John Locke Institute Essay Competition 寫作比賽

John Locke寫作比賽全網最詳細介紹:幫大學申請表大大加分!

很多亞洲學生對理科以外的課外活動比較陌生, 一來是亞裔生比較擅長理科系,二來文科的活動或競賽也比較少。如果你比較擅長寫作或研究,今天我們介紹含金量最高的文科競賽之一:John Locke Institute Essay Competition (John Locke寫作比賽)!


John Locke Institute 是什麼?

John Locke Institute 是一家位於英國牛津的獨立教育機構,目的是希望培育出對學術有熱忱、並想精進思考能力的學生。

John Locke Institute 以十七世紀牛津哲學家約翰·洛克(John Locke)的名字命名。 洛克被尊稱為古典自由主義之父,他是文藝復興時期的哲學家、政治學家、經濟學家和醫學家。洛克既有思想又付諸於行動。

透過它們在哲學(Philosophy)、政治學(Politics)、經濟學(Economics)、歷史(History)、心理學(Psychology)、及法律(Law)科系的住宿課程、寫作修改研討班、及寫作比賽等不同的活動,John Locke Institute 希望幫助學生培養獨立思考能力、理解分析能力、及對學習的熱忱。

John Locke Institute 的教授來自 Oxford, Princeton, Brown, 和 Buckingham University 等著名大學。


John Locke Institute Essay Competition 是什麼?

John Locke Institute Essay Competition 寫作比賽
John Locke Institute Essay Competition

John Locke Institute 鼓勵年輕人培養偉大作家的特徵:獨立思考、知識深度、清晰推理、批判性分析和有說服力的風格,對於學生來說探索學校課程之外的廣泛問題是一項挑戰。

John Locke Institute 寫作比賽希望學生探索學校課程內接觸不到的領域,學生會需要學習新知識及精進辯論能力,並且有機會讓領域專家評價自己的寫作作品。

牛津大學的學術學者會負責頒出寫作比賽得獎項,這些評審會從哲學(Philosophy)、政治學(Politics)、經濟學(Economics)、歷史(History)、心理學(Psychology)、神學(Theology),及法律(Law)這七個領域中挑選出他們最喜歡的寫作文章,並從當中再挑選出一篇『best essay』。

如果在比賽中獲得獎項,可以大大提升申請大學的競爭力!往年錄取學生的大學包括 Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Chicago, Oxford, Cambridge, University of Toronto 等世界名校,但即使最後沒獲得 best essay,因為 John Locke Institute 寫作比賽的高標準,每年僅有非常少數的學生能晉級到決賽,因此晉級到決賽的學生即使最後沒得名也全都會大大幫助提升學生的升學率。

來自所有國家和學校的學生都可以參加 John Locke Institute 寫作比賽。比賽分為兩個級別,一個是針對 15 至 18 歲的高中生,另一個是針對 14 歲及以下中學生的少年獎。


John Locke 考察學生的哪些能力?

1、對哲學、政治、經濟學、歷史、心理學、神學或法律中的概念和結構的基本理解
2、掌握基本的寫作格式和寫議論文的技巧
3、獨立思考,邏輯分析方法,有說服力的寫作技巧

上面這三項都是一般國高中生較欠缺的能力,如果可以透過這項寫作比賽學習觀點分析、英文寫作的邏輯和技巧,即使最後沒有得獎,你也可以從中獲得寶貴的寫作經驗,並將其運用在 AP、IB、A-Level 和大學作文等技術性寫作中。


John Locke 寫作比賽的模式及流程是什麼?

學生從官網提供的哲學(Philosophy)、政治學(Politics)、經濟學(Economics)、歷史(History)、心理學(Psychology)、神學(Theology)、及法律(Law)這七個領域中,選擇一個符合自己人格魅力及知識領域的科目,並從提供的題目中挑選一題,寫出一篇不超過 2000 字的論文。

比賽有分為「15歲-18歲的高年級組」和「14 歲以下的低年級組」(Junior Prize),比賽的題目從深度、話題上都有區別。

比賽截止日期是 6/30,截止後 John Locke Institute 的學者會閱讀學生遞交的論文,從中挑選出合格的作品進入入選輪(Shortlist)。Ivy-Way 的學生於 2021 年 7 月就收到進入 Junior Essay Competition 決賽的通知:

如果最後確認獲選進入決賽,學生於九月會再次收到來自 John Locke Institute 的正式邀請信,參加位於牛津大學(Oxford University)的頒獎典禮及決賽晚宴(Award Ceremony & Gala Dinner):

決賽晚宴正式邀請信

學生會收到的郵件中會介紹當天的活動內容,並提到學生可以邀請親朋好友一起參加。晚宴的費用是 £135 英鎊,如果學生有興趣參加當天整天的學術課程及研討會,則總活動的費用是 £345 英鎊。

相較於一些盈利機構所舉辦的活動,John Locke Institute 不強迫學生參加需付費的晚宴才能保留獲獎名額,如果學生不方便或不想參與實體頒獎典禮及晚宴,學生可以選擇不參加實體活動。

晚宴邀請郵件

這麼好的活動,John Locke 寫作比賽的報名參與費用是多少?

