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Common Reading Essay Contest 2020-2021

Guidelines for Writing & Submitting Your Essay

Reyna’s story highlights the importance of hope and determination that she experienced while moving to the United States after leaving her home town in Mexico. Using your critical thinking skills, select a theme from Renya’s story that you can relate to as a freshmen student in college.  Be sure to include examples from Reyna’s life and your life, and how you can relate her.

This an AMAZING opportunity for you to write a reflective essay to share your story and demonstrate your writing skills.  Please consider submitting an essay along these guidelines:

Essay Writing Guidelines & Submitting Your Essay

  1. Write an essay about how the common reading book affected you.  Be honest.
  2. Make a connection between your experiences starting college and the author's challenges, and how they overcame problems.  Share your personal stories or feelings as you explain your opinion.
  3. Do NOT tell the story of the book.  The essay contest judges have read the book.  Tell how you feel about the story and the author's experience.
  4. Follow these guidelines regarding the format of the essay:
  • On the first page provide:
    • Your name [First Name, Last Name]
    • Panther ID Number
    • FIU email address
  • No title page.
  • Tell your story in your words.  Learn how to avoid Plagiarism.
  • Double-spaced lines for the text area only.
  • 1 inch margins all around, 12 pitch font.
  • Essays less than 2 pages or more than 3 pages will not be reviewed.

Contest Opens:  June 22, 2020

Contest Closes:  Monday, March 1, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.

The Common Reading Essay Contest and prize monies are sponsored by the FIU University Libraries.

Prizes & Cash Awards:  1st Prize - $200  |   2nd Prize - $150   |   3rd Prize - $100
Award money will be electronically deposited into the winning students' accounts.  Winners will be notified via email.

Click here to submit your essay -- good luck!

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