularly promising. The selected student teams become Semifinalists. These Semifinalists are invited to submit a 2,500-word essay, again in English, expanding on their proposals. A group of readers, composed of the Prize Committee members selects five-to-eight of the best essays and sends these Finalist essays to a jury of international academics and architects to select the winners.

At the conclusion of the Essay Competition submittals, all Semifinalists are also invited to submit a proposal for a BERKELEY PRIZE summer Fellowship. This year, the opportunity is a Community Service Fellowship. Details for this Fellowship, now in its second year, will be announced in early 2022. 

Are you in need of assistance? Please email .
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john locke essay competition tutor

BOOK REVIEW

Competition, introducing our, newest competition.

The John Locke Institute encourages young people to cultivate the characteristics that turn good students into great writers: independent thought, depth of knowledge, clear reasoning, critical analysis and persuasive style. This brand-new competition invites students of any age, who have not yet begun a university degree, to read and review a book by one of our faculty members. The experience will help you engage actively and closely with a talented author about an important subject. If you are applying to university in the next year or so, this will be a great way to explore exciting ideas beyond the normal high school syllabus.

How does it work?

Choose a book from the list below. Read it, re-read it, reflect on it, and then write a critical review of the book of 1000 to 1500 words. The best reviews will help potential readers understand the main outline of the book's argument, why it is important, its strengths and weaknesses, and whether (in your judgment) the author was persuasive.

What happens if you win?

The best reviews will be published in News & Opinion , the online journal of the John Locke Institute. Everyone whose review is published will receive a prize of $50. The three best reviewers, overall, will win the following prizes:

Third Prize: $100

Second Prize: $250

First Prize: $500 plus a $ 1000 scholarship to one of our summer programmes . 

The deadline for submissions is Monday, 31 May, 2021 at 11:59pm (GMT). Winners will be announced the following month.  We look forward to reading your reviews!

Jason Brennan

Jason F. Brennan is the Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. Jason Brennan has taught at our Washington DC gap year course in 2018 and 2019.

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Against Democracy

In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results - and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government.

"The book makes compelling reading... This is theory that skips, rather than plods." - Molly Sauter, Los Angeles Times

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Markets Without Limits: Moral Virtues & Commercial Interests

Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski give markets a fair hearing. The market does not introduce wrongness where there was not any previously. Contrary to the conservative consensus, they claim there are no inherent limits to what can be bought and sold, but only restrictions on how we buy and sell.

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When All Else Fails: the Ethics of Resistance to State Injustice

The economist Albert O. Hirschman famously argued that citizens of democracies have only three possible responses to injustice or wrongdoing by their governments: we may leave, complain, or comply. But in When All Else Fails, Jason Brennan argues that there is a fourth option. When governments violate our rights, we may resist. We may even have a moral duty to do so.

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Bryan Caplan

Prof. Caplan is a world-renowned authority on public-choice theory and a professor of Economics at George Mason University. He has taught Economics at our summer schools in 2018 and 2021, and our gap year course in Washington DC in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Open Borders: the Science and Ethics of Immigration

"A clear and inescapable economic, moral, and political case for reopening the borders that artfully counters the common objections." - John H. Cochrane, Hoover Institution at Stanford University

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The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money

"Caplan delivers a tightly knit, compelling indictment of the vastly inflated and scandalously over-priced Ponzi scheme that is American higher education." -  Aram Bakshian Jr. Washington Times

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Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies

The greatest obstacle to sound economic policy is not entrenched special interests or rampant lobbying, but the popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs, and personal biases held by ordinary voters. This is economist Bryan Caplan's sobering assessment in this provocative and eye-opening book.

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STEVEN LANDSBURG

Steven Landsburg is a professor of economics at the University of Rochester and one of the foremost commentators on matters of economics, the law and politics. Steven Landsburg will teach at our summer schools in 2021.

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The Armchair Economist: Economics & Everyday Life  - Economics

The Armchair Economist shows how the laws of economics reveal themselves in everyday experience and illuminate the entire range of human behavior. 

"Enormous fun ... Landsburg has done something extraordinary: he has expounded basic economic principles with with and verve."  -  Fortune

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More Sex is Safer Sex: the Unconventional Wisdom of Economics  - Economics

In More Sex is Safer Sex, Professor Landsburg offers readers a series of stimulating discussions that all flow from unsettling economic facts.

