Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan Society Annual Essay Contest 2017-18

Eligibility Requirements

All St. Ignatius College Preparatory students are eligible to submit an essay for consideration. Students must submit all essays by email to on or before the contest due date of April 11, 2018

The winners of the contest will be announced at the Annual Callaghan Society dinner on Tuesday, April 25, 2018, in the SI Carlin Commons.


  • First Place - $3,000
  • Second Place - $2,000
  • Third Place - $1,000

Contest Rules

  • All essays must comply with the following contest rules before submission:
  • No literary form other than an essay will be accepted.
  • Each essay must reflect the entrant's own research, writing and original thinking.
  • Only one (1) essay may be submitted by each entrant.
  • Essays must be typed and submitted electronically in one of the following formats:
    • Microsoft Word (.doc)
    • Adobe Acrobat PDF (.pdf)
  • Essay length should be between 750 and 1250 words, double-spaced, 12-point font, and numbered pages with one-inch margins. The title page and bibliography are not included in the word count.
  • Each essay must include a title page, not considered text.
  • The email to which the essay is attached must contain the following information:
    • Author’s name
    • Author’s class (2018, 2019, 2020 or 2021)
    • Title of the essay
  • The title of the essay, but NOT the author's name, MUST appear on the top of each page of essay text.
  • References should be included and clearly identified.
  • Entries must be sent by email to on or before contest due date of April 11, 2017.
  • Essays become property of the Callaghan Society and St. Ignatius College Preparatory. The Callaghan Society or St. Ignatius College Preparatory may reprint the essays in educational publications and use them at Society functions. Appropriate citations will be given to the writers.

Click here for the 2018 Essay Prompt.


Essays will be distributed as evenly as possible among five (5) teams of readers. In the first round, Readers will score their assigned essays individually, giving each essay a numerical score as well as a subjective score, as described below. Each team will nominate two (2) essays for the Finalist round, making a total of ten (10) finalist essays.

Team leaders are responsible for collecting the scores from team members and conducting any necessary discussions within the team to determine the 2 finalist essays. Teams should consist of an odd number of team members in the event of identical scores requiring a tie-breaker.

Teams may also nominate one or two runner-up essays for consideration. This category is for essays that scored very close to the team’s finalist submissions or whose exclusion from the finalist submissions was a matter of “heated debate” within the reading team. Teams should not feel obligated to nominate runners-up if their two finalist submissions were clearly out front of all other submissions.

Runner up essays will be sent to another reader team for review and scoring. If the second team concurs that a runner-up essay is of finalist quality, it will be included (without remark) among the finalist essays for consideration by the full assembly of readers.

In the Finalist Round on Saturday, April 21, 2018, all readers will read all 10 finalist essays as well as any runners up which were added, to decide the final 3 winning essays.

Essay Scoring (use the detailed Scoring Rubric below for each essay).

Numerical Scoring:

Judges will rate each of the three categories 1 through 20, with 20 as the highest score. Add the category scores to reach the essay's final score.

  1. Logic/Organization (1-20 points) _________
  2. Creativity (1-20 points) __________
  3. Writing Quality (1-20 points) __________

Subjective Scoring:

  • “A” Absolutely consider for the Finalist Round
  • “B” Consider for the Finalist Round
  • “C” Absolutely DO NOT consider for the Finalist Round
  • “N” Neutral, no opinion, no subjective score given

Recommended Reading Strategy:

  1. Read through essay without scoring. If the essay is clearly a DO NOT CONSIDER for the Finalist Round, mark as such and do not proceed with detailed scoring. (3-5 minutes)
  2. Review scoring rubric (below) before the second reading. (1-3 minutes)
  3. Read through essay a second time, scoring as you go.  (10 minutes)=




St. Ignatius College Preparatory

Courage to Lead; Passion to Serve

2001 37th Avenue San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 731-7500
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