The University of St. Thomas Philosophy Department is pleased to announce its fifth annual student essay contest: The 2012-2013 Thomas D. Sullivan Medal in Philosophy for the best undergraduate philosophical essay.
Winners will receive a “Tom and Ginny Sullivan Scholarship” to be applied to spring tuition: the first-place winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship, the second-place winner will receive a $500 scholarship, and the third-place winner will receive a $100 scholarship.
All winners will have the opportunity to present their winning papers publicly at the last philosophy department colloquium of the year.
Papers should state and defend a philosophical thesis. Sorts of theses that may be defended include (but are not limited to) claims about solutions to philosophical problems, about analysis of philosophical concepts, and about interpretation of philosophical texts. Papers should be clear and well-written. Papers should exhibit skill in philosophical argumentation, evidence of high-quality philosophical research (where appropriate), and independent thought.
- With regard to the criterion that papers should state and defend a philosophical thesis: papers must have a clearly identifiable thesis written in sentence form. It could be in the title or in the body of the paper, but must be clearly identifiable as the thesis. (You might want to say: "My thesis is …" or "It is my contention that …".)
- With regard to the criterion that papers should exhibit skill in philosophical argumentation: papers must have a recognizable argument that defends the stated thesis or some contention connected to it.
- With regard to the criterion that papers should be clear and well-written: the meanings of key terms should be made clear.
- With regard to the criterion that papers are not to exceed 3,500 words: this limit will be strictly enforced. All text (notes, works-cited list, title, etc.) will be counted in determining whether the limit has been exceeded.