Essay Contest



Essay Topic:

Life in the Soil: Dig Deeper


  • Open to ANY Marion County student in grades 4 through 12, and must be the work of the individual student.
  • Contestants must provide four (4) typewritten copies of their essay, double-spaced on 8½ x 11 inch plain white paper, with a one-inch margin.
  • Essay must be typed using a standard size 12 font (suggested: Times New Roman, Arial, Trebuchet MS or Corbel).
  • Essay must be a minimum of 4 pages and maximum of 5 pages in length. Your cover page and bibliography do not count towards the page requirement.
  • Entries are required to have a COVER PAGE which must include: Contestants Name, Address, Telephone Number, Name of School or Club, Teacher or Advisor Name, and Grade Level.  Do NOT include name or any other identifying information on any other pages of your essay.
  • A deduction in points will occur if contestant does not abide by these rules.

Resources will be Placed in Link in the Near Future


Three competent and impartial judges will be selected. The judges' decisions will be final.  A standard score sheet will be used based on the following criteria:

Content - Knowledge of subject; develops and follows theme; presents accurate facts; stimulates thinking, originality (no plagiarism). 50 points
Composition - Innovative style (keeps your interest, clear message, easily understood by reader) opening-closing tie together; correct use of grammar, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, proper paragraph transitions. 30 points
Organization - Neatness, legibility, correct cover page, conformance to length. 20 points


Essay may be mailed or hand delivered no later than:

Thursday, December 6, 2018 by 4 p.m.

Marion Soil and Water Conservation District

2441 NE 3rd St., Suite 204-2

Ocala, FL  34470

Mailed entries must be postmarked on or before the due date.  MSWCD is not responsible for essays lost in the mail.

Questions? Contact Marion SWCD at (352) 414-7808 or by e-mail:

**Participation earns points towards Youth Conservationist of the Year**