An essay by Shorter University student Jaden Elrod was selected as the best first-year essay written during the 2015-16 academic year.
Through its Best First-Year Essay Composition Contest, Shorter’s Department of English, Modern Languages, and Liberal Arts highlights excellent student writing and seeks to provide a model for future freshman classes to follow, according to Dr. Angie O’Neal, chair of the department, who also serves as associate professor of English and holds the Joan Alden Speidel Chair in English. This is the second year of the contest.
Elrod’s essay, titled “The Kudos Generation,” focused on the issue of “undeserved praise,” which she suggests infects current culture and is having an impact on her generation. As part of the award, she received a $50 prize.
Jenna Kemp received second place for her essay “Shawshank Recividism,” and Payton Lippert earned third place for her essay “Freedom Redefined.”
The winning essays will be included in the second issue of the Bellwether, a Shorter University publication which highlights excellent freshman writing and is used as a model for future Shorter freshman writing students, according to Dr. Mark Hamilton, assistant professor of English and faculty advisor of the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society.
The student essays are nominated by Shorter professors, and then a committee selects the winners by looking for the most thought-provoking essays, Hamilton added. “The goal is to remind students of the emphasis in the Bible of doing all work, including freshman writing, as unto the Lord, not simply doing their major level work as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23),” he said.
“Generally, we are looking for writing that goes beyond the assignment and demonstrates in-depth critical thinking, as well as excellence in the conventions,” added Assistant Professor of English Marcia Bost.
Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christ-centered, four-year liberal arts university committed to excellence in education. The Princeton Review annually includes Shorter on its list of best Southeastern Colleges. The university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 40 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, undergraduate programs for working adults, and four master’s programs. Learn more about Shorter at www.shorter.edu.