MARAAS Marie G. Wanek High School Essay Contest 2016

Each year the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies (MAR/AAS) awards prizes for the best essay examining a topic related to Asia written by high school students in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

For the 2016 essay contest, the first place winner is awarded a $300 prize, the teacher is awarded a $100 prize. Student and teacher are recognized during the annual fall meeting. The first place essay is posted on the MAR/AAS website. Second and third place winners are honored with certificates, as well as having their names, the titles of their works, teacher names, and schools noted on the MAR/AAS website. All participants receive a certificate of participation, honoring the rigorous challenges that they have undertaken.

The 2015 first place winner Emily Shutman of Huntington High School, Huntington, New York won for her essay, “The Tientsin Massacre: A Violent Outbreak and an Abrogation of Responsibility.”  Emily’s mentors included Mr. Joseph Leavy, Chairperson of Humanities, and Ms. Lauren Desiderio, teacher.  Two essays tied for second place:  Aoife Coady’s research paper “Sino-American Rapprochement: China’s Desire for National Identity and National Security” under the mentorship of Ms. Joanna Prebund of Sidwell Friends School, Washington, D.C.; and Megan Yang’s historical analysis “The Taiping Rebellion: A Glorious Failure,” mentored by Ms. Heidi Kasevich of The Nightengale-Bamford School, New York, New York.

Go to our website to read some of the previous winning essays. To receive updates about MAR/AAS, join our Facebook group: ‘MARAAS Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies.’

Guidelines for Students:

• The research paper may examine topics such as religion, history, economics, government, literature, film, the fine and performing arts related to cultures or nations of Asia (excluding the Middle East).

• The research paper must include citations and a bibliography of sources used.

• The body of research paper should not exceed ten double-spaced typed pages (i.e. exclusive of footnotes and bibliography).

• The research paper must conform to an accepted style (APA, MLA, Chicago).

• The entry must attach at the front of the paper an introduction page that includes the following information: student’s name; student’s grade level; student’s email, home address, telephone number; name and address of student’s current school; name of teacher under whose guidance the paper was prepared.

• The prize recipients are announced at the Fall 2016 conference. The first prize winner, parents, and teacher are honored at the conference annual meeting.

• The winning essay is placed on the MAR/AAS website. Second and Third Place winners, their mentors and schools, are listed on the website.

• All participating students receive a certificate of participation mailed to their teachers.

• For consideration, papers must be submitted between May 1 and June 30, 2016, to

The Asian Studies Essay Contest is supported by income from a fund established in memory of Marie G. Wanek, a scholar and teacher dedicated to Asian studies, and a former president of MAR/AAS.

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