New Student Experience



Holloway Hall
Essay and Art Contest

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Please note: the Essay and Art Contest deadline has been extended until Friday, August 10.

Attention incoming students to Salisbury University! Here’s your chance to win a $300 gift certificate to the Salisbury University Book Store. You can use the gift certificate for anything the book store sells, including those expensive textbooks you’ll have to buy. All you have to do is submit the winning essay or the winning art project related to the New Student Reader, The Glass Castle.

All entries for the essay and art contests must be mailed to:

Salisbury University
Guerrieri University Center
Attention: Lawanda Dockins-Gordy
1101 Camden Avenue
Salisbury, MD 21801

and postmarked no later than August 10, 2007. Winners will be notified the week of August 20. Entries should include a cover letter with contact information. In addition, students submitting art projects should include in their cover letter the name of their project and an artist’s statement or brief description of the intended meaning of the project.

Guidelines for Essay on The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

You have two choices. First, you can choose one of the five discussion questions included with the book, and write an essay of 500-750 words in which you argue for a thesis that develops out of that question (or group of questions). Don’t feel as if you have to cover every question in a certain set; if you can write the essay about one question that is part of an item, that’s fine. Your other choice of topic is to write an argument in which you compare your own life experience to that of Jeannette Walls and her siblings, if you think there is a comparison worth making. You may want to consider the poverty and privilege that co-exist in the US, and how it relates to the privilege of a college education that you are about to experience.

The essay should be computer-generated and double-spaced, and must adhere to MLA guidelines for margins, spacing, indentations, and citations, should you choose to include quoted passages from the book. This essay should have a cover page instead of an MLA heading, however, and should not include an MLA header on each page. The cover page should include your name, the title of the essay, and the date of submission. The first page of the essay should have the title on it. Be sure to create your own title for the essay; the book’s title is not an acceptable title for the essay.

This essay will be judged on its effectiveness as an argument, its creativity and originality, the importance of its overall message, and its adherence to both the conventions of Standard English and MLA documentation style. The essay should demonstrate a strong understanding of the book selected and the student's own serious reflection on the book. It should be focused, well-reasoned and written clearly, with correct spelling and grammar. It should be stapled and submitted within the deadline to the address above.

Please note:

There are themes within this year's New Student Reader that include alcoholism, sexual content, and poverty conditions. When the reader reviews these and other content areas, he/she may experience reactions during or following the reading.

There will be structured discussions following convocation relative to the New Student Reader. All disclosures within these discussions are voluntary. Students are encouraged to participate according to his/her comfort level. Additional resources, including Student Counseling Services are available to students who may experience difficulty. Counselors may be reached at 410-543-6070 or by Their office is located on the second floor of the Guerrieri University Center, room 263. Counseling staff will be available during New Student Reader discussions.

Guidelines for Art on The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The art work must reflect the meaning of the author and must be your original work. Please take the opportunity in the cover letter to address this for the judges. The art will be judged based on the following elements of artistic expression:

  1. Creativity, newness and originality of the design.
  2. Visual balance of the project.
  3. Clarity of the theme to the viewer. The artist's statement will be considered in making this judgment.
  4. Expression of emotion and the extent to which the project can be expected to evoke an emotional response in the viewer.
  5. Finish or completion of the project and attention to quality.
  6. Overall impression. The effect of the project as a whole, often based on the first glimpse of the finished piece will be judged. . Without regard to the other criterion, does it stand on its own as a good and complete work of art?


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