2015 Maroon Edition Essay Contest

Writing the Maroon Edition Essay: Strategies and Suggestions

The MSU Maroon & Write Project is proud to sponsor the 2015 Maroon Edition Essay Contest. All MSU undergraduate students are invited to submit an essay based on Same Kind of Different as Me. Students must be enrolled during the Spring 2016 semester to be eligible for a prize. Prizes will be awarded in freshman and upper-classman categories. Winners in each category will receive the following awards credited to their MSU accounts:

1ST PRIZE - $500

2ND PRIZE - $300

3RD PRIZE - $100

Your essay must discuss ONE of these topics:

  1. Prejudice, a strong theme in Same Kind of Different as Me, is defined as a preconceived judgment or opinion of an individual or group without sufficient knowledge or just grounds. How do Ron Hall and Denver Moore exhibit prejudice, and what experiences cause them to overcome this mindset? Explain how their experience might have a broader meaning to readers.
  2. Friendship, a relationship involving mutual affection, often develops from shared viewpoints and experiences. It is characterized by trust, empathy, and honesty; friends often share a common background and interests. Based on this definition, how is the friendship between Ron Hall and Denver Moore unusual and/or unlikely? In what ways might a friendship comprised of dissimilar individuals be beneficial and rewarding?
  3. Homelessness, an ongoing issue in the United States, is estimated to impact 3.5 million Americans every year. The Union Gospel Mission, where Deborah and Ron Hall volunteered, sits only a short distance from the affluent cultural district of Fort Worth, TX, yet the poverty and hunger go unnoticed by most residents. Although homelessness will never be eradicated, how can the situation be improved?
  4. Outsider artists, according to French artist Jean Dubuffet, “derive everything... from their own depths, and not from the conventions of classical or fashionable art.” In what ways can we view Denver Moore as an artist? What role does art play in the relationship between Denver Moore and Ron Hall?
  5. Volunteering, service to others, is initially viewed by Denver Moore as a selfish act, one that makes the volunteer feel better about himself one or two days a year. After getting to know the Halls, how does Denver Moore’s opinion change? How can service to others become a meaningful way of life here on the MSU campus or elsewhere in Mississippi?

Offer your own ideas and arguments, but be sure to use quotations and specific examples from the book to illustrate and support your points.

Submission Requirements: Essays must be 500-1000 words, double-spaced with 1-inch margins; use Times New Roman 12-point font. Center your essay title on the first page. DO NOT put your name on the body of the essay; instead, include a cover sheet with the following information:

Submit your essay by midnight on Friday, November 6, 2015, to essaycontest@msstate.edu as an attached PDF document.

A copy of these guidelines can be downloaded as a PDF here.

We do not learn for school, but for life. -- Seneca