John Locke 寫作比賽的報名是免費的。

所有含金量高的活動的常態都是這樣,有免費或非常低額的費用門檻,因為他們的重點是錄取好學生,不是錄取有錢人,名校也是想挑選好學生。


比賽的一些重要時間點

這項寫作比賽是每年都會舉行,在時間點上幾乎是固定的,我們也會定期幫大家更新日期資訊(如果有變動的話):

  • 比賽截止日期:6 月 30 日
  • 入圍通知:7 月 14 日
  • 青年獎頒獎晚宴:8 月 27 日
  • 經濟學獎頒獎晚宴:9 月 3 日
  • 歷史獎頒獎晚宴:9 月 10 日
  • 政治獎和法律獎頒獎晚宴:9 月 17 日
  • 哲學獎和神學獎頒獎晚宴:9 月 24 日
  • 心理學獎頒獎晚宴:9 月 30 日

John Locke 寫作比賽的題目有哪些?

John Locke 寫作比賽分哲學(Philosophy)、政治學(Politics)、經濟學(Economics)、歷史(History)、心理學(Psychology)、神學(Theology)、及法律(Law)這七個領域及低年級組(Junior Prize) ,每年題目會不同,2022 年的題目分別為:

1. 哲學(Philosophy)

Q1. How likely is the multiverse? Would it change anything if (somehow) we came to know the theory was true?

​Q2. If our actions are a consequence of our capacities and preferences, and if those things are, in turn, a result of our genetic inheritance and the external world in which we happen to find ourselves, are we ultimately responsible for our choices?

Q3. Is it moral to take money from people through the force of law in order to pay philosophers to philosophize?

Q4. When, if ever, can acts involving only consenting adults be morally wrong?

2. 政治學(Politics

Q1. Should we allow political donations?

​Q2. What, if anything, do rich nations owe poor nations?

Q3. Is there such a thing as a common good?

​Q4. Is the good citizen always a good person? Is the good person always a good citizen?

3. 經濟學(Economics

Q1. Is Bitcoin a blessing or a curse?

​Q2. What’s wrong with the housing market? How can we fix it?

​Q3. Should Amazon pay people more? What would happen if they immediately increased every worker’s salary by twenty percent?

​Q4.  Is Henry George’s land value tax fair, efficient, both, or neither?

4. 歷史(History

Q1. Was there anything good about the British empire?

​Q2. Is China an imperial power?

​Q3. Is Western civilization in decline?

​Q4. Do leaders make events or do events make leaders?

5. 心理學(Psychology

Q1. Are we getting nastier?

​Q2. Are men and women psychologically different? Does it matter?

​Q3. Is there any mental illness that isn’t ultimately physical?

​Q4. Does it make sense to hate someone for his or her opinions?

6. 神學(Theology)

Q1. Why would God be so coy?

​Q2. “The God of the Bible and the Koran is a primitive human’s idea of a great being… But that is not what an actual supreme being would be like.” Is there a holy book that manifests divine authorship?

​Q3. “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” Can one be a Christian without believing in the miraculous resurrection of Jesus?

​Q4. Is faith anything other than uncertain belief on incomplete evidence?

7. 法律(Law)

Q1. Does prison work?

​Q2. “People who serve on juries are ill-informed, prejudiced, and not clever enough to avoid jury service.” Should we abolish Trial by Jury?

​Q3. Should “hate crime” be punished more severely than the same crime with different motives?

​Q4. What is the relationship between justice and law?

Junior Prize

Q1. Which existential threat are humans underestimating?

​Q2. What should the age of consent be for irreversible sex reassignment surgery?

​Q3. Were the lockdowns worth it?

​Q4. What does it mean for people to be equal?

​Q5. What would happen if there were a one hundred percent inheritance tax?

​Q6. If you could travel by time machine for your next holiday, which time and place would you visit? What preparations would you make for your journey? What challenges would you face in the first twenty-four hours, and how would you handle them?

​Q7. Should some things be legal to give away but illegal to sell? (For Question 7 we recommend you read Markets Without Limits: Moral Virtues and Commercial Interests by Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski and Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale by Debra Satz.)


John Locke 寫作比賽的獎項是什麼?

