Knight Essay Contest

The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) invites all high school students (9th through 12th grades) interested in the American Revolution to participate in the George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest. The contest is open to all US Citizen and Legal Resident students attending home schools, public, parochial, or private high schools in that same grade range.

To participate, students must submit an original 800 to 1,200 word essay based on an event, person, philosophy or ideal associated with the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution. Each student’s essay will be judged based upon its historical accuracy, clarity, organization, grammar and spelling, and documentation.

The contest is conducted in three phases: the local chapter, state-level society, and national phases. The contest must be entered through an SAR chapter near the student’s residence. Go to MOSSAR.ORG> Membership > Local Chapters for the chapter nearest you. In some cases, the contest may be entered at the state level. If the local chapter does not participate in the contest, contact to find out more information. Only one entry per student is permitted per contest year.

A complete set of rules, along with the application for both the applicant and the sponsoring SAR members, can be found by going to SAR.ORG> Education> Youth Contest Awards > George and Stella Knight Essay Contest. Please be aware that the local application deadline dates may vary, so interested applicants should reach out to their local SAR Chapter for further details. Should you have any questions about a local chapter contact me at

The completed APPLICATION must be submitted along with the essay.

Contest entries must be submitted as PDF files attached to emails. The essay must have four parts: 1) title page, 2) essay pages, 3) bibliography or works cited, and 4) applicant’s biography. The title page, bibliography, and applicant’s biography must be listed on separate pages and no reference to the applicant’s name or information can be part of the essay pages or bibliography. Please follow these rules exactly. Essays that do not conform to the rules may be immediately disqualified. The judging is conduct by three MOSSAR members and one Advanced Placement English teacher according to the National requirements.

1) Title Page – The title page must include the following:
• Title of the Essay
• Applicant’s name, grade, address, phone number & email
• Applicant’s high school’s name, address & phone number
• Statement on how applicant learned about the contest (if from the Internet, include the URL of the website)

2) Essay Pages – The essay must:
• Minimum of 800 and a maximum of 1,200 words (excluding title page, footnotes, bibliography, page and biography)
• First page must include the title
• No applicant information is on the essay pages
• 12-point Times New Roman font and double-spaced
• Use 8 1⁄2” by 11” paper with 1” margins on all sides
• Essay pages are numbered sequentially, starting with “1” • No graphics, special covers or bindings are allowed

3) Bibliography pages – The bibliography must:
• Citations in the essay and references in the bibliography must be in accordance with a widely used, publicly available citation system (Examples include the Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Manual of Style, & the MHRA Style Guide)
• The bibliography must specify the system used
• No applicant information is in the bibliography
• Minimum of 5 references, 3 of which must be published works (encyclopedias or internet sources are acceptable but not considered part of the 3 published works)

4) Biography page – The biography must:
• Limited to one page.
• Includes academic awards and achievements, school activities, community activities and plans for college.

Essays which meet the criteria above will be accepted and judged equally on the following criteria:
• Historical accuracy
• Clarity of thought
• Organization and proven topic
• Grammar and spelling
• Documentation

Awards at the chapter level may vary. Missouri’s state award is $500. Awards at the national level are as follows:
First place:
$5,000; a medal and recognition certificate; up to $500 toward travel expenses and one- night hotel stay for the winner and a chaperone at the annual SAR Congress.
Second Place:
$2,500 and a recognition certificate
Third Place:
$1,000 and a recognition certificate


Dale A. Schmidt
Chair Missouri Knight Essay Contest