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The Arkansas Statewide BBB Laws of Life Essay Contest is a competition for winners of local Laws of Life character-related essay contests. The Arkansas Center for Character Ethics sponsors the Statewide Contest to recognize the achievements of these exceptional youth who participate in local contests and to encourage schools and communities in Arkansas to engage in this enriching and valuable experience.
Entries for the 2015 Essay contest are due:
January 9, 2015
Frequently Asked Questions:
|Eligibility for entering
What grade levels can participate?
What is the essay topic and length?
How many entries may be submitted?
Download contest forms
|What are the judging criteria?
What awards are given?
Submitting entries by mail
When are entries due?
Eligibility for Entering
Any Arkansas school, classroom, or youth services/community organization that conducts a Laws of Life essay contest from August 2014- January 2015 may submit their local winners to the statewide contest.
Only essays that have been judged and won a local contest may be submitted to the Statewide Contest.
What grades levels are included?
Currently, the contest is open to students in grades 9 through 12.
What is the essay topic and is there a maximum length?
There is no specific essay prompt. Essays should follow the Laws of Life essay contest recommendations (see the Teacher Guide and Contest Manual in the resources section)and identify which one of the twenty UncommonSense™ themes that their essay addresses.
Essays should be no more than 3 typed, double spaced pages. Finalists will be asked to submit an electronic version of their essays, so contest coordinators are encouraged to ask for electronic files from their winners also.
How many entries can each local contest submit to the statewide contest?
Each local contest may submit the top 2 essays in each classroom to the statewide contest.
Timeline and contest award ceremony
All entries must be submitted online or postmarked no later than January 9, 2015. Finalists will be notified by February 27, 2015. Please notice that we have raised our prize amounts for 2015!
Only essays that have won a local Laws of Life essay contest may be submitted for judging in the statewide contest. Essays will be judged primarily on their content-whether they are positive and life-affirming, include a "law of life" that the author believes will make the world a better place, capture a value or ideal in a special way, or explain and relate a quote or "Timeless Truth" effectively. Some importance to presentation and the mechanics of writing will be considered in judging to the extent that the ideas put forth by the author are clearly understood. In cases where the content is judged as having equal merit, the essay which is better written or presented will be given a higher score. Before submitting essays, local contest coordinators should assure that students have proofed and typed their essays.
Click here for a sample scoring rubric
Cash prizes will be awarded in all four grade levels as well as for the teachers (or other school staff) that coordinate the local essay contest. Amounts are indicated below.
Cash Prize Categories
|Level||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place||Superior|
*maximum coordinator award $150
|School (local contest) with the highest number of essays written||$100|
|School (local contest) with the highest percentage of their student body writing an essay||$100|
Submitting entries by mail
To submit entries by mail
For further contest information
or call 501-664-4888 x109 with questions or for further information.
"By helping young people reflect on the laws of life that mean the most, we know they are more likely to live by those principles and ideals throughout their lives."
Sanford N. McDonnell
McDonnell Douglas Corporation