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Minnaar Awards

Academics / Departments & Programs / English / Writing at Calvin / Minnaar Awards

The English department is pleased to recognize excellent writing in Written Rhetoric through the Joseph and June Minnaar awards.

Annually, the English department will make five awards:

  • one for best essay in any genre,
  • first and second place for short essays, and
  • first and second place for research essays.

The winner of the overall award for the best essay from both categories will receive a check for $100.

Students who receive first and second place awards will receive checks for $75 and $50 respectively.

Because revision is an important part of the writing process, the Written Rhetoric Committee encourages you to discuss revision ideas with your Written Rhetoric instructor. You may submit no more than two essays for the awards.

To submit an essay for consideration, submit the following to the University Rhetoric Director (Professor Kristine Johnson):

  • One clean copy of the essay with no identifying information (student name, instructor name, section letter, etc.);
  • A one-paragraph description of the essay assignment and the student's process for completing the assignment and a one-paragraph description of the revision process that the student followed in preparing the essay for the Minnaar Awards;
  • A Minnaar Award cover sheet with the signature of the student's instructor.

The Written Rhetoric Committee will read the essays and rank them according to the following criteria:

  • The focus of the essay: unity, clarity, significance, and insightfulness;
  • The structure of the essay: relationship of thesis or central idea to essay organization, use of supporting data, development of ideas throughout the essay, and use of detail;
  • The structure of the paragraphs and sentences: paragraph development, use of metaphor or analogy, sentence style, and word choice.

For the research essay, the committee will also consider the following:

  • Research sources: variety, number, and appropriateness;
  • Means of incorporating sources: method of integrating source material and form of source material (quote, block quote, paraphrase, summary);
  • Documentation: presence and form.
How to Apply

Download a cover sheet

Submit the form and the supporting materials described on this page to Professor Kristine Johnson via email.

The application deadlines for 2023–24 are as follows:
December 6, 2023
April 10, 2024

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