Lucidity prize for psychology student

08 February 2007 | Story by Helen Swingler

It's acknowledged that academic writing can be a little dry and obtuse at times. The Keswick Prize for Lucidity, sponsored by Sir Chips Keswick, fills an important gap in this regard, rewarding students for clear, jargon-free prose in writing on technical subjects.

The winner of the 2006 prize is psychology honours student Helen Laurenson.

In her essay, Shifting Borders, the DSM [Diagnostic Statistical Manual] and the Making of Borderline Personality, Laurenson investigated the definition of borderline personality disorder.

"This is a very slippery and difficult diagnostic category in psychology," Professor Johann Louw (psychology department) said. "She had a clear, lucid understanding of that concept and how it is defined in the diagnostic manual."

Laurenson has signed up for a master's degree this year.

Sir Chips is former chair of Hambros Bank Limited in the UK and this annual prize is awarded to a third- or fourth-year student, in any technical field, for writing the most lucid essay.

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