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ethics Essay Contest

TWI's annual high school ethics essay contest is a fantastic means for encouraging critical thinking and ethical reasoning, and for generating thoughtful classroom discussion about each individual’s ethical responsibilities for the choices they make. These essay contest pages offer information about the year's contest and provide ways to encourage classroom discussion using the contest topic.

Our annual high school ethics essay contest is open to juniors and seniors at participating high schools. The top junior and top senior essays at each eligible participating school receive a $500 cash scholarship.

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The TWI Annual High School Ethics Essay Contest.

In 1995, TWI launched an annual ethics essay contest in one local high school—Chandler High School. That year we received two essays. Undaunted by the small level of participation, the Board of Directors voted to expand the level of the contest and to reach out to include the community in the evaluation process. The essay contest quickly gained momentum and, throughout the past 17 years, over 20,000 students have discussed a provocative ethics topic in their classrooms and participated in writing an essay responding to the ethical questions involved. TWI has awarded over $100,000 in student scholarships to high school juniors and seniors.

Beginning in 2004, TWI also began a program to provide the teachers of award-winning students with honoraria for the purpose of purchasing ethics related materials for their classrooms. Starting in 2008, the senior top honors were entered into a statewide contest to select a statewide winner who receives an additional $500.00 scholarship.

Each year, the contest prompt focuses on a different ethics-related topic. Students respond to four or five prompt components that lead them through an ethical critical thinking process and personal reflection on each student’s personal responsibility to act regarding their ethical concern. Essays are judged on the basis of each student’s ability to take a position, describe it and support it.

Essays are evaluated by teams of five community leaders for each grade level at each school, resulting in the participation of more than 75 volunteers. Contest finalists are interviewed by members of their individual teams. The top junior and senior essays at each eligible school are awarded a $500 cash scholarship which is presented at the school’s end-of-year awards ceremonies.

Read this year’s announcement and contest rules.

Read this year's essay prompt.

Read our ethics essay contest Frequently Asked Questions.

Read the contest judging process and standards.

Read what teachers have to say about the ethics essay contest.

E-mail us for more information about the essay contest.

Click here to view last year's contest winners.

Scholarship Winners
Announcement & Rules
Essay Prompt
Frequently Asked Questions
Judging Process & Standards
Sponsor a Scholarship
2014-2015 State Winner Essays
Students submitting essays, click here

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