November 22, 2008

Eclipsing Opinions Essay Contest

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“I never let schooling get in the way of my education.” –Mark Twain

Reflecting on your experience at Cornell University, what have you learned?

Please respond in an essay no more than 1,000 words and no less than 500 words. Be sure to include a title and page numbers on each page. Submissions are required by 5:00 pm on February 26th, 2009.


Submit your essay via email to: [email protected]

When submitting your essay, be sure to include:

  • Your Name
  • Your netID
  • Your class year
  • Your essay as an attachment in one of the following formats only:
    • .doc (Microsoft Word 97-2004)
    • .pdf (Adobe Portable Document Format)

Please note: Submissions in the .docx format will not be accepted.

Rules and Information

The 2008-2009 Eclipsing Opinions Essay Contest is meant to encourage and incite an interest among Cornell University undergraduates in the art of journalistic opinion writing. All entrants will be judged by a group of Cornell University faculty and The Cornell Daily Sun staff on the quality, persuasive effect, and clarity of each essay. Submissions will be accepted between January 1st, 2009 and February 26th, 2009 at 5pm via email to [email protected]. Please ensure that all submissions are in only .doc or .pdf format. Essays submitted in .docx format will not be considered. All essays must be original. Any submissions obtained from a third-party source or used in any other class or contest will be disqualified from consideration immediately.
One winner will receive $400 in cash, the title of Contest Champion, and publication in the March 27th edition of Red Letter Daze. One runner-up will receive a $75 prize, the title of Contest Runner-Up, and publication in the March 27th edition of Red Letter Daze. Other outstanding finalists may also receive publication in Red Letter Daze, along with the title of Contest Finalist, with no additional prize. Winners and finalists will be notified by Friday, March 13th.
Please note that in order to ensure the highest quality drafting of your work, you are encouraged to attend the Walk-In hours of the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines held in several locations on campus. For more information on this service, please consult this website.
Our essay prompt will be posted on this site by December 10th, 2008. Check back frequently until that date to find the post. Please consider the prompt as a helpful guide toward a topic or thesis, but do NOT respond directly to a specific question. Keep in mind that the prompts will not be printed with the winning essays. The essay has to stand on its own, without the guiding question as a reference.

All entrants must keep essay submissions within the range of 500-1000 words.

By submitting this essay, you give The Cornell Daily Sun the right to publish, promote, reprint, and distribute your work without fear of legal claim or copyright.

Special thanks to our sponsors for the devotion and dedication to supporting the arts in journalism: Tompkins Trust Co., Fontana’s Shoe Store, T-Shirt Expressions, The Cornell Store, Chateau Lafayette Reneau, and the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines.