Civics Education Essay Contest

About the contest

NCSC's Civics Education Essay Contest gives 3rd-12th grade students the opportunity to understand and explain the importance and the role of the United States government.

The contest questions are based on the 2023 American Bar Association's Law Day theme, "Cornerstones of Democracy: Civics, Civility, and Collaboration."

This year, we're asking students in grades 3-8: "What kind of free speech situations require a judge or police officer to get involved to keep the peace?"  Students in grades 9-12 are asked: "Do you think students should be held to the same standard when exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of speech whether they're on or off school property?

Learn more about the essay prompts below or by viewing the online entry form.

The submission period will be from Wednesday, February 22, to Thursday, March 23, 2023. Winners will be announced on Monday, May 1.

Promotional materials

Civics Essay Contest Flyer
Civics Essay Contest Partner Information
Social Media Tool Kit

Essay contest

Contest rules
Essay prompts
Enter Essay Contest

Contest history


Question: Which Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has made the biggest difference in people’s lives? Explain how and why.

Read the press release.
Read the winning entries.


Question: What does the rule of law mean to you?

Read the press release.
Read the winning entries.


Elementary/Middle school: Why is it so important that all citizens have the right to vote?

High school: Is voting a right, privilege or responsibility? Why?

Read the press release.
Read the winning entries.