History Department Essay Contests

The Indiana University East Department of History offers several monetary prizes for the best undergraduate essays in World/European History, and U.S. History. Preparing an award-winning essay is an excellent learning experience and will strengthen your resume or application to graduate or professional school.

Award Winners

George T. Blakey U.S. History Essay winner--Clayton Haisley

The Eleanor Turk World/European History Essay Prize ($100)

Any I.U. East undergraduate may submit an essay of 15 pages or less (exclusive of notes, bibliography, and other non-textual material) on any topic in the history of any part of the world except the United States.

The George T. Blakey U.S. History Essay Prize ($100)

Any I.U. East undergraduate may submit an essay of 15 pages or less (exclusive of notes, bibliography, and other non-textual material) on any topic related to the history of the United States.

Submission Instructions for the Eleanor Turk World/European History Essay Prize and the George T. Blakey U.S. Essay Prize:

Essays must be typed in no smaller than 12-point font, and the text must be double-spaced with 1” margins. The paper must be printed only on one side. Each essay must be submitted with a cover page supplying the name of the author, the title of the essay, the award for which the essay is to be considered, and contact information (both telephone number and email address) for the submitter. On the second and subsequent pages, the author must have a header with the author’s last name and a short title of the paper. The essay must be submitted as a .pdf file to the program coordinator of the History Program, Justin M. Carroll via email at justcarr@iue.edu no later than May 7, 2014. Recipients will be announced by May 30, 2014

Additional suggestions for students submitting prizes:

If you wish to submit an essay written for a class, please keep in mind that even an outstanding essay written to satisfy the requirements of a specific assignment may not make a good submission without some revision. If the essay was written for a specific assignment, you may have omitted information required in a more general essay. Judges will expect to see an essay that is entirely self-contained, with all the information an intelligent reader needs to understand the point the essay. It is advisable to revise course papers to make them suitable for the essay competition. Below are some questions to ask yourself as you revise:

Is my essay on a topic that would be interesting for a general reader?
A good history essay is one written on an interesting topic, that asks an interesting question, and that supports its answer to that question in interesting and effective ways. Bibliographic essays and reviews are not appropriate submissions for this competition.
Does my essay have a real thesis (a position I am arguing for or defending) or is it simply a narrative?
A descriptive essay probably will not be as strong as an essay with a strong and well-supported argument.
Is my essay focused?
A tightly focused essay will be more effective and persuasive than a broad and wide-ranging essay.
Are my sources properly cited?
For this contest all works need full and correct citations based on the Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, or other appropriate style manual.
Have I corrected all of the grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors in this essay?
Essays containing spelling and grammatical errors do not impress the judges and are not competitive.

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