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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest

 

OHIO UNIVERSITY SOUTHERN

2017 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest Guidelines

 

Drmartinlutherking

 

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY TUESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2017

BY 5:00PM

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution"
 
THE CHALLENGE:
 
In his speeches and essays, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. employs a variety of creative techniques to add imagery to his writings, to enhance his themes and the inspirational tone of his work, and, most importantly, to reach a broad audience for his ideas. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, for example, Dr. King makes use of banking metaphors and images of the seasons. Readers from all walks of life – from the impoverished man on the street, to the Harvard graduate – can connect to these everyday images, making King’s deep ideas about equality and freedom relatable to all.

King likewise draws readers into his speech through his impassioned use of repetition. As his use of repetition gains momentum, readers and listeners become motivated and empowered by his words. If you reread the speech, you will also notice how King very skillfully moves his audience to take personal responsibility for change. While his speech begins speaking in general about Americans, he swiftly moves to the language of “us” and “we,” embracing all Americans in his plan of non-violent action. Later, he writes in second person (you), saying, “I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality.” Here, he is calling on individuals to join the Civil Rights cause.
 
“I Have a Dream” illustrates a skillful and creative writer at work. The language is simple, but King’s message is a powerful one that continues to inspire us today. In addition to rereading this speech, choose a number of King’s other speeches or essays for analysis. Pay special attention to King’s creative choices in the works: metaphor, simile, analogy, repetition, etc. What can you learn from his creative techniques that you can apply to your own writing?

Write your own speech on something that you would like to see changed in your school or your community. Like King, make use of a variety of creative techniques to help broaden your audience, capture your readers’ attention, and inspire your readers to make a difference.

Speeches will be evaluated by a committee of faculty, staff, and students from Ohio University Southern. Decisions of the evaluation committee are final.
 

 

 

For full consideration, be sure to follow the guidelines below:

Rules & Guidelines:

1. Entry form must be submitted with the speech.

2. Students may submit only one speech, and it must be the student’s original work.

3. The speech must be typed in Times New Roman font, size 12, double spaced with standard one inch margins,  one side only.

4. The speech must be between 750 and 1000 words (about 3-5 pages).

5. The name, home phone number, parent’s email address, school,grade, and age of student author must be submitted on the entry form,accompanying the speech. Do not place your name or any other identifying information on any other page.

6. All speeches are to include references, utilizing at least one book source, but no more than one website source. The sources do not need to be from Dr. King. They can relate to the topic of your speech.

7. Speeches may NOT include photographs, images, illustrations, etc.

8. All speeches will be judged on the author’s knowledge of the following: Dr. King and his work in the civil rights movement, relevancy to essay theme, originality of ideas and clarity of expression, personal perspective, organization, grammar, and guidelines.

9. All speeches submitted become the property of Ohio University Southern and may be displayed on the website, in other university publications, or in locations throughout the community.

10. Children of Ohio University Southern faculty and staff are not eligible.
 
Essays will be evaluated by a committee of faculty, staff, and students from Ohio University Southern.  Decisions of the evaluation committee are final. The committee must receive at least five contest entries for each grade range to run the contest.
 
Prizes
Prizes will be awarded in two categories; grades 6-8 and 9-12. 
 
            Grades 6th – 8th                             Grades 9th – 12th
            First Place - $100.00                   First Place - $100.00
            Second Place - $50.00                Second Place - $50.00
            Third Place - $25.00                    Third Place - $25.00
 
1st, 2nd and 3rd place speeches will be published on the OUS website. Along with the cash award students will receive a certificate of achievement, an OU t-shirt, and be invited to attend the Annual Ohio University Southern Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration where students will be publicly recognized for their achievement.
 
Deadline & Submission
 
Email Submissions:
 
To submit a essay by email: 
  1. Speeches should be sent to Dr. Hayley Haugen at haugen@ohio.edu and copied to Robert Pleasant at pleasanr@ohio.edu
  2. In the subject area of the email write the title of your speech
  3. Include in the text of your email the following information (This information serves as your ENTRY FORM for email submissions. Entries will not be read without the following):
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Speech Title
  • School Grade & Age
  • Street Address, City, State, Zip Code
  • Telephone Number with area code
  • Parent’s Email Address
  • School Name & Teacher’s Email Address
 
  1. Attach Speech (do not include your name or any of the above information (except title) on your speech).

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 5:00pm.  
A confirmation will be sent to the email address listed on the registration form within three business days.
 
Mail-in Submissions:
 
To submit your speech by postal service:
  1. Print and fill in the registration entry form
  2. Attach the registration form to your speech (do not include your name or entry information on your speech)
  3. Mail registration form and essay to:
 
Dr. Hayley Haugen
Ohio University Southern
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest
1804 Liberty Avenue
Ironton, Ohio  45638
 
Mail-in Submissions:
Speeches must be received by Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 5:00pm.  A confirmation will be sent to the email address listed on the registration form within three business days.
 
Walk-in Submissions:
Speeches may also be submitted on a walk-in basis.  The spech should be delivered to the Office of Student Services located on the campus of Ohio University Southern in the Collins Building.  The speech should be delivered to the attention of Robert Pleasant. Walk-in essays must be received by Tuesday, January 3 at 5:00pm.  A confirmation will be sent to the email address listed on the registration form within three business days.
 
Notification of Winners
Winners will be by notified by email and telephone.
 
Special Note
By accepting a prize, winners grant to Ohio University Southern, the OUS Council on Diversity & Inclusion, the Ohio University MLK Celebration Committee and The Office of Diversity, Access and Equity the right to edit, publish, copy, display and otherwise use their entries in connection with this contest, and to further use their names, likenesses, and biographical information in advertising and promotional materials, without further compensation or permission, except where prohibited by law.  No responsibility can be assumed for lost or late mail.  Entries will not be returned.
 
Questions:
Robert Pleasant, Coordinator of Diversity & Inclusion
Ohio University Southern
740.533.4600 or pleasanr@ohio.edu