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Welcome to The State of the American Mind Essay Contest

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The State of the American Mind Essay and Video Contest

The American Mind—the very character of what it means to be an American—is changing. Where once “being an American” meant respecting others’ freedom of speech, colleges now disinvite speakers who fail to affirm what student bodies already think; where once Americans cared about working hard, we now opt for temporary gigs rather than long-term jobs; where once Americans cared about informed voting, we now vote with a sports mentality, rooting for our favorites while knowing little about where they stand.
We at Templeton Press think it's important to recognize these changes and engage with them critically. Thus we have asked students—either graduating high school students or current undergraduates—to create an essay or a video responding to one of the following topics:

  • Greg Lukianoff's "How Colleges Create the 'Expectation of Confirmation'"
  • Jean Twenge's "The Rise of the Self and the Decline of Intellectual and Civic Interest"
  • Ilya Somin's "Political Ignorance in America"


The winners for this contest have been chosen! To view their responses, please go to our WINNERS PAGE.