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Dawson High School student named runner-up in New York Times student editorial contest

DHS_Bennett        Dawson High School 2019 graduate Julia Bennett was recently named a runner-up in the New York Times’ Sixth Annual Student Editorial Contest for her essay “Religion's God Complex.”

       A total of 10,509 essays, 42 judges, five rounds of judging — and roughly 4,700,000 student-written words were submitted, according to the New York Times. Of all entries, 70 teenagers were selected to be honored: 11 winners, 27 runners-up and 32 honorable mentions.

       DHS’s Tyler Tran and Jake Cummings were finalists in the third-round with their essays “The Power of Superheroes” and “Is it Possible to Separate Art from the Artist?”, respectively.

       Students participated in the contest by writing evidence-based persuasive essays similar to the editorials The New York Times publishes every day. They were encouraged to write compelling arguments in no more than 450 words about subjects they felt passionate about or that were relevant to their lives.

       The judges evaluated the students based on the following:

  • Viewpoint: Editorial states a clear opinion and issues a call to action through argument based on evidence.
  • Evidence: Editorial uses compelling evidence to support the opinion, and cites reliable sources.
  • Analysis and Persuasion: Editorial convincingly argues point of view by providing relevant background information, using valid examples, acknowledging counter-claims and developing claims -- all in a clear and organized fashion.
  • Language: Editorial has a strong voice and engages the reader. It uses language, style and tone appropriate to its purpose and features correct grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Guidelines: Editorial follows all contest guidelines, including the citation of at least one Times and one non-Times source.

       To read Bennett’s editorial, along with the other runners-up and winners’, visit: