March 31

11:59 PM

This year's theme explores the challenges of the mix of information, misinformation, or disinformation on social media for one's community and the world. Open to high school students within the PAWAC outreach area, students are invited to research this year's theme and submit their well-written essay.

International Affairs Essay Contest for Area High School Students In Honor of George "Mac" Pogue

Topic: Social media has had a profound effect on our nation and the world. Why do you think the mix of information, misinformation, or disinformation on social media is a particular challenge to both your community and the world? How would you address this particular challenge? Be specific in describing the challenge and possible remedies. Cite at least three authoritative resources to back up your reasoning using parenthetical (in-text) citations. Include a Works Cited page with proper identification of your sources.

In your answer, be sure to do the following:

  1. Identify a particular challenge that social media poses to your community and the world. Defend your choice. Judges will be paying attention to how you analyze the challenge, including, but not limited to, the accuracy of your description, your portrayal of the context involved (local, national, economic, political, etc.), and the way you connect the challenge to international relations theory and scholarship. The more understanding of geopolitics you demonstrate, the more points will be awarded for your analysis in this area.
  2. Then project the impact of the event or trend into the future and envision ways to address the challenge, as reasonably as possible given today’s global realities. Extraordinary remedies to the challenge will require you to give a commensurate level of evidence to back them up. The more understanding of geopolitics you demonstrate, the more points will be awarded for your analysis in this area.

Throughout your writing process, consult the attached rubric to ensure that you are covering the areas judges will be looking for. Your position is less important than how meaningfully you defend your choice of challenge with evidence and make a coherent and reasonable argument for your position.

  • Essays should be 600 to 1000 words in length and double spaced. Submissions are due at midnight Central Time on March 31, 2023, via email to director@pawac.org.
  • Include the student’s name, school, email address, and phone number at which the student can be reached.
  • Include the name of the teacher who has supported the student in their submission, including the name of the high school, email, and phone for the teacher.
  • Please submit essays as a Word doc or pdf. Late submissions will not be accepted.
  • Winners will be announced by email or phone during the week of April 24, 2023. Both students and sponsoring teachers will be notified.

Prizes will be awarded as follows:

$200 to one student for the first-place essay

$100 to one student for the second-place essay

$50 to the sponsoring teacher or educator for each place

Any sponsoring teacher or educator whose student or students submit an essay to the contest will receive a free, one-year membership to the Peoria Area World Affairs Council (a $50 value). Your student need not win in order for the teacher to receive the membership.

The contest is open to any students in the PAWAC outreach area who are enrolled in high school during the 2022-23 academic year, including public, private, and homeschool students. Please specify a sponsoring teacher or educator with each submission, along with email, phone, and school address for both educator and student.

The judging panel will consist of PAWAC’s Education Outreach committee and qualified volunteers from Council membership. At least half of the judging panel will be comprised of current and former educators.