Some of the country’s brightest and most informed secondary school essay writers have been acknowledged at the University of Limerick for their ability to take a decisive stance on social issues through writing.
UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald welcomed the winning secondary school students to the Regional Writing Centre in UL after their 1,000 word essays were deemed to be the best amongst transition and fifth year students.
Speaking at the awards ceremony to the students, their teachers and families, Dr Fitzgerald said that “being able to write well, to illustrate your point clearly and concisely is hugely important in your academic development. Students need to be able to communicate effectively through writing.
“On occasion, students may be required to communicate through writing as part of a group project or some other kind of group work, but more often it’s just you, an essay assignment or report or an exam paper, a pen and a few pieces of note paper.
“Grades are decided on the basis of what you know, how that knowledge is communicated and how well you argue your case, so it is important that every student is given the opportunity to become better writer, better communicators so that the can put their best foot forward in what really matters.”
Dr Fitzgerald went on to note that writing wasn’t a problem for the cohort of winners “given the tremendous job done with their essays”.
Students from Galway, Cork, Donegal, Roscommon and Dublin were awarded prizes for their arguments on the topic: “Is it healthy to categorise people according to their generation? What are the advantages or disadvantages of doing so?”
The primary purpose of the competition was to give students the opportunity to engage in social debate through writing and to prepare them for argumentative writing at third level.
Lawrence Cleary, co-director of the Regional Writing Centre, said that “in addition, the competition highlights the University of Limerick’s commitment to supporting the educational advancement of prospective students.
“The Regional Writing Centre is dedicated to helping students to develop strategies to become more confident, critical and autonomous writers, able to write persuasively in all contexts, whether academic or professional,” he added.