The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is seeking submissions for its 2020 essay contest.
Students are invited to consider and share their thoughts on the question: "What barriers remain today in exercising the right to vote? What changes, if any, would you make to protect or expand voting rights?"
The contest is open to all students currently in grades 9 through 12 from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Essays are limited to 1,000 words and must be submitted by Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
Students have the opportunity to win one of three cash prizes: first place, $2,000; second place, $1,500; and third place, $1,000.
Who May Enter
The essay contest is open to all students currently in grades 9 through 12 from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Note: Children, grandchildren, stepchildren, and members of the household of a federal judge or federal judiciary employee are excluded from the competition.
The prompt for the 2020 Essay Contest is "What barriers remain today in exercising the right to vote? What changes, if any, would you make to protect or expand voting rights?"
Length & Format
Essays are limited to 1000 words. Citations should be placed in footnotes, endnotes, or bibliographies and excluded from the word count. Submit your essay as a Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF document. Do not include your name on your essay.
Your essay and entry form must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. The contest entry form includes instructions for submitting your essay. Submit your entry form after completing your essay.
A) Understanding of constitutional principles (30 points)
B) Clarity and effectiveness in expressing the theme (30 points)
C) Grammar, spelling, and composition (20 points)
D) Originality (20 points)
Missing the submission deadline, providing false entry information, not adhering to the rules, and plagiarizing content are grounds for disqualification.
Winners will be announced in July, and travel will be provided to the court's Essay Awards Program in September 2020.