Writing prompts one to think hard thoughts and to own the thought before penning it down. One has to re-think what one may have read in the past and reconcile with conflicting thoughts or arguments i.e. “critical thinking”. Then, one has to write it down in a well-organized and concise manner. Good writing is the ultimate form of achieving perfection in communication and a hallmark of a good leader!
To succeed in today’s competitive world, one must be equipped with excellent spoken and written skills. The NSF Leadership-in-Writing Contest, which began in 2005, is intended to encourage good writing skills with brevity, emphasis on creativity, language, and unique personal style.
Preparing for this contest will help the student to communicate effectively, think quickly, write persuasively and present well-connected ideas in a concise manner.
For help to prepare for the Essay Bee, please go to Preparation.
For any questions regarding the Essay Bee, go to FAQ.
The primary goal of NSF contests is to foster the spirit of competition and learning among the youth. Parents and children should focus on the joy of learning and interacting with other writing participants rather than on the possible outcome of the contest. Specifically, the NSF Essay contest is intended to encourage writing skills, which demand quick thinking, good organization of ideas and cohesive writing style.
In addition to all the general contest rules stated by North South Foundation, the following rules are applicable for Essay Writing Bee (Leadership In Writing) Competition.
There are 3 levels of competition in Essay Bee:
- Essay Writing Level 1 (EW1): Grades 3, 4 and 5
- Essay Writing Level 2 (EW2): Grades 6, 7 and 8
- Essay Writing Level 3 (EW3): Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12
- A 1st rank winner at the National Finals of the North South Foundation Essay Writing Level 3 (EW3) contest is not eligible for competing in this and future essay contests conducted by the Foundation (National winners of EW1 and EW2 can participate ONLY in EW2 and EW3 bees, respectively.) A contestant who participated in a higher level bee cannot participate in a lower level bee in subsequent years.
- Essay bees (EW1, EW2 and EW3) are only held in one phase: Phase I (written). Parents are not allowed in Phase I.
- Phase I is a written test. The essay topic will only be announced 10 minutes before the contest begins. Thus the contestants will not know the essay topic ahead of time. The contestants will have 60 minutes to complete an essay on the “given topic.”
- The essay must be an original composition written by the contestant, onsite (i.e., in the Contest Room), and must be written in English.
- An essay submitted will not be returned under any circumstances. NSF shall reserve the right to publish the essay, name, school and photo of any participant in any manner it deems fit.
- Guidelines for judging criteria: Junior Intermediate Senior
Each essay will be reviewed and scored by three independent judges. Based on the average scores of the three judges, winners will be determined. The 1st place winner shall be ahead by at least (.01) to be declared as the champion. In announcing the ranks 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, the following rules apply:
- Announce Ranks 1, 2 and 3, if and only if there are at least 10 contestants;
- Announce Ranks 1 and 2 ONLY, if there are 8 or 9 contestants;
- Announce Rank 1 ONLY, if there are 5-7 contestants;
- DO NOT announce any ranks if there are less than 5 contestants.
- The tie-breaker rules for ranks apply ONLY if there are at least 5 or more contestants participating in a given center.
- In case of a tie, the participant of lower (or lowest) grade will be the winner.
If there is still a tie among the contestants who are in the same grade, multiple winners will be declared sharing the same rank.
When announcing joint winners, the following rules are used:
- If two are tied for the 1st place, skip rank 2 and announce rank 3 for the third contestant.
- If two or more are tied for the 2nd place, skip rank 3.
- If three or more are tied for the 1st place, skip ranks 2 and 3.
- Invitation to National Finals is ONLY for EW3. All contestants at the regional level will be invited to the National Finals subject to an upper limit of 30. First come first serve rule will apply for registration at the National Finals.
- Basic Guide to Essay Writing: http://members.tripod.com/~lklivingston/essay/
- Another useful website: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/internet/resources/genre.html
- Sample essay topics: Samples
- The Basics: The Anatomy of a Good Essay
- Harvard College Writing Center: Resources
- MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing: Resources
- JLV College Counseling
The NSF Leadership-in-Writing is the latest addition to the suite of annual NSF contests. It is intended to encourage good writing skills while nurturing creativity, the ability to think quickly, and present well-connected ideas persuasively and succinctly. It is designed to be in line with the "timed writing" component of current standardized tests (SAT). Good writing style will be the key differentiating characteristic in identifying the winners.
The essays will be scored by a qualified panel of NSF Essay Contest judges (three judge will score each essay). Every submitted essay will be read and ranked by every judge on the panel. Depending on the number of contestants, winners will be identified based on NSF Leadership in Writing Contest judging rules. The decisions by the judges shall be final and shall not be subject to any further appeal.
Results will be announced within 2 to 3 weeks after the contest. All regional and national contest results shall be posted on the NSF website.
The NSF Leadership in Writing Bee is intended to encourage “impromptu writing” of “timed essays” with discipline, logic and creativity.The “timed” mode encourages discipline and brevity.It should have good content, good language and good style.Good content implies well-connected ideas written persuasively and effectively on the “given topic”.The child must be able to express his/her idea of leadership very clearly. Examples may be used as and when required. Good language implies the use of good vocabulary. The right word used in the right place packs in a better punch.Writing is a fine art and therefore it is expected that the participant will use the best words possible while writing on the topic. For example, one can say a line very plainly - ‘he is liked by all’ or one can word it better as in ‘he is appreciated by all’.Good style implies many things – writing with flair and color, creativity and adding one’s own personal touch. Grammar and punctuation errors will be taken into account.
Online registration via NSF homepage is generally available, starting early January. You can also refer to the NSF Contest Calendar or ask your Regional Coordinator about registration deadlines and contest dates.
Currently, the national finals will be held only for the senior level. In the future, they may be held for all levels.