Announcing the Young Patriots Essay Contest!

Debate Central is proud to announce the Young Patriots Essay Contest

Conducted in Honor of SEAL Team Six

This year’s topic asks: “Should government be the provider?” 

The central question of government is defining its role. What should a government provide to its citizens, and why should it do so? Students are invited to describe their vision for the world they will one day lead.

Entrants have the opportunity to:

  • Earn a college scholarship of up to $3,000
  • Have your essay published on Debate Central
  • See your essay posted on the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) home page
  • Have your essay shared with 350,000 NCPA Policy Patriots via email
  • Have your winning entry be sent to your hometown newspapers, radio and TV.


To enter, send your typed, double-spaced submission, 1,200 words maximum, in a Microsoft Word document to Contest begins at 12:01 A.M. CDT on October 1, 2011, and runs through 5:00 P.M. CDT on November 30, 2011. Open to students attending a United States middle or high school or in a documented home school program at the time of entry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How should I format my entry?
A. Essays should be written in English, with submissions of up to 1,200 words. Essays exceeding this length will not be considered. Please submit your entry as a Microsoft Word document.

Also be sure to include all essential information, including your name, address, phone number(s) and e-mail address in the body of the e-mail.

Q. How do I submit my entry?
E-mail your submission to

Each e-mail submission will receive a return message verifying that the essay was received. Winners and runners-up will be notified no later than January 15, 2012.

Q. What happens if I exceed the word limit?
A. Your essay will not be considered. There is no word minimum.

Q. Can I choose to remain anonymous?
A. No. We must be able to publish both your essay and name.

Q. How should I format citations?
A. In the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. Citations should be listed in a ‘Works Cited’ page at the end of the document. An example of a citation in this format from a web resource is listed below:

Goodman, John. What is Wrong with the Drug Industry? John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog. National Center for Policy Analysis, 23 Sept. 2011. Web. 24 Sep. 2011. ‹›.

For additional citation questions please consult Purdue University’s free online formatting and style guide:

Q. Do I need to attach a cover letter?
A. No.

Q. Is there anything else you can tell me about how to stand out from the crowd?
A. Yes. Here are a few suggestions for participants:

  • Stick to the subject and topic. Submitting your essay in the proper format is essential, but the substance of your essay is the most important part. If you write a fantastic essay that doesn’t address the central question you won’t win.


  • Submit a professional document. Double check grammar and spelling and try to make rambling sentences more concise.


  • Follow and demonstrate a clear vision. This contest leaves lots of room to address the subject in a variety of ways. Students should attempt to be creative, clear and persuasive in their approach to the topic.


Q.  Is there just one prize?

A.  No. First, second and third prizes will be awarded in the amounts of $3,000, $2,000, and $1000 respectively.



About Lauren Sabino

Lauren Sabino is the Director of Youth Programs at the National Center for Policy Analysis. She currently administrates Debate Central, the largest free online debate resource.
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