Argument Writing: Stossel in the Classroom Contests

2023 deadline: March 31

Need a real-world reason to assign argumentative essays? Look no further. The Stossel in the Classroom 2022-23 Essay Contest welcomes your students’ arguments. I have used Stossel in the Classroom contests twice with middle schoolers, and even though none of my students won, the contests were valuable experiences. I think whenever we can get kids writing for a real-world audience, everyone wins.

The deadline is March 31 and the prizes are generous. Granted, these are national contests and, therefore, very competitive. Still, providing a contest of any kind often provides some motivation to make writing argument essays worthwhile. After all, students can’t win if they don’t enter.

“Stossel in the Classroom” is a program of journalist John Stossel and the Center for Independent Thought.

Choosing a topic is often a barrier to starting. Stossel in the Classroom makes that easy by providing three essay topic choices to choose from.

In the past, my students could usually zero in on one topic that piqued their interest. Sure, you may need to help middle schoolers connect the some of the choices to their young lives, but once they see how these grown-up topics do indeed affect them, they’ll be able to insert their unique viewpoints into a conversation!

Here are this year’s argument choices:

  • The American Constitution in our lives
  • Inflation: Root causes and community impact
  • Economics in the Wild

Refer to this page of the website for the rest of the prompts, which provide context and background info, videos, and resources to get students brainstorming.

Here are a few other details to know:

  • Essay length must be 500-1,000 words, excluding Works Cited entries
  • Both high school and middle school students have their own age category and prizes
  • Stossel in the Classroom also invites students to create video essays in a separate contest. Visit this page for more info on that option.

Check out the website for resources that will help you guide students to their research. The contest website offers a video library, Both Sides of the Issue video series, and modules that offer more videos centered around debatable topics. Also: mentor essays! Read previous winners here. These would all make good sources and would keep students from wandering the internet for random research.

Marilyn Yung

Thanks for reading! Stossel’s argument essay contest is a good thing. There’s no cost to enter and students can learn so much from producing an argument for a real-world audience.

Browse through my Student Contest page for more contests, most of which I’ve used with middle schoolers and high schoolers. Also, feel free to leave a comment or ask a question using my Contact page. Have a great week!

Need a new poetry idea?

Enter your email below and I’ll send you this PDF file that will teach your students to write Treasured Object Poems, one of my favorite poem activities. I know your students will enjoy it!

Image shows readers the paper I'll send for signing up for my email list. The handout gives instructions for a Treasured Object poem.
Treasured Object Poems

Success! You're on the list.

Looking for something specific?

ELA Brave and True

Featured Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Published by Marilyn Yung

Writes | Teaches | Not sure where one ends and the other begins.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: