The 2017-2018 TAP International Essay Contest

The 2017 Essay Contest is now closed. Watch this space for the winning entries!

Middle School Question (grades 5-8):

Imagine that you are responsible for putting together a media package of five (5) items that are representative of your country's youth culture for someone who knows little or nothing about your country.

Write an essay telling us which five items you would select and why they are worth sharing. These items can be in any form of media, such as songs, websites, magazines, TV shows, or movies. After your audience views your media package of the five items, what impression do you think they will have about youth culture in your country? What biases or stereotypes could you dispel with your media package? Please be sure that your essay answers all of these questions.

Entries must not exceed 750 words, must be typed, must be clearly organized, and must answer all parts of the question.

High School Question (grades 9-12):

Popular media from magazines to movies to television offer images, stories, and information that influence our prejudices and the way we think about social issues.

Write an essay telling us about a topic in the media that made you realize a prejudice of your own. How would you seek truthful information to better understand the subject matter? Why did you feel you should learn more? Now that you have a better understanding of your own bias and more knowledge of the issue, how have you changed your behavior? Be sure to include all of your thoughts and the answers to these questions.

Entries must not exceed 1,000 words, must be typed, must be clearly organized, and must answer all parts of the question.

Criteria: For contact purposes only, all students must include their name, home address, contact phone number, school name, school location, and grade. Also include an e-mail address, if available.*

  • Entries will become the property of TAP.
  • Essays may be submitted in Word or text format or scanned in as PDF files. Please include your name in the filename (e.g., "Jane Doe--TAP.doc").
  • Entries should be emailed to (middle school) or (high school) by December 15, 2017, and must be accompanied by this Contest Entry Form.
  • Please indicate in the subject line "Middle school essay contest" or "High school essay contest."
  • If Internet access is not available, entries must be postmarked by December 15 and mailed to:

Teachers Against Prejudice
381 Long Hill Road
Wallingford, CT 06492

Prizes: First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in each age group:

First place:$300
Second place:$200
Third place:$100

(Prizes of comparable value will be awarded for those who reside outside of the United States.)

Based on previous results, we anticipate a good response and want to make sure that your students are included in this timely, relevant discussion.

TAP reserves the right to copy and modify any entry for reproduction. Entries will become the property of TAP.

*PRIVACY POLICY: The personal information provided with contest entries is used only for communication regarding the contest. We will not add you to any mailing lists without your prior knowledge or express permission, and personal contact information is not shared with any organization outside TAP.