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College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Contest Requirements

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences invites you to participate in our annual liberal education essay contest during the academic year 2018-2019. The contest is open to all Butler University undergraduate students, and the student who writes the winning essay will win a $1000 prize. Past essay contest winners are not permitted to enter the contest.  The winning essay will be posted on the Liberal Arts and Sciences website and its author will be honored at Awards Day in April 2019.

The submitted essays will be judged by a committee of Butler University faculty drawn from various disciplines, and members of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors. 

The prompt for this year's essay is: traversing a conversational minefield

Conversations about social, political or cultural issues seem to be increasingly hard to conduct in a rational, relatively dispassionate and productive manner. Explain how the liberal arts could foster, rather than foreclose, meaningful conversations and implicitly how your liberal arts experience has helped you become a more astute analyst of, or a more active advocate for, social justice and diversity causes.

Contest Requirements

Limit yourself to 1,000 words and submit your essay as an attachment by January 31, 2019 to lasoffice@butler.edu. Essays over 1,000 words will not be considered. The format of your paper should conform to the following standards:

  • Single spaced
  • One-inch margins
  • Twelve point font
  • Conventional book-print fonts, such as Times, New Times Roman, Lucinda Bright, etc. No novelty fonts.
  • Give your essay a title (no more than one line please)
  • Title your attachment Lastname_FirstNameLAScontest.doc.
  • Make sure that your email includes contact information (name, address, phone number, email address). Do not include your name or contact information within the file, as these essays will be blind-reviewed.

Your submission will almost certainly be richer if you avail yourself of the resources and commentaries posted at the Liberal Arts Matters web site. You are not expected necessarily to agree with these commentaries or to quote from them, but reading them will certainly help deepen and vary your thinking about the topic. Please note that by submitting an entry, you are giving us permission to post your essay on the Liberal Arts and Sciences website.

Read previous years' prompts and winning essays.