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What Are the Different Types of Essay Competitions?

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  • Written By: R. Stamm
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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Essay competitions can offer students the opportunity to showcase their work and provide funding for education. There are many different types of competitions for students of all ages, and each one is designed specifically for that age group. Some are geared more towards the technical aspects of writing while others are geared more towards the creative forms. The most popular competitions have lower entry fees and give winners larger prizes such as cash or scholarship money. In addition to money, some offer the writer the opportunity to be published in literary or other publications.

A variety of corporations and organizations offer essay competitions to elementary, secondary, and college-age school levels. Contestants may be asked to write an essay-style piece, a fictional piece, or poetry. Sometimes the essay topic is assigned to the writer while other contests allow the writer to choose one of his or her own interest. Topics may range from worldwide political and social issues to different genres of fictional short stories and poetry. Corporations and organizations that assign topics often do so to raise the public’s interest about certain current events on either the local or international level.

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Most essay competitions have general, universal guidelines for contestants to follow. Participants are expected to be within the age requirements set forth by the company sponsoring the competition. Almost all competitions have word limits on the essay, and some request the essay to be handwritten while others ask for it to be typed. There are also limits to the number of times a participant may enter the competition, and contestants must meet the due date outlined in the contest rules. All contests require entrants to provide personal contact information in order to notify the person who wins.

Individuals may increase the chances of winning essay competitions by being prepared and familiar with the contest rules. Since composition essay contests cover a variety of essay forms, it is essential to be familiar with the style of essay required by the contest. It is also beneficial for participants to understand the topic and to write it in a manner that is compelling to the reader. Essays should be proofread and revised several times by various persons before a contestant submits them. Individuals should give themselves plenty of time to write an essay to increase their chances of winning.

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