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AEL Collegiate Essay Contest: Home


The Americanism Educational Leaders and Pepperdine University Libraries are pleased to announce its annual collegiate essay contest.

The mission of AEL is in its strong belief in "American exceptionalism", i.e. that our country is exceptional in the history of the world. All of our programs are meant to encourage students to learn about, understand and appreciate some aspect of the American experience. Educating our youth about basic American values, history and institutions is the best way to protect the American dream for all of our people.

This essay contest is an opportunity for undergraduate students to express their equally strong belief in American exceptionalism. 

Eligibility and Requirements

Essay prompt: 

Describe your understanding of American exceptionalism, and, drawing an example from current events, discuss how that example demonstrates American exceptionalism in global relations, freedom, and/or democracy.

Each essay must be between 1,500 and 2,000 words in length, typed and double-spaced. After completion, it should be emailed to, and email-postmarked by the deadline date. In addition to the completed essay, each student must submit a brief biography.

The requirements for submission of essays are as stated:

·       This contest is for U.S. students.

·       Must be a U.S. citizen.

·       Must be a current undergraduate college or university student.


Submission Guidelines

This essay will be judged—not on the basis of agreement or disagreement with the views of AEL, or on the length of their bibliographies, but on the internal logic, coherence, originality, thoughtfulness, and evidence of sound research.


Prize Categories

First Prize: $2,500

Second Prize: $1,500

Third Prize: $1,000


Deadline for submission: August 31, 2016


For any questions, please contact:

AEL Email