Essay Contest

2021 Summer Reading Essay Contest

Cash Prizes
Two winners will receive $500
Up to three honorable mentions will receive $50


All first year students are eligible to submit essays.  Deadline August 1, 2021. Essays will be read and evaluated by members of the MTSU faculty and staff.

The story of Wes Moore hopefully left you more educated about issues of education, violence, personal choice/self-action, criminal justice, and the American experience. The 2021 Campus Read presents big questions related to money, community, safety, violence, education, motivation, opportunity, self-choice, and the human condition. Respond to one of the below essay prompts using original writing created by you... how did this book make you question your fate.. how did you get here and where are you going?


Select one of the following essay prompts:
For all these questions, use quotations from the text to support your interpretation

  • Identify a social issue of your choice brought up in "The Other Wes Moore." How does this issue expand beyond the book to affect our world nationally and/or globally? How can you apply your college education to address this issue in the future?
  • The value and privilege associated with education is a highlighted theme throughout parts of "The Other Wes Moore." How has the book shifted your perspective on the value of achieving a college education? What value do you place on the educational opportunities ahead of you at Middle Tennessee State University? What impact will a college education have on changing your life?

Be brief: Your essay should be no more than 1000 words. That’s about six minutes when read aloud at your natural pace.

Be personal: Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times. Each time edit it until you find the words and tone that truly echo your ideas.

Additional Guidelines

Essay Length: maximum of 1000 words
Formatting: double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12 pt. font, Times New Roman font
Personal Information:

  • Cover Page: All entries must have a cover sheet that includes your name, essay title, student M number, MTSU email and phone number.
  • Essay: As the judging is anonymous, do not include your name anywhere in your essay. Only include your name on the cover page. 

Originality: Your submission must be an entirely original piece of writing.

Deadline: All entries must be submitted by August 1, 2021 to with "The Other Wes Moore" in the subject line.

Submission Review & Winner Selection

Submissions will be reviewed by faculty and staff judges. Two first year student winners will be selected and receive a $500 award. Up to three first year students will be chosen to receive Honorable Mention, and will each receive a $50 award. The winners and up to three Honorable Mention recipients will be notified and the awards given in September of fall 2021 semester. Each award will be processed through the Financial Aid Office per MTSU policy.