Political Science

Political Science Department Essay Contests

The Indiana University East Department Political Science offers a monetary prize for the best undergraduate essay. Preparing an award-winning essay is an excellent learning experience and will strengthen your resume or application to graduate or professional school.

The Paul Kriese Political Science Essay Award ($100)

Any I.U. East student majoring in political science may submit an essay of 15 pages or less (exclusive of notes, bibliography, and other non-textual material) on any aspect of political science.

Additional suggestions for students submitting prizes:

If you wish to submit an essay written for a class, please keep in mind that even an outstanding essay written to satisfy the requirements of a specific assignment may not make a good submission without some revision. If the essay was written for a specific assignment, you may have omitted information required in a more general essay. Judges will expect to see an essay that is entirely self-contained, with all the information an intelligent reader needs to understand the point the essay. It is advisable to revise course papers to make them suitable for the essay competition. Below are some questions to ask yourself as you revise:

Is my essay on a topic that would be interesting for a general reader?

A good essay is one written on an interesting topic, that asks an interesting question, and that supports its answer to that question in interesting and effective ways. Bibliographic essays and reviews are not appropriate submissions for this competition.

Does my essay have a real thesis (a position I am arguing for or defending) or is it simply a narrative?

A descriptive essay probably will not be as strong as an essay with a strong and well-supported argument.

Is my essay focused?

A tightly focused essay will be more effective and persuasive than a broad and wide-ranging essay.

Are my sources properly cited?

For this contest all works need full and correct citations based on the Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, or other appropriate style manual.

Have I corrected all of the grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors in this essay?

Essays containing spelling and grammatical errors do not impress the judges and are not competitive.