Each Spring, the College of Arts and Sciences accepts nominations for its annual Alumni Awards for Writing Excellence. This year alumni donors will recognize four outstanding student papers and their writers: two in the Humanities, one in the Natural Sciences, and one in the Social Sciences. Awards are $500 each.

Students may nominate themselves, with endorsement of a CAS faculty member. Faculty members are also encouraged to nominate their best student writers. Criteria for submission of written work are as follows:

  • Papers must be the work of CAS graduating seniors, written during either the junior or senior year for a CAS course or for Work for Distinction.
  • Papers written by two students are eligible, as long as research and writing were shared equally between the authors. Papers co-authored with graduate students or faculty members cannot be considered.
  • The full range of expository, analytical, and research papers, including chapters of Work for Distinction projects may be submitted for consideration. Works of creative writing cannot be considered.
  • Papers written in a foreign language are eligible but must include an English translation.
  • Papers will be judged on the quality of their arguments and prose style.
  • Papers should represent significant work, consisting of 10-25 pages. Excerpts of 25 pages from longer works are acceptable and should include an abstract.

If you are a student submitting your own paper, you must first obtain your faculty sponsor’s statement in support of your paper before completing the submission process. Your faculty sponsor is the professor of the class for which you wrote the paper. Once you have secured your professor’s statement, you may complete a submission form (see below) and upload both your paper and your faculty sponsor’s statement. Please note that although you are asked to indicate which division (Humanities, Social Sciences, or Natural Sciences) you consider your paper, the Writing Program may in certain cases reclassify papers.

Final decisions will be made by a committee of Writing Program faculty members. Winners will be recognized at the CAS Awards and Recognition Ceremony on Friday, May 20 at 2 p.m. in the Tsai Auditorium.

The deadline to submit a paper for consideration in this year’s competition is Wednesday, April 20, by 5 p.m. Given the complexities of planning the CAS Awards and Recognition Ceremony, the program must adhere to this deadline and will not be able to consider papers received after 5 p.m. on the 20th.

Recent Winners of the Alumni Awards for Writing Excellence

The deadline to submit a paper for consideration in this year's competition has passed.