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How To Win A Middle School Essay Contest: A Simple Strategy

Essay writing contests are great. The entry requirements are pretty simple and the prizes are often well worth the time and energy spent in composing a great piece. Middle school essay contests are becoming increasing popular at schools, as they encourage students to improve their skills in academic writing at an early age. Here is a simple strategy for winning such a contest at this age:

  1. Think carefully about your choice of topics
  2. The very first step in this no-lose strategy is to check the contest’s requirements and consider your topic choices. If no list is given then it means you can come up with one of your own. Be sure to select something that interests you, as well as something that you can successfully handle.

  3. Develop a plan for tackling your project
  4. Next, develop a plan for all of the tasks you will need to complete in order to submit your entry before the deadline. Usually, you will be doing this on top of your regular homework, so it’s important you set a schedule for yourself and stick to a number of smaller deadlines.

  5. Start both your online and print research
  6. All great papers have a lot of research backing up the information being presented. Start researching both online and print resources. Generally, online research should be limited to background information. Print research should be done at the library where you know you are consulting credible academic resources.

  7. Create a detailed outline to organize ideas
  8. Outlines are important tools in organizing your notes in a logical manner that makes it easier for you to express your argument and ideas. Draft a thesis statement and select at least three discussion points from your research. You should cite specific evidence or examples to support your argument.

  9. Get started on your first draft early
  10. Don’t wait until the last minute to start writing your first draft. Stick to your plan and get the first draft written within a day or two of finishing your research. Write as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Don’t stop to make corrections; you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do this later in the writing process.

  11. Spend a day or two away before revising
  12. Set your work aside for a day or two (again, stick to the plan you developed earlier) so that you can return to your entry with a fresh set of eyes. This is an important step in the revision process, since it lets you think critically on the various ways you can improve on your original argument.

  13. Carefully edit and proofread all content
  14. Finally, you need to set your paper aside for a short time again before coming back to it to conduct a thorough edit and proofread. Be sure to this in multiple levels, preferably the paper, the paragraph and the sentence level. This will ensure you don’t leave small mistakes keeping your entry from being the absolute best.