每個學科類別的獲獎者將獲得價值 $2000 美元的獎學金,可用於支付參加任何 John Locke Institute 課程的費用,總體最佳論文(best essay)將獲得 $10,000 美元獎學金,可以用來參加 John Locke Institute 暑期學校或 gap year 課程。

這些論文也會在 John Locke Institute 網站上發表,學生有與 John Locke Institute 學者交流的機會。

不過,能在這麼高標準及具有討戰性的比賽被挑選進入決賽,即使最後沒得獎,對於申請美國大學將會是一個加分力度最大的課外活動成就之一!


歷屆獲得獎項的 John Locke 論文範例

學生可以從官網參考歷屆的獲獎論文當範例,下面我們幫學生整理出這些作文,學生可以選擇感興趣的分類及論文閱讀了解一下:

1. 哲學(Philosophy)

Is intuition to philosophy as observation is to science?

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

2. 政治學(Politics

American citizens only give 0.01% of charitable donations to the government. If politicians spent taxpayers’ money as efficiently as they claimed, wouldn’t they be able to compete more successfully with private charities? What are the implications of your answer?

Governments do a lot of things, such as collecting taxes and drafting people into the military, that we would object to individuals doing. Can this be justified?

How much should we care about social cohesion?

3. 經濟學(Economics

What is the social efficient level of crime?

What are the most important economic effects – good and bad – of forced redistribution? How should this inform government policy?

What does economics tell us about the benefits and costs of immigration?What policy should we adopt?

4. 歷史(History

How is the modern world different from previous periods of history and why did it come into existence when and where it did?

Is a strong state a prerequisite or an obstacle to economic growth?

According to Henry Kissinger ‘those whose quest for [peace] seems unending appear less able to achieve [it].” Comment on this in light of events since 1945.

5. 心理學(Psychology

Isn’t all reasoning (outside mathematics and formal logic) motivated reasoning?

According to evolutionary psychology, we are evolved to believe what is useful, whether or not it is also true. How can we resist the tendency to believe what is evolutionarily adaptive at the expense of truth? And would it increase or diminish human flourishing to do so?

What are the most important recently-acquired insights from neuroscience which have yet to be widely applied to education?

6. 神學(Theology)

Many people have committed acts, execrated and deplored by others, in obedience to sincerely held beliefs. Can we reasonably ask anyone to do better than simply to obey his own conscience? 

Is Islam a religion of peace?

What kind of God would create trillions of animals and permit a great many of them to die painful deaths? Should we worship such a God?

7. 法律(Law)

Does a law that prohibits the selling of sex protect or infringe women’s rights? 

Why is racial discrimination illegal on employment websites but not on social websites such as Facebook or Tinder?

Do the underlying principles of common law require that juries be informed about jury nullification?

Should computer generated child pornography be permitted?

Junior Prize Essays

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

How socialist is Sweden?

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


John Locke 寫作比賽要如何報名?

可以直接到官網報名,參賽作品必須是 PDF 格式的線上提交,且文件命名格式為『姓, 名』(如 Wang, John)。


John Locke 寫作比賽要如何準備?

要能寫出 John Locke 水準的論文需要非常優秀的寫作能力,所以整體英文寫作能力是最基本的要素。如果學生不擅長英文寫作,那學生需要透過大量的閱讀及寫作培養英文寫作能力,這個可以透過 Ivy-Way 的線上或實體英文寫作老師輔導,幫學生訂製一套學習計畫、每週督促學生的學習進度、並教導學生如何更有效率的閱讀、如何分析文章細節、及如何寫好批判型的學術文章。

Ivy-Way 的寫作老師 Sam 所輔導的學生在與 Sam 一開始接觸時僅是 6 年級,但這位學生從小就讀國際學校,並且有比同齡學生更好的英文程度,這優勢讓這位學生能縮短一開始需要做前期英文實力提升所需的時間。

在有好的英文寫作程度基礎之上,學生接著要培養優秀的學術分析及研究能力。學術分析比一般英文課的小說分析更深入,研究能力也不是只有『上網 Google 找找答案』這麼簡單,這需要 Ivy-Way 線上或實體的英文寫作老師輔導整個做研究的過程,從閱讀大量研究報告及文獻、分析當中的重點、增加學術知識、提升批判性思維能力、及比普通校內英文寫作更艱難的學術寫作能力。透過約 2 年的寫作課程,Sam 專注的就是在培養學生這些能力。

John Locke 寫作比賽的題目很新穎、也很具爭議性,要能寫出一篇優秀的論文勢必須要時間挑選題目、構想方向、做學術研究、寫論文、及不斷反覆的審核和修改。有了很好的英文及研究能力當基礎,Sam 的學生還是花了好幾個月的時間做研究, 最後才寫出這篇能進入 John Locke 決選名單的論文。

因為過程艱難,辛苦,所以含金量才非常高!過去能進入 John Locke 決選名單的學生才能獲得普林斯頓、哈佛、史丹佛等世界名校的青睞,我們很開心看到 Sam 所輔導的學生的成就,也對他之後申請大學的結果感到非常樂觀!


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