Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics - Essay Contest

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Registered undergraduate full-time juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the U.S. and Canada.

Suggested Essay Topics:

  • Why are we here?
  • How are we to meet our ethical obligations?
  • Reflect on the mot profound, moral dilemma you have encountered and what it has taught you about ethics.
  • What ethical issue concerns you most and what concrete proposals would you make to deal with it?

What The Readers Look For:

  • Adherence to design format and carefully proofread essays
  • Well thought out essays, which do not stray from the topic
  • Depth of feeling and genuine grappling with a moral dilemma
  • Originality and imagination
  • Eloquence of writing style
  • Intensity and unity in the essay

Essay Format:

  • Essays may be written in the formal or informal voice, but most importantly, an individual voice should be represented with the essay.
  • In 3,000-4,000 words, students are encouraged to raise questions, single out issues and identify dilemmas.
  • The essay may be developed from any point of view and may take the form of an analysis that is biographical, historical, literal, philosophical, psychological, sociological, or theological.
  • Essays must be the original, unpublished work of the student and only one essay per student per contest year may be submitted.
  • Essay should be in English, typed in 12-point fount, double-spaced with 1inch margins and the pages numbered.
  • Submissions will be judged anonymously. Hence, no name or identifying references (ie. name,school, or professor) should appear on the title page or in the manuscript. Our office will put a code on your essay.

Submission of Materials:

  • Please submit (3) copies of your essay (one copy paper-clipped and two stapled).
  • In addition, be sure to enclose a completed Student Entry Form and Faculty Sponsor Form.
  • Entries must be postmarked on or before December 1, 2003. No faxed or e-mailed entries will be accepted.
  • Please note that due to the volume of entries, no materials will be critiqued or returned.

For more information: web-site www.eliewieselfoundation.org

Applications are available in the Financial Aid Office.


First Prize-$5,000
Second Prize-$2,500
Third Prize-$1,500
Two Honorable Mentions-$500 each