The Essay Contest gives entrants a chance to write an extemporaneous essay about the classical world.  At the start of the contest participants are given a handout with source materials, usually consisting of translated passages from Latin authors and/or images of classical importance regarding a major aspect of Roman civilization.  Each student will then write an expository essay in response to one or more question prompts based on the source materials.  The handout is to be distributed only during the Essay contest; no outside preparation is required for this event.  Contestants may not consult other materials in either written or electronic form.  Students must compete on their current grade level.


Contestants will be provided with paper.  Essays may be written in pen or pencil.  Pens will not be provided, but pencils may be borrowed from the common supply used during academic testing.  Please ask contestants to return pencils when they are finished.



Essay Contest awards will all be given in the following divisions (subject to change):

Grades 5-7

Grades 8-10

Grades 11-12



Essays will be judged on the following criteria:


15 points for Adherence to the guidelines above, e.g. reference to visual or passage, relevance to prompt, expository essay.  The essay may be informative or persuasive in nature.

15 points for Unity, coherence and theme development, e.g. introduction, definite and clear development, conclusion.

15 points for Content, e.g. appropriateness, sufficient development of thesis.

10 points for Originality/creativity.

10 points of Historical allusion and accuracy.

10 points for Mechanics, e.g. grammar, spelling, sentence structure.

10 points for Word choice and vocabulary.

10 points for Style and clarity.

05 points for Neatness.


100 Total Points

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