Law Day Essay Contest 2013

March 27, 2013


Law Day Essay has Sophomores Writing Persuasively

Thirty-four students in the English 2 Honors classes have been busy writing essays for the Law Day Essay Contest 2013.  This year the essay topic addresses the new social studies standards for the teaching of history and civics in Nebraska schools:

Civics Standard 12.1.2.b:  Analyze the significance and benefits of patriotic symbols, song, holidays, and activities.

Students have selected a favorite patriotic symbol, song, holiday, or activity and have written an explanation about how analyzing this favorite symbol or activity contributes to the development of better citizens.

Essays will be judged by volunteer members of the Nebraska State Bar Foundations PEOPLE Committee.  The rubric for the essay scores content; vocabulary and style; grammar, punctuation and spelling; and the use of at least two cited sources, one of them a primary source.

Writing the essay has been more challenging than the students expected.  Locating supporting sources has revealed a wealth of information about our Nebraska statutes and background histories on various different symbols including the eagle, the flag, and the Statue of Liberty as well as holidays such as Veteran's Day, Flag Day and Independence Day.

The assignment has been a good exercise to practice a combination of two essay types, the informative and the persuasive essay.  Students must be knowledgable about the history and use of their chosen topic, but they must also convince the reader that their chosen symbol or event is a necessary learning that develops a better citizen of the United States of America.

One winner will be selected from each grade level. Last year Luciano Ramirez, then a sophomore, won the Law Day Essay Contest with his essay entitled "Voter Apathy and Alienation."  This year we are submitting a number of very good essays, so we will have to wait and see what the judges think.