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Rules

Who May Enter

The essay contest is open to 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.

Essay Question

The prompt for the 2018 Essay Contest is "How has the Fourteenth Amendment impacted education in the 150 years since it was ratified, and what impact will it likely have in the future?"

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.

Judging

  • Understanding of constitutional principles (35 points)
  • Clarity and effectiveness in expressing the theme (30 points)
  • Grammar, spelling, and composition (20 points)
  • Originality (15 points)

Missing the submission deadline, providing false entry information, and plagiarizing content are grounds for disqualification.

Essay & Entry Form

Submission Deadline

Your essay and entry form must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, 2018. The contest entry form includes instructions for submitting your essay.


Awards

Winners will be announced in June and presented at a Constitution Day event in September 2018.


Download Contest Flyer

First Prize

$2,000

Second Prize

$1,500

Third Prize

$1,000


Awards

Winners will be announced in June and presented at a Constitution Day event in September 2018.

First Prize

$2,000

Second Prize

$1,500

Third Prize

$1,000


Download Contest Flyer


Questions

Contact the Fourth Circuit Clerk's Office at essaycontest@ca4.uscourts.gov or (804) 916-2706.