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Stylistic Guidelines

  • All entries should be written in Arial 12 point, with 1.5 line spacing.
  • All pages must be numbered.
  • Use of headings and sub-headings is strongly recommended, and the use of inset boxes and other devices which make the essay easier to read are encouraged.
  • The essay must be highly readable and accessible to a wide audience, written in plain and simple English and without using technical terms, mathematical formulae, or jargon.
  • Any referencing must done be through footnotes, not endnotes or appendices. Web sources must include the date of last access. Footnotes may also be used to amplify points that would clog the flow of a paragraph. There is, however, no requirement to use footnotes, and any footnotes are not included in the word count.
  • Graphics including photographs or cartoons may be used but are not mandatory and must be germane to the point of the essay (and permission for reproduction of graphics must be obtained before submitting the essay).
  • The essay can be written in any format consistent with the above. In terms of content, the essay should:
    • Outline the policy initiative recommended clearly and unambiguously.
    • Give the policy initiative a snappy name (if one does not already exist).
    • Show how the initiative promotes the two criteria listed under ‘Entry Requirements’.
    • Give evidence to support the contention. Data and analysis are fine, but substantial weight will also be given to logic and hypotheses, bearing in mind that some initiatives may be totally novel and not already subjected to rigorous examination. This is acceptable, provided the idea is plausible, supported by existing free-market principles for which there is already substantial evidence, and highly attractive.
  • The policy initiative may be old or new, or a combination of both, but if it is an old initiative it must be either off the current political agenda or given a powerful new twist.
  • Above all, the essay should be written with verve and enthusiasm. The writer’s relish and excitement should be palpable and infect the reader. The winning entry will be a joy to read as well as a brilliant idea.
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