This persuasive essay contest is for students in grades 9 through 12 on the theme of “What does it mean to be human?”. The essay must be no fewer than 750 words and no more than 1,000 words, typed (New Times Roman, 12 point font), double spaced, on plain white paper. Margins should be one inch on all four sides with the heading in bold at the top of the paper. Centered page numbers should be included at the bottom of each page. A signed statement by the contestant’s teacher/home school parent stating that the paper is original and the authentic work of the student must accompany the essay.
Plagiarism of any kind will automatically disqualify the entry. Only one essay per student will be accepted.
The essay will be judged according to the following:
The content of the essay must show clarity of thought and organization. The essay is not a collection of random thoughts. Have a clear, easy-to-follow, logically developed outline. Failure to use and follow a clear outline will result in your essay’s elimination from competition. The tone of the essay is objective, so avoid name-calling, melodramatic diction, and extreme situations. (For example, it would be unwise to write something like this: What if Mary, pregnant with the Son of God, was comatose in a hospital, and an unsaved doctor who didn’t understand the value of life decided to pull the plug?) Perhaps listen to speakers—both historical and contemporary-- who can present controversial matters in a calm, rational manner. Also, be sure to draw conclusions properly and support those conclusions from the evidence presented.
Quote and paraphrase from the King James Version of the Bible to support information from a biblical worldview (God's perspective). Also use contemporary sources to give your material balance as well as to appeal to a wider audience.
Use correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
It includes the theme (or thesis) clearly stated in the first paragraph and developed throughout the essay. The logical arguments are argued objectively in the body of the paper. This should also include integral contemporary factual data into your biblical argument. including examples, premises, and conclusions. Paragraphs should transition to form bridges to connect one paragraph to the next. The central idea (theme) is correctly used to make continuity between paragraphs essentially and naturally. The conclusion should restate the theme in more elaborate terms, place it in a wider context, or suggest further application. It is the last attempt to persuade the reader to your point of view. Information taken from outside sources must be documented using footnotes and standard bibliography form.