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YES! Exemplary Essay Program Guide

We are excited and appreciative that you and your students are interested in participating in the YES! Exemplary Essay Project. This project is not meant to be a writing contest, but an opportunity to share opinions and showcase outstanding writing. You may involve your students in this project as part of your classroom curriculum or as an extra credit activity.  We require that at least five students, whom you feel are solid writers, participate.

General Guidelines

  1. Choosing an article and prompt. You and YES! will mutually decide on an article and prompt from which your students will write an essay. YES! will pre-select article options, and we will also suggest 3-5 writing prompts.  You will also have the option of using a prompt that you’ve created to fit in with your curriculum.
  2. Students read article and write essay. Have your students read the YES! article, review the prompt, and craft their compositions.   It is equally important that the essay provokes thought and stirs the imagination, and that it is grammatically correct and organized. Essays should be completed within two weeks of the assignment.
  3. Select and send your best essays. Depending on the size of your class, please select 5 to 10 essays that you believe represent your students’ best work and would be of interest to YES! readers.   It is preferred that you email these essays, but you may also send them by post. Completed publication release forms must accompany the essays to be considered.
  4. Exemplary essays selected and posted to YES! website. YES! staff will review the essays, using evaluation criteria to select essays that we feel reflect the caliber and spirit of YES! Magazine.  The one or two best essays will be featured on our Education Connection e-newsletter and on the YES! website.  Other outstanding essays will be posted, as well.  These essays will be added to the exemplary writing bank on the YES! education website.


Other Important Information

Essay length: 700 word limit.  However, we encourage creativity in the types of written responses you send us, so don’t worry about having your students write exactly 700 words.

Due date: Your essay selections should be returned to YES! within two weeks of beginning the project.

Evaluation criteria: YES! staff will be selecting essays to feature based on:
• Grammar
• Organization
• Strong style and personal voice
• Originality and clarity of content and ideas

YES! will use a rubric, along with your criteria, to evaluate student essays.

Contact information

For questions and information about the program, please contact:
Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager
YES! Magazine
284 Madrona Way NE, #116
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
jfong [at]
phone; 206.842.5009 ext. 225
fax; 206.842.5208

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