At some point or another you may find this post relatable, whether you enjoy writing essays or are completely terrified by the idea of it. All the formative, summative and essay writing workshops bring with them plenty of work, tons of pressure and demand immense determination. However, there is a lot of humor tied along to it as well.
Phase 1 (one month before deadline)
You have a zillion tabs open on your chrome window, you are booking office hours sincerely and then cancelling them heartlessly deceiving your enthusiasm and ambitions.
You go the library, to the new academic building, to the saw swee hock building and discover all the cafes around you. You spend money buying ounces of coffee only to check your Facebook notifications. You buy cheap stationery, thinking this will help you to focus, only to Snapchat the new fancy pens and notebooks.
Once back to your room you open your bag to find the stationery rainbow you have created. Doubtlessly one is amused looking at the situation, and you ask yourself why do you even have pens of all different colors?
Having spent the entire day devoted to analyzing your essay question, you can now rest easy with the idea of a new tomorrow and go off to sleep.
Phase 2 (15 days before deadline)
The booked office hour has finally been attended, you have met your advisor and an action plan is now in the works. If only the plan itself was put to work, but it was carefully constructed, plotted and intended for execution sometime ‘soon’.
Now that the action plan is in the picture, you can peacefully start any new show of your liking. The first season of Making a Murderer has been doing the rounds lately. ‘What? It’s based on a real life story?’ Now ladies and gentlemen, this ten-part documentary is suddenly more important that your degree at LSE.
Phase 3 (7 days before deadline)
The final week commences, you have long chats with your classmates about how difficult the essay question is, what is expected out of you, how lengthy and tedious the readings are and what everyone is doing. While you struggle to even remember the title of your essay, you meet someone supremely efficient and they discuss their dissertation plan with you. The world is spinning and the roof is going to fall off.
Dissertation- the best way to describe a very compelling theory of psychology– that part of your mind that’s currently somewhere in between the conscious and the sub-conscious. No really, you don’t know what to do but you still have to do it.
Phase 4 (one day before deadline)
This is it. You HAVE to write it; you can’t continue reading forever. The background music in the room has now switched to the lecture recordings. The well decorated table is now the biggest mess in the world. Your chair is the temporary cupboard, your bed the dining table. You Skype with your family and friends only to tell them how busy you are. You cannot cook anything and will have to survive on leftovers. Since you have been reading so many papers online, internet becomes a little merciful and decides to send you some food coupons to make you less sad and more fat.
After ordering pizza, the realization hits you, it’s now dark outside and soon you’ll enter that dreadful night that’s going to seem endless.
Phase 5 (night before deadline)
Panic has reached another level altogether and it’s a do or die situation. Though in your head death seems to be more plausible right now. Let’s be slightly realistic, you are an adult now. You can’t get under the blanket and sleep through the situation. Last few hours to change the game and turn the tables around. C’mon, all of us are by now well aware that anything is possible when you are a student at LSE. So what do you do when you encounter another challenge, you say: bring it on!
I am sure, whatever the result it was worth all the pressure, tension, work and readings. These are those dramatic and also hilarious stages we go through in order to write that perfect essay.
We are designed and somewhat conditioned to focus only on the result, the grade, the percentage, the rank. Of course, that’s of superior importance, we are here to excel and reach great heights. However, amidst all this we overlook something that too holds a lot of meaning.
It’s the process of writing an essay. This experience can be equally valuable and satisfying as the results. After all, being a student at LSE is not so easy. Now that the summative essays are around the corner we may be entering these dramatic stages again. It’s natural to feel burdened and stressed with all the work and readings. However, let’s take a minute to stand back and appreciate the task at hand. At the same time to also laugh at all the mindless things we are going to do to achieve excellence.
So, happy reading, happy researching, happy stressing and ultimately happy writing!
Aspiring Organizational Psychologist, I firmly believe in reasoning behind all forms of behaviour. Writing always with a tint of fantasy yet advocating realism. I hail from the land of diversity and dynamism – India, currently residing in London and pursuing MSc Organizational and Social Psychology at the incredible London School of Economics and Political Science where I am un-learning, learning and re-learning persistently.
