The IA Overachiever Student Op–Ed Contest

What is an Op-Ed?

According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, an Opinion Piece is “an article in which the writer expresses their personal opinion, typically one which is controversial or provocative, about a particular issue or item of news.” The word op-ed itself derives from its original location in the printed New York Times (which established the modern op-ed section), opposite the editorial page. However, it has now become synonymous with opinion pieces (aka opinion editorials).

Why write an Op-Ed?

Have you ever been frustrated by the way the world works? Do you feel so strongly about an issue that it makes your blood boil? Or do you have a unique way of seeing things that everyone needs to hear?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, an op-ed might be for you. An op-ed allows you to share your unique perspective with the world. Studies have shown that op-ed have a lasting impact in shaping people’s opinions. Whether your issue is big or small, an op-ed is a powerful tool to amplify your voice.

Contest Rules and Resources:

  • Choose a topic you genuinely care about and formulate an argument.
  • While there are no official word limits, we recommend staying between 450-600 words in order to sufficiently focus your argument.
  • You must include an MLA bibliography to the end (in text citations not required, though you may hyperlink) and your editorial must be your own work.
  • Do not write your name anywhere on the submitted op-ed (these will be anonymously judged).
  • Once you are finished, submit your editorial to this form. You will be graded according to the rubric below. The deadline to enter is November 1.
  • Contest Resources:
  • The winning op-ed will receive a prize of $75. Depending on there being a sufficient number of submissions, 2nd and 3rd place entries will also be awarded $50 and $25 respectively.

Thank you for your interest in participating in the first ever Overachiever Op-Ed Contest. Questions can be directed to


Join the IA Overachiever!

The IA Overachiever is the International Academy Central’s Official Student Newspaper. We publish monthly to our website, and meet every other week (staggered with MUN) in Room 406. Feel free to become a regular member of the Overachiever or submit one off guest pieces whenever you’d like. Our google classroom code is p5coyim. 

NOTE: Contest Rules and Rubric have been adapted from the New York Times Annual Student Editorial Contest.

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