The New York Times hosts different contests every year as an essential part of its mission of “teaching and learning with The New York Times.” Via essays, editorials, political cartoons, photography, videos, poetry, podcasts or culture reviews, NYT aims to hear from teenagers around the world on the issues and ideas of the day.
Since 2018, some of our winning student work has been featured in print in a new quarterly Times education section.
2019 Editorial Contest:
Every school day we invite teenagers to share their opinions about questions like these — on topics from reality television to the justice system — and hundreds do, posting arguments, reflections and anecdotes to our Student Opinion feature.
Now, for the fifth year in a row, we’re inviting you to channel that enthusiasm into something a little more formal: short, evidence-based persuasive essays like the editorials The New York Times publishes every day. The challenge is fairly straightforward. Choose a topic you care about, gather evidence from sources both within and outside The Times and write a concise editorial (450 words or less) to convince readers of your view.
Because editorial writing at newspapers is a collaborative process, you can write your entry as a team effort or by yourself. Our judges will then select winners to publish on The Learning Network.
As teachers know, the persuasive essay has long been a staple of high school education, but the Common Core standards seem to have put evidence-based argumentative writing on everybody’s agenda. You couldn’t ask for a more real-world example of the genre than the classic newspaper editorial — and The Times publishes, on average, two of them a day.
And at a time when breaking out of one’s “filter bubble” is more important than ever, we hope this contest also encourages students to broaden their news diets by using multiple sources, ideally ones that offer a range of perspectives on their chosen issue.
In 2018, received 9,275 essays — 9 winners, 26 runners-up and 38 honorable mentions
English writing, critical thinking, analytical skills
Complete the online submission form at: