Student Essay Contest Criteria

Now accepting submissions for the 2015 Student Essay Contest!

Criteria

Textual Analysis (Written or Visual Text)

Goals 

Your essay should:
• Explore your own interests.
• Demonstrate that you have studied the text closely, carefully, and critically (in the case of visual texts, vivid descriptions are important).
• Show a critical awareness of the choices and strategies used by authors and filmmakers.
• Contain a clear and specific thesis that is adhered to throughout the essay.
• Provide and integrate evidence from the text to support the thesis.
• Provide a clear and persuasive argument for your interpretation of the text.
• Include fully developed, well-organized paragraphs.
• Show evidence of effective incorporation of peer and instructor feedback in the final version.
 
 
 

Text-in-Context Essay

Goals 

Your essay should:
• Demonstrate that you have examined your primary text purposefully to establish a context for your analysis.
• Discover or explore how some aspect of your chosen context illuminates your primary text.
• Effectively synthesize research materials into your own text and correctly document them to support your analysis.
• Incorporate and document quotations, summaries, and paraphrases.
• Possess a unique thesis-driven argument supported by close reading of the primary text and of secondary materials.
• Anticipate the needs and expectations of your intended audience.
• Show evidence of effective incorporation of peer and instructor feedback in the final version.
 
 

Rhetorical Analysis

Goals 

Your essay should:
• Provide a well thought out analysis of the persuasive strategies used in the text.
• Discuss the relevant purpose, audience, and context of the text.
• Contain a clear and specific thesis that is developed throughout the essay.
• Provide a sufficiently detailed description/summary of the text.
• Provide and integrate detailed textual evidence that is documented correctly.
• Include fully developed, well-organized paragraphs.
• Provide a clear and persuasive argument for your interpretation of the persuasive strategies.
• Show evidence of effective incorporation of peer and instructor feedback in the final version.
 
 

Researched Controversy Analysis

Goals 

Your essay should:
• Effectively appeal to your chosen audience.
• Provide a clearly defined thesis and focused argument.
• Incorporate research materials to explore the multiple perspectives surrounding a controversy and correctly document them.
• Demonstrate that you have conducted thorough research.
• Employ analytical and rhetorical skills to demonstrate your understanding of key arguments surrounding a controversy.
• Show evidence of effective incorporation of peer and instructor feedback in the final version.
 

Public Argument (Essay or Multimedia Argument)

 
Your public argument should:
• Articulate a clear position
• Effectively appeal to your chosen audience
• Show a critical awareness of the rhetorical situation for your argument
 
• Provide a clear, persuasive thesis and focused argument
 
• Exhibit an understanding of the genre in which you make your argument
 
• Incorporate research to support your points
 
• Demonstrate an understanding of argumentative writing conventions
 
• Show evidence of effective incorporation of peer and instructor feedback in the final version.
 
 
 

Reflective Essay (Personal Reflection or Portfolio Reflection)

Goals 

Your portfolio reflection essay should:
• Demonstrate your ability to edit and revise in response to feedback.
• Reveal your ability to think about your writing and yourself as a writer.
• Develop an in-depth reflection regarding your process of revision.
 
Your Personal Reflection essay should:
• Analyze how a significant personal experience has influenced the way you think, who you are, or the way you have read/ viewed a text.
• Describe your experience with vivid details and specific language.
• Demonstrate in-depth reflection and critical thought about the experience.
• Develop your analysis in an interesting manner, relevant to readers.
• Show evidence of effective incorporation of peer and instructor feedback in the final version.
 
 
 

Literacy Narrative

Goals

Your essay should:
 
• Convey a kind of insight about the social or personal purposes of literacy.
 
• Illustrate this insight by telling a good story drawn from personal experiences that have influenced the ways you think, write, and live.
 
• Provide detailed, sensory descriptions using vivid imagery and specific language.
 
• Demonstrate through reflection your ability to think about your writing and yourself as a writer
 
 
 

Difference & Inequality 

The Student’s Guide continues to place emphasis on issues of difference and inequality (D&I). As a result, we are looking for essays that examine matters such as race, sex, gender, class, nationality, and so on. The essays do not have to explicitly analyze issues of difference and inequality; they can include those essays that are attentive to issues of power and how power is exercised in cultural situations. We understand that this adds in complexity to scoring essays for the contest, for the best essay may not necessarily speak to D&I issues. As a result, we ask that you rank essays based on the program goals. At the bottom of the contest sheet, please record the essay that best explores issues of difference and inequality.
 
 
 

**Submission Procedure Update!**

Submitting an essay to the annual Student Essay Contest is now a 2-step process. Please make sure to complete BOTH steps.
 
 
 
Step One: Draft an email to wpguide@email.arizona.edu and attach your essay as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file. Include the following information in the body of the email:
 
Writer's Name:
 
Course:
 
Semester and Year essay was written:
 
Name of instructor:
 
Email Address:
 
Phone #:
 
Type of Essay:
 
Local Address:
 
Permanent Address:
 
Step Two: Print and sign the agreement, which allows us to include your work in A Student’s Guide to First-Year Writing or use it for other educational purposes. Bring the signed copy to the Writing Program office (Modern Languages 445) during normal work hours, 8 am - 5 pm Monday-Friday.
 
  

File attachments: 

Program(s): 

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences