2020 Editorial Contest

America’s Role in the World® Student Editorial Contest

The Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies invites IU Bloomington undergraduate and graduate students to share their interest in the United States' role in the world by participating in an editorial contest.

The challenge

Write an editorial (350–800 words) on the following topic:

Moral courage and the rule of law: Does justice ever require violating the law or the commands of authorities?  

Judging process

A review committee selected four finalists for judging by broadcast journalist Bill Whitaker of 60 Minutes on CBS. The winner will be announced at the fifth annual conference on America's Role in the World® on March 6, 2020. 

About Bill Whitaker

CBS Broadcast Journalist Bill WhitakerBill Whitaker was named a 60 Minutes correspondent in March 2014; the 2018-19 season will be his fifth on the broadcast. In four decades as a journalist, he has covered major news stories domestically and across the globe for CBS News. He is the 2018 winner of the RTDNA's highest honor, the Paul White Award for career achievement.

Learn more

Contest guidelines

  1. Convince the judges of your view in 800 words or less. Your title and list of sources do not count as part of your 800-word limit.
  2. Essays will be evaluated on authority of voice, depth of knowledge, strength of argument, and grammar.
  3. Do not include identifying information in your editorial. The review committee will judge each essay on its merits, without any identifying information as to its author.
  4. Use at least two news sources. We encourage you to find sources that offer different perspectives on an issue. Make sure these sources are reliable.
  5. Cite your sources. The judges should know where you got your evidence. You can use MLA or APA styles or list website URLs.
  6. Have an opinion. Editorials are different from news articles because they try to persuade readers to share your point of view. Don’t be afraid to take a stand.
  7. Be original and write for a well-informed audience, but include enough background information to provide context.
  8. Do not plagiarize. Use quotation marks around lines you take verbatim from another source, or rephrase and cite your source.
  9. Any full-time IU Bloomington undergraduate or graduate student may participate.
  10. Entries must be submitted no later than Monday, February 24 at 11:59 pm. Eastern using the contest form above. You will receive a submission confirmation via email. If you don’t receive the email within an hour—even after checking your spam folder—you can resubmit your entry. If you have questions about the contest, feel free to email jdcummin@iu.edu.

Writing an effective editorial