Young Patriots Submission FAQ

Young Patriots Submission Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. How should I format my entry?

A. Essays should be written in English, and should not exceed 1,200 words (excluding the bibliography). Essays exceeding this length will not be considered. Submit using the form on this page.

Q. How do I submit my entry?

Use the form on this page above.

Q. What happens if I exceed the word limit?

A. Your essay will not be considered. There is no word minimum.

Your bibliography (citations section) does not count towards the word limit.

Q. Who is eligible to enter?

A. Any American citizen or lawful resident who is currently a student in grades 6-12, or recent high school graduates who have never enrolled as a degree-seeking student in any college or university.

If you have enrolled in a college course for dual credit during high school, you are still eligible.

One other caveat: if you have ever won first place in a previous year’s Young Patriots Essay Contest, you are not eligible to win again.

Q. Are homeschool students eligible?

A. Yes!

Q. Are international students eligible?

A. Only if they meet certain conditions. American citizens residing abroad are eligible. Non-citizen legal residents are also eligible. International students who do not meet these criteria are not eligible.

Q. How can I spend the scholarship money?

A. For tuition or related expenses at a college or university of your choice. You are NOT allowed to spend the money on non-educational expenses.

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. If you only reference the required/recommended readings, no bibliography/”Works Cited” section is necessary.

If you use outside research, citations should be listed in a bibliography section at the end of the document. You may use any recognized citation style (e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago).

The bibliography will not be included in your overall word count.

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. Displaying a strong writing style 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.
  • Include your perspective on the works. Show us that you have read and considered the material. Do not simply summarize the readings but rather explain how they influence your thinking on the issue.

Q. Do I need to agree with the recommended readings’ authors?

The short answer: No. The longer answer: No, but you should warrant your disagreement with outside sources and research. Make sure your argument is complete, articulate and supported. Avoid ad hominem attacks that indict the author without properly considering the merit of the argument.

You should also note that there is one required reading supporting both “sides” of the topic.

Q. Is there just one prize?

A. No. First, second and third prizes will be awarded in the amounts of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,500 respectively.

2 Responses to Young Patriots Submission FAQ

  1. Lindsay Aquino says:

    Where do I find out who the winners of the contest are?

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