The postmark deadline for applications for the 2007-2008 National Peace Essay Contest is March , 2007. Winners are notified by May 1, 2007. The award week is held in Pune-India every June. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Coordinators who are organizing a group of students for class or extracurricular activity:

Students are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any part of the world.
Previous first-place state winners and immediate relatives of directors or staff of the Institute are not eligible to participate. Previous honorable mentions are eligible to enter.
It is to your advantage to have someone review your essay before you submit it to make sure it is complete, has all the necessary forms, is free from spelling and grammatical errors, and addresses the topic. There is no formal process to become a coordinator.

How Do I Write the Essay?
For the purposes of the Zarathushtrian Essay Contest, an essay is a three-part paper that lay out and develops a position in response to the essay contest question. Although researching the topic to find examples that support your points is crucial to writing your essay, it should be more than a research paper, a narrative description of an event, or a statement of opinion.
Your essay should contain the following:

Your essay should also include notes and a bibliography:

Essays that use a variety of sources—academic journals, news magazines, newspapers, books, government documents, publications from research organizations—fare better in the contest.

Citations in the reference notes or bibliography should follow rules given in a handbook such as the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers or the Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Typically an entry will have at least the name of the author or editor, title of the work, and date and place of publication. The bibliography should be arranged alphabetically by the last names of the authors.

Encyclopedias are not acceptable as sources. Essays citing encyclopedias in notes or bibliography may be disqualified.

The Internet or World Wide Web should not be the only source for your essay. Be aware that you may encounter "republished" or "third generation" information on the Internet that is inaccurate or improperly attributed. When citing Internet sources, you must include the following information: author(s), title of work, Internet address, and date information was accessed. Detailed instructions can be obtained from the manuals listed above. For the purposes of this essay, Internet sources should be listed separately from non-electronic sources, such as books, magazines, and newspapers.

You must:

Your essay may be disqualified if:

How Will Your Essay Be Judged?
Essays submitted to Spenta University Essay Contest are sent to judges—qualified experts selected by the University. Using the criteria described below, state judges select winning essays. Winners are selected from among the first-place state essays by the Institute's board of directors. The decisions of the judges are final. The Institute reserves the right to present no awards at the state and national levels, or to reduce the number of awards if an insufficient number of deserving entries is received. Participants are notified in May of their essay's status. Please do not call the Institute for information about the status of your essay.

Your essay will be judged based on the seven criteria outlined below.

  1. Focus: Examines how well your essay responds to the questions and/or tasks presented. Does the essay provide specific and thorough responses to all of the questions and/or tasks presented? An excellent essay provides specific and thorough responses to all of the questions and/or tasks presented.
  2. Organization: Looks at the structure of your essay and the strength of your thesis statement. Does the essay have an organized structure? An excellent essay has an introduction, a body and a conclusion. The organization includes an excellent thesis and moves the reader through the text.
  3. Analysis: Considers how well your arguments are supported. Are the discussion points argued coherently and supported with research? In an excellent essay all of the arguments are strong, well detailed and extremely well supported by convincing and accurate evidence.
  4. Conclusions and Recommendations: Examines how well conclusions and recommendations are expressed and how closely they follow from the analysis. Conclusions and recommendations should not present new information that is not a part of the analysis: Does the essay provide sound conclusions and recommendations that follow from the analysis? An excellent essay provides a coherent and comprehensive summary based on the analysis. All of the solutions to the problems presented are specific and well thought out.
  5. Originality: Looks for creativity in writing. Does the writer use develop ideas creatively? In an excellent essay, the writer proposes and develops creative ideas, through the selection of cases and/or examples, to present novel analysis and alternatives throughout the entire essay.
  6. Voice: Considers how well your writing engages the reader. Is the essay compelling and/or engaging? An excellent essay fully captures the reader's attention. The flow of the essay keeps the reader engaged throughout the entire text.
  7. Style and Mechanics: Examines how well the essay is written in terms of grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as well as word choice and sentence construction. Is the essay well written? An excellent essay uses standard writing conventions correctly, e.g. grammar, spelling, and punctuation, with no errors. There are no errors in word choice and all sentences are well constructed.