American Studies

2016 Carret Essay Contest

Carret Essay Contest submissions are due electronically to Samuele Pardini, coordinator of the American Studies Program ( by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6. Please put your name only on the cover page to facilitate blind review.

Submissions should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • While you may write from any disciplinary perspective, please use primary and/or secondary sources. Include a list of your sources, documented according to the discipline in which you are working.
  • Essays should be between 1,500-2,000 words (roughly six to eight pages).
  • Include a 300-word summary of your essay with your submission.
  • The American Studies Advisory Board will evaluate all submissions and will consider depth of insight, felicity of expression, creativity of approach, rigor of research and power of argumentation.
  • First prize is $1,000 and a paid overnight trip to Monticello, including special recognition at an evening program; second prize is $500; and third prize is $100. In addition, the three winners will present their ideas at a Carret-themed session on SURF Day (April 26).
  • All contestants will be invited to a celebratory dinner the evening of April 13; contest winners will be announced at the dinner.
  • Students are encouraged to work with a faculty mentor on the project. If mentors have any questions about their mentoring role, please direct them to Cassandra Kircher, coordinator of the Carret Essay Contest (