Essays About Cooperation: Top 5 Examples and 10 Prompts

Cooperation is vital to the achievement of common goals in any society. Below are examples and prompts on essays about cooperation.

Cooperation refers to the action of working together. The spirit of cooperation rose as far back as our early ancestors when they shared hunting, fishing, and farming practices to help each other survive. Cooperation is essential in furthering development in any field as it enables collective action toward positive outcomes that benefit many. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,” as g the widely used quote by American Writer and Educator Helen Keller. 

Here are our top picks of rich, well-written essays on cooperation:

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Top 5 Essay Examples About Cooperation

1. When to Cooperate With Colleagues And When To Compete by Randall S. Peterson and Kristin J. Behfar

“We have seen how easy it is to view relationships as simply negative or positive. Virtually all are a mix of both and require careful thought to manage. To do so effectively, you must first understand where you and your colleagues fall on the conflict-collaboration spectrum.”

The writers aim to help workers determine the degree of cooperativeness or competitiveness in their relationships with colleagues. By providing real-life case scenarios and workarounds, the essay also helps workers handle difficult situations maturely to further company goals while preserving self-interests such as promotion. 

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2. From Conflict to Cooperation: Building Stronger Cross Cultural Teams by Michael Henman

“Running a team these days is a different endeavor than it was in the past due to the emergence of cross cultural teams. The usual challenges of team building and fostering teamwork have become even more magnified.”

The author shares the sentiment of businesses dealing with cross-cultural teams, a norm today in our globalized world. The essay provides tips to ensure that the spirit of cooperation remains burning. These tips include respecting and promoting respect for cultural differences, establishing norms, developing a team identity, “overcommunicating,” and building rapport and trust.

3. How To… Cooperate by Guy Browning

“An essential part of cooperation therefore is a little give and take. This doesn’t mean they give and you take. Rather, it means everyone making a few compromises.”

Browning believes that cooperation is not part of human nature, citing how we even require contracts to put it in force. But to nurture cooperative behavior, which has its benefits, the authors advise everyone to listen intently to others and be amenable to making compromises from time to time. You can also check out these essays about business.

4. What The World’s Most Sociable People Reveal About Friendliness by David Robson

“It is a profound idea that… humans began to take their evolution into their own hands, turning us into the uniquely cooperative animals we are today. Williams syndrome may affect just one in thousands of people, but by inspiring this research, its traits might help us understand the social instincts in all of us.”

Researchers find hope in finding the origins of human cooperation through a rare syndrome that makes people highly sociable. Research on the syndrome gave rise to a discovery that could offer insights into the evolutionary process that led to developing friendliness and collaborative behavior.

5.  The Cooperative Movement In The Philippines by Preeti Sancheti

“The cooperative movement is built on the principles of cooperation… This structure holds promise, especially when applied to risk management, and I hope to leverage this principle as we design new solutions that benefit members and which are sustainable for the institution.” 

The essay takes tremendous interest in cooperatives in the Philippines, elaborating on how these groups operate. Cooperatives, groups that mobilize to offer programs that serve the economic, social, cultural, and spiritual development of their members, are based on the concept of “bayanihan” – an early traditional practice in the Philippines where communities work together to move tiny Filipino houses to places to avoid danger in an area. 

10 Writing Prompts On Essays About Cooperation

Find below our list of relevant and exciting prompts:

1. Benefits Of Starting Cooperation At Home

Essays About Cooperation: Benefits of starting cooperation at home
Share how cooperation is being promoted at your home

Nurturing cooperation at home becomes not just a place to live but a place to build your character. So, first, share how cooperation is being promoted at your home. Then, list the benefits that could redound to society if cooperation is practiced at home.

2. Environmental Cooperation

With the urgent problems in our environment today, cooperative actions must also focus on protecting the environment. In your essay, discuss how our community unifies to address and prevent further environmental degradation. However, suppose you want to look into the bigger picture. In that case, you may also discuss the level of cooperation in national or global environmental efforts.

3. Cooperation In A Pandemic

There’s no better time to work together than when fighting a pandemic. For this prompt, look into cooperative actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, or in past pandemics you have read about. Pick out and discuss inspiring case examples where efforts were mobilized. For example, different actors in society collaborated to respond to the urgent needs of the times, such as providing protective gear to frontline staff or helping those who lost their jobs to recover. In your essay, you can discuss examples from citizens who stepped up to help during the height of the pandemic.

4. Cooperative Behavior In Animals

Cooperation is standard behavior in animals, with manifestations most prevalent in how they hunt and live in groups. Your essay could answer the primary reasons behind this behavior, elaborate on the cooperative practices of animals and draw similarities between human and animal instincts and experiences in cooperation.

5. International Cooperation

International cooperation has been largely perceived as vital in tackling pressing global issues, such as poverty, climate change, health, and security. You may also focus on international organizations founded on cooperative objectives, such as the United Nations (UN). The UN was born right after World War II to bring peace and prosperity to all. Research on what international multilateral agreements have resulted from international cooperation and tackle the outcomes of these deals so far. 

6. Encouraging Students To Cooperate

Fostering cooperative behavior early in life is beneficial for developing one’s social and interpersonal competence. However, teaching the value of cooperation to students could be challenging at times. Think of ways how schools could mold cooperation in the classrooms. Look into current best practices and offer these as recommendations. 

7. Dealing With Uncooperative School Project Members

We’ve all had our encounters with uncooperative group members. It is unfair to think they could get the same grade we worked hard for without a minimal contribution. Narrate your encounter with such an uncooperative school project member or partner. Write about how you dealt with the situation and what tips you recommend to those experiencing the same. 

8. Cooperation Vs. Competition

Competition concerns individual interests, while cooperation focuses on shared goals. Yet, humans are inherently competitive, how can one encourage cooperation for a common goal? Your essay can answer this question and add more points to the difference between these two concepts.

9. Cooperation Vs. Collaboration

These words are used interchangeably, but how could they be different? You could discuss their differences based on the context of how others use these words. Or, if you are a linguistical geek, you may want to look into their etymological origins and evolution.   

10. Illegal Forms Of Cooperation

Some forms of illegal cooperation include cartels. These practices go against many competition or anti-trust laws in many countries as these illegal activities could restrict the supply of goods and raise prices to the detriment of consumers and the principles of fair market competition. You may want to tackle cartels in your essay or another form of illegal cooperation, such as organized criminal groups. 

For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers. To ensure organization in your essay’s structure, check out our guide packed full of transition words for essays.

  • 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.