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World Wide Web History Essay Contest

While you probably will want to submit an essay you wrote for a class you took (and this is fine), you should keep in mind that even an outstanding essay written to satisfy the requirements of a specific assignment may not make a good submission without some revision. When an essay is a response to an assignment, the author can often choose to omit information that might be required in a more general essay. However, the readers for the contest will expect to see an essay that is entirely self-contained, that is, that contains within it all the information an intelligent reader would need to know to understand the point of the essay. So you will probably need to revise your essay to make it suitable. Ask yourself these questions as you revise:

  • Does my essay have a real thesis (a position I am arguing for or defending) or is it simply a narrative? An essay that is essentially descriptive will probably not be as strong a competitor as an essay that presents a point of view about the past.
  • Is my essay focused? An essay which has a tight focus is likely to be more effective and persuasive than an essay that ranges far and wide.
  • Are my sources properly cited? Sometimes in a classroom essay, you are only required to cite works by the author’s last name and page number; for this contest all works need a full and proper citation, whether you choose parenthetical citation with a “Works Cited” list at the end or footnotes and endnotes. For more information about citing sources and the Chicago Manual of Style, visit Research and Writing for History J300 & J400.
  • Have I corrected all of the grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors in this essay? An essay containing spelling and grammatical errors is simply not impressive; it does not convince the readers that you have any authority and such sloppiness irritates educated readers.

Deadline: mid-March annually.

Inquire about this year's awards deadline

Qualified undergraduates may submit no more than one essay per prize. Essays should be typed in 12-point type, and the text should be double-spaced, with 1-inch margins. Papers can be submitted at any time before the deadline. Submissions should be emailed to They should include a Word document version of the paper, and the following information in the body of the email:

  • Student name
  • Paper title
  • Title of prize for which essay is being submitted
  • Course for which the essay was written
  • Semester in which the essay was written
  • Your academic year or graduation status
  • Email address (if it will change after the semester in which you submit your essay)

This annual essay contest is organized in an effort to harness the energy, creativity and initiative of the world's youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world.

*This program is an activity of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

Click here to
send your essay online
* This link will be activated soon.

For further inquiries concerning the International Essay Contest for Young People, please contact

Organized by

The Goi Peace Foundation

Endorsed by

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan
Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, Japan Private High School Federation
Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Nikkei Inc.

Supported by


Essay Contest 2018 Flyer (PDF)


Past Winning Essays


Q1Are there any exceptions to the age limit for participating in the contest?

A1No, you must be 25 years old or younger as of June 15, 2018, which is the entry deadline date. That means you must be born after June 15, 1993. On the other hand, there is no minimum age requirement.

Q2Is there a fee for participating in this contest?

A2No, participation is free of charge.

Q3Do I have to be Japanese or Asian to join the contest?

A3A3: No, all nationalities can participate from anywhere in the world.

Q4My essay is a little over 700 words. Is it acceptable?

A4No, essays must be 700 words or less in order to qualify. However, the cover page and essay title are excluded from the word count. There is no minimum word count.

Q5Are the title and cover page included in the word count limit?

A5No, the 700 word count limit is for the body of the essay only.

Q6Do I need a cover page for my essay submitted online?

A6No, a cover page is only required for entries submitted by postal mail. For online entries, all required information is submitted through the registration form, and therefore, you do not need to include a cover page in your essay file.

Q7Can I give any title to my essay?

A7Yes, you can give your essay an original title as long as the content is in line with the theme.

Q8Is there a specific format for the essay (font style, size, line space, etc.)?

A8There are no particular rules regarding formatting. However, your essay file should be submitted in either MS Word(DOC/DOCX) or PDF format.

Q9Can I quote from books or websites? If so, where should I write the reference?

A9If you use quotations, please include the reference at the bottom of the essay. The reference should not be included in the word count.

Q10Can I add photos, images, or my biography to my essay?

A10No. Please send your essay only.

Q11Can I submit my essay via email?

A11No, we do not accept entries by email. Please submit your essay either by postal mail or through the online registration page:* This link will be activated soon.

Q12Can I submit a hand-written essay?

A12Yes, we accept hand-written essays. You can either send it by postal mail or submit a scanned PDF copy through the online registration page:* This link will be activated soon.

Q13Can I submit more than one essay?

A13Yes, you can submit more than one essay as long as the contents are different. They can also be written in different languages. Please use the same account to submit multiple essays online.

Q14Can I submit my essay in my native language?

A14Essays are accepted in English, French, Spanish, German or Japanese only, since these are the only languages the contest organizers and judges can read. However, we can accept essays written in other languages, if they are accompanied by translations in one of the accepted languages.

Q15Can we co-write and submit one essay as a team?

A15No. Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays are not accepted.