Pakistani students earn honors in editorial writing contest
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Eight students will be awarded Quill and Scroll Gold Keys for their submissions in the first Editorial Writing Contest for Pakistani students, co-sponsored by Eye on Ivy and Quill and Scroll. The winning articles proficiently described the repercussions of the pandemic’s effect on teen mental health, particularly focusing on Pakistani youth’s mental health and how to break the stigma around accessing mental health resources.
The winning articles proficiently described the social media affects current events in Pakistan, as well as the need to protect themselves against misinformation. Here are the winners, along with short comments from the contest’s judges, academic and professional experts in mental health:
Class A (Grades 9-10)
- First Place: Ayaan Shahbaz “Fine job looking at the background of the topic, and cogently addressing possible approaches to helping Pakistani youth and reducing the stigma attached to mental health. Very few did both parts well. You also did a fine job citing studies as evidence for your argument. Work on transitions – instead of single words at the beginning of a paragraph, try phrasing which connects the thoughts of the paragraphs.“
- Second Place: Rohaan Imran “You did an excellent job focusing on the main topic, which was to focus on ways of reducing the stigma of mental illness in Pakistan. I like how you consider various methods of addressing the issue. Avoid phrasing like ‘this editorial essay shall delve…’. It is clunky and not necessary. Just state your position. You really need to cite studies and writers who support your positions to increase the credibility of your argument.“
- Third Place: Menaal Kashif “You do a very good job of articulating your position and focusing on the main topic of teen mental health. Your points are well-chosen and apt. Your writing is clear and engaging. This would have been stronger, however, if you had added to your credibility by citing research supporting you.“
- Honorable Mention: Eshal Yasir
Class B (Grades 11-13)
- First Place: Natalia Syed “Great emphasis on the key point of the prompt: what can be done? Excellent writing overall, and a skillful marshalling of facts that were presented smoothly in service of your argument. You also did a nice job of avoiding a rehash of the early part of the pandemic, which is not particularly germane to the assignment.“
- Second Place: Laiba Fawad “Very well written, with an emphasis on the key part of the prompt, which is to focus on what Pakistani youth can do to improve the state of mental health in a society that possesses too many taboos regarding the subject. In a journalistic argument, however, you should dispense with statements like ‘which will be explored in this essay’ – state your point and move directly into your argument. Otherwise, this is quite well done.“
- Third Place: Syeda Imaan Shiraz “In a journalistic opinion piece, you do a nice job writing short paragraphs. I like the way you used facts, but you need to credit those sources consistently. This is quite well written, except for a problem with using the article ‘the,’ which was unnecessary when referring, for example, to ‘youth.’“
- Honorable Mention: Nur Ali
Pakistani students submitted 41 entries for the contest, and the winners are now eligible to apply for Quill and Scroll scholarships that would allow them to study journalism or take part in student media at a U.S. college or university.