Essays About Competition: Top 6 Examples and 10 Prompts

As you write about competition, discover our examples of essays about competition and writing prompts to unlock your competitive self.

We live in a highly competitive time, and one might easily say that competition makes the world go round. Indeed, doing your best to get ahead of others has perks, such as fame, money, promotion in the workplace, or esteem from your parents if you’re a student.

Beyond these immediate rewards, competition can help develop self-confidence, discipline, and tenacity, which help people survive and thrive. So unleash your competitive side by writing a thrilling essay about competition, and read our examples to inspire you.

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6 Helpful Essay Examples

1. Is Lack of Competition Strangling the U.S. Economy? by David Wessel

“If we’re slow to take action to bolster competition — perhaps because incumbents successfully wield their power or because of a distaste for regulation of any sort — we risk diluting the dynamism of the economy and restricting the flow of innovations and new ideas, darkening the prospects for our children and grandchildren.”

The essay looks at the decline of competition in various US industries. In particular, it investigates factors — profits, investment, business dynamism, and prices — that can indicate the robustness of competition in a country. Falling competition is worrisome in economies as it enables incumbent firms to abuse their power and block new entrants, restricting consumers’ options for more affordable and better quality goods and services.

2. Why Competition Is Good for Kids (And How to Keep It That Way) by Devan McGuinness

“Besides setting them up for wins and losses later in life—hey, they won’t always land that big promotion—competitive activities help them develop important skills they’ll use well into adulthood, like taking turns, developing empathy, and tenacity.”

Well-meaning parents might disapprove of competition to shield children from getting disheartened at losing. But child development experts say that competition has lifelong benefits for children, reinforcing the value of hard work, thinking positively, and being a good team player. However, parents should be careful in delineating healthy competition from unhealthy ones.

3.  How Great Power Competition Has Changed by Shivshankar Menon

“Competition among great powers has extended to the sea lanes that carry the world’s energy and trade and is visible in the naval buildup by all the major powers that we see today—a buildup over the last ten years which is unmatched in scale in history.”

With the influence among global superpowers now spread more evenly, coupled with the fact that their interventions in conflict areas have only yielded prolonged battles, global superpowers are now more focused on their geopolitical reach. But some factors, such as their dependence on other superpowers for economic growth, also compel them to go beyond their horizons. 

4. How Life Became An Endless, Terrible Competition by Daniel Markovits

“Outrage at nepotism and other disgraceful forms of elite advantage-taking implicitly valorizes meritocratic ideals. Yet meritocracy itself is the bigger problem, and it is crippling the American dream. Meritocracy has created a competition that, even when everyone plays by the rules, only the rich can win.

Instead of intensely engaging in competition, why not just stop competing? This essay laments how meritocracy destroyed people’s relationships at home, all for advancing in the workplace. While throwing competition out of the window seems like an ambitious proposal, the author offers a glint of hope using the case of a policy framework created during the Great Depression. 

5. How To Create A Successful Partnership With Your Competition by Norma Watenpaugh 

“In my experience, working with your competition is not an intuitive thing for most people. It takes a strong value proposition to make the risks and effort worthwhile.”

When cooperating with your competition becomes a key to your goals, you resort to a strategy called “co-opetition,” short for cooperative competition. This essay fleshes out the situations where such alliances work and provides tips on making the most out of these relationships while avoiding risks.

6. The Importance Of Positive Coaching In Competition by Oscar Ponteri

“I have learned that competition holds incredible power… It’s all about how you utilize it. How our youth coaches frame competition will dictate the way we compete beyond athletics for our entire life.”

A high-school student shares his profound thoughts on the essence of positive coaching in the life of athletes even beyond the field. His beliefs stem from his experiences with a cold-hearted coach that turned around his love for sports. 

10 Exciting Writing Prompts on Essays About Competition

1. How Schools Can Encourage Healthy Competition

Essays About Competition: How schools can encourage healthy competition
In your essay, provide tips, for example, calling on teachers to encourage students to participate and motivate them to do their best instead of keeping their eyes on the trophy

To start, cite the numerous benefits of competition in developing well-rounded students. Make sure to back these up with research. Then, write about how you think schools can create an atmosphere conducive to healthy competition. Provide tips, for example, calling on teachers to encourage students to participate and motivate them to do their best instead of keeping their eyes on the trophy. You may also share how your school is promoting healthy competition.

2. How Competition Builds Self-Esteem

Competition can drive you to improve and build the foundations for your self-esteem. For this essay, research the scientific links between healthy competition and self-confidence. Look also into how competition can promote a mindset that goes for growth and not just the gold medal. Some who lose may see themselves as a failure and give up rather than seeing their loss as an opportunity to learn and do better. 

3. Importance of Competition Laws

Competition or antitrust laws aim to ensure robust market competition by banning anti-competitive acts and behaviors. First, briefly explain your country’s competition law and enumerate acts that are prohibited under this law. Then, to help readers understand more clearly, cite a recent case, for example, a merger and acquisition, where your antitrust office had to intervene to protect the interest of consumers. 

4. Business Competition in the Digital Age

The borderless digital world has made the competition very cutthroat, with the demands for innovation at a neck-breaking pace. But one advantage is how it has somewhat leveled the playing field between big and small businesses. Enumerate the pros and cons of the digital age to business competition and cite what emerging trends businesses should watch out for.

5. Competition Vs. Cooperation

Should we be more competitive or cooperative? Or should we stop pitting one against the other and begin balancing both? Provide a well-researched answer and write an argumentative essay where you take a position and, with research backing, explain why you take this position. To effectively execute this writing style and its techniques, see our ultimate guide on argumentative essays.

6. Dealing With Sibling Competition

Competition among siblings goes as old as the story of Abel and Cain. It can disrupt family peace and become a vicious, toxic cycle that can last into their adult years if unresolved. What are the other negative impacts of sibling competition on the family and the well-being of siblings in the long term? Identify these and research what experts have to say on managing sibling rivalry. 

7. Preparing for a Competition

Preparing for a competition
Share tips that have worked to your advantage and find science-backed recommendations on how one can be ready on competition day both psychologically and physically

How do you prepare your mind and body for a competition? If you regularly participate in competitions, this is the right topic prompt for you. So, share tips that have worked to your advantage and find science-backed recommendations on how one can be ready on competition day both psychologically and physically. For example, studies have shown that visualizing your performance as a success can increase motivation, confidence, and self-efficacy.

8. Competition in Mother-Daughter Relationships

Describe the factors that trigger competition between mothers and daughters. You can cite aspects of the gender theory identity developed by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Then, differentiate the nature of the competition and its different stages as the daughter grows. Finally, help mothers navigate this confusing period and deal with strength and enormous understanding.

9. Love is Not a Competition

This quote is best for couples who fight like cats and dogs. For this writing prompt, explain how seeing your partner as a competition can destroy a romantic relationship. Then, offer tips on how your readers can make amends with their partners, reconnect with them and see them as allies. After all, relationships need intensive teamwork.

10. Competition in the Animal Kingdom

Write an informational essay about competition in the animal kingdom. For example, you might have to differentiate interspecific competition from the intraspecific competition. You might also have to flesh out the differences between competition and predation. Then cite the factors that trigger competition and its effects on biodiversity.

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  • Yna Lim is a communications specialist currently focused on policy advocacy. In her eight years of writing, she has been exposed to a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, web hosting, agriculture, marketing, intellectual property, data privacy and international trade. A former journalist in one of the top business papers in the Philippines, Yna is currently pursuing her master's degree in economics and business.