Monash Arts Essay Competition
Here are a few guidelines that will help you to write and upload your essay.
- Your essay should be no longer than 800 words. Try to be short and snappy in getting your message across.
- You are welcome to write an essay by yourself or with a group. If you want to work in a group, you can team up with people in different year levels or schools. We want to encourage you to think about what kind of skills you have that a group could really benefit from – Are you good at structuring and organising written work? Do you have a strong idea? Can you write in a concise and accessible way? Team work makes the dream work!
- Make sure that you do not include your full name, contact details, or the name of your school in your essay. The essay file should only include the essay title and the actual essay. As well as this file, please also submit a separate file including the title of your essay, your name, the name of your school and your personal school email address. Only Word or PDF files will be accepted. Submitting two separate files will guarantee your anonymity throughout the selection process. If your essay is awarded a prize, your details will be revealed (but only with your consent).
Frequently asked questions View
How do I enter?
Use the entry form on this website, and enter by 19 August 2022, 11.55pm to be considered.
What is social justice?
Social justice is about how we make our society more fair and equal. It's about rights, equal opportunities, and improving the world we live in. Social justice topics include climate change, race and racism, gender equality, sexuality, mental health, and many more. Some social justice issues are very local, concerning a specific community (like recycling in your council area or breaking down taboos around mental health in a mining town), others are national (like the deaths of Indigenous people in police custody or policies in Australia to address climate change), and many are global (like the global Black Lives Matter movement, the rights of trans and gender diverse people, and the #MeToo movement). What are you passionate about?
How should I structure my essay?
Your essay should be no longer than 800 words and should touch on these three key points:
- What is the social justice issue you are most passionate about?
- Why does it matter for your community, for Australia, and/or the world?
- What can we do to address it?
You could approach your essay in lots of different ways, feel free to be creative!
- You could start from a specific example and then broaden your analysis to explain what social justice issue that example involves and why it is important.
- Alternatively, you could start with a broader and more abstract analysis and zoom in on one or more specific examples to illustrate your conceptual point.
- Remember to provide a short introduction and a short conclusion.
- To help you with the essay structure, you could use subheadings for the main sections of the essay.
- Try to use short paragraphs, long paragraphs are often more difficult to read.
- Make sure that you proofread the essay before submitting it.
- If you are writing a collaborative essay, make sure that there is a clear division of labour between all the authors.
Can my essay be longer than 800 words?
We will accept essays that are 10% above or below the word limit (800 words). This means that your essay can be, at maximum, 880 words and, at minimum, 720 words.
Can I include images with my essay?
How can the winners divide the prize money if they are in a group?
We will be distributing Prezzee gift vouchers to the winners, including the main winner of the competition. If the winners are in groups, we will leave it up to them to decide how they want to divide the prize money. Prezzee has an option to split up payments across different vendors. We will be in touch with the winners directly should they wish to discuss this process in more detail.
When will the winners be announced?
The winners will be announced during one of the Monash University Social Sciences Week events in the week commencing 5 September 2022.
The event will be open to anyone who is interested in attending and we encourage all participants (including parents, guardians, teachers, peers) to come along if they are able to. The event will be held in person in the Melbourne CBD but will also be livestreamed for all who want to attend.
We are currently finalising the Social Sciences Week programme and we hope to be joined by some of the judging panel and researchers from the School of Social Sciences when the winners are announced. We will announce these details in the coming weeks.
What specific criteria will the judging panel use? What are the judges looking for in the essays?
The judging panel will be looking to see whether each essay has clearly and creatively addressed three main key components:
- An explanation of a social justice issue you are most passionate about and why
- Why it matters for your community, for Australia, and/or the world
- What you think we should do to address it.
We have purposely not made the criteria prescriptive because we want you to have a fun experience and feel like you can express issues that you are passionate about.
Judging panel View
Dr Matteo Bonotti is Deputy Research Coordinator and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Monash University. His research interests include linguistic justice, free speech, political liberalism, food justice, and the normative dimensions of partisanship.
Dr Bill Flanik is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Monash University, where he also serves as Course Director for the Master of International Relations.
Georgina Gibson is a Senior Student Recruitment Coordinator and Schools Liaison in the Faculty of Arts. Her favourite part of her job is talking to high school students about their study options with Monash Arts and helping them understand university lingo.
Dr Narelle Miragliotta is a Senior Lecturer in Australian politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Monash University. She has broad teaching and research interests in many different facets of Australian and liberal democratic political institutions, including constitutions, parliaments, political parties and Australian elections and electoral systems.
Associate Professor Marie Segrave is the Head of School for the School of Social Sciences in the Faculty of Arts. She is a key researcher with the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre and the Migration and Inclusion Centre.
Dr Blair Williams is currently a Lecturer in Australian politics at Monash University, following her tenure as a Research Fellow at the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership (GIWL) at the Australian National University. Her research examines the gendered media coverage of women in politics.
Monash Arts is running this competition to help elevate the voices of young people, and to highlight the social justice issues they are most passionate about.
Sometimes we hear that young people are apathetic or only self-interested, but we know from working with our own undergraduate students in Arts at Monash that young people are active citizens who care deeply about a wide range of issues in their worlds. We want to hear from you!
- Behavioural studies
- Gender studies
- Human geography
- International relations
Our students have created this careers booklet to show you where an Arts degree can take you and the importance of studying the social sciences and humanities.
Graduates from our programs move into many different professions and careers. Read about their journeys here.
This competition is being coordinated by Dr Matteo Bonotti in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University. For more information you can see the FAQs and other pages of this website. If you can't find your answer there, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.