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Your Student's Political Opinion Could Wish Cash!

  • Home School Legal Defense Association
  • 2012 10 Oct
Your Student's Political Opinion Could Wish Cash!

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in HSLDA's weekly newsletter. Used with permission.

Essay Contest 2012 Guidelines

Submission Dates: October 1 through November 1, 2012

Note: Entries received before October 1 or postmarked after November 1 will be returned or discarded.


This year is a presidential election year, and this has inspired our essay questions. We look forward to your essay responses!

Category 1 (ages 7–10):

Who is your favorite president and why?

Category 2 (age 11–14):

If you were running for president what would be the top three planks in your platform and why?

Category 3 (ages 15–19):

Please pick one pair of presidents listed below to compare and contrast in your essay. We already know they are men over age 35 and from the same political party. We invite you to dig deeper into their lives and presidencies to tell us other interesting—perhaps little-known—facts, compelling anecdotes, and your personal opinion of how these two presidents were similar and dissimilar. Facts can be pretty dry, so we encourage you to use your most engaging writing style to make your essay stand out to the judges.

Option 1: Republican presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower

Option 2: Democratic presidents Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman.


Essays come in many different forms, from descriptive to compare-and-contrast to narrative, etc. For this contest, the essays for categories 1 and 2 are meant to present the writer’s point of view—in a sense, his argument for his opinion.

Category 3 entrants are being asked to write a compare-and-contrast essay. For a brief description of various essay forms, you can visit this website.

We try to choose themes that leave a lot of room for imagination and interpretation, and we want you to come up with your own ideas for your essay.

Our judges love it when students come up with something they had not thought of before.


Category 1: Homeschoolers ages 7 to 10 as of October 1, 2012.

Category 2: Homeschoolers ages 11 to 14 as of October 1, 2012. 

Category 3: Homeschoolers ages 15 to 19 as of October 1, 2012.

  1. Up to two entries per student.
  2. For the purposes of this contest, an eligible student must have been homeschooled and received the majority of his or her education through home education during the past year.
  3. The staff and immediate family members of HSLDA and all related entities (PRO, HSF, etc.) are not eligible to participate in contests sponsored by HSLDA or any of the related entities.

Contest Guidelines

  1. Essays must be completely the work of the student entering the contest. No assistance of other parties, including but not limited to brainstorming, editing, or proof reading, is permissible.
  2. Essays cannot be longer than 700 words.
  3. All essays must be typed double-space on white unlined paper in 12-point Times New Roman font.
  4. The student’s telephone number should be typed on the top of each page. If more than one student from a family is participating in the same category, the number should be followed by a letter to distinguish it from the other students. Example: 540-338-5600A and 540-338-5600B.
  5. The student must fill out an entry form.
  6. Do not type or write the student’s name or any other identifying information other than the phone number on anything other than the cover page.


Essays must be mailed to:


Attn: Essay Contest 

P.O. Box 3000

Purcellville, VA 20134-9000

  1. Essays must be postmarked on/before November 1, 2012.
  2. Essays from students in the same family may be mailed in the same envelope, but please include separate checks for each entry.


  1. HSLDA Member Discounted Fee per entry: $10.
  2. Regular fee per entry: $15
  3. The check must be made payable to “HSLDA” with a note of “Essay Contest” in the memo line.


  1. Essays will be evaluated by a panel of judges appointed by Home School Legal Defense Association.
  2. Essays will be judged on originality of thought, grammar, spelling, logic, clarity, writing style, and content.
  3. All decisions of the judges are final.
  4. Winners will be notified and announced on the web by mid-December.

Prizes for Each Category

Category                     1                            2                             3

First                                   $100                     $150                     $200

Second                              $75                     $100                      $150

Third                                   $50                      $50                       $100

Honorable Mentions (2)  $25                      $25                         $50

Other Information

Any profits from the contest will go to the Home School Foundation’s Special Needs Children Fund.

HSLDA has the right to reproduce entered essays at its discretion.

No essay containing any plagiarized or non-original work will be considered.

All judgments are final and interpretations of the guidelines are at HSLDA’s sole discretion.

Please contact the contest coordinator at with any questions.

Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Through annual memberships, HSLDA is tens of thousands of families united in service together, providing a strong voice when and where needed.

Publication date: October 10, 2012