Michigan high school high school sophomores, juniors and seniors have the opportunity to explore events that shaped American History by entering the Knight Essay Contest. This contest is open to all students who are United States citizens or have established legal residency. Students must attend school (public, private, accredited home school) during the contest year.
The contest is entered through a local SAR chapter (near the student's residence), but may also be entered at the state level if the local chapter is not participating. A First Place national winner is not eligible to participate in the contest again.
The topic of the essay shall deal with an event, person, philosophy, or ideal associated with the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution, and must include no less than five references, three of which must be published works. (References to an encyclopedia or Internet websites are acceptable, but will not be satisfy the published works requirement.)
All essays must be submitted to the Chapter or State Knight Essay Chairmen by the deadline established by the Chapter or State. E-mail submissions are preferred by the national chairman. U.S. Mail is also acceptable, but essays must be received (not postmarked) by February 28th. Check with your local SAR chapter for submission dates and deadlines.
Entrants admitted to the National Finals will be notified in early April in order to be able to attend the SAR National Congress held later that year. The First Place national winner will read his winning essay at the Youth Awards Luncheon at the Conference, and the essay will be published in The SAR Magazine (Participants in this contest agree to the publishing of their winning essays in The SAR Magazine and on the NSSAR Knight Essay Contest webpage.)
The criteria for judging essays are as follows:
Clarity of thought
Organization of proven topic
Grammar and spelling
Document format and references
The First Place winner receives a $5,000 cash award, a medal and recognition certificate, up to $500 in travel expenses, and a one-evening stay at a hotel near the SAR Congress (including a chaperone). The Second Place winner receives a $2,500 cash award and a recognition certificate, and the Third Place winner receives $1,000 and a recognition certificate.