Critical Essay Writing National 500

Monologue

An uninterrupted monologue can show a character's importance or state of mind. Monologue can be in speech form, delivered in front of other characters and having great thematic importance, or as a soliloquy where we see the character laying bare their soul and thinking aloud.

Onomatopoeia

This is a word that sounds like the noise it is describing. For example, , , , .

Oxymoron

This is where two words normally not associated are brought together. For example, , .

Pathos

This is language that evokes feelings of pity or sorrow.

Personification

This is where a human quality is attributed to a thing or idea. For example, .

Repetition

This is where a word or phrase is repeated to achieve a particular effect.

Rhyme

Poems often have a fixed rhyme scheme. For example, sonnets have 14 lines with the fixed rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Try to comment on what contribution the rhyme scheme is making to the text as a whole. Why do you think the poet has chosen it? Does it add control or perhaps imitate the ideas in the poem in some way?

Rhythm

Many poems contain a repetitive beat or metre. Tennyson's poem The Lady of Shalott uses a strong internal rhythm to build up the sense of unrelenting monotony in the poem.

Simile

This is where a phrase establishes similarity between two things. Similes usually involve the words 'like' or 'as'- , , .

Symbolism

Objects, colours, sounds and places may work as symbols. They can sometimes give us an insight into the themes. So, snakes are often symbols of temptation as in the story of Adam and Eve, white usually symbolises innocence and a ringing bell can be a symbol for impending doom.

Tone

Tone is the creation of mood in a text, such as sadness, gloom, celebration, joy, anxiety, dissatisfaction, regret or anger. Different elements of writing can help to create these moods. For example, long sentences or verses, with assonance, tend to create a sad, melancholic mood. But short syllabic, alliterative lines can create an upbeat and pacy atmosphere.

Word choice

This can also be referred to as 'register'. It refers to an author's choice of language. Authors may use words commonly associated with a certain subject, experience or state of mind.

Art Categories

A Note on Size Limitation for All Art Categories
Affiliate Partners may limit the size of work that they accept. Please refer to your local guidelines for details.

Oversized works that earn National Medals are not guaranteed opportunities for display in the National Exhibition.

Architecture & Industrial Design

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Ceramics & Glass

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Comic Art

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Design

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Digital Art

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Drawing & Illustration

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Editorial Cartoon sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation

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Fashion

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Film & Animation

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Jewelry

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Mixed Media

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Painting

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Photography

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Printmaking

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Sculpture

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Video Game Design

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Art Portfolio

(For Graduating Seniors Only)

Category Description
A series of 8 distinct works that communicate a single cohesive idea or visual investigation. The works can come from one category or any combination of multiple categories.

Seniors may submit up to two Art Portfolios, but may not submit the same work in both portfolios.

Video Game Design and Future New Submissions may not be submitted as part of an Art Portfolio.

Special Instructions
Each work within the Art Portfolio is subject to the same upload rules as its equivalent in individual categories. For example, a sculpture entry as part of a portfolio is allowed up to four images, while a photography entry is allowed one image.

  • In addition to the artwork, students may submit a 300 word Artist Statement answering the following questions:
    • What idea or visual investigation does your portfolio explore?
    • Why is this exploration important to you?
    • What do you hope (stays with people/changes within people/people see differently) after they view your portfolio?
  •  Artist statements may be entered on the “Create Portfolio” page.
  •  Work included in a portfolio may also be submitted in an individual category (i.e. Drawing and Illustration, Mixed Media, etc.). You will be able to indicate if you want to submit a work a part of a portfolio only, an individual submission only, or both on your student dashboard.
  •  Seniors may resubmit artworks submitted to the Scholastic Awards in a previous year as part of their Art Portfolio.
  • Do not include any identifying information, such as your name, in the title of your portfolio or the works included in the submission.

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Writing Categories

Instructions for all Writing Categories

  • Submissions must be primarily in English.
  • Use a clear, standard font that is not excessively large or small.
  • The title should appear at the top of the first page; do not include a separate title page. Poems should be titled individually.
  • No identifying information, including the student’s name, should appear anywhere on the manuscript.
  • Please use fictional names for real people in non-fiction works.
  • No illustrations, photographs, graphics or hyperlinks are permitted.
  • Sources must be cited. Footnotes/works cited are not considered part of the word count.
  • Collaborative works are not allowed in any writing categories.

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Critical Essay

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Dramatic Script

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Flash Fiction

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Humor

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Journalism

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Novel Writing

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Personal Essay & Memoir

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Poetry

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Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Short Story

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Writing Portfolio

(For Graduating Seniors Only)

Category Description
A series of 8 distinct works that demonstrate versatility as a writer and diversity in writing technique and styles. The works can come from one category or any combination of multiple categories.

Graduating Seniors may submit up to two Writing Portfolios, but may not submit the same work in both portfolios.

Special Instructions
The word count for each piece submitted in a writing portfolio should adhere to the length limits listed in each individual category. The maximum length for a writing portfolio is 24,000 words (not including the writer’s statement).

  • The Writing Portfolio may include a writer’s statement. The statement should be 300 words and answer the following questions:
    • Why did you select the work you submitted for your Writing Portfolio?
    • How do you hope people will react when they read your work?
    • What role does writing play in your life?
  • Writer’s statements may be entered on the “Create Portfolio” page.
  • Work included in a portfolio may also be submitted in an individual category (i.e. Short Story, Critical Essay, etc.). You will be able to indicate if you want to submit a work a part of a portfolio only, an individual submission only, or both on your student dashboard.
  • Seniors may resubmit writing submitted to the Scholastic Awards in a previous year as part of their Writing Portfolio.
  • Do not include any identifying information, such as your name, in the title of your portfolio or the works included in the submission.

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Future New

The Future New category asks students to produce work that challenges the boundaries of the Scholastic Awards’ current categories.

Future New means on the cutting edge of creative practice. Work submitted to this category should address the issues and concerns of our time through conceptual, social, or political content. Work can be executed as—but is not limited to—installation art, performance art*, interactive text, sound art, re-purposed materials, or new and applied technologies. Along with the work, the student must submit a written statement that describes in detail the processes used to create the work and/or relevant content that situates the work as innovative. A Future New work must be both thought-provoking and reflect creative excellence.

Send Future New Submission Forms to:

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
ATTN: Future New
557 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

*Spoken word poetry should be submitted in the Poetry category as a text document.

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