Program on Ethics, Politics and Economics
The senior essay.
The EPE Senior Essay
A senior essay is required for the major and should constitute an intellectual culmination of the student’s work in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. The essay should fall within the student’s area of concentration and may be written within a relevant seminar, with the consent of the instructor and approval of the director of undergraduate studies, provided that the EPE essay constitutes most of the grade for the seminar. The senior essay must be written by the EPE deadline, which may in some cases be earlier than the course deadline, and the overall grade for the course will constitute the grade for the EPE essay. If no appropriate seminar is offered in which the essay might be written, the student may instead enroll in EP&E 491 with approval of the director of undergraduate studies and a faculty member who will supervise the essay. Students who wish to undertake a more substantial yearlong essay may enroll in EP&E 492, 493. In either case the grade will be calculated on the basis of evaluations by the primary and secondary readers, in the proportion of two thirds to one third.
The senior essay reflects more extensive research than an ordinary Yale College seminar paper and employs a method of research appropriate to its topic, which should address a topic in each of the three dimensions – normative, institutional, and economic. Some papers might be written entirely from library sources; others may employ field interviews and direct observation; still others may require statistical or econometric analysis. The student should consult frequently with the seminar instructor or adviser, offering partial and preliminary drafts for criticism. One semester essays should be about 40-50 pages in length, while year-long essays should be about 80-100 pages long.
Whether students are writing in a thesis or in a seminar or 491-493, regular attendance at the EPE senior essay workshop and contact with the advisor is mandatory.
Click here for a list of past EPE senior essay titles.
The Advisor and Second Reader
The senior essay grade will be calculated on the basis of evaluations by the primary and secondary readers, in the proportion of two thirds to one third. All students and their faculty advisors devise a schedule for regular meetings to discuss progress on the essay and consider drafts throughout the writing process. All students will also choose a Second Reader, regardless if the essay is written independently or in a seminar.
Students should consult frequently with the seminar instructor or adviser, offering preliminary but carefully written and organized drafts for criticism. The body of a one-semester essay should be about 40-50 pages in length. The body of a year-long essay should be about 80-100 pages in length.
Joint Senior Essay
If an EPE student decides to write a joint senior essay, he or she must satisfy each major’s distinct senior essay requirements in one senior essay. Also, please know that no additional overlap in course credits is permitted. Additionally, you must meet with the EPE DUS for approval if you want to write a joint senior essay.
The Senior Essay Consultant
An advanced graduate student from one of EP&E’s affiliate departments will serve as a senior essay consultant, available to essay writers for consultation on the formulation of research questions, integrating normative and positive analysis, working with data and evidence, and drafting and revising essays.
The Senior Essay Writing Workshop
The Department of EP&E offers senior essay writers the opportunity to participate in a workshop organized by the Senior Essay Consultant and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Participants will share proposals, literature reviews, and drafts of their essays amongst themselves, receiving feedback on ideas and methods from their peers. Students writing the essay in a seminar are require to attend at least one of these workshops; students writing the essay as an independent study are required to attend all three. All meetings will be held in the first-floor conference room in the EP&E building at 31 Hillhouse Avenue.
All seniors must submit a Senior Essay Form and Requirements Progress Report (both available on the EP&E forms page) signed by their senior essay advisor, indicating their writing plans (dates TBD). If you are writing your essay in in the fall semester the due date is December 4, 2023; if writing a spring semester or yearlong essay the due date is April 15, 2024. Students and their advisors are encouraged to develop their own deadlines and mechanisms for marking progress, but the Department maintains deadlines, which correspond to meetings of the Senior Essay Writing Workshop, for both participants and non-participants.
Submission and Grading
On the day the senior essay is due, students should submit an electronic copy of their essay to the EPE registrar and cc the Senior Essay Consultant and their two readers by noon of the due date. Any recognized standard writing format is acceptable. You must list the names of both readers on the title page. Grades are determined by averaging the grades of the advisor (2/3) and the second reader (1/3).
The EP&E Program awards two departmental senior essay prizes -
- The George Hume Prize is awarded to the senior essay that best investigates both the normative and empirical components of public issues.
- The William H. Orrick Jr. Prize is awarded to the essay that best integrates EP&E’s constituent disciplines while illuminating a concrete problem.
Department of Political Science
2023-2024 Undergraduate Deadlines
January 23, 2024.
- Spring Senior Essay Prospectus form due for an essay written in PLSC 480
January 26, 2024
Spring Senior Essay Prospectus form due for an essay written in a seminar.
April 26, 2024
Spring 2024 senior essay due by 4:00 p.m.
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Kaplan Senior Essay Prize: Home
Past Winners of the Kaplan Senior Essay Prize
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Education Program Director, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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telephone: (203) 432-1069
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Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Diane Kaplan Memorial Senior Essay Prizes
- Lydia Broderick (Ezra Stiles College). Militants in the Model City: Richard Lee, the Hill Parents Association, and the Limits of Citizen Participation in New Haven's Urban Renewal Anti-Poverty Programs . Advisor: Professor Regina Kunzel. Department: History.
- Elaina Foley (Saybrook College). Sense-able Hauntings: Ethics and Narratives in Ornithological Specimen Preservation at Yale's Peabody Museum . Advisor: Professor Joanna Radin. Department: History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health.
- Sofia Ortega-Guerrero (Ezra Stiles College). Between Specificity and Myth: An Analysis of Carlos Mèrida's 'Mexican Costume' Advisor: Professor Catalina Ospina. Department: History of Art.
Yale University Library’s Diane Kaplan Memorial Senior Essay Prize is awarded for up to three outstanding senior essays based on research in any Yale University Library special collection. Essays from any academic department on any topic are eligible for consideration. Prize-winning essays are published in EliScholar , the library’s digital platform for scholarly publishing.
The award certificate w ill be presented at the winning students’ residential college commencement ceremonies and the $500 prize is deposited in students' bank accounts by the university after Commencement Day.
To be eligible for consideration for prizes, essays must represent substantial use of Yale Library special collections and comprise original research that has been submitted to a Yale academic department in the current academic year. Both one-semester and two-semester senior essays are eligible. Excepting grammatical, spelling, and punctuation fixes, the essay submitted for prize consideration should be the same one submitted to the student’s department. Faculty may encourage students to submit, but the actual submission must be made by the student.
Submission for the 2023 Kaplan Senior Essay Prize is now closed.
Essays are judged on the following characteristics:
- Original argument, engaging structure, and valuable scholarly contribution.
- Substantial, creative, and appropriate use of sources from Yale Library special collections.
- Excellent grammar and style.
- Consistent and appropriate citation of sources.
Assessing the "substantial, creative, and appropriate use" of Yale Library special collections materials is tricky, but as a benchmark approximately one quarter of the primary sources used should be from collection materials held in one of the special collections mentioned in the final paragraph below OR materials from those collections should significantly inform answers to the major questions addressed in your essay OR the essay should be focused on a creative, in-depth analysis of one or more items held in the Yale Library special collections. Essays from any department are eligible for consideration. Faculty and others may encourage submissions, but students must submit the essays themselves for prize consideration. Prize winning essays are published in EliScholar . The essay prize submission and judging process takes place each year in April and early May and prize winners are notified in the week prior to Yale Commencement Day exercises.
The Kaplan Senior Essay Prize is given in memory of Diane Kaplan (1947-2012), who worked as an archivist in Manuscripts and Archives for more than 35 years and whose contributions aided and inspired generations of researcher and colleagues. Formerly focused on essays on the topic of Yale history or based on research in Manuscripts and Archives collections, the Kaplan Prize was expanded in 2022 to recognize outstanding essays on any topic based on research in any Yale Library special collection, which includes: Arts Library Special Collections, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (including Manuscripts and Archives), Divinity Library Special Collections, Lewis Walpole Library, Medical Historical Library, Music Library Special Collections, and the Yale Film Archive.
- Next: Past Winners of the Kaplan Senior Essay Prize >>
- Last Updated: May 15, 2023 2:43 PM
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Prizes by department or subject, andrew d. white (1902).
ANDREW D. WHITE (1902). First awarded in 1907, the gift of Professor Guy Stanton Ford of the University of Illinois in honor of Andrew D. White, B.A. 1853; endowed by a bequest from Mr. White. For the best essays, one in American history, one in European history, and one in third-world history by freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and graduate students and for the best essay in European, English, or third-world history by a junior, senior, or graduate student. Senior essays in English, European, or third-world history in fulfillment of the major requirement are considered as entered in competition. All essays must be completed during the current academic year.
