Knight Essay
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National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

Cosponsored by CACI International, Inc.

George S. and Stella M. Knight Essay Contest

NOTE: The 1998-1999 contest entry period has closed except for students residing in the District of Columbia.


1. This contest is open to all students who are United States citizens attending public, parochial, or private high schools (including accredited home schools). Students must be in their junior or senior grade of study during the contest year. The contest is conducted in three phases: local (Chapter), state (Society), and national. The contest normally must be entered through competition at a local Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution in your area. In some cases, the initial contest is conducted at Society level rather than Chapter. Qualified students residing outside of the United States and those residing in States that are only participating in the at-large category, may enter the contest in the at large category. Only one entry per student is permitted.

2. The contest is for an original essay written in English. It must have a minimum of 500 words and not exceed 750 words excluding title page and bibliography. One or two letter words such as I, to, and we are not counted. When counting words in a date, a numerical date (1776) or a date spelled out (Seventeen seventy-six) shall be counted as one word.

The topic of the essay shall deal with an event, person, philosophy or ideal associated with the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution.

To qualify for the grand prize, the topic of the essay must be about George Washington. Suggested themes might be "The true qualities of leadership as demonstrated by George Washington;" "Why George Washington deserves to be called The Father of Our Country;" "George Washington at Valley Forge;” “George Washington's influence on the design of our nation's capital;” “George Washington in the Age of Slavery;" "George Washington: Citizen Soldier."

3. The Essay document shall have three parts: a) title page, b) essay, and c) bibliography (works cited). The title page shall include the essay title, the contestant’s name, address, and telephone number. In addition, the title page shall include the name, grade, address, and telephone number of the high school in which the contestant is enrolled. The bibliography shall be listed on a separate last page.

4. The essay shall be typed double spaced on white bond paper using a computer, a word processor, or a typewriter. Graphics are not permitted. The original copy of the essay must be submitted. Duplicate copies will not be accepted.

5. References shall be documented in accordance with Modern Language Association publication, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Fourth Edition, 1995.

6. The essay will be judged on the following criteria:

bulletA. Historical accuracy
bulletB. Clarity of thought
bulletC. Organization
bulletD. Grammar and Spelling
bulletE. Creativity
bulletF. Documentation

7. The local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution establishes the closing date for this contest. In most cases, this date will be in early January 1999. Interested students should check with the local chapter to verify the closing date


National Society:

bulletGrand Prize (If the topic is about George Washington): A framed portrait of George Washington and an all expense paid overnight visit to Mount Vernon for winner and chaperon.
bulletFirst Place: $4,500 and winning recognition plaque.
bulletSecond Place: $1,000
bulletThird Place: $500

9.Contestants will receive a certificate acknowledging their participation.

10. The winning essay of the national level of the contest will be submitted for publication in THE SAR MAGAZINE.

11. Participants in this contest agree that the interpretation of rules and the decisions of the NSSAR and its judges shall govern without reservation.

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Copyright 1999-2003 Harris-Ferry Chapter, National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution
Last modified: May 09, 2003
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