Write an essay and win a scholarship

Essays submitted without a cover letter on school letterhead or cover letters that do not include the above details will be disqualified.

  • Home-schooled students : Four (4) copies of the essay must be mailed by a parent or legal guardian on behalf of the student. Each of the four (4) copies of the essay should include a cover letter on the parent/legal guardian’s letterhead that certifies that the student is home-schooled and includes the following details:
    • Date
    • Student’s full name, address, e-mail and home telephone number
    • Student’s equivalent grade
    • Name and daytime telephone number and e-mail of the sponsoring parent/legal guardian
    • Topic selected (#1, #2, #3, #4 or #5)
    • Certification by sponsoring parent/legal guardian of home-schooled student that the essay is the student’s original work
    Essays submitted without a cover letter on parent/legal guardian’s letterhead or cover letters that do not include the above details will be disqualified.
  • Essays must be at least two and no more than three double-spaced pages, computer or typewritten (please do not staple submissions).  Please include four (4) copies (including four (4) cover letters) of each essay submitted.  Entries must be mailed to Penguin Publishing Group, Academic Marketing Department, Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest #22, 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014.  To be eligible, all entries must be postmarked by April 14, 2018 and received on or by April 21, 2018.  Submissions by fax, email or any other electronic means will not be considered.
  • Entries will not be returned. By entering the Contest, contestants agree to abide by these rules, and represent and warrant that the entries are their own and original creations, and do not violate or infringe the rights, including, without limitation, copyrights, trademark rights or rights of publicity/privacy, of any third party.
  • Entries are void if they are in whole or in part illegible, incomplete, damaged or handwritten. No responsibility is assumed for late, lost, damaged, incomplete, illegible, postage due or misdirected mail entries.
  • Judging All eligible entries received will be judged by a qualified panel of judges chosen by Penguin Publishing Group and winners will be selected on or about June 15, 2018.  Winning essays must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the themes and issues presented in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl . Submissions will be judged on style, content, grammar, and originality. Judges will look for clear, concise writing that is original, articulate, logically organized, and well supported.  Winners will be notified by June 24th, 2018 via email, and will be announced online on or about July 1st, 2018.

    After students have read and understood the assigned topic, they can go on to the next step of the essay-writing process. This step does involve writing -- but not yet essay writing. In step two, students write an outline of their proposed essay. The outline should look something like this:
    Congress According to Twain

    1) Topic: The question or prompt rephrased in the student's own words. Rephrasing the prompt will help students understand the assignment and narrow and focus the topic of their essay. For example, "Mark Twain once said that all members of Congress are idiots."
    2) Position: The student's position or opinion about the question or prompt. For example, "I see no reason to disagree."
    Most writing assessments ask students to take a position. Students should be aware that, if the test directions ask them to take a position, they need to take one side of the issue and defend it, not consider and defend both sides of the issue.
    3) Reasons: Three reasons the student has taken his or her stated position.
    a) Reason 1: The most important reason. For example, "Congress has passed a number of bills without considering where the funding for those bills would come from."
    i) Evidence: Example that demonstrates Reason 1. For example, "The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Clean Air Act, and the No Child Left Behind Act are just three examples of laws that were passed without considering how cities and states would pay to implement their mandates."
    b) Reason 2: The second most important reason. For example, "Congress has passed a number of silly bills based on narrow political interests."
    i) Evidence: Example that demonstrates Reason 2. "For example, federal laws have been passed making it a crime to imitate Smokey the Bear or transport wooden teeth across state lines."
    c) Reason 3: The third most important reason. For example, "The members of Congress from my state are idiots."
    i) Evidence: Example that demonstrates Reason 3. For example, "I met John Smith, a member of Congress from my state, and he had never heard of my hometown."

    Awesome tips, Joe. But I’m just curious about the number 8 – if you write about too many things, won’t your essay be messy? For example, if you check this discrimination essay out, you’ll see there are many points and nothing concrete about either of them. But if the author wanted to go more deeply into each and every of them, he may have ended up with a research paper. Besides, when it comes to editing, lots of things are crossed out because 90% have nothing to do with the topic. So, I guess this tip may be good for those who are writing big papers but if you have to write a one or two page essay, isn’t it better to stick to the topic?

    Not just humor, but the overall tone of your application essay is remarkably important. It's also difficult to get right. When you are asked to write about your accomplishments, those 750 words on how great you are can make you sound like a braggart. Be careful to balance your pride in your achievements with humility and generosity towards others. You also want to avoid sounding like a whiner -- use your essay to show off your skills, not to explain the injustices that lead to your low math score or failure to graduate #1 in your class.

    Write an essay and win a scholarship

    write an essay and win a scholarship

    Not just humor, but the overall tone of your application essay is remarkably important. It's also difficult to get right. When you are asked to write about your accomplishments, those 750 words on how great you are can make you sound like a braggart. Be careful to balance your pride in your achievements with humility and generosity towards others. You also want to avoid sounding like a whiner -- use your essay to show off your skills, not to explain the injustices that lead to your low math score or failure to graduate #1 in your class.

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