Canadian History Prize (1999)
CANADIAN HISTORY PRIZE (1999). Awarded by the Canadian Studies Committee for the best essay in Canadian Studies.
Edwin W. Small (1990)
EDWIN W. SMALL (1990). Carmen R. Small in memory of Edwin W. Small, B.A. 1930, M.A. 1934. Awarded in recognition and furtherance of outstanding work in the field of American history.
George Washington Egleston (1901)
GEORGE WASHINGTON EGLESTON (1901). George Washington Egleston of Eardisley, Herefordshire, England, brother of Thomas Egleston, B.A. 1854, and William C. Egleston, B.A. 1861. For the best essay on American history completed by a resident student during the current academic year. Doctoral dissertations presented in the Department of History in the appropriate field are considered as entered in competition.
John Addison Porter - American History Prize (1901)
JOHN ADDISON PORTER-AMERICAN HISTORY (1901). Mrs. Porter in memory of her husband, John A. Porter, B.A. 1878. To a junior or senior for the best original essay completed during the current academic year on a subject bearing upon the political, constitutional, or economic history, condition, or future of the United States. Essays submitted by seniors majoring in American history in fulfillment of the major requirement are considered as entered in competition.
Max Bildner Prize (2001)
MAX BILDNER PRIZE (2001). Awarded for the best senior essay in Latin American history.
Percival W. Clement Prize (1994)
PERCIVAL W. CLEMENT PRIZE (1994). Awarded to a junior or senior for the best thesis in the support of the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America and the first ten amendments. Also open to students in American Studies, History and Political Science.
Richard Hegel Prize for a Senior Essay on New Haven (2001)
RICHARD HEGEL PRIZE FOR A SENIOR ESSAY ON NEW HAVEN (2001). Sponsored by the Yale Club of New Haven, the Hegel Prize was awarded for the first time in celebration of Yale’s Tercentennial year. The prize is named in honor of Richard Hegel because of his enduring commitment to the partnership of the University and the City of New Haven. The Hegel Prize is to be awarded for an outstanding senior essay pertaining to the greater New Haven area. Senior essays from any department of Yale College are eligible.
Robert Gries (1981)
ROBERT D. GRIES (1981). Robert D. Gries. For the best essay in History other than American or European (including Russia).
Winifred Sturley (1984)
WINIFRED STURLEY (1984). Richard A. Sturley, B.E. 1949, M.Eng. 1950, and Michael F. Sturley B.A. 1977, J.D. 1981, in honor of Winifred Sturley, M.A. Hon. 1955. Awarded to the student in the History Department who submits the best senior essay on a topic in English history.
Wolfgang Leonhard Prize in Russian and East European Studies
WOLFGANG LEONHARD PRIZE IN RUSSIAN AND EAST EUROPEAN STUDIES. Established by the gift of James Leitner, B.A. 1975, the prize honors a distinguished former member of the faculty in Russian and East European Studies. Awarded to the senior who has written the most outstanding senior essay related to Russia or East Europe. Submission deadline: April 21 2023, 3:00 p.m. Submit essays by email .
Information Session: Yale Library Senior Essay Prizes
Information Session: Yale Library Senior Essay Prizes Online
Join us for an information session to learn about the Yale Library Senior Essay Prizes for 2021.
In this session you will have the opportunity to hear about and ask questions regarding the prizes:
- Submission guidelines
- Application process
- Examples of past awardees
Each prize carries a $500 award and is presented during Commencement ceremonies at the recipient’s residential college. Senior essays submitted to a Yale academic department at any point during the 2020-21 academic year are eligible for consideration for 2021 prizes.
Manuscripts and Archives Diane Kaplan Memorial Prize (Deadline, April 23, 5:00 pm) - for an essay based substantially on research in any Manuscripts and Archives collection.
Harvey M. Applebaum ’59 Award (Deadline May 13, 11:59 pm) - for a senior essay using materials from any of the government depository collections.
Library Map Prize (Deadline May 13, 11:59 pm) - for the best use of maps in a senior essay or its equivalent.
- System Status
Senior Essays Nominated for Prizes
Four departmental prizes will be awarded at commencement ceremonies this year to Economics and Economics and Math majors for the best senior essays. With more than 60 senior essays written in the Department of Economics, 14 were nominated for prizes.
