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The Ultimate Guide to the Profile in Courage Essay Contest

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Unidentified student writing on a table.

The Ultimate Guide to the Profile in Courage Essay Contest

Imagine a chance to showcase your writing talent, delve into the world of political courage, and potentially win scholarship money – all while impacting your community and the world at large. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not! The Profile in Courage Essay Contest is an extraordinary opportunity that has been shaping the lives of upcoming college students for years. With a focus on celebrating political courage, this competition not only elevates the voices of the next generation but also provides an invaluable learning experience for young, aspiring minds. So, buckle up and get ready to explore how this one-of-a-kind contest could change your life and set you on a path to success.

What is the Profile in Courage Essay Contest?

To begin with, what exactly is the Profile in Courage Essay Contest? The Profile in Courage Essay Contest was established in 1994 in honor of the late President John F. Kennedy, inspired by his Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Profiles in Courage.”

The book highlights acts of bravery and integrity by eight U.S. Senators who risked their careers for the greater good. Following this legacy, the contest encourages young people to reflect on the concept of political courage and recognize the importance of standing up for one’s beliefs.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation plays a crucial role in organizing and administering the Profile in Courage Essay Contest. As the contest’s sponsor, the foundation not only provides the resources and support needed to run the competition but also plays an active part in raising awareness, promoting civic education, and nurturing future leaders.

a female student with a laptop sitting at a staircase

The primary goal of the contest is to inspire young people to learn about and appreciate the qualities of political courage demonstrated by elected officials throughout U.S. history. It aims to foster critical thinking, enhance research and writing skills, and encourage students to explore how moral and ethical decisions shape political leadership and impact society.

Moreover, it actively promotes civic education by requiring participants to research, analyze, and write about historical examples of political courage. This process enables students to gain a deeper understanding of the democratic process, ethical decision-making, and the importance of standing up for one’s beliefs.

Thus, by engaging with these topics, students develop essential leadership skills such as empathy, resilience, and communication, which can help them become more informed and effective citizens.

What are the requirements for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest?

So, what are the requirements to join the Profile in Courage Essay Contest? The Profile in Courage Essay Contest has specific requirements that participants must adhere to submit a successful entry. These include:

Eligibility Criteria

Age Group

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest is open to high school students in grades 9 through 12, usually ranging in age from 14 to 18 years old.

Educational Background

Participants must be enrolled in a public, private, parochial, or homeschool in the United States or its territories, or be U.S. citizens attending schools overseas.

Essay Guidelines

Word Count

Essays should be between 700 and 1,000 words, not including the citations and bibliography.

Format and Citation Style

The essay must be typed, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins, and follow the MLA citation style. A bibliography is required, with a minimum of five varied and reliable sources.

Judging Criteria

Originality

Essays should be engaging and original in content, demonstrating creativity and an innovative approach to the chosen subject.

Use of Primary Sources

The essay must include at least one primary source, such as government documents, speeches, letters, or other historical records that support the analysis of the chosen act of political courage.

Demonstrated Understanding of Political Courage

Essays should clearly articulate the significance of the chosen official’s act of political courage and its impact on society. The essay must exhibit a deep understanding of the concept and its relevance in today’s world.

What are the prizes for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest?

What are the rewards for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest? The rewards for winning the Profile in Courage Essay Contest are quite enticing.

The first-place winner receives $10,000, with $3,000 in cash and a $7,000 college scholarship.

Additional cash prizes are awarded to the second-place winner ($1,000), and up to five finalists ($500 each).

Moreover, all winners and finalists receive an invitation to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston for a special recognition ceremony.

How to choose a profile for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest?

How to select a profile for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest? Choosing a profile involves finding a U.S. elected official who demonstrated political courage by taking a stand on an issue, despite potential risks or backlash. Here are some tips to help you select an inspiring and compelling profile:

Research lesser-known figures

Avoid choosing well-known acts of political courage that have been covered extensively. Instead, look for lesser-known figures or events that might have been overlooked, but still showcase significant acts of courage.

Focus on the impact

Select an official whose courageous act had a lasting impact on their constituents, society, or the nation as a whole. This will make your essay more engaging and meaningful.

