Education & Social Sciences

The Peggy Seigel Writing Competition

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 competition! 

First Place $1000:
Christina Kovats “Indiana’s Magdalene Laundry” Paper
Higher Education Program, Indiana Women’s Prison, Indianapolis
Faculty sponsor Kelsey Kauffman e-mail
Honorable Mentions (each $300):
Noah Sandweiss “Outcasts of all Nations:  The Rise and Decline of French and Indian Relations in the American Midwest 1665-1851”  Paper
Indiana University Department of History e-mail
Haley Steinhilber “Insight into the Hoosier Ku Klux Klan:  The Fiery Cross and Indiana Newspapers of the 1920s” Paper
Manchester University Peace Studies Institute  Katy Gray Brown e-mail and Sam Torgerson e-mail
Molly Whitted and Michelle Williams, “Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of the Initial Cohort of Girls at the Indiana Reformatory Institution for Women and Girls” Paper
Faculty sponsor Kelsey Kauffman

Goal and purposes of the competition

The goal of this competition is to reward Indiana undergraduate students for original writing using archival sources related to Indiana history. Peggy Seigel’s own work in the history of Indiana through the years has uncovered rich resources in the various libraries and historical centers and societies of the state that are waiting for a scholar’s attention. New digital sources are increasingly available. Many areas of the state’s past especially in the areas of women’s and African American history, peace issues, refugee placement, and social justice have received limited attention. Excellence in research and writing will determine winning papers.

Requirements of research paper
Submissions should be scholarly papers based on original research dealing with the Indiana history. An eligible piece will support a well-defined thesis with appropriate primary source materials. The paper must both demonstrate knowledge of the relevant scholarly work on the topic as well as suggest how its findings fit into the existing body of work in the appropriate field. The citations and overall style should conform to the standards laid out in the Chicago Manual of Style for foot or endnotes and include a full bibliography. The paper must be between 15 and 30 double-spaced pages in length.

Entries may be submitted by those who are currently enrolled as undergraduate students and by those who are no more than 12 months beyond college graduation by the due date for initial proposals.

Procedure for entry
Entries will go through a two-stage process. The initial phase will require the submission of an entry form and a brief abstract of the proposed research topic with a description of the major types of primary sources that will be used. The entry form must also be accompanied by a signed agreement from a faculty member or other professional mentor who will provide feedback to the student on preliminary drafts of the proposed work. Entry forms and proposals must be submitted no later than March 1, 2018 for next year’s competition. Those whose proposals are accepted will be notified within two weeks of submission. These students will be expected to submit their completed papers by April 12, 2018.

Judging and outcomes*
The papers in this competition will be evaluated by a panel of judges with professional expertise in writing and in subject areas related to the competition. They will be appointed by the competition’s committee. The judges may award a $1000 cash prize and possible additional cash awards as the panel deems appropriate. Winners will have their papers published on this web page.

*The judges may choose not to make any awards in a given year.


More Information

About Peggy Seigel
Downloadable Entry Form

Leonard Williams
Dean of the College of Education and Social Sciences, History & Political Science

2016 Winner Essays
Emily Lyon
Liz Hilt
Claire Crane
Soren Rasmussen

2015 Winner Essays
Leeann Sausser
Katie Martin
Rachel Fulk
Claire Crane 

2014 Winner Essays
Rebecca Cunningham
Sara Elaine Jackson
Abigail Neuman
Kristine Ruhl