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Section 218 – Ready Writing Contest

Fine Art By-Laws
Sections 199-263

All rules in Section 209 apply to this contest.


Purpose.  The purpose of this 90 minute contest is for the contestant to compose and write an original expository essay on a current topic during the allotted time.  The expository essay should be interesting, organized and conform to correct English writing style.  Contestants are given a choice between two prompts, each an excerpt from literature, publications (past and present), or speeches.  The entire essay must explicitly develop the chosen topic.


  • Nature.  The composition is to be expository.  Expository writing explains, proves, or explores a topic in a balanced way, allowing the argument and the evidence given to be the deciding factor in the paper.  Descriptive or narrative passages may be used to illustrate or reinforce an idea or point that is being explained, but must be clearly subordinate or incidental to the exposition.  All writing should pertain to and develop the chosen prompt.
  • Length.  There is no minimum or maximum length.  An excellent essay is noted for its well-developed ideas and use of evidence to support the main point(s) as related to the chosen prompt.
  • Title.  Each contestant shall write a title based on the subject statement he has chosen.  The penalty for omitting the title will be disqualification of the paper.


  • This contest will be conducted online approximately 6-8 weeks before the Academic State Meet.  Additional instructions for accessing the Ready Writing contest will be posted on
  • Contestants must be directly supervised at all times by someone who is not a parent of a contestant or the school’s ready writing coach.
  • You have ninety (90) minutes for this contest.  You are required to turn off any audible signals on any timing devices during the contest.
  • The essay should be interesting, organized and conform to correct English writing style.  The composition is to be expository.  Wordiness is to be avoided.  There is no minimum or maximum length.  The entire essay should explicitly develop the chosen prompt.  Generic essays that could pertain to any topic are not allowed.
  • During the writing period, no questions may be asked or answered.  There will be no communication among the contestants, the contestants and their coaches and other individuals.
  • You may use a print copy of a Thesaurus and a Dictionary during the contest. Resource materials MAY NOT be shared between contestants.
  • Scoring. Three judges will score and rank each essay for preliminary round. Three different judges will score, rank, and give comments for the final judging round. 
    • Using the Rubric.  The three judges will use the supplied rubric to evaluate each essay.  Judges will complete a rubric for each essay. The rubric is for focusing the judges comments and assisting when ranking the students’ work. 
    • Scoring.  After each judge has evaluated all essays, the contestant’s score for each of the judges is the total sum from the rubric to determine the individual’s rank per judge.  The sum of the 3 judges ranks will determine the overall rank with lowest sum of ranks determining 1st place. 
  • Ties will be broken according to the speech ranking system. (Section 224. Conducting the Contest/G. Ranking & Ties)
  • See the TAPPS website for instruction details for taking the test.