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Consider the context

Understand the historical context surrounding the courageous act. Consider the political climate, social issues, and any other factors that may have influenced the official’s decision to take a stand.

Analyze the risks

Examine the risks and challenges faced by the elected official. This could include potential damage to their career, reputation, or personal relationships. Highlighting these risks will emphasize the courage it took to make such a decision.

Look for a personal connection

If possible, choose a profile in courage that resonates with you. This will make your essay more authentic and passionate, allowing you to write from a place of genuine interest.

Consult various sources

Use a mix of primary and secondary sources to gather information about your chosen profile in courage. Books, newspaper articles, speeches, interviews, and official documents can all provide valuable insights.

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Once you have chosen a compelling profile in courage, ensure that your essay highlights the official’s act of bravery, the risks they faced, and the impact of their actions. By telling an engaging story and backing it up with solid research, you’ll create a powerful essay that stands out in the contest.

How to craft an engaging essay for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest?

So, how can you write an interesting essay for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest? To craft an engaging essay for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest, it’s essential to combine thorough research, strong storytelling, and clear writing. Here are some tips to help you create an impactful essay:

Start with a hook

Begin your essay with an attention-grabbing introduction that sets the stage for the story and entices the reader to continue. This could be a provocative statement, a quote, or an anecdote related to your chosen profile in courage.

A woman sitting on a desk while typing.

Provide historical context

Describe the political climate, social issues, and other relevant factors that influenced the official’s decision to take a stand. This will help your readers understand the significance of the courageous act.

Tell a compelling story

Weave a captivating narrative around the courageous act by focusing on the challenges faced by the official, the risks they took, and the impact of their actions. Use descriptive language and vivid details to make the story come alive.

Use strong, reliable sources

Support your essay with credible sources to add authenticity and weight to your arguments. Ensure you use a mix of primary and secondary sources, and properly cite them using MLA or APA format.

Write clearly and concisely

Organize your essay with a clear thesis statement and a logical flow of ideas. Use simple language, avoid jargon, and break your essay into well-structured paragraphs with appropriate transitions.

Edit and proofread

Revise your essay multiple times to eliminate grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and inconsistencies. Ask a teacher, friend, or family member to read your essay and provide feedback.

Stick to the contest guidelines

Make sure your essay adheres to the word count, formatting, and other requirements outlined by the contest organizers.

By incorporating these tips, you’ll be well on your way to crafting an engaging and persuasive essay that highlights an inspiring act of political courage and captures the attention of the contest judges.

How to submit your essay for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest?

How do you submit your essay for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest? Submitting your essay for the Profile in Courage Essay Contest involves several steps. Follow this process to ensure a successful submission:

Check the contest deadlines

The contest typically has a submission deadline in January. Make sure to visit the official website for the most up-to-date information on deadlines and submission guidelines.

Register for the contest

Go to the contest’s official website and complete the online registration form. This will create an account that allows you to submit your essay and track its status.

Prepare your essay

Before submitting, double-check that your essay meets all the contest requirements, including word count, formatting, and topic guidelines. Proofread and edit your essay to ensure it is free of errors and inconsistencies.

Convert your essay to the required format

Save your essay as a PDF or Word document, as specified by the contest organizers.

Submit your essay

Log in to your account on the contest’s website and follow the instructions to upload your essay through the online submission system. Make sure to include any required information, such as your name, contact details, and school information.

Confirm your submission

After uploading your essay, you should receive a confirmation email or notification on the contest website acknowledging your submission. If you do not receive confirmation, contact the contest organizers to ensure your essay has been successfully submitted.

In conclusion, participating in the Profile in Courage Essay Contest not only allows you to explore inspiring acts of political courage but also offers a chance to win scholarships and recognition that can enhance your college journey.

As you work towards crafting a powerful essay, remember that AdmissionSight is here to support you. Our expert guidance and resources can help you navigate the college application process, improve your writing skills, and ultimately increase your chances of success in prestigious contests like the Profile in Courage Essay Contest. Together, let’s embark on a journey of self-discovery, learning, and growth, as we unlock your full potential and set you on the path to academic and personal success. Contact us now! 

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