Essay Contest Rules and Awards

The Mid-Shore Board of Realtors Fair Housing Essay Contest


Enter to Win a $500, $200 or $100 Cash Prize!


The Mid-Shore Board of Realtors’ Essay Contest invites high school  students who reside in either in Caroline, Dorchester, or Talbot County to write an original and analytical essay of 750-1000 words  on the following theme:

2019 Theme:  In 2018, the country celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, how do you see home ownership changing in the next 50-years?

Students are encouraged to review a variety of sources including but not limited to newspaper articles, books, family & friends and/or personal interviews.

Key Information


Deadline for submission of essay: 

Maximum words: 1,000

Prizes: $500 cash prize awarded for the top essay, $200 for 2nd place, $100 for 3rd place

Eligibility Requirements
All high school students who reside in the MSBR’s service area are eligible to participate in the essay contest. This area includes Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot Counties.
The student must submit his/her essay and student entry form on or before the contest due date of:

Students who have family members serving as contest judges are not eligible to participate.
The top winner will receive a $500 cash prize; the second and third place winners will receive $200 and $100 respectively. In addition, the winning essay will be published in the MSBR member newsletter and submitted to the Star Democrat and other local media for publication. The student and his/her parents will be invited to the annual MSBR Awards banquet.

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 contestant’s own research, writing and original thinking.
  • All sources should be referenced at the end of the essay; sources will not count towards the 1,000 maximum.
  • Only one (1) essay may be submitted by each contestant.
  • Essays must be typed.
  • The essay text is a minimum of 750 up to 1000 words and the word count should be included on the title page.
  • Each essay must include a title page, not considered text, with the following information:
    essay title,
Student’s name,
School name, student’s home address and phone number
  • The title of the essay, but NOT the author’s name, MUST appear on the top of the first page of essay text.
  • Emails may be emailed to   Students should request a return receipt to verify the email was received.
  • Entries that are mailed should be sent to Mid Shore Board of REALTORS, 8615 Commerce Drive, Suite 2, Easton, MD 21601. Entries must be postmarked on or before contest due date of March 15, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
  • Essays will not be returned to the author; they become property of the Mid-Shore Board of Realtors. The Mid-Shore Board of Realtors may reprint the essays in educational publications and use them at education workshops. Appropriate citations will be given to the writers.


Local high school faculty, lawyers, REALTORS® and community leaders will judge the essays using four criteria. No staff of the Mid-Shore Board of Realtors may serve as judges for the contest.

Essay Scoring Sheets

Rate each of the four categories with 35 as the highest score. Add the four categories to reach the essay’s final score.

Essay Number _____________

I.  Comprehension (1-25 points) _________

How well does the essay reflect comprehension of the issues surrounding property rights?

II. Organization and Conclusion (1-35 points) __________

Does the argument follow a logical and easily understood progression? Does corroborating evidence support the essay’s main points? Do the conclusions follow logically from the argument? How compelling are the conclusions?

III. Creativity  (1-15 points) ___________

Creative angle on the issue.

IV. Writing   (1-25 points) ____________

Correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and concise language.