About the General Education Writing Awards (GEWA)

Kate L. Pantelides; Erica M. Stone; Elizabeth M. Williams; and Harlow Crandall

General Education Writing Awards (GEWA)

The General Education Writing Awards (GEWA) have been a tradition at MTSU for more than 20 years. In past years, our GEWA winners were featured in our custom textbooks for ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020, which did not adequately feature the winners of multimodal and literary analyses. As of Fall 2021, we are delighted to showcase students’ work in a digital, open-access format that allows everyone in the MTSU community to enjoy the excellent work of our students and faculty.

Nomination & Submission Processes

Faculty and students who wish to submit work for GEWA consideration should follow the submission guidelines and steps below. Deadlines for submission are announced on the English Department listservs each semester. Typically, GEWA nominations are due one week after final grades are submitted in fall, spring, and summer semesters. A GEWA Cover Sheet is required for each entry.

Submission Guidelines & Steps:

  1. Only students enrolled in English 1009, 1010, 1020, 2020 and 2030 during the calendar year may submit compositions.
  2. The project must be nominated by the faculty member of the MTSU English Department for whom the project was written.
  3. Students are strongly urged to confer with their instructors when revising/editing their work.
  4. Neither the student’s nor the instructor’s name should appear in the submission itself. However, student and faculty names will appear on the works if they are published in our online GedEd Magazine (GEM).
  5. Student M numbers should appear either: in the upper left corner of the first page (if submitting an essay) or on the jewel case/flash drive containing your project. If providing digital work, including a list of steps with the cover sheet so reviewers will know how to access your project. Note: M numbers will be removed when the works are published in the GenEd Magazine (GEM).
  6. A cover sheet, signed by the student and the student’s instructor, must accompany the submission. Cover sheets and submission guidelines are available in the General Education English Office, Peck Hall 324. They should accompany all submissions.
  7. Submit one copy of the essay with one cover sheet to the General Education English office, Peck Hall 324. The writer should carefully edit the essay or project prior to submission. Digital submission is welcome.

Categories & Judging Criteria

Categories:

  1. Expository projects written in ENGL 1009 or ENGL 1010
  2. Researched projects written in ENGL 1020.
  3. Literary analysis projects composed in ENGL 2020 or ENGL 2030.
  4. Multimodal projects composed in General Education English courses (ENGL 1010, 1020, 2020, 2030)

Students may submit only one project in each category. A student will not win more than one award. Collaborative works may be submitted but any award money must be split among all the writers. Up to three prizes may be given in each category. Instructors are encouraged to nominate no more than two students per course section.

Judging Criteria & Processes:

Submissions are judged by a volunteer committee of graduate students and faculty using the criteria below.

Category 1

Expository projects should meet the following criteria:

1. Show originality in the choice of topic and development.

2. Use a distinctive voice that conveys a sophisticated or personal style.

3. Present a clear thesis or controlling idea.

4. Be effectively organized.

5. Demonstrate awareness of academic writing conventions.

6. Use diction appropriate to its audience and purpose.

7. Document source use if applicable and according to genre conventions.

Category 2

Researched projects should meet the following criteria:

1. Show originality in the choice of topic and development.

2. Use a distinctive voice that conveys a sophisticated or personal style.

3. Present a clear thesis that supports a debatable position.

4. Effectively integrate varied and appropriate source material.

5. Be effectively organized.

6. Use diction appropriate to its audience and purpose.

7. Demonstrate awareness of academic writing conventions.

8. Conform to appropriate documentation conventions.

Category 3

Literary Analysis projects should meet the following criteria:

1. Show originality in the choice of topic and development.

2. Present a clear thesis.

3. Use a distinctive voice that conveys a sophisticated or personal style.

4. Effectively integrate primary source material.

5. Offer an effective and logical organization.

6. Use diction appropriate to its audience and purpose.

7. Demonstrate awareness of academic writing conventions.

8. Conform to MLA documentation conventions in ways appropriate for the chosen genre.

Category 4

Multimodal projects should meet the following criteria:

1. Show originality in the choice of topic and development.

2. Use a distinctive voice that conveys a sophisticated or personal style.

3. Present a clear thesis or controlling idea.

4. Effectively integrate varied and appropriate source material.

5. Be effectively organized.

6. Use media, including text and images, appropriate to its audience and purpose.

7. Demonstrate rhetorical awareness in the presentation of the artifact.

8. Conform to appropriate documentation conventions given the mode.

Awards & Ceremony

GEWA winners are recognized at the English Department Awards Ceremony, which is typically held each Spring semester. Students who win in each GEWA category are awarded cash prizes in the following amounts:

  • First Place $600
  • Second Place $300
  • Third Place $200

License

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About the General Education Writing Awards (GEWA) by Kate L. Pantelides; Erica M. Stone; Elizabeth M. Williams; and Harlow Crandall is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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