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25 Apr The LSESU Economics Society Essay Challenge 2017
The LSE SU Economics Society, with the support of the LSE Economics Department, is very pleased to announce that The LSE SU Economics Society Essay Challenge 2017 is now open and accepting submissions.
Our key aim is to help push school students beyond the confines of their usual syllabuses, and to see how they can use the knowledge of Economics to explore questions they may never have considered before. We are delighted to announce that our final winners will be chosen by Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2010. The key details for the competition are below:
Essay Questions for This Year
1. Can Economics tell us anything about how we can try to prevent war?
2. Imagine that in front of you is a Big Red button. If you press the button, everyone in the world would have their wealth magically equalised. Would you press the button? Explain the economic reasoning behind your decision
3. Discuss the effect of the rise of ad blocker software on the Internet – is it a blessing or a curse?
4. ‘Free trade is a necessary evil’. How far do you agree?
5. ‘On a societal level, University Education is inefficient – for most people, it hardly makes them better at their future jobs, but it comes at a huge opportunity cost because students miss out from entering a career earlier. Most people who go to university only do so because they’d be left behind in the job market if they didn’t go and everyone else did’. With reference to this argument, should the government drastically limit the number of university places available?
- 1st place: £125 Amazon voucher
- 2nd & 3rd place: £75 Amazon voucher
- 4th & 5th place: £25 Amazon voucher
In addition, the top three entries will also be included in Rationale, our economics magazine, which is widely read both across LSE and online, by many hundreds of our members.
All shortlisted students (those which reach our final judging stage) will have their name on our website and will receive certificates signed by Professor Pissarides, as well as our other final judges.
We welcome entries from students who do not study in the UK, and they are also eligible for prizes.
Deadline: 1st August 2017 (23:59 BST)
To submit, essays should be sent to email@example.com under the subject heading ‘Essay Challenge 2017’.
Please make it clear in the email:
- Which question you have answered
- Your name
- Your school
- Your country of study
- Which school year you are in
- How much help you received on the essay (from teachers or anyone else)
Please attach your essay as a Word or PDF document.
Entries should be around 1500 words long, and strictly not more than 2000 words. This does not count footnotes, citations or a bibliography (which are not required for this challenge but may still be used).
Entry is open to students in their final two years of secondary school, or in sixth form college (including students taking A-Level and IB courses, as well as any equivalent course).
All work must be the student’s original content and must have been produced solely for this competition.
Students may choose their own titles different from those listed above, but they must still adhere to the rule that work is produced solely for this competition.
Students do not need to have studied economics at school in order to enter, but they should still try to make sure that their essay is heavily rooted in economics.
Students are allowed to ask for a limited amount of help from teachers if they are stuck, but we discourage this as much as possible. When you submit the essay you should declare exactly how much help you received on the essay.
Students are allowed to submit more than one essay for the competition, should they wish.
The judges will be looking for entries that are creative in the way they deal with the subject matter. The essay titles have been chosen so that you can go off in whichever directions that you see fit – so please do! We anticipate that the best essay will be one that is fundamentally interesting to read, and possibly introduces the judges to things which they have not thought about before.
We have chosen the questions to stretch you beyond the syllabus that you are studying at school. Please feel free to use material or concepts that go beyond what you have studied in class. However, you do not need to use advanced material at all in order to answer these questions to a very high standard. Many of these topics are simply not covered by much theory, even at a very advanced level – the best answers will involve points that you will have thought of yourself!
We recommend you plan your essay in advance and have a good structure throughout – 1500 words can seem like a very small amount if you don’t.
There are naturally arguments from the other social sciences (politics, sociology, etc.) that are relevant to some of the essay questions mentioned here. However, while there is nothing wrong with making a small point from one of these in your essay, your essay should have a strong focus on economics, or one or more of its branches (including behavioural economics, information economics, game theory etc.), rather than a focus on the social sciences in general.
We wish you the best of luck!
The LSESU Economics Society Committee (2017-2018)
[If any teachers are unsure about the rules or would like to ask anything about the competition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or the President, Tom Glinnan, at email@example.com, for clarification]
We’ve prepared posters for teachers to post up at their schools, should they wish to nudge their students to join the competition.
You can download these posters here: click here to download the posters.