Sponsors: Arlington Historical Society (AHS) and Columbia Masonic Lodge #285

TOPIC: “During the Civil War, Arlington (Alexandria County) found itself at the boundary between North and South, both culturally and militarily. Describe and discuss the effect of this juxtaposition, both then and subsequently.”

Eligibility: 11th grade students in APS schools

Entry Deadline: April 7, 2015

Awards:  AHS will make the following awards:

First Place: $1,000 & publication in the Arlington Historical Magazine
Second Place: $500
  • Third Place: $300
  • Two Honorable Mentions: $100 each.

Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at an Awards Ceremony, date and time to be provided.

Rules for Entrants:

  • You must be in the 11th grade at an APS High School.
  • Your essay must include a cover sheet with the following information:
    • your name;
    • your teacher’s name and email address;
    • the name and address of your school.
  • Your essay must be between 750 and 2000 words, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font.
  • Your essay must include at least three citations and a bibliography.
  • Submit only entry per student.
  • Email your essay by April 1, 2015, to info@arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org,  with “2015 Essay Contest” as the subject line.
  • Your essay must be your work alone. Plagiarism will result in disqualification.
  • You may use Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or PDF format.
  • Decisions of the judges are final.
  • All entries become the property of the Arlington Historical Society.
  • Winners will be notified via e-mail by May 1, 2015.
  • Contest winners agree to allow AHS and Columbia Lodge No. 285 to publish their names.  AHS will publish the first place essay in its entirety in the Arlington Historical Magazine, with full credit given to the author.
  • Winners will be responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes.


AHS selects the judges, who evaluate entries in a fair and unbiased, two-round judging process based on composition, depth of research, and quality of analysis.  To ensure anonymity, essay cover sheets are removed so that writers’ names are unknown to the judges until after the essays have been ranked and contest results finalized. AHS will utilize plagiarism detection software.

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