Monday, January 26, 2009


Students often tell me that Religious Studies courses tend to require a good deal more writing than other courses at Pitt. Here's a chance to be recognized (and possibly with money) for all that writing. If you wrote a paper that fits into one of the categories below and earned a high grade for it, you should consider entering it into the contest.


Sponsored by the School of Arts and Sciences

The School of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce our annual writing competition. Its purpose is to recognize and promote fine nonfiction prose writing in the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences, and the Humanities. Cash prizes will be awarded for winning entries in the categories of Research Writing (projects involving substantial analysis of primary sources or data) and Critical Writing (projects involving critical analysis of a text, artifact, problem, issue, or experience—with or without the use of secondary sources).

The 2009 competition will consider pieces written for courses taken at the University of Pittsburgh during the 2007-2008 or 2008-2009 academic years (Fall, Spring, or Summer Terms). Submissions will be judged by the College Writing Board, and the awards will be acknowledged at the Honors Convocation.

Guidelines for Submission:
1. Papers must have been written by a matriculated undergraduate student in Arts and Sciences, to fulfill the requirements for a course at the University of Pittsburgh. Papers may be revised before being submitted to the contest.

2. For paper submission, please send or deliver eight clean copies to the Chair of the College Writing Board, Dept of English, 526 CL. The copies should be accompanied by one cover sheet listing the title of the piece; student’s name, address, e-mail address, and Social Security number; the name of the department, the class, and the professor for whom the paper was written; and the category in which the paper belongs (Research or Critical Writing). The title should appear on the first page of the paper; otherwise, the paper should have no identifying information.

3. For electronic submission, please follow the guidelines found on the Writing Across the Curriculum website ( The title should appear on the first page of the paper; otherwise, the paper should have no identifying information.

4. All contestants must either include a copy of the assignment that prompted the paper, or attach a preface that explains the assignment in detail. (Please include eight copies for paper submissions.) Submissions without an assignment sheet or preface will not be considered.

5. The deadline for submission is May 15, 2009. Submissions will be accepted any time after February 1, 2009.

6. Fiction and poetry are not eligible for the Ossip Award.

7. Judges for the competition will consider content (writing that demonstrates depth and breadth of understanding, provides accurate information, and conveys quality analysis), coherence (writing that shows clear purpose, logical organization, and sentence fluency), and style (writing that is precise, clear, and compelling within the context of disciplinary conventions) when evaluating the essays.

For more information contact:
Beth Matway, Chair, College Writing Board, 526 CL; 624-6533;

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