Student Resources


How does the Constitution establish and maintain a culture of liberty?

In an essay of no more than 1000 words, analyze and discuss:

• How one of the Founding principles established in the Constitution helps preserve liberty
• Why at least one Founder, as evidenced in a primary source document, believed your chosen principle was a safeguard to liberty
• Why your principle continues to be important today
• How you personally help preserve a culture that ensures the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in America

Remember that about half your essay will need to be about the Founding era: how your chosen Founding principle is reflected in the Constitution, and why at least one Founder believed your principle would be a safeguard to liberty. Here are some resources that can help you as you plan and write your essay.

The second half of your essay will be about the principle’s importance today: in current events, and in your own life. To help guide your thinking on why the principle is relevant today, check out our “Teaching with Current Events” section. You’ll find news stories grouped by constitutional protections and principles.

Finally, here is the scoring rubric judges will use when scoring essays. Keep these criteria in mind when you’re writing.