Myrna Loy Patton Corley Writing Award

The Myrna Loy Patton Corley Critical Thinking and Writing Award was established by the East Cleveland City Schools and Case Western Reserve University to recognize the critical thinking and writing ability of outstanding Provost Scholars. The Award will be given to Scholars who successfully submit a final essay and meet all of the essay competition's requirements.

To be eligible for an award, a Provost Scholar must meet the following essay requirements: 

Electronically submit a typed 800-1,000 word essay (Times New Roman, 12 pt. type, 1” margins). A cover page with the Scholar’s (1) full name, (2) date of essay submission, (3) grade level, (4) school name, (5) book title, and (6) question option must be included. The essay may be submitted using this online form or via email to Kate Klonowski no later than Monday, March 11, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

Eighth and ninth grade Scholars will answer one of the following essay questions based on the following book: Palacio, R. J. Wonder, New York, Knopf Books, 2012.

Question Option 1: Auggie makes the connection of everyone being afraid to touch him with the old moldy cheese in Diary of a Wimpy Kid (pg. 72).

  • Who do you think provided Auggie with support that helped him to overcome some of the barriers he has experienced in his life? Who supports you?
  • How do your own experiences compare to these two connections?
  •  What connections have you made with Auggie? Describe at least two of these connections with details from the story.

Question Option 2: Mr. Browne has a collection of precepts that his students write about each month. 

  • Develop a precept that Mr