An essay contest is probably one of the most intriguing events for any writer. And it’s no wonder as this is an opportunity to accept the challenge and compete with other pen wizards. After all, if the primacy of content in the search results is often ambiguous and dynamic, the essay competitions always show who is who. That is why today I want to share some tips on how to boost the chances of winning an essay contest.
Although no tips and tricks can give you a 100% guarantee, avoiding wishful thinking and focusing on the things below, you’ll become one step closer to the writing Olympus.
To begin with, let’s go through the main features of any essay:
- Small volume.
- Free content.
- Author’s view on the issue.
Although the author may present information the way he wants, almost every essay contest has a limited text volume. That’s why you have not just to share a few thoughts on the subject, but also to be laconic to fit the limit.
So let’s pass to the must-have elements of a perfect essay.
#1 Original Idea
Actually, the uniqueness of the idea and the fresh look on the issue is about 75% of your success. This is really on what you can bet. Be sure to invest as much time as you need to come up with a striking idea.
If there are a dozen of “almost perfect” essays, then the one with the idea that best excites and strongly keeps the jury’s attention usually wins.
#2 Logical Structure
The structure of an essay can be very diverse. But please to be logical and consistent. It’s up to you whether to use the principle of the inverted pyramid, but try to present the ideas smoothly, without abrupt jumps from one thought to another.
#3 Answers to the Questions
Undoubtedly, an essay competition is an opportunity to present your ideas. But we better perceive information in the form of questions and answers. “What would happen if …?”, “Why can’t we …?”, “How long will …?”
Unanswered questions are useless. Let’s put ourselves in the place of the jury. You read someone else’s text with a lot of abstract questions unanswered. Moreover, you have far more than one or two texts. Will you delve into each text? Obviously, not. Moreover, reflecting on the matter, you can’t follow the basic idea. As a result, you spend a lot more time and effort.
And now let’s imagine that instead of a plenty of ethereal questions you provide concrete answers. In this case, a member of the jury can evaluate not only the questions but also the originality and depth of the given answers. Questions and answers are like Yin Yang – they can’t exist separately.
Examples are another useful thing that can be successfully used in an essay contest. Any statement looks finished and does not cause too many questions if it’s supplemented by examples, studies, and quotes. The latter allow to digress from the flow of the author’s thoughts and makes the text more versatile. Such an essay produces a stronger impression on the reader, looks juicier and dilutes the monotony of reasoning. That’s why examples are a big plus.
An essay contest requires the author to make an impression on the jury. To do this, you need to understand the jury’s interests.
Try to put yourself in the jury’s shoes. By what criteria would you evaluate the work? What would you remember if you had to check a hundred of essays? To what extent does your work meet the stated topic?
By putting yourself in the place of the jury, you start to notice things that you do not pay attention to from the writer’s perspective. Let it be little things, but that’s a big plus, considering the number of essays participating in the contest.
From time to time, I stumble upon the so-called monolithic essays that are written as a single text block. Now imagine that the jury needs to read about 50–100 of similar essays per day! Of course, nicely decorated and readable essay will be a huge advantage. And it’s not even a question of what is written in it. The main thing is that it will attract attention even before the reading.
Whatever you write, keep in mind that your best interest is to make sure that people feel comfortable when becoming familiar with the opus. Take the time to break paragraphs by blank lines, include bulleted list, and highlight the main points with italics or bold.
#7 Every Essay as Your Best One
As I mentioned at the beginning, there is no guarantee that you will win the top prize. Moreover, there is no guarantee that you will win anything at all. And yet, write any essay as if you are preparing an article that is worth the main prize. Then, regardless the position in the top, you’ll improve as a writer.
An essay competition limits the amount of text. That is why within these limits, the author should uncover his ideas to the fullest. Be sure to disclose the matter as completely as needed not to leave any questions.
I hope these tips will move you forward to your best essays or inspire to start a writing career. Never give up and remember that practice makes perfect. I wish you best of luck in your endeavours.
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Lucy Adams is an outsourcer from The Edublog Awards. Feel free to share your best suggestions and get in-depth papers in return.
Featured image credit: Public domain by waldryano