Friday, November 27, 2009
Contest essay writing is slightly less pressurizing than a normal academic assignment. All the same, if you want to win, you will have to put some effort into it. As many other academic assignments, this project also requires excellent writing skills. Participating in essay contests also help to develop or improve your writing skills and make you more confident about your writing.
Essay contests keep coming up as a part of academic extra-curricular activities. Many organizations and journals also conduct writing contests. The criteria of judging the essays that are submitted will usually be evident from the guidelines given. Since different contests have different objectives, the criteria will also change accordingly. So the first task for you will be to study the guidelines well enough.
Contest essays always come with a fixed topic. Sometimes there will be an option of choosing from three or four topics, all of which come under one subject. It has been designed so, in order to make it easier for the judges to compare the submissions. Since the topic is already given, you will be expected to write as closely to the topic as possible. Essays which are not fully focused on the topic usually get disqualified. Topics come in different ways. Some essays have single worded topics whereas some have a longer one. Certain contest topics come as prompts which will be as lengthy as small paragraphs, with a question at the end. There are also some contests which might ask you to write on a single question.
If the topic is a question, study it carefully. Sometimes it will be a multi-faceted question. More than one question will be included in the same line. For example, “What are the pros and cons of internet and what can be done to make it more useful and less dangerous to the new generation?” Here you are expected to answer two questions. And each of these two questions has two sides. The first question asks for the positive and negative aspects and the second question asks for your opinion on methods of bettering the positive and eliminating the negative. When you get such questions which need more than one answer, try not to get confused. Stay focused on the main points. Do not ignore any parts of the question.
Watch the page limit. Contest essays always come with a minimum and maximum page limit. You should always stay well within the allowed space because points are, almost always, deducted for not staying within the permitted number of pages.
The other main thing to worry about is the deadline. No essay contests permit submission of essays beyond the deadline. Hence, prepare your essay beforehand to avoid a situation where you are tight for time to finish your essay. Essays written hastily without the necessary amount of research or effort never comes out well enough. You should also edit and proofread your final draft to make sure that there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.
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