2016 History Essay Contest for Catholic Schools and Homeschoolers

2016 History Essay Contest for Catholic Schools and Homeschoolers
26 Feb 2016

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Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed., president of Catholic Textbook Project, the publisher of history textbooks for Catholic schools, confirmed the official launch of the company’s 2016 History Essay Contest for Catholic students in Grades 5 through 12.
“We are very proud of this contest and of last year’s nearly 2,000 entries and the four 2015 winners and their schools and homeschools,” says Van Hecke, who is also headmaster at a Ventura, California-based Catholic schools.
“Catholic students benefit tremendously from learning and studying how faith influences the daily lives and choices of human individuals throughout history,” Van Hecke continues. “These students are more likely to grow into leaders who understand the importance of living their Faith principles in all that they are called to do in their own lives and in the choices they make as they grow into adulthood.”

Topic
5th and 6th Grade Students;
Write about a Catholic from your home state or from North America (Canada, U.S. or Mexico) who positively influenced history. You may choose a person who was not born in North America, but did his/her primary and influential work in the North American region.
7th and 8th Grade Students: (choose one of the two topics)
1. Choose a non-North American Catholic (from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia or South America) and relate how their faith positively influenced the time and place in which they lived.
2. Choose a non-North American Catholic (from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia or South America) who negatively influenced history and show how they could have been a positive influence if they had followed their Catholic faith in their actions.

High School Students: (choose one of the three topics)
1. Catholic author and historian, Hilaire Belloc, wrote, “Every major question in history is a religious question. It has more effect in molding life than nationalism or a common language.” From examples in history show how this statement is true.
2. Explain the following quote from the historian Christopher Dawson and give examples from history to illustrate its truth: “You can give men food and leisure and amusements and good conditions of work, and still they will remain unsatisfied. You can deny them all these things, and they will not complain so long as they feel that they have something to die for.”
3. Pope Francis has declared 2016 “The Jubilee Year of Mercy.” Consider mercy or the lack of mercy as a motivator in historical events. Use particular examples of historical events or historical characters to illustrate your point.

Organizer
Catholic Textbook Project

Prizes
» 5/6 grade Catholic school – $100 to student and $400 gift certificate towards CTP textbooks for the school student attends
» 7/8 grade Catholic school – $150 to student and $400 gift certificate towards CTP textbooks for the school student attends
» High school, Catholic school – $200 to student and $400 gift certificate towards CTP textbooks for the school student attends
» 5/6 grade Catholic homeschoolers – $100 to student and choice of CTP book for student’s family
» 7/8 grade Catholic homeschoolers – $150 to student and choice of CTP book for student’s family
» High school, Catholic homeschoolers – $200 to student and choice of CTP book for student’s family
» Winning essays will be published on the CTP blog.

Deadline
All mailed essays must be postmarked by midnight, March 23, 2016.
All e-mailed essays must be received by midnight, March 23, 2016, PST.

Guidelines
» Catholic school students in grades 5 – 12 are invited to enter our annual essay contest.
» The contest is open to all students in Catholic schools – parochial, private or homeschool.
» This year we have six divisions:
1. 5/6 grade Catholic school students
2. 7/8 grade Catholic school students
3. High school Catholic school students
4. 5/6 grade Catholic homeschoolers
5. 7/8 grade Catholic homeschoolers
6. High school Catholic homeschoolers

» For the 5/6 divisions, essays should be at least 450 words, but no more than 1,000 words.
» For the 7/8 divisions, essays should be at least 600 words, but no more than 1,500 words.
» For the high school divisions, essays should be at least 800 words, but no more than 2,000 words.
» Essays should be typed, double spaced, 11 pt in Times New Roman font.
» If essays are e-mailed, they must be in PDF format.

FURTHER…
» Your writing should be in your own words. If you quote another author (either from a book or the internet), you must cite that author in a footnote or an endnote. Essays that are suspected of plagiarism will be disqualified.
» Wikipedia may not be used as the primary reference material. Wikipedia is useful for an initial familiarization with a topic, but it is not considered a reliable source in academic circles. A Wikipedia article can be useful in providing reference to books and articles which can be used for further research.
» It is difficult to determine a person’s historical influence during his lifetime, therefore a currently living person may not be chosen as a subject.
» An actor, pop celebrity or professional athlete may not be chosen as a subject.
» Note: A person may be influential in your life, but may not be historically influential or significant. An historically significant person changes the course of events or the lives of a large group of people in a significant manner. (Teachers should make clear the difference and guide students in choosing appropriate subjects.)
» An Entry Form must be filled out and attached to each essay.

Catholic School Entry Form

Homeschool Entry Form

» We hope teachers will incorporate this essay contest into their lesson plans and encourage their students to participate. If done as a class assignment, teachers may collect and mail all the essays together to the listed address below.
Essays can be mailed via USPO to:
Catholic Textbook Project
Essay Contest
P.O. Box 2535
Tehachapi, CA 93581
Or they may be sent via email, attached in PDF format to:
contest@catholictextbookproject.com

Inquiries
Please contact Katherine at contest@catholictextbookproject.com
with any questions.

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