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Profile in Courage Essay Contest

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Students writing an essay in a long table.

Profile in Courage Essay Contest

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest is an annual essay competition that was created to honor President John F. Kennedy’s book, “Profiles in Courage.” The book focuses on eight U.S. senators who showed courage and integrity by standing up for their beliefs, even when it was difficult to do so.

The essay contest aims to inspire young people to consider the importance of political courage and the role it plays in our democracy. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Profile in Courage Essay Contest, from its history to its rules and requirements.

What is the history of the Profile in Courage Essay Contest?

What is the background of the Profile in Courage Essay Contest? The Profile in Courage Essay Contest was created in 1989 by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in partnership with members of President Kennedy’s family.

The contest was established to celebrate the 25th anniversary of President Kennedy’s book, “Profiles in Courage,” which was published in 1956 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1957.

“Profiles in Courage” is a collection of eight biographical essays that highlight the courage and integrity of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers to stand up for their beliefs.

The book examines the political risks these senators took by going against their party and the public opinion of their constituents to do what they believed was right.

The senators featured in “Profiles in Courage” are John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, Sam Houston, Edmund G. Ross, Lucius Lamar, George Norris, and Robert A. Taft. These senators are known for taking courageous stands on issues ranging from slavery to civil rights to government corruption.

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest was created to inspire young people to consider the importance of political courage and the role it plays in our democracy.

The essay topic for the contest is related to political courage and must focus on an elected official in the federal, state, or local government who has demonstrated political courage by taking a stand on a controversial issue.

The first Profile in Courage Essay Contest was held in 1990 and has been held annually ever since. The contest has received more than 50,000 submissions from students in all 50 states over the years.

The winning essays are published on the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation website, and the winners are invited to attend the Profile in Courage Award ceremony in May.

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest aims to promote political courage and inspire future generations of leaders to prioritize integrity and moral character in their public service.

The contest provides young people with an opportunity to engage in civic education and to develop their research and writing skills, while the award recognizes and honors public officials who embody the ideals of political courage that President Kennedy celebrated in “Profiles in Courage.”

This initiative forms an important legacy of President Kennedy and his commitment to public service and civic engagement.

How to join the Profile in Courage Essay Contest?

How can one participate in the Profile in Courage Essay Contest? If you are a high school student who is interested in participating in the Profile in Courage Essay Contest, there are several steps you can take to get started.

Check the contest guidelines and requirements

Before you begin writing your essay, it is important to review the contest guidelines and requirements carefully.

Young man using a laptop in a table.

These can be found on the contest website or through your school’s guidance office. Make sure you understand the rules regarding essay length, formatting, and submission deadlines.

Read and analyze the book “Profiles in Courage”

The book “Profiles in Courage” by John F. Kennedy is the inspiration for the contest. Reading this book can give you an understanding of what political courage means and the types of actions that can be considered courageous in politics. Analyzing the book can also give you ideas for potential topics for your essay.

Choose a topic and elected official

The essay topic for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest must be related to political courage and focus on an elected official at the federal, state, or local level who has demonstrated political courage by taking a stand on a controversial issue.

Choose an elected official who has recently demonstrated political courage on a relevant issue to make your essay more engaging and relatable to readers.

Conduct thorough research

To write a strong essay, you need to conduct thorough research on your chosen topic and elected official. Look for primary and secondary sources that support your arguments.

Close up of a students writing and studying.

Primary sources include direct quotes from the elected official, while secondary sources include news articles, academic articles, and other publications.

Develop a thesis statement

A strong thesis statement should be clear, concise, and specific. It should summarize the focus of your essay and the main argument you will be making.

Your thesis statement should also be engaging and thought-provoking to capture the reader’s attention.

Outline your essay

An outline can help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your essay flows logically. Your outline should include your thesis statement, main points, and supporting evidence. Make sure that your essay is structured in a way that is easy to follow and understand.

Write your essay

When writing your essay, make sure to use clear and concise language. Avoid using technical terms or jargon that may confuse your readers.

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Use examples and evidence to support your arguments, and make sure that your essay is well-researched and well-argued.

Proofread and edit your essay

Once you have completed your essay, proofread it carefully for spelling and grammar errors. Make sure that your essay adheres to the contest rules and requirements.

Ask someone else to read your essay to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Submit your essay

Make sure that you submit your essay according to the contest guidelines and requirements:

  • The essay must be typed, double-spaced, and have a 12-point font size.
  • The essay must have a title page with the essay title, student’s name, address, phone number, and email address.
  • The essay must not include any identifying information, such as the student’s name or school, on any page other than the title page.
  • The essay must be submitted by the deadline, which is usually in early January.

Follow the submission instructions carefully to avoid disqualification.

What are the criteria for judging at Profile in Courage Essay Contest?

What are the criteria that will be used to judge the essays submitted to the Profile in Courage Contest? The Profile in Courage Essay Contest is a highly competitive competition that attracts entries from high school students across the United States.

The contest is judged by a panel of experts who evaluate each entry based on a set of established criteria. Here is a detailed explanation of the judging criteria for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest:

Quality of writing

The judges evaluate the quality of writing in each entry. This includes the clarity, coherence, and effectiveness of the writing style.

The essay should be well-written, organized, and easy to follow. The language used in the essay should be appropriate for the intended audience.

Content and analysis

The judges evaluate the content and analysis of each entry. This includes the accuracy and depth of research, the effectiveness of the argument, and the quality of the analysis.

The essay should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the topic and use evidence to support its arguments. The analysis should be original and insightful, demonstrating a unique perspective on the topic.

Understanding of political courage

The judges evaluate the essay’s understanding of political courage. This includes the ability to define and articulate the concept of political courage and to apply it to specific examples.

The essay should demonstrate an understanding of the importance of political courage in American politics and the role it plays in shaping public policy.

Use of sources

The judges evaluate the use of sources in each entry. This includes the quality and appropriateness of the sources used and the accuracy of citations.

The essay should use a variety of primary and secondary sources to support its arguments. The sources used should be reliable and appropriate for the topic.

Originality and creativity

The judges evaluate the originality and creativity of each entry. This includes the ability to approach the topic in a unique and engaging way. The essay should demonstrate creativity in its analysis and use of evidence.

The essay should also demonstrate an original perspective on the topic and contribute new insights to the discussion.

Adherence to contest rules

The judges evaluate each entry’s adherence to the contest rules. This includes the length of the essay, the use of appropriate citation style, and the inclusion of a bibliography.

The essay should be within the word limit and follow all the guidelines outlined in the contest rules.

How to make your entry at the Profile in Courage Essay Contest a standout?

How can you make your essay entry for the Profile in Courage Contest stand out from the other entries? To make your entry stand out, you need to develop a unique and engaging approach to your topic. Here are some tips on how to make your entry at the Profile in Courage Essay Contest a standout:

Choose an unconventional topic

To stand out from the competition, you may want to choose a topic that is not commonly explored in the contest.

View of a hand writing.

Instead of writing about a well-known figure or event, consider choosing a lesser-known topic that still demonstrates political courage. This will help your essay to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your originality.

Develop a clear and concise thesis statement

Your thesis statement should be the focal point of your essay. It should clearly and concisely state the main argument you will be making in your essay.

Your thesis statement should also be engaging and thought-provoking to capture the reader’s attention.

Use compelling evidence

To make your essay more convincing, you need to use compelling evidence to support your arguments.

Use primary sources such as speeches, interviews, and other direct quotes from the elected official you are writing about. Use secondary sources such as academic articles and news articles to provide additional context and support for your arguments.

Use creative and engaging language

To stand out from the competition, you need to use creative and engaging language in your essay.

Avoid using technical terms or jargon that may confuse your readers. Instead, use vivid language and descriptive imagery to help your readers visualize your arguments.

Show your personal connection to the topic

To make your essay more personal and engaging, you may want to show your personal connection to the topic.

Discuss how the topic has affected you personally or how it relates to your own experiences. This will help your essay to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your unique perspective.

Pay attention to the details

To make your entry stand out, you need to pay attention to the details. Make sure that your essay adheres to the contest rules and requirements.

Check your spelling and grammar carefully and ensure that your essay is well-organized and easy to follow.

What makes political courage still a relevant topic among the youth?

Why is it that political courage is still a topic that young people are interested? Political courage has always been a relevant topic, particularly in American politics. It refers to the willingness of political leaders to make tough decisions, even in the face of opposition and criticism, in order to promote the public good.

a female student reading through her notes posted on her mirror

While the concept of political courage has been around for centuries, its relevance has not diminished, particularly among young people. In fact, there are several reasons why political courage is still a relevant topic among the youth.

Political polarization

In recent years, American politics has become increasingly polarized. This means that there are deep divisions between the two major political parties, and it can be difficult for politicians to find common ground.

Political courage is essential in this context because it requires politicians to put aside their personal interests and work toward the greater good, even if it means going against the party line.

Social justice issues

Young people today are deeply concerned about social justice issues, such as racial and gender inequality, climate change, and immigration.

These issues require political courage to address, as they often involve difficult decisions that may be unpopular with some segments of the population.

Young people are looking for leadership role models who are willing to take a stand on these issues and push for meaningful change.

Democratic participation

Young people are increasingly interested in getting involved in politics and making a difference in their communities. They want to see leaders who are willing to take bold action and make a positive impact.

Political courage is essential in this context, as it shows that leaders are willing to take risks and make difficult decisions in order to achieve their goals.

Historical relevance

Finally, political courage is still a relevant topic among the youth because of its historical significance.

American history is full of examples of political courage, from the Founding Fathers who risked their lives to create a new nation to the civil rights leaders who fought for equality and justice.

Young people are inspired by these examples and want to see that same kind of courage in today’s leaders.

AdmissionSight is willing to help

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest is an excellent opportunity for high school students to learn about political courage and develop their writing and research skills.

By participating in the contest, students have the chance to win cash prizes and have their essays published on the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation website.

To increase your chances of winning, make sure to choose a relevant topic, conduct thorough research, and craft a clear and engaging thesis statement.

With these tips in mind, you can submit a winning essay and contribute to the legacy of President John F. Kennedy.

While we’re on the subject of being well-informed, you should seek the advice of specialists who specialize in the field of college admissions, such as those at AdmissionSight, to improve your chances of acceptance.

We at AdmissionSight would be happy to assist you in realizing your goal. AdmissionSight has become the most trusted name in the field of college admissions advice as a result of its more than a decade of expertise assisting students just like you in gaining admission to the colleges of their first and second preferences.

Please get in touch with us as soon as you can so that we can schedule an initial consultation that will be provided free of charge.

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