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Hunting Island
NOTE: This web page has been preserved solely as a record of the 2005 "One County, One Book" program. All local events referred to on this page are no longer active.
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Grades 9-12




Future generations should be inspired to understand the lessons of the past and their impact on today's world.
The One County One Book essay contest is designed to encourage students in grades 9-12 to do research and to learn the significance of events, social issues and human actions.

Purpose of the Contest

The purpose of this essay contest is to encourage the examination of important issues and topics presented in a work of literature (Homer Hickam's book, Rocket Boys).


Essay submissions will be judged on style, content, grammar, and originality. Judges will look for clear, concise writing that is original, articulate, logically organized, and well-supported. Winning essays must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the themes and issues presented in
Rocket Boys. The judging will be done by a local panel of librarians, educators and editors.

In order to be a finalist, the essay must meet all the conditions stated in the "Organization and Mechanics" section below, with only incidental errors in mechanics. The essay must also meet the assigned minimum length and be submitted in the following prescribed format.

and Mechanics

1. Spelling will be correct. Syntax will be readable. Punctuation will be conventional.

2. The essay will be free of sentence fragments.

3. The point of view will be appropriate to the topic/subject and will remain constant and consistent.

4. Footnotes and references must be included where necessary.

5. Essays must contain a minimum of 500 words and no more than 750 words.

6. You must submit a clear, clean essay prepared using a word processor (computer) or typewriter. Text should be printed in black ink, double-spaced and single-sided on 8 ½ x 11-inch white paper. A common font such a Times New Roman or Arial must be used in a font size 12. Margins must be one-inch wide on all sides of the paper. Do not illustrate entries with pictures, diagrams, or other graphics.

7. Submit only original copies of the essay. Carbon copies, clippings from newspapers and periodicals, or other duplications are not acceptable.

8. Do not put your name or the name of your school on any page of your essay entry.

9. Fill out the entry form completely. NOTE: All information must be typed or printed except for two items, your signature and your teacher's signature, under the statements confirming originality.

10. Home-schooled students must submit their entry in a single envelope; school teachers may package all essays being submitted being together in one envelope.

11. Winning entries cannot be returned and become the property of the Beaufort County Public Library System.

12. All essays must include at least one primary source. Examples of primary sources include books, magazine articles, scientific journals, and interviews that you have conducted. Encyclopedias (electronic or hardbound) and general Internet Web sites are NOT primary sources. Essays that utilize sources only from general Internet Web sites and/or encyclopedias will NOT be considered.

EXCEPTION: Full-text articles from DISCUS, NewsBank and similar online databases of periodical and reference information ARE acceptable, if correctly cited as electronic resources in the essay (See #14). Material from online ENCYLOPEDIAS (Grolier, Britannica, etc.) are NOT acceptable, however.

13. All essays must be free of plagiarism (as normally defined AND as defined below): ALL sources must be cited in the text of the essay. ALL word-for-word information written by someone else must have quotation marks enclosing the quoted material, and the quoted sources must be cited. All summaries (paraphrases) from other sources must be in the student's own words. No summaries may be used if only minor word structure changes are made, or if you substitute only synonyms for words in the original source.

14. A bibliography of works cited should be appended if necessary. Follow your teacher's instruction on the bibliographic style to use.

15. Your entry must be postmarked no later than May 10, 2005. Entries postmarked on a later date will be disqualified from the contest.

The judges' decisions are final and binding.

Winners will be notified by May 20, 2005.




Students in grades 9-12 who are regularly and currently enrolled in public and nonpublic schools or who are home-schooled and at the grade level between 9th and 12th grades may submit entries.


Submissions for School Students

Essays must be submitted by a high school English teacher on behalf of the student, along with a cover letter on school letterhead. The cover letter must include the details described below.

1. Date of essay submission

2. Student's full name

3. Student's address (and e-mail and home telephone, if available)

4. Student's grade level (9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade)

5. Name of high school

6. Address of high school

7. Name and daytime telephone and e-mail of English teacher submitting the essay

All essays submitted without a cover letter on school letterhead (that includes all the above-mentioned details) will be disqualified. The Library will not return incomplete submissions.

Submissions for Home-Schooled Students

Essays must be submitted by a parent or legal guardian on behalf of the student, along with a cover letter with the parent's/legal guardian's return address information that certifies that the student is home-schooled. The letter must include the following details:

1. Date of essay submission

2. Student's full name

3. Student's address (and e-mail and home telephone, if available)

4. Student's equivalent grade

5. Student's age and grade level (9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade)

6. Name of the students' parent/legal guardian (and daytime telephone number and e-mail, if available).

All essays submitted without a cover letter on the parent/legal guardian's letterhead (that includes all the above-mentioned details) will be disqualified. The Library will not return incomplete submissions.


How and Where
to Mail the Essays


Please mail all entries to the following address through the United States postal service:

  One County One Book Essay Contest
c/o Beaufort County Public Library System
311 Scott Street
Beaufort, SC 29902

Entries should be mailed at the "First Class" (or equivalent) postal rate to assure prompt delivery. The Library assumes no responsibility for items lost in the mail, or for the claiming of entries mailed at the "Certified" or "Registered" postal rates.


Entry Form


Click here for a blank essay contest entry form . Please print out the entry form and fill it out completely (see instructions above).


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