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Essay Contest - Ethical Leadership

The Sigma Nu Educational Foundation is sponsoring an essay contest on ethical leadership. The contest is a way for collegians to share their thoughts on ethical leadership. We hope you consider participating!

All essays should specifically address the following essay topic.

What does ethical leadership mean to you and what does it look like in action? How has ethical leadership guided you in your life and in your leadership roles, both formal and informal? What role does ethical leadership play in our society?


The contest is open to all current collegiate members of Sigma Nu Fraternity.

Essay Length

Essays should be 350-500 words in length. Submissions that do not meet this requirement, or that exceed it, will be disqualified.


Essays must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time, June 28, 2019. Submissions should be emailed to foundation@sigmanu.org.


All essays must be the original work of the collegian whose name is listed on the submission form. Plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification. 

Prizes & Taxes

First place - $200
Second place - $100
Third place - Sigma Nu wallet

Winners will be solely responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes on winnings.


Essays will be judged on their ability to answer the topic question in an articulate, clear, and organized manner. Sigma Nu Educational Foundation board members will evaluate essay submissions in a fair and unbiased two-round judging system, where judges will all use the same criteria. Decisions of the judges are final.

Round 1: Judges review all essays and move the top essays to Round 2.

Round 2: Each essay recieves the benfit of fresh eyes and different points of view when they are read and evaluated and ranked by three new judges to determine the top three essays.

We want collegians to know that their essays are carefully judged, with a standard of fairness and respect for the collegians' hard work. Our judging process applies a battery of set standards for levels of quality. All essays are graded in these areas:

  • Is the essay based on original arguments and does it build a case that is logical and persuasive?
  • Conceptual understanding.
  • Factual accuracy.
  • How interesting is it?
  • Structure, including vocabulary and writing style.
  • Grammar/Spelling/Punctuation.
  • Addresses the topic.

Ownership and Use

The ownership of any submission remains the property of the writer, but entry into the competition constitutes the entrant's permission and consent, without compensation, with or without attribution, for the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation to use, reproduce, transmit, post, distribute, adapt, edit, and/or display the submission. 

Essay Contest Tips

  • Proofread your essay.
  • Have someone else proofread your essay (no, thats not cheating).
  • Ensure that all names are spelled correctly.
  • Check grammar rules if you're unsure.
  • Check your facts.
  • Double-check quotes.

Questions about the contest? Email David Mainella at david.mainella@sigmanu.org.  

© 2015-2019 Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: 540.463.1869 | Fax: 540.463.1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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