Student Essay Contest
The Historic Education Committee of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, chaired by the Historian General, conducts an annual Texas History Essay Contest for Fourth (4th) Grade Students and a Texas History Essay Contest for Seventh (7th) Grade Students.
Texas History Essay Topics for 2024
Topics for the 2024 4th and 7th grade student essays for DRT will be on leaders important to the founding of Texas as a Republic.
Fourth (4th) Grade Essay Contest topic: “Collin McKinney.”
Write an essay about Collin McKinney, the oldest signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The essay should cover the life and contribution Collin McKinney made to Texas.
Collin McKinney - Oldest signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence
Seventh (7th) Grade Essay Contest topic: “The Canary Islanders and their impact on The Republic of Texas”.
Cover the challenges they faced as they settled San Antonio.
Each sponsoring chapter sets their own deadline for receiving the essays. This is usually the month before they are due to their District Representatives. This provides them time to judge the winning essays for their chapter. Be certain to contact the chapter for their actual deadline. Next, the chapters submit their winning essays to the District Representative. The District Representative must receive the chapters' winning essays no later than March 1st. The Historian General must receive the Districts' winning essays no later than March 15th. The national winner will be selected from winning essays submitted by each of the ten District Representatives. Essays will be judged by the Historic Education Committee and the Chairman of the committee, the Historian General. Each entry must be accompanied by the completed 4th or 7th grade essay contest submission form.
Typed essays are to be double-spaced on 8½” by 11″ paper, using “Times New Roman” font, size 12. Top and bottom page margins are to be on inch, with side margins being 1.25 inches. Essays must be submitted in English.
• Fourth Grade Essay – The body of the essay can be no less than 1½ pages. No word count requirements.
• Seventh Grade Essay – The body of the essay can be no less than 2½ pages. No word count requirements.
(Chapter Judges, please make certain the essays meet this length requirement.)
Handwritten essays are to be on ruled, 8½” by 11″ paper. Essays must be submitted in English.
• Fourth Grade Essay – Word count should be between 500 and 525 words.
• Seventh Grade Essay – Word count should be between 800 and 825 words.
A minimum of four (4) references are needed – no more than two (2) may be internet references. Research references should be listed on a separate page, but not counted as part of the essay length. Included in the bibliography should be the name of the author; title of the book; newspaper; article; city of publication; publisher and date of publication. Facts cited and research references will be checked by the committee. Spelling, punctuation, grammar and neatness are a consideration in judging. The essay should be original, interesting and well organized. The most important aspect of the essay should be historical accuracy.
Cover page should include:
• Student’s name
• Title of the essay
• Name of school, address, and city
• Daughters of the Republic of Texas
• Sponsoring chapter name and city
• Chapter contact and telephone number
• District Representative and District number
• Parent’s name, phone number and mailing address
Fourth Grade Student Essay submission form
Seventh Grade Student Essay submission form
Chapters should attach DRT form H.O3 to the essay submission packet to obtain the parent’s/guardian’s approval to use the winning student’s photo on websites/newsletters. This form can also be found on the DRT website under Forms & Publications / Forms / Headquarters’ forms.
The District Winners of the Fourth and Seventh Grade contests will receive a certificate and $50 check. The parent’s contact information is important so that the District Representative will know where to send the check and certificate, in event the student wins at the district level. The parent’s contact information is important because it is sometimes difficult to contact students once school has dismissed for the summer.
The National winners of the Fourth and Seventh Grade contests will be invited to attend the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Saturday Awards Luncheon at the DRT Convention and may be asked to read his/her essay at the luncheon. A copy of the winning National student essay will be sent to the DRT Library in San Antonio by the Historian General. The winner will receive a $500 check, a certificate and a plaque.
There will be seats for three (3) at the luncheon; the student and two guests. If the winning student’s city is more than 150 miles from the site of the convention, then one hotel room will be provided the Friday before the Saturday Award Luncheon. DRT is not responsible for other expenses incurred by the student to attend convention and the awards luncheon.
For more information or to locate and contact a DRT Chapter nearest you, please contact [email protected]. Or you may e-mail the Historian General at [email protected].