USD Just Read! Student Essay Contest

books with logo Just Read Student Essay Contest

2019-2020 Just Read! Essay Contest Information

Essay Topic

With a specific argument, consider a current social justice issue with direct relationship and connection to issues raised by the content and/or context of Tales of Two Americas. As part of your argument, Tales of Two Americas should be discussed and cited directly. You may also cite outside sources, but it is not a requirement. Submissions may be individually or group authored.

Essay Rules

  • Suggested essay length is around 1300 words (1500 words max).
  • Entries due: TBD
  • Entries will be judged by select faculty and administrators involved with USD Just Read!

Judging Criteria

Essays that meet the Submission Requirement will be scored on the four criteria listed below.

Significance: Identify and address a social justice issue that is of significant concern stemming from your reading of Tales of Two Americas.

Social Justice Principles: Explicitly identify the principles that are relevant and important to your considering at the issue(s).

Strength of Argument: Provide supportive evidence (e.g., personal narrative, scholarly sources) for your argument in a clear and organized manner

Connection to Book: Connect and integrate your argument with ideas from Tales of Two Americas in a complex and deep manner.

View the Full Grading Rubric


Winning essays will be featured on the CEE website and in USD publications.

Previous Award Winners

  • 2018-2019 USD Just Read! Student Essay Contest Winners
  • 2017-2018 USD Just Read! Student Essay Contest Winners