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Composition Essay Contest

The English department at Western Kentucky University is pleased to announce our first annual Composition Essay Contest. Students should visit https://www.wku.edu/english/essay-contests.php to complete an application and submit a 500-750-word essay (MLA style; pdf format) based on the prompt below. The English department will invite finalists, their teachers, and family to campus for a reception and ceremony on February 6th where they will be recognized. The winners will receive scholarships if they choose to major or minor in English at WKU and cash prizes whether or not they attend WKU. First Place: $500 Scholarship and $200 cash; Second Place: $300 Scholarship and $100 cash; Third Place: $200 Scholarship and $50 cash. The winners’ schools will receive $50 contributions to their PTA funds. Applications and Essays are due January 22.

Question: The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018, in Parkland, FL, resulted in seventeen fatalities and seventeen injuries. It was the deadliest high school shooting in United States history. Further, by May of 2018, twenty-two school shootings had been recorded for the year. As a reaction to these incidences of gun violence in schools, at least fourteen states have proposed measures for arming teachers and staff.

Carefully read the following six sources, including the introductory information for each source. Then synthesize material from at least three of the sources and incorporate it into a coherent, welldeveloped essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies the notion that arming teachers and school staff is beneficial and feasible.

Your argument should be the focus of your essay. Use the sources included in the essay contest flyer to develop your argument and explain the reasoning for it. Avoid merely summarizing the sources. Indicate clearly which sources you are drawing from whether through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. You may cite the sources by using the descriptions in parentheses below.

Source A (Chavez)

Source B (Clements)

Source C (Green)

Source D (Newkirk)

Source E (Prager image)

Source F (Way)




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 Last Modified 11/26/18