Current Affairs Essay Topics/Questions

Hello all,

I've passed my AC and I'm awaiting a space for Intelligence Cops selection, which I'm aware won't be until much later this year due to the Covid backlog of candidates.

As part of my preparation, I'm of course studying current affairs - but I'm also setting myself two timed essay each week. However, I'm having difficulty finding a good source of current affairs essay questions/topics to write on. Would anybody be able to recommend a website (or other), which lists/generates current affairs questions that I can then use to base my practice essays on?

I've been combing through the forums/threads and haven't seen a question like this one. However, if I've overlooked a discussion that covers this, then please direct me to it and I'll remove this thread.

Bit of a strange one, I know - but any help you can give would be much appreciated.
 
Hello all,

I've passed my AC and I'm awaiting a space for Intelligence Cops selection, which I'm aware won't be until much later this year due to the Covid backlog of candidates.

As part of my preparation, I'm of course studying current affairs - but I'm also setting myself two timed essay each week. However, I'm having difficulty finding a good source of current affairs essay questions/topics to write on. Would anybody be able to recommend a website (or other), which lists/generates current affairs questions that I can then use to base my practice essays on?

I've been combing through the forums/threads and haven't seen a question like this one. However, if I've overlooked a discussion that covers this, then please direct me to it and I'll remove this thread.

Bit of a strange one, I know - but any help you can give would be much appreciated.
I would look at things that are continuing tends in the news, and think about how they could be used in essay questions. For example (off the top of my head):

How will Biden being President affect the UK's relationship with the US?
What can we learn about the media's importance with regards to dealing with national emergencies?
How might Brexit affect the UK's relationship with NATO?
Should the Military be used as a spare workforce when the country needs non-military tasks conducting?

I have just made these up off the top of my head, so they may (likely) be rubbish, and I was not Int Corps. Rather than focussing on specific questions, assuming you can already structure an essay, I would spend more time investigating the top current affairs stories that are currently ongoing, such as:

Brexit
COVID 19 responses
President Biden's Administration
Climate Change
Etc etc
 
Sounds like good preparation, and well worthwhile continuing. It might also be useful to consider using the 'weekly digests' which some sites put out (Spectator, for instance) and the more politically one-sided (Socialist Worker, Morning Star), and which will always include the controversial questions of the time (China and their belt and road, EU and their responses to the vaccine delays in member countries, USA and the path to righteous social justice etc etc), and putting yourself in the position of having to justify the stance which you don't agree with. Always a bit loathsome to try to think like a barrister, but the better you understand the situation and the opposing view, the better you'll be able to argue your own position.
 
The Week was always my recommendation. The last time I read it it was still looking at things across the political spectrum and provided a decent digest of foreign events. As long as you are up on current events, the next thing to think about is the 'so what' factor. The Int Corps are very keen on the 'so what'. That after all is their job.

Think about how X affects Y [also revise the difference between affect and effect, both verbs and nouns]. By this don't think just about Covid, but how Covid will change future events. How will the coup in Myanmar affect regional stability, given that the US have threatened action but the military probably have the backing of China.

Int Corps selection does not require you to be a Masters level theorist. What they will be looking for is an enquiring mind, able to take information and do something with it. Once in they will teach you how to identify the most useful information and what to do with it.

Good luck - and if you get the chance look at all the Squad photos along the corridor - among the fresh faces there are a good few ARRSErs (me included) and a fair few of their spouses (mine included).
 
The Week was always my recommendation. The last time I read it it was still looking at things across the political spectrum and provided a decent digest of foreign events. As long as you are up on current events, the next thing to think about is the 'so what' factor. The Int Corps are very keen on the 'so what'. That after all is their job.

Think about how X affects Y [also revise the difference between affect and effect, both verbs and nouns]. By this don't think just about Covid, but how Covid will change future events. How will the coup in Myanmar affect regional stability, given that the US have threatened action but the military probably have the backing of China.

Int Corps selection does not require you to be a Masters level theorist. What they will be looking for is an enquiring mind, able to take information and do something with it. Once in they will teach you how to identify the most useful information and what to do with it.

Good luck - and if you get the chance look at all the Squad photos along the corridor - among the fresh faces there are a good few ARRSErs (me included) and a fair few of their spouses (mine included).
@Pajak - I second reading The Week.

Its concise, easily digestible and got me through Officer Selection.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
My own purist view is that you should be doing incisive, clear-thinking analytical pieces, describing, say, fractional shifts in the internal power dynamic between the SVR, the GRU and the office of the Russian President and drawing careful conclusions and guarded forecasts from the data you've assembled, collated and analysed.

Of course, there's no need for that for Int Corps selection, you just need to be moderately well-informed and able, as my learned and gallant friend @devexwarrior notes, to draw some conclusions and both frame and partially answer the 'so what' question. Read a quality daily online, use The Week and perhaps the Spectator's daily mailshot - and keep an eye on other sources as well, it's worth looking at the Guardian or the Independent as well, although, as with all media, you do need to be hip to the respective agendas of all the papers.
 
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