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Essay Contest

Essay Contest Details

What is the Turning Points program?
Teachers and peers help students through a process of self-reflection and discussion about a significant event – a turning point – in their lives. Students then write an essay about that event to relate its significance to their present situation – and to their future. They are then encouraged to submit their essays for formal evaluation, recognition, and publication in an annual anthology. Those chosen for publication receive cash prizes, engraved plaques, a copy of the anthology, and are invited to recognition events in their area.

What are the criteria for the submission of Student Essays? 

Students currently in Grades 6-12 whose teachers have registered for the program are eligible to submit essays in consultation with their teacher. It is suggested that student essays be assessed/evaluated in the classroom as part of the Language (English/French/ESL/ELD) program.

Essay Requirements:  
  1. Essays must be authentic (true story)
  2. Essays must adhere to the maximum word count for the grade level:
    • Group A Grade 6: 250 to 350 words
    • Group B Grades 7 and 8: 350 to 500 words
    • Group C Grades 9 and 10: 500 to 700 words
    • Group D Grades 11 and12: 800 to 1,000 words
  3. Essays must have an effective title (note that "My Turning Point" or "Turning Point essay" will not be accepted). Title is not included in the word count.
  4. Student name must not appear on the essay pages.
  5. Essay font must be Arial, size 12.
  6. Entries will be assessed on the basis of originality of thought, clarity of language, organizational structure, use of conventions such as grammar and spelling, understanding of a "turning point" and impact on the reader.
  7. Once an essay is submitted to The Learning Partnership, the essay becomes the property of The Learning Partnership.
  8. Students whose essays are chosen for inclusion in the Anthology of Winning Essays will read their essays at the awards event.