ESSAY CONTEST TIPS
Many essays in previous contests would have received higher grades if only the writers had carefully read over the essays before submitting them.
Every year, we must disregard hundreds of essays because of simple spelling, punctuation, grammar, and factual errors (such as misquoting people in the video).
We hope these tips will help you put your best essay forward:
- Proofread your essay.
- Have someone else proofread your essay (no, that's not cheating).
- Ensure that all names are spelled correctly.
- Check grammar rules if you're unsure.
- Check your facts.
- Double-check quotes.
- Additional research, while not required, will earn you extra points.
- Broadening discussion to areas not discussed in the video is crucial to winning a top prize.
DON'T rehash what is in the video or report only on examples in the video.
DO use the video as a springboard to present your own angle on the issues and explore new examples.
- Originality (is the essay based on original arguments, going beyond points made by John and information included in the video, building a case that is logical and persuasive?)
- Conceptual Understanding
- Factual Accuracy
- How Interesting Is It?
- Structure (including vocabulary and writing style)
- Addresses the Topic and Reference the Video?
The judging process goes through four separate rounds:
We hope this ensures that no good essay will fall victim to the mood or whim of one judge, who may be negatively predisposed or prejudiced against a reference, hook, or tone. Judging is very hard work, and we take it very seriously! Good luck!