Judging Criteria

Participants are asked to describe and analyze an act of civic courage by an individual or identifiable group of individuals in Washington state.

Address the following questions:

  • Why this act constituted civic courage
  • How this act impacted our community, region or state, and
  • What were the risks associated with this action

Worthiness of Subject
The essay:

  • Has a thoughtful, original choice of subject, and
  • Demonstrates an understanding of civic courage

The essay:

  • Proves that the individual or group took risks to achieve their objective
  • Conveys magnitude of risks and obstacles faced
  • Demonstrates impact on the community
  • Convincing arguments supported with specific examples
  • Clear, compelling and consistent voice

The essay:

  • Explains why this act serves the public interest
  • Is well-researched
  • Communicates ideas clearly
  • Draws conclusions that follow logically from the arguments made
  • Uses correct syntax, grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • Has a bibliography of three or more varied sources including one primary source
  • Includes sources that are thoughtfully selected and reliable
  • Integrates information from diverse sources into a coherent argument