"Landsburg is provocative and playful in his mission to demonstrate how an understanding of economics will change the way you live your daily life. I loved this book." - Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of "Freakonomics"

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Fair Play: What Your Child Can Teach You about Economics, Values and the Meaning of Life  - Philosophy, Economics

In co-operation with his daughter, Landsburg demystifies the laws of supply and demand, interest rates and inflation, and cultivate an understanding of free trade, the value of money and investment.

john locke essay competition tutor

David Friedman

Professor Friedman is a professor of law at Santa Clara University in California. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago. Professor Friedman has written many seminal books, including the ones below. He has taught at our summer school in 2018. 

Law's Order: What Economics has to do with Law and Why it Matters   - Law, Economics

This book undoubtedly raises the discourse on the increasingly important topic of the economics of law, giving both supporters and critics of the economic perspective a place to organise their ideas.

"A thoroughly entertaining, creative, and provocative addition to the law and economics literature." - Choice

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The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism  - Philosophy, Politics, Economics, Law

This book argues for a society organized by voluntary cooperation under institutions of private property and exchange with little, and ultimately no, government.

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Ilya Somin is a law professor at George Mason University, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a blogger for the Volokh Conspiracy, and former co-editor of the Supreme Court Economic Review. Professor Somin taught at our gap year course in Washington DC in 2017 and 2018.

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Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom  - Politics, Economics

In Free to Move, Ilya Somin explains how broadening opportunities for foot voting can greatly enhance political liberty for millions of people around the world.

"If Jason Brennan's  Against Democracy  met Bryan Caplan's  Open Borders , the result would be Ilya Somin's [ Free to Move]" -  Joakim Book

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Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Better  - Politics, Economics

Ilya Somin mines the depths of the current state of ignorance in America and reveals it as a major problem for democracy.

"In this [work] Ilya Somin significantly strengthens his already compelling case for a more limited government."  - Christopher Robichaud, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

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The Grasping Hand: "Kelo v. City of New London" and the Limits of Eminent Domain  - Law, Economics

In this detailed study of one of the most controversial Supreme Court cases in modern times, Ilya Somin argues that the Supreme Court made a grave error on both economically and morally.

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STEPHEN DAVIES

Dr Davies is Head of Education at the Institute of Economic Affairs and Distinguished Fellow in History at the John Locke Institute. Dr Davies has taught on our summer schools every year since 2015, and has taught on our gap year programme in Oxford from 2015-2018, as well as in Princeton in 2018.

The Wealth Explosion: the Nature and Origins of Modernity - Economics, History

How did the modern dynamist economy of wealth and opportunity come about? This major new analytical work emphasizes the often surprising, fundamental and continuing processes of innovation and transformation which has produced the world we live in now.

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RoBIN HANSON

Professor Hanson is Professor of Health Economics & Political Economy at George Mason University and Research Associate at the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford. He holds a Ph.D. from Caltech. Professor Hanson taught on our summer school in 2018, and our gap year course in Washington DC in 2017 and 2018.

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The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life  - Economics, Psychology

The aim of this book is to confront our hidden motives directly - to track down the darker, unexamined corners of our psyches and blast them with floodlights.

"[Hanson] bring[s] together research on various topics of limited reach that, when combined, speak to the outrageous gall of the mind in recreating reality to its own liking, and then covering its tracks." - Katherine Oktober Matthews,

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Professor Ryan was Warden of New College, Oxford, professor of politics at Princeton University and professor of philosophy at Stanford. He is the author of eleven books, including the authoritative On Politics. Professor Ryan taught on our summer school in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

On Aristotle: Saving Politics from Philosophy  - Philosophy, Politics

In this book, Alan Ryan examines Plato's most famous student and sharpest critic, whose writing has helped shape over two millennia of Western philosophy, science, and religion. 

"Ryan's erudite introduction is followed by substantial extracts from Aristotle's political works, making this text ideal for classroom use." - Booklist

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JAmie Whyte

Jamie Whyte is a Cambridge educated philosopher, who won the  Analysis  prize for the best piece of philosophical writing by anyone under 30, and is the former leader of New Zealand's ACT party. Jamie Whyte taught on our summer school in 2020 and our gap year programme in Oxford, also in 2020.

