Monday, July 24, 2006

Student Essay Contest is sponsoring a student essay contest. Two classes: Juniors, 9th grade and younger and Seniors, 10th - 12th grade. Prize money is involved as well as publication on the very popular website.

For more details, visit

Here are highlights: is committed to promoting a vigorous and informed worldview on the part of young people, particularly in the areas of international relations, U.S domestic policy, and nonintervention. The reason for this is obvious: the young hold the future in their hands, so we had better do what we can to help them prepare. To this end, we at the Randolph Bourne Institute/ are pleased to announce the first annual Student Essay Contest.

Your essay should discuss peace and the problems of intervention, using as a prompt any of the quotes in the "Quotable" database (or you can provide your own quote, provided you document it). Example: "Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" by Benjamin Franklin. You might use this quote to discuss the PATRIOT Act and the perils of abridging essential rights for elusive gains against terrorism. Use, if possible, a combination of historical events (e.g., the treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII) and theoretical sources (e.g., Rights of Man) to discuss.

In other words, students are requested to produce an essay that balances the writer's own insights with current events and historical research. seeks to encourage students to engage their intellects – using data, facts, and the lessons of history – to advance their moral beliefs.

Essays will be judged in two categories: Senior (entering grades 10-12) and Junior (entering grade nine or below), with separate prizes awarded to the winners in each category. First prizes are $400; second prizes, $200; third prizes $100; and honorable mentions $50. Winners will be notified in December 2006; their schools will also be notified. The winning essays will be published on the site.

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