The Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies announces its annual Mary E. Earle Prize for undergraduate research. CRS majors are encouraged to submit polished versions of their best original essay concerning any aspect of study within the major. A panel of CRS professors will judge the papers based on topic, depth of research, strength of analysis, and quality of writing.

The deadline for the 2023 application is Wednesday, April 5. Late submissions will not be considered.

Mary E. Earle Prize Information and Application

NOTE: In order to view the application's information page while filling out the application, scroll to the bottom and click the "Back" button.

An exceptional paper will include:

  • No fewer than no fewer than 1,750 words and no more than 2,500 words in length.
  • A bibliography in correct MLA format is included.
  • An introduction that grabs interest and states the topic.
  • A thesis that is exceptionally clear, concise and arguable.
  • Excellent research which is detailed and historically accurate.
  • Superior analysis which is clear, logical, mature, and thorough.
  • Excellent transitions between and within paragraphs.
  • A conclusion which provides a synthesis of the paper with concepts and ideas that impact reader.
  • Style and voice that are appropriate to the given audience and purpose and show originality and creativity.
  • Word choice that is specific, purposeful, dynamic and varied.
  • Sentences that are clear, active (subject-verb-object), and to the point.
  • No spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors.

Questions? Email Laura Mikols at

Committee members: Professors Lynn Greenky and Amardo Rodriguez

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