The prizes for distinguished papers include: The Charles Heber Dickerman Memorial Prize for the best departmental essay; The Ronald Meltzer/Cornelia Awdziewicz Economic Award for two outstanding senior essays; The Ellington Prize for the best departmental essay in the field of finance.
Senior essays are nominated for a prize by both a student’s advisor, as well as a second reader from the department, after which a committee comprised of faculty members from the Department of Economics read and select the winning essays. This year’s nominations are:
- Adrian Rodrigues Panacea or Pariah: The Labor Market Returns of Private For-profit Institutions and Community Colleges
- Anthony Tokman Crime and the Geography of the City: Measuring the Effect of Crime on Urban Residential Patterns
- Apsara Iyer Agricultural and Mining Labor Interactions in Peru:A Long-Run Perspective (1571-1812)
- Avery Schwartz Arbitrage in the European Soccer Betting Market
- Darien Lee Unemployment Insurance: Disincentive Effects on Job Search in the Great Recession
- Edward Kong Estimating Competitive Eects in Firm Entry with Applications in the Generic Pharmaceutical Industry
- Hugh Sullivan Environmental News and Noise in Financial Markets: Event Studies Concerning the Effect of Environmental Performance on Financial Performance
- Jason Brown Analyzing the Long-Term Performance of Activist Targets
- Jeffrey Guo Regional Differences in Consumer Confidence, Consumption, and Employment: 2001-2014
- Jonathan Lam Robo-Advisors: A Portfolio Management Perspective
- JP DeOliveira Is There a Case for a Brazilian Exit from the Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR)? A Quantitative Assessment of Policy Options
- Kenza Bouhaj The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993: Impact on Female Employment and Income
- Maia Eliscovich Sigal Socioeconomic Effects of Oil Drilling: The Case of Ecuador
- Siqi Wang Organizational Structure and Entry Decisions: A Study of the Retail Home Improvement Sector from 2005-2011
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Submit your senior essay for a yale library prize.
The Manuscripts & Archives (MSSA) Kaplan Prize for Yale History is awarded in memory of MSSA Archivist Diane E. Kaplan for an outstanding senior essay on a topic related to Yale. The prize is presented at the student's residential college commencement ceremony. Submission deadline is Friday, April 20, at 5 p.m. EDT. For essay guidelines and to submit your essay: https://guides.library.yale.edu/MSSAPrize .
A second MSSA Kaplan Senior Essay Prize is awarded for an outstanding senior essay on any topic based on research conducted in MSSA. The prize is presented at the student's residential college commencement ceremony. Submission deadline is Friday, April 20, at 5 p.m. EDT. For essay guidelines and to submit your essay: https://guides.library.yale.edu/MSSAPrize .
The Harvey M. Applebaum ’59 Award recognizes an outstanding senior essay that makes use of government/IGO information from Yale’s collections (U.S., Canada, United Nations, EU, or Food & Agriculture Organization). For more information and to submit your essay: http://guides.library.yale.edu/Applebaum . Submission deadline is Wednesday, April 26 at 11:59 p.m.
The Library Map Prize is awarded to a Yale College senior for the best use of maps in a senior essay or its equivalent. For more information and to submit your essay: http://guides.library.yale.edu/MapPrize . Submission deadline is Wednesday, April 26 at 11:59 p.m.
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Home > Library > Library Prizes > Harvey M. Applebaum ’59 Award
Harvey M. Applebaum ’59 Award
The Harvey M. Applebaum '59 Award is conferred on a Yale College senior for an outstanding essay based on research that has substantial use of national government or intergovernmental organization (IGO) information, including documents or data. The prize is an award of $500.
This prize was established in 2008 by the daughters of Harvey M. Applebaum, class of 1959, in honor of his 70th birthday. Mr. Applebaum is a senior counsel, specializing in international trade and antitrust law, with the Washington firm of Covington & Burling LLP and a lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law. He is a past Chairman of the Association of Yale Alumni and the Yale Alumni Magazine board.
Senior essays submitted for consideration for the Applebaum Award must be based in some part on research material produced or published by national governments and/or intergovernmental organizations (IGO). Research material may be held within Yale's collections or may be available in digital format. Examples include:
- United States federal government
- Canadian federal government
- European Union
- United Nations
- Food and Agriculture Organization
- List of additional IGOs from Northwestern University
The winner of the 2023 Applebaum Award is:
Sophie E. Edelstein (Pauli Murray College)
“Am I Sick or Just Discarded?” : Psychiatry, Health Care Reform, and the Rise of Geriatrics in America, 1931-1954”
Please contact Gwyneth Crowley , Librarian for Economics and US Government Information, Marx Science and Social Science Library, with any questions about the Applebaum Award.
