The Teacher Packet (pdf) contains all of the instructions & forms necessary to involve your students in the Do the Write Thing Texas Challenge.
Select your city to download.
Requirements for Authoring an Essay – Student
Entries must be in English.
Students may submit only one essay entry per year.
Student name on essay is acceptable, but no school name please.
Essays must be the work product of only one student. Collaborative essays are not acceptable.
Editing for essay content, grammar, or spelling by someone other than the student is not permitted
Entries must be typed or legibly written on 8½ X 11 paper.
Use only one side of each sheet of paper.
Pages should be numbered.
Essays must be non-fiction.
Essays based upon plagiarism will not be advanced in the judging process.
Poems, plays and songs are permitted as long as the language is positive.
Essays should be approximately 500 to 1,000 words in length with the exception of poems and songs.
Entries will be judged on the basis of content, originality and the most thought provoking and responsiveness to the following 3 questions. Essays that do not address these questions will not be advanced in the judging process.
- How has violence affected my life?
- What are the causes of youth violence?
- What can I do about youth violence?
Students must staple the following together before submitting their essay to the teacher:
- The Student/Parent Consent Form, completed and signed.
- The original essay.
Requirements for Submitting Essays – Teachers
Your school must submit a minimum of 25 essays with signed consent forms to qualify for judging in the Challenge. However, essays that are used solely as a writing assignment may be submitted without a consent form will receive Certificates of Recognition for participating and have a boy and girl finalist to represent their school at the Houston/Harris County Recognition Ceremony.
Please submit the essays of all participating student authors.
All students will receive a Certificate of Recognition for participating in The Challenge.
Essays must be submitted in the form that they are received from the student author.
Editing for essay content, grammar, or spelling by someone other than the student is not permitted.
Teachers must complete and submit the Teacher Survey packaged with the student essays. This ensures that all student essays are posted with the correct teacher and school.
Please follow all of the above requirements for essay submission.
Classroom discussion is not a requirement for participating in the Challenge. However, candid discussions have proved to be beneficial. Classroom discussion provides an opportunity for educators to learn about problems simmering in school before the problems become crises.
Following are some questions to generate discussion among your students before they prepare their entries for the Challenge:
When you hear the words violence, what thoughts or memories do you have?
Where are you confronted by violence? In your home? At your school? In your neighborhood?
Do you think you can tell when another person is on the brink of a violent act?
Would you intervene?
Under what circumstances would you intervene?
What provokes people to be violent?
Entries will be judged by a panel of volunteer community readers recruited by the DtWT Texas Challenge committee. The entries are then read by a committee of business, community and government leaders (the Executive Committee Reader Panel). Grammar and spelling will not be used as criteria for judging the entries.
Entries will be judged on the basis of content, originality, and the most thought provoking and responsiveness to these 3 questions:
How has violence affected my life?
What are the causes of youth violence?
What can I do about youth violence?
Students should be encouraged to share personal experiences about the impact of violence on their lives and the lives of their peers. Personal responsibility for responding to the problem of youth violence should be emphasized.