Essay writing guidelines
Essay writing guidelines

This section aims to offer you technical help around writing an academic essay.

The Comprehensive Guide to Writing an Academic Essay
Guidelines for students for the annual Budget Speech Competition:
  • This is an academic competition and a research essay is required for the first round. This means the essay should be a literature study and should thus be formal.
  • For formal research, you should make use of the Harvard method of referencing. This means that only the surname of the author, a colon and the year of publication should appear in brackets. Footnotes do not form part of the Harvard method and are not allowed.
  • The essay should thus consist of headings and subheadings, starting with an INTRODUCTION where you explain exactly what you are going to find information about, meaning you should use the issues contained in the question. This should be followed by an explanation about what appears in each section.
  • Then you should go over to each issue that you have to give information about, numbering each section as well.
  • Keep in mind that central to the subject Economics, is citing graphs and tables. Each graph or table should be numbered and in the paragraph before the graph, you should inform your reader that a graph follows and what appears in the graph. Each graph should have a heading and end with the source where it was found. Also a short explanation should follow explaining shortly what appeared in the graph.
  • The same for tables.
  • Your research should end with a CONCLUSION, resembling the introduction, explaining what the research was about and how you did it.
  • Now, what makes this an essay, is that after the conclusion you are allowed to make use of your own opinion about the issue researched.
  • You now can use a heading, RECOMMENDATIONS where you are allowed to give your opinion about the question you have researched. You are free to say whether it is workable or not.
  • Then naturally for research, you have to cite your LIST OF REFERENCES in alphabetical order. This is not included in your word count, which should appear on your first page.
To ensure that all essays are marked in a consistent manner and in line with the essay guidelines above, the filter panel and adjudicators will use the marking system below: 
  1. Problem statement/Introduction: 10%

  2. Content / body of paper / organizational structure / development of argument: 60%

  3. Original idea(s) & recommendations: 15%

  4. Conclusion: 10%

  5. Mechanics (language usage, punctuation, spelling etc): 5%



Do you have a Query?

For queries about the competition, please contact the Budget Speech Competition administrator.