2019 Freshman Cup Writing Competition

SCUPI Freshman Cup Writing Competition

Essay Topic: The Choice

Write about a time when you decided to do something differently from the people around you. Why did you make this decision, and how did other people respond? What was the result of your action?

A strong essay will tell a story describing your experience of making a difficult decision and honestly reflecting on the consequences. It will show a true conflict, painting a picture of the complexity of motivations that led to your decision.

Even though you have spent much of your life studying, in this essay try to reflect on your experience in the world outside of school (hint: in an essay competition you want to separate yourself from your competition by writing something different).

Sometimes we realize that even though we made a decision, we never really had a choice. Conversely, sometimes we decide not to make a choice when we could have done something. This essay should provide an opportunity to explore not only your personal story, but also the larger world that shapes the decisions that you make.


Students must be SCU freshmen to enter the contest and attend at least one workshop or take one Writing Center session (appointments can be made on the Writing Center website: writing.scupi.cn).

All essays must be student work (submitting work by other writers will be considered a violation of the Sichuan University honor code).

All essays must be at least 1000 words long and contain : 1. a heading with your name, major and college, and student number; 2. a title; 3. double spacing; 4. Times New Roman, size-12 font 5. page numbers and Student ID number on all pages.

Judging Standards

The student essay should provide:

Details and specific examples
  • Effectiveness in expressing a point-of-view
  • Original thinking relative to the topic
  • Sound organization, logic and structure
  • Accurate grammar, usage, and fluency in expressing ideas

Process and Dates

October 8-10 Workshop and topic

November 8 Submit your essay as a .doc or .docx file to http://writing.scupi.cn/?p=506

November 29 Shortlist of first round candidates; including candidates pending revisions

December 6 [tentative] Timed essay competition

December 14 [tentative] Final competition: Presentation and Q&A
The final awards will be granted based on: performance in preliminary essay submission (35%), timed writing (45%) and paper presentation (25%).

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