Glamour Magazine November 2003 Essay Winner

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The very first thing that you should do to win essay contests is to read the rules thoroughly.

Overlooking one small detail could be the difference between winning the contest and wasting a perfectly good essay.

Here is a step-by-step guide to writing essays that win contests.

Follow these steps for your best chances of winning writing contests.

While you're deciding, think about what might appeal to the essay contest's sponsor.

Do you have a way of working the sponsor's products into your essay?AFirst drafts are important because they help you overcome any reluctance to write.You are not trying to be good yet, you are trying to simply tell your story. Rhyme, alliteration, inner rhyme, puns, and coined words were some of the red mittens that Evelyn Ryan used to make her entries pop.Many times, people think of exactly what their essay needs to make it perfect, right after they have hit the submit button. This is also a good time to ask a friend to double-check your spelling and grammar.Letting your entry simmer in your mind for a while gives you the time to come up with these great ideas before it's too late. Does the essay still sound good when you read it out loud? Even your computer's spell check programs make mistakes sometimes, so it's helpful to have another person read it through.If you'd like some tips on how to improve your first draft, check out these tips about how to self-edit.Now that you have a fairly polished first draft of your essay contest entry, put it aside and don't look at it for a little while.Does your concept fit the sponsor's company image?An essay that might be perfect for a Budweiser contest might fall completely flat when Disney is the sponsor.Pay special attention to: It might help you to print out the sweepstakes rules and highlight the most important elements, or to write down notes and keep them close at hand as you write.If you summarize the relevant rules in a checklist, you can easily check the requirements off when you have finished your essay to ensure you haven't overlooked anything.

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