Competition Information

<p>Do these competitions have a good status among upper level colleges? I am interested in competing in some of these and want to see if any are good for an app as well.</p>

<p>AFSA National High School Essay Contest
National Peace Essay Contest from USIP</p>

<p>Also, are there any other contests/programs that would be good for someone interested in history or government?</p>

<p>Thanks for you answers.</p>

<p>I'm not sure about the scholarships you asked about, but I'd imagine that winning any competition could only ever help you?</p>

<p>As MLK Day is quickly approaching, I'd look for scholarships/competitions. A lot of local Rotary or Optimist Clubs have something for that.
Also, check out the American Legion. They have an oratory contest and some others too that are all based around history/government.
There's a lot of groups like the American Legion, Elks, Rotary, Optimist, etc. that usually have contests based around history/government. I recommend applying for those scholarships because if you win a bunch at the local level and then are a finalist at a national competition that would look more impressive. I don't know, I think it would just be better to win local competitions rather than risk just entering all national competitions that don't start at the local level and not winning?</p>

<p>As a former USIP essay contestant (runner-up in my state), I have some background to share.
The essays are tough. The prompts are very complex, and the research is extensive. I spent tens of hours writing my essay on resolving conflicts, and it was one of the best learning experiences of my life. However, competition is fierce.</p>

<p>There's also a bit of an unfair advantage.
Last year had roughly 12 students with the same teacher win. How is this possible when only one winner is selected from one state?
It's possible because this online AP English teacher, Maya Inspector (sp?), requires her AP class to write these essays for a grade. She then tears them apart, basically rewrites them, and all her students win. Then she publishes blogs about how she's such a great "teacher."
If you're not inclined to believe me, Google it. You'll see. </p>

<p>Basically I harbor some resentment to the corrupt - ironically enough for USIP - system. </p>

<p>But godspeed to you anyway.</p>

<p>@nervousohio - you make a good point with the local competitions. I will look around for a few. I am going to enter a couple of national ones for sure in hopes of getting some type of award in them. Local competitions are a good idea though to add to my experience.</p>

<p>@mary - do you still think the experience was worth it? It sounds like I have no chance of winning but do you think that the experience as a whole was still rewarding?</p>

<p>Thanks for the answers by the way.</p>

<p>If you're a junior or younger, do it. You can only gain from the experience.</p>

<p>If you're a senior, don't waste your time. You need to be finding the money through local scholarships.</p>

<p>@mary:</p>

<p>Hey there. This is mountainhiker's daughter posting, and I feel like there's a little misconception I'd like to clear up.</p>

<p>I am currently enrolled in Maya Inspektor's AP Language and Composition class, and I actually just submitted my own essay to the USIP contest. This was an essay that the entire class (about 30 extremely intelligent high schoolers who I am privileged to count among my peers and friends now) researched and worked on for roughly 3 months, and I would like to clear up some of your concerns about how our class works.</p>

<p>We first started researching in early November, with our rough draft due in early January. Along with the rest of the class, I found it extremely challenging, but we all powered through it. Mrs. I posts messages about different methods of writing and researching, but doesn't write our essays for us. When we finally post our drafts, she comments once, and only once, with her general feedback and where we need to improve. The entire rest of our feedback comes from our classmates, and truthfully I feel like this is where I got most of my revision ideas. So no, she does not rewrite our essays for us; far from it.</p>

<p>This is not to say she is not a fantastic teacher. In truth, she is by far the most amazing language arts teacher I have ever had, and I feel privileged to be in her class. She has taught me so much, mostly by letting me figure out things for myself; giving us information, letting us try it for ourselves, and then helping us if we need it. The whole reason she has us work so hard on the Peace Essay is because, in the long run, it helps us with writing essays on the AP exam, and gives us a wider view of the world. She does not do it specifically to win every state. In fact, how we do in the actual competition doesn't factor into our grades at all, because that isn't the reason she's having us participate. </p>

<p>I know that by participating in this essay, I have grown as a writer, and as a member of society. I am much more informed, and actually want to learn about what's going on in the world, something I wasn't as keen on before that assignment. I'm not expecting to win; I have gained so much from it without that. And I think that if you don't participate just because a group of home schoolers has a good track record, you are missing out on a truly great experience. </p>

<p>I hope that cleared some things up. I just didn't want to let that comment about my teacher and her methods go without a little explanation of the other side.</p>