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Crimes Against Logic: Exposing the Bogus Arguments of Politicians, Priests, Journalists, and Other Serial Offenders   - Philosophy

In  Crimes Against Logic , Whyte take us on a fast-paced, ruthlessly funny romp through the mulligan stew of can, folderol, and bogus logic served up in the media, at the office, and even in your own home.

"An incisive philosopher." - Sunday Telegraph

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PETER MILLICAN

Peter Millican is a Gilbert Ryle Fellow and Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, University of Oxford. He is one of the preeminent scholars on the philosophy of David Hume. Professor Millican taught on our summer school in 2018 and our gap year programme in 2017. 

Reading Hume on Human Understanding: Essays on the First Enquiry  - Philosophy, Politics

Reading Hume on Human Understanding  is an excellent companion to the study of one of the great works of Western philosophy, especially for first time readers. 

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  1. John Locke Institute (Oxford & Princeton) Competition

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  4. John Locke Essay Competition Guide

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COMMENTS

  1. 2024 Essay Competition

    Academic conference: 20 - 22 September, 2024. Awards dinner: 21 September, 2024. Contact. Any queries regarding the essay competition should be sent to [email protected]. Please be aware that, due to the large volume of correspondence we receive, we cannot guarantee to answer every query.

  2. JLI Essay Competition

    All essayists must register here by 11:59PM BST on 31 May 2024. Enter your email address below to: Register (if this is your first time here) or Login (if you have already registered). Login / Register.

  3. John Locke Essay Competition Prep

    The John Locke Essay Competition Prep course has 8 different sections: philosophy, politics, economics, history, psychology, theology, law and junior prize tailored to student's needs. Each session will assist students with writing an essay in response to one question in the list provided by the Institute. The John Locke Institute encourages young people to cultivate the characteristics of ...

  4. John Locke Institute Essay Competition: All You Need to Know

    The John Locke Institute Essay Competition—also called the John Locke Institute's Global Essay Prize—is a yearly event hosted by the John Locke Institute, an organization passionate about encouraging young people to excel academically and enjoy learning. Named after the famous English philosopher John Locke, it aims to honor his legacy by ...

  5. Mastering the John Locke Essay Competition

    Eligibility. The John Locke Institute Essay Competition is open to any high school student anywhere in the world, ages 15-18. Students 14 or under are eligible for the Junior prize. John Locke Essay Competition Topics. The essay questions change from year to year. You can choose from 7 different categories (Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology, and Law).

  6. The Ultimate Guide to the John Locke Essay Competition [Everything you

    The essay competition is one of the various programs conducted by the John Locke Institute (JLI) every year apart from their summer and gap year courses. To understand the philosophy behind this competition, it'll help if we take a quick detour to know more about the institute that conducts it. Founded in 2011, JLI is an educational ...

  7. Your Guide to the John Locke Essay Competition

    The John Locke Essay competition is acknowledged as the most prestigious essay competition in the world. Free to enter, it is hosted by the John Locke Institute, named after the Oxford philosopher John Locke (b. 1634 - d. 1704), who is often called the 'father of liberalism' and is one of the most important thinkers from the Enlightenment ...

  8. John Locke Essay Competition

    1:1 Tutoring: John Locke Essay Competition and Other Writing Competitions! Susannah O'Brien, Masters from Oxford University. ... This 1:1 class is for gifted and talented writers who need some guidance in helping to prepare their entry for the John Locke Essay Competition. Research, Prepare, Review! 1-on-1 Tutoring. Ages: 10-18. 55 min. Meets ...

  9. John Locke Essay Competition

    This course at our online education center is designed for high school students who plan to submit their work to the John Locke Essay Competition, which "encourages young people to cultivate the characteristics that turn good students into great writers.". This course will provide an overview of the major topics and themes of the ...

  10. 1:1 Tutoring: John Locke Essay Competition and Other ...

    Test Prep. 1:1 Tutoring: John Locke Essay Competition and Other Writing Competitions! Susannah O'Brien, Masters from Oxford University. Average rating: 4.9. Number of reviews: ( 283)

  11. A Complete Guide To The John Locke Essay Competition

    Join us for an exclusive information session that unveils the secrets to success in this renowned competition. During this enlightening info session, you will: 📚 Discover what the John Locke Essay Competition is all about and why it's a golden opportunity for aspiring writers. 🎓 Uncover the winning strategies and techniques to ace the ...

  12. Expert Guide to the John Locke Essay Competition History Questions

    In this John Locke Essay Competition Prep course, students will learn the ins and outs of essay writing, in preparation for entering the competition. We offer prep classes in all categories: philosophy, politics, economics, history, psychology, theology, and law. Students will choose one topic, compose an original thesis and argument, and write ...

  13. Past Essays

    Thank you for your interest in the John Locke Institute. To confirm your subscription, please follow the instructions in your email. Email: [email protected] . Oxford: +44 (0)1865 566166 . Princeton: +1 (609) 608-0543 . SUMMER COURSES. ... ESSAY COMPETITION. 2024 Questions.

  14. Complete Guide To John Locke Essay Competition 2024

    With approximately 19,000 entries in total, the John Locke Essay Competition attracts a pool of excellent participants from around the world. Each year, a select few—typically 24-25 individuals—are awarded prizes. For more context, in 2021, the competition received 4,000 submissions, yet only 24 prizes were awarded, indicating a marked ...

  15. Summer University

    The central element of the Summer University is an Oxford-style tutorial, for which you will write an essay presenting an answer to a question in philosophy, politics, economics or history, and use evidence, illustration, and argumentation to explain your position and try to persuade the tutor to embrace your conclusions.

  16. LOCK IN FOR THE JOHN LOCKE ESSAY COMPETITION on Vimeo

    Here's how VIPTutors can help you make your entry for John Locke Essay Competition stand out, giving you higher chances of being shortlisted. Through online tutoring and essay editing, your Oxford and Cambridge tutors will guide you all the way. VIPTutors is an all-in-one digital learning platform and your go-to source for top-tier online ...

  17. John Locke Essay Competition Guide

    Each subject category winner will get a scholarship for any John Locke Institute program worth $2000 (US dollars) as part of their prize. The author of the overall winning essay will receive a scholarship of $10,000 (USD) to attend one or more of our summer schools and/or gap year programs. The essays will be posted online by the Institute.

  18. Graders Needed for Essay Competition

    The John Locke Institute is seeking final-year undergraduate and graduate students who might be interested in becoming graders of our Essay Competition for appropriate remuneration. The globally renowned John Locke Institute annual essay competition covers topics in the categories of Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Law, Theology, and Psychology.

  19. John Locke Institute Essay Writing Course (20 Lessons)

    An essay writing course on the John Locke Institute Essay Competition (junior prize, 14 and under), focusing on past questions and how to tackle them. The attached PDF contains a link to a Google Drive folder containing 20 sets of Google Slides, each one a separate lesson (outline below).

  20. Crafting a Coherent and Impressive Essay for John Locke Essay ...

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  21. Win Big Prizes in the John Locke Essay Competition! Check Your Draft

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  22. Faculty

    Editorial Director, John Locke Institute. Dr Whyte is a philosopher and an author of several works of philosophy, economics, and public policy. He is the author of Quack Policy, Free Thoughts, A Load of Blair and Crimes Against Logic. He has published more than two hundred opinion columns in newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, The ...

  23. Essay Collection

    ESSAY COLLECTION. The Pioneer Essay Contest was held annually from 1958 until 2012 and was open to anyone writing on subjects of Santa Clara County history. The contest was reintroduced in 2019, with each year adding more possibilities for entry. Some of the best essays are published in our quarterly journal, The Trailblazer, and all winning ...

  24. Berkeley Prize Essay Competition

    A group of readers, composed of the Prize Committee members selects five-to-eight of the best essays and sends these Finalist essays to a jury of international academics and architects to select the winners. At the conclusion of the Essay Competition submittals, all Semifinalists are also invited to submit a proposal for a BERKELEY PRIZE summer ...

  25. Book Review Competition

    Everyone whose review is published will receive a prize of $50. The three best reviewers, overall, will win the following prizes: Third Prize: $100. Second Prize: $250. First Prize: $500 plus a $1000 scholarship to one of our summer programmes. The deadline for submissions is Monday, 31 May, 2021 at 11:59pm (GMT).