Best Essay Award & Cogito Award

Best Essay Award

The intensive writing training embedded in the two Dialogue courses under GEF has resulted in many well-written student essays each year. The Best Essay Award, first introduced in 2011 as “Students’ Best Work Award,” is meant to recognize students’ efforts and achievements, and to showcase exemplary works.

Cogito Award

The Cogito Award is to encourage continuous reflections beyond the Dialogue courses, of which the central concern consists in a question: Who am I? Pondering the same question, Descartes observes, “I am a thing that thinks, that is to say, that doubts, affirms, denies, that knows a few things, that is ignorant of many [that loves, that hates], that wills, that desires, that also imagines and perceives” (Meditations 3, §1). The Award invites students to write an essay in response to a designated topic (subject to change from year to year), demonstrating some, if not all, of the above qualities of human thinking—perceiving or imagining, desiring or willing, hating or loving, affirming or doubting, striving to know or acknowledging what one does not know. The essay can take the the form of exposition, argumentation, personal reflection, or literary composition, with reference to texts or courses studied, personal encounters and/or current issues and events.

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