View submission guidelines.
Submit your essay for consideration.
Senior essayists will also need to submit a statement explaining how they found out about the award and explaining their use of any of these collections in their essay. Statements may include phrases such as "the resource I used is central to my argument because...," "the variety of government documents used in my paper allowed me to...", and "this document best demonstrates the thinking of..."
The Applebaum Award is one of several senior essay prizes awarded by Yale University Library to honor outstanding undergraduate research and encourage use of library collections. See all Yale Library prizes .
Prize Winners from 2023 2023
“Am I Sick or Just Discarded?” : Psychiatry, Health Care Reform, and the Rise of Geriatrics in America, 1931-1954 , Sophie E. Edelstein
Prize Winners from 2022 2022
Structural Violence & Small Victories: Political Epidemiology of HIV Among MSM in Nigeria, 2000-2010 , Debbie A. Dada
Prize Winners from 2021 2021
Regulatory Agency Capture: How the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Approved the Mountain Valley Pipeline , AAKSHI AGARWAL
An Equitable Transformation of the Energy System: The Role of State-Level Incentives for Distributed Energy Resources , Trinidad A. Kechkian
Battling over Bargain-Hunting: Defining the American consumer through mass-consumption shopping practices, 1909- 1915 , Angela Xiao
Prize Winners from 2020 2020
Against Executive-Controlled Administrative Law Judges , Stephanie N. Higginson Second Prize Winner
The 1950s “War on Narcotics”: Harry Anslinger, The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and Senator Price Daniel’s Probe , William J. Horvath First Prize Winner
Prize Winners from 2019 2019
Renewable Energy Access and Resilience in Urban Developing Areas: Distributed Solar Networks and Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading in Puerto Rico , Pascale Bronder
"Its Cargo Is People": Repositioning Commuter Rail as Public Transit to Save the New York–New Haven Line, 1960–1990 , Seamus C. Joyce-Johnson
Prize Winners from 2018 2018
Convergence Towards an Optimal Currency Area in the European Union , Santiago Botto Tornielli
From Enemy to Family: German War Brides and U.S.-German Rapprochement, 1945-1950 , Monica Wang
Prize Winners from 2017 2017
Influence and Effectiveness in the Years of Upheaval: Winston Lord and the Policy Planning Staff from 1973 to 1977 , Max L.B. Cook
Kissinger’s Strategy in the Iraqi Kurdish Rebellion of 1972-75: False Start or Foundation of American-Kurdish Partnership? , Jonathan C. Esty
Of a Healthy Constitution: Socialized Medicine Between the Triumphs of Social Security and Medicare , Sarah D. Kim
Prize Winners from 2016 2016
Treading the Path of Least Resistance: FDA's Regulation of the Subtherapeutic Use of Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture, 1970-2015 , Colleen Flynn
The Re-Recruit , Devon Brody Geyelin
US Foreign Policy and the Soviet-Afghan War: A Revisionist History , Julie Lowenstein
Prize Winners from 2015 2015
Moving the Needle: How Transparency Could Lower Costs and Improve Quality in United States Hospitals , Anna "Nina" Russell
The President's Wartime Detention Authority : What History Teaches Us , Anirudh Sivaram
Prize Winners from 2014 2014
The UN and the Congo Crisis of 1960 , Nicole Hobbs
Prize Winners from 2013 2013
Strange Bedfellows: Business, Labor, Guest Workers, and Immigration Reform in the United States, 1986-2013 , Tom Stanley-Becker
Prize Winners from 2012 2012
"Missionaries of Ordered Liberty": U.S. Colonial Sponsorship of Self-Government in the Wake of the Spanish-American War, 1899-1904 , Conor Crawford
Cease or Persist? Gene Patents and the Clinical Diagnostics Dilemma , Christopher Lee
Prize Winners from 2010 2010
“The Dictates of Sound Policy”: Contending with the Western Indians under the New American Constitution , Avi Kupfer
Estimating the Returns to Expenditures in Canadian Elections: Evidence from a Regression-Discontinuity Design , Habib Moody
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