Do Better Challenge - Essay Competition

Eligibility for entry:

Applicants must be a One Young World 2013 confirmed Delegate or Returning Ambassador.

Essays must be submitted to [email protected] by midnight (BST) on August 14th 2013.

Essay Topic

You must focus your essay to one of the following topics:

  • Education
  • Global Business
  • Human Rights
  • Leadership & Government
  • Sustainable Development
  • Youth Unemployment

Submission requirements

All essays must be submitted in English.


The essay will be written as a letter to a CEO or Head of State of your choice. You will tell them about something they are doing wrong and suggest a concrete way for them to address this. You must attach a cover page including the title of essay; full name; country representing; sponsor and a synopsis of the essay.

Word Count

You should write 1500 – 1800 words. Cover page, references, bibliography, appendix and tables (if needed) are not included in your word count. There is a 10% score penalty for not adhering to word count specification.


  • A place as a Delegate Speaker at One Young World which offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take the stage and share your views with the Summit
  • A free Returning Ambassador spot at the One Young World 2014 Dublin Summit
  • The essay or an adaptation will appear in a mainstream publication

Judging Process:

Shortlisted essays will be read by One Young World Counsellors and Co-founders.

Essay Writing Tips


We WILL be checking for plagiarism, so take care when writing. Any ideas which are not yours need to be referenced. If you want to discuss another person’s arguments, you may directly quote them (which is done word for word, using quotation marks (“”)). If you are summarising their argument and you don’t want to use a direct quote, you can paraphrase their ideas, but must reference the source. In both cases please use footnotes and reference in a bibliography.

[[[image-2 right native]]]As this essay involves defining a specific problem and solution, you will be likely to include data of some kind, for example, statistics or direct quotes. You will need to cite all sources.


The emphasis of this essay is on the quality of your arguments and ideas, not your English. We suggest you use spell check (not autocorrect) to help with any spelling and grammar, but do not worry about your competency with writing in English. So long as we can understand what it is that you’re trying to say, we will overlook any minor errors.

Write your entry as a letter. People holding different titles should be addressed and signed off from appropriately. If you are unsure keep it simple and write “Dear” and “Yours Sincerely”. As already mentioned the emphasis is on content and small errors in format will be overlooked. The winner’s submission will be adapted, if necessary, into an article or a speech later on. Do not worry about this now.

As well as heads of state and CEOs, you may direct your letter to an industry, for example, to the CEOs of all banks, or the leaders of Latin-American Countries. It is important that what you discuss in the essay will have a wide impact on society, and that you do not focus too much on small projects. At the same time, however, you must endeavour to remain specific and avoid blanket statements like “you need to help more poor people”. Give them a concrete way to solve the problem you have identified and why this would work.[[[image-0 left native]]]


You need a cover page with the essay title, your name, and the country you represent, your champion, your word count and a synopsis of your essay. This synopsis will be 75 words long and give a quick summary of what your essay is about and the conclusions it comes to.

On a new page you will open your essay with “Dear”. You will raise the problem you have found with one of their policies. Following this you will put forward one way to address this and then go into depth about why it is the correct and best way to go about making a change, as well as how society will benefit. Conclude with a sign off, with your name below.

You must have a bibliography. This doesn’t need to be an extensive list. If you want to you may include any supporting information for your argument in an Appendix. This is NOT a place for you to make points which you couldn’t fit into the essay because of the word count.[[[image-1 right native]]]

Word Limit

Stay within the target range: if you are under you won’t be developing your ideas fully enough and if you are over you will be broadening your argument too much. This is why we suggest you tackle only one problem and one suggested solution. You must adhere to the word range, any submissions under or over will be penalised with a score deduction of 10%. Cover page, footnotes, bibliography, appendix and tables (if you have any) are not included in the word count.

Essay Criteria for Assessment

Appropriate Selection of Problem

  • Relevance to the plenary
  • Justification for the choice

Knowledge and Understanding of Problem

  • Can talk in detail about the different facets of the problem
  • Views the problem from more than one perspective and appreciates its subtleties
  • Persuades the reader that this is indeed a problem

Appropriate Selection of Solution

  • Relevance to the problem
  • Relevance to the plenary

Reasoning behind the Solution

  • Your essay should be persuasive
  • Details why this is a solution to the problem
  • Details why this solution will create a positive change to wider society