Earth Science Week

Please see below for contest guidelines. Click here to download the essay contest entry form. The essay contest is open to any interested person in grades 6-9. You must also be a resident of the United States to enter. What is the subject of the essay? Geoscientists explore the relationship between human activity and the geosphere (earth), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air), and biosphere (life). As a result, Earth science expands our understanding of the natural features and processes that we often find so awe-inspiring. Much of what makes up art, from the materials used to create it to the natural inspiration for it, comes from the Earth. Focusing on one type of artistic expression, such as painting or music or fine food, explain how geoscience contributes to this art. How long should the essay be? The essay must be no more than 300 words. Longer essays will be rejected unread.

What do I need to submit? 1. A typed essay in English of no more than 300 words, focusing on the topic “Earth as Inspiration.” Each essay must be original, authentic, unpublished, the sole property of the entrant, and not previously submitted in any other contest. 3. A completed and signed entry form. Print out the entry form here and send it to us when you send your essay. Entries cannot be accepted without a signed entry form. How should I submit my essay and entry form? Essays must be submitted electronically. Paste the text of your essay, along with your contact information, into the body of an e-mail. Essays attached as separate file attachments will not be accepted. Entry forms may be submitted electronically as an attachment or by mail. Fill out your form, including the signature of a parent or guardian. IMPORTANT: Whether you use mail or e-mail, you must still submit a completed and signed entry form. You may mail the form separately to the address above, or scan the completed form and send it electronically along with your essay. If you mail the entry form separately, please indicate WHEN you sent your essay electronically.

If you have any problems submitting your essay, please e-mail the Earth Science Week staff at info@earthsciweek.org. When is the deadline? All submissions must be received electronically by 5 p.m. Entry forms may be submitted electronically or by mail. The deadline for emailing your entry form is 5 p.m. How will the essays be judged? The essays will be judged by a panel of geoscientists on grammar, content, presentation, creativity, and, most importantly, relevance to and incorporation of the topic. What are the prizes? 300 and a copy of AGI’s The Geoscience Handbook. The winner’s and finalists’ names and entries will be posted on the Earth Science Week website. No cash substitution for prizes will be permitted, and prizes are nontransferable. Additional Rules: By submitting an entry, an entrant represents that the essay is an original work, and the entrant is the sole owner of all rights to the essay. An entrant also agrees to allow the American Geosciences Institute to use his or her name to post on the AGI web site, without compensation unless prohibited.

The sentence stating the main point is called a thesis. For information on thesis development, click here. Such hooks are particularly important when you cannot assume your reader’s interest in the subject. Hooks are less necessary in scholarly essays and other writing aimed at readers with a professional interest in the subject. AS YOU DRAFT THE BODY, KEEP YOUR THESIS IN MIND. Before drafting the body of an essay, take a careful look at your introduction, focusing especially on your thesis sentence. What does the thesis promise readers? Try to keep this focus in mind. It is a good idea to have a plan in mind as well. If your thesis sentence outlines a plan or if you have sketched a preliminary outline, try to block out your paragraphs accordingly. If you do not have a plan, you would be wise to pause for a moment and sketch one. The conclusion should echo the main idea without dully repeating it. Ideally, your conclusion should discuss the broader implications of the ideas you have presented. In addition to echoing your main idea, a conclusion might pose a question for future study, offer advice, or propose a course of action. To make the conclusion memorable, consider including a detail, example, or image from the introduction to bring readers full circle; a quotation or bit of dialogue; an anecdote; or a humorous, witty, or ironic comment. Whatever concluding strategy you choose, avoid introducing wholly new ideas at the end of an essay. Also avoid apologies and other limp, indeterminate endings. Do not preface your conclusion with “In conclusion” or other tag phrases because your conclusion speaks for itself. The essay should end crisply, preferably on a positive note. Adapted from Diana Hacker, Rules for Writers, 4th ed.