Saramana SAR Chapter  Sons of the American Revolution 

SAR Essay Contest Rules

Essay Contest

To obtain the Saramana Chapter SAR  Youth Awards Brochure By-fold please click  HERE. This Brochure describes ALL of our Youth Award Programs.

Essay Contest Pictures

Purpose of Essay Contest
The program is designed to give freshman, sophomore, junior and senior high school students an opportunity to explore events that shaped American History.

Contest Rules
1)    This contest is open to all students who are United States citizens or legal aliens. Contestants shall be attending public, parochial, or private high schools (including accredited home schools). Contestants shall be in the
freshman, sophomore, junior or senior grade of study during the contest year. The contest is conducted in three phases: local (Chapter), state (State Society) and National. The contest must be entered through a Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution near the student's residence. In some cases, the contest may be entered at the State level (if the State does not have chapters or the chapters are not participating). Only one entry per student is permitted per contest year. If the State does not participate, then the essay may be submitted to the At Large judge listed on our website. The first place National winner is prohibited from participating in following years' contests.

Required Form Download:
To obtain the Required form, you can click on
Essay Contest (Applicant Form). Another option is to go to the National Society web page at: The Form is right after a brief description of the contest.

Please note that the Required  Form will necessitate  that you have and use the latest version of the “FREEAdobe Reader.

For more information on obtaining and using Adobe Reader, please click on
Using PDF Files.

Instructions: AFTER you have opened the
Essay Contest (Applicant Form).

Please save the opened form to your computer and SAVE the file with your name and the Contest name as the file name. For example, “
Sam Compatriot Essay Contest.PDF” . By having your name as part of the “file name”, another contestant’s file can NOT be saved on top of your file. The folder where you save the document is your choice. Just remember where you saved it.

Now please CLOSE the web page where you obtained the Form and OPEN the saved file on your computer to Continue

The “Applicant” should complete the first part of the “Applicant Form” on Page 1, which would include the first seven rows thru Organization Mailing Address. The Saramana SAR Chapter Committee Chairman is responsible for completing the SAR Information. Please review the instructions and complete the form with all applicable details.

If there are ANY places on the form that request a “Signature”, please type in the appropriate name. These forms are NOT designed to be printed. After you have completed and saved the form to your computer, then the “Saved” form and any other requested documents are to be emailed to the Committee Chair named below, or absent a Committee Chair to the Chapter President named below. Hand written applications are NOT approved.

Contest entries MUST be submitted as PDF files attached to emails.

If possible, please request a “Read Receipt” so that you will know that your file was received.

To e-mail Steve Fields, click on or call  (941) 228-6123.

A.    Submission Dates:
        a.    All submissions must be in the hands of the Saramana SAR Chapter
               SAR Essay Chairmen by December 31st.
        b.    All Chapters must have their winning essays in the hands of their State Chairmen by January 31st.
        c.    State Chairmen should have their winning essays e-mailed to the National Chairman by

              February 28th, if not before.

The National Chairman will notify all submitters by early April whether their entry was among the finalists. The actual winner will be informed in order to be able to attend the Congress and read their essay at the Youth Luncheon. The winning essay will be published in the SAR Magazine.

2.    The contest is for an original researched and proven topic written in English.  The topic of the essay shall deal with: an event, person, philosophy, or ideal associated with the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution.  Students must source at least five (5) references with the minimum of three being published book sources to allow for verification of sources if necessary. References from Encyclopedias or Internet sites will be accepted, but are not considered as part of the three published book sources. If there are no book sources (i.e. all are from encyclopedias or internet sources) the essay will be disqualified.

3.    The essay must have four parts: A) title page, B) essay pages, C) bibliography (works cited), and D) contestant's biography.

The title page, bibliography and contestant's biography must be listed on separate pages and no reference to the contestant's name or information can be part of the Essay pages or Bibliography.

Please follow these rules exactly.  Essays that do not conform to the rules may be immediately disqualified.

       A.    The title page must include the title of the essay, contestant's name, address, telephone number, and email address (if available).  In addition, the title page must include the name, address, and telephone number of the high school in which the contestant is enrolled, and the contestant's grade level.

       B.    The essay must have a minimum of 800 words and not exceed 1,200 words (excluding title page, footnotes, bibliography page, and biography page).  (Word counts based on a word processor are acceptable).  The First page of the Essay must include the title of the essay.  (No contestant information must appear on these pages as they are separated and distributed to the judges for grading to prevent possible grading bias.)  The essay must be typed double-spaced on white bond paper.  No bindings or special covers are needed.  Graphics are not permitted.  An original copy of the essay must be submitted.  Poor quality copies will not be accepted.  Plagiarism will be grounds for immediate disqualification.

       C.    The essay and bibliography must be documented in accordance with the Modern Language Association publication, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (see or Kate L. Turabian's publication, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.

       D.    The contestant's biography is limited to one page. Topics to be included in the biography are academic awards and achievements, school activities, community activities, and plans for college.

4.    Entries must be submitted to the Saramana SAR Chapter Committee Chairman by the deadline of December 31 each year.

The Saramana SAR Chapter chairman encourages the electronic submission of the essay.  The format the file should be in such is Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx.), or Portable Document Format (.pdf).

5.    Essays which meet the criteria in Rules 1-3 above will be accepted and judged equally on the following criteria:
       A.    Historical accuracy
       B.    Clarity of thought
       C.    Organization and proven topic
       D.    Grammar and spelling
       E.    Documentation

6.    AWARDS:

If a SAR Essay contestant in our area can win the Chapter Contest, the State Contest, and the National Contest, they should receive Scholarship amounts of over $3,000, a good start at helping to pay for college.

The Saramana SAR Chapter awards three cash scholarship awards, and college plans do not have to be completed in order to receive the cash award.

Please be aware that contestants must be present at the Award Luncheon in January for the SAR  Knight Essay Contest in order to receive any Cash or Medal Awards. Please visit our Saramana Calendar of Events and look under January for the Regular Luncheon Meeting and the exact date and time.

The Saramana SAR Chapter Cash Scholarship Awards are:
First Place Winner receives $1,000.00
2nd Place Runner-up receives $350.00
3rd  Place Runner-up receives $150.00

The Saramana SAR Chapter winner advances to the Florida SAR  Society Contest.

Florida SAR  Society Scholarship Awards:
First Place: $1,000
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $250
The winner advances to the National Society Contest

National Society:
First place: $2,000; a winning recognition certificate and medal; $500 toward travel expenses and one night hotel stay for the winner and a chaperone at the SAR Annual Congress.
Second Place: $1,000
Third Place: $500

7.    The winning essay of the national contest will be submitted for publication in The SAR Magazine. Participants in this contest agree that their essay may be published in The SAR Magazine and on the NSSAR Knight Essay Contest webpage.  Winning essay participants, on all levels, must supply a social security number or alien identification/green card number in order to receive their award.

8.    Participants in this contest agree that the interpretation of rules and decisions of the NSSAR and its judges must govern without reservation and that the decision of the Judges is final.