Student Essay Contest Rules & Nomination Form
- The Philosophy department offers $300 in prize money for this year's annual student essay contest. The winner will be awarded a prize of $200, and the runner-up will be awarded $100. These prizes are available to undergraduates at Cal Poly in any major enrolled in a minimum of 6 units in Spring 2017, or who have completed their graduation requirements during the 2016-2017 academic year.
- Essays are to be nominated by faculty in the Cal Poly Philosophy department. Essays may be on any topic and will typically originate as term papers in courses offered by the department. Faculty may nominate as many essays as they wish. Students may seek nominations from faculty who have read their papers. As part of the nomination process, nominating faculty will submit their nomination to the Philosophy department's ASC by Thursday, April 20, 2017 using the on-line Philosophy Essay Contest Nomination Form (located at the bottom of this page).
- Nominated essays should be between 7 and 20 typed pages in length (between 2,100 and 6,000 words), and double-spaced with normal margins, printed in a standard font (e.g., Times New Roman 12 point, etc.). In addition, essays must observe proper citation conventions (e.g., MLA Stylesheet, APA, Chicago Manual of Style, etc.); plagiarism will not be tolerated and will result in a report to the offending student's college dean.
- Essays need not be identical with the draft originally submitted for course credit; indeed, it is expected that faculty will advise authors of nominated essays on how they might revise and improve their manuscripts for submission to the contest.
- Each student may submit only one essay to the contest. The essay and a separate title page must be submitted as an email attachment (either Microsoft Word .doc or PDF) to the Philosophy department's ASC. Essays must be submitted to the Philosophy department by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2017. Late email may not be accepted.
- Essays must be submitted formatted for blind review with a separate title page consisting of the following information: the words "2017 Cal Poly Philosophy Essay Contest", the student's name and e-mail address, and the full title of the paper. The student's name must not appear anywhere else in the separate essay manuscript document. The first page of of the essay manuscript must begin with the title of the essay. The Essay Contest Committee Chair will assign anonymous labels to each essay received and also on the separate title page with the student's name; title pages with students' names and labels will be separated from the essays they identify and filed together.
- Essays, without their identifying title pages, will be distributed by the Essay Contest Committee Chair to three full-time Philosophy department faculty members acting as Essay Contest Referees. The Essay Contest Referees will rank the essays and report their rankings to the Essay Contest Committee Chair. The Essay Contest Committee Chair will moderate the discussion among the Essay Contest Referees that determines which essays earn the prize money. In extraordinary circumstances, the Essay Contest Committee reserves the right not to award a prize or, in the event of a tie, to split the award between two essays.
- The prize winners will be notified via e-mail by the Essay Contest Committee Chair. The prize winners will honored at the Philosophy Department Advisory Board Reception May 20. The winner will have the option to read the winning paper at a meeting of the Philosophy Club or colloquium sometime in May of 2017. Prize money will be disbursed the Financial Aid office. The Philosophy department's ASC., will help the winners with the necessary paperwork for the disbursement of the prize money.
- A copy of the winning essays will be archived, and the author and title of winning papers will be listed on the Philosophy department Website Essay Contest page, while the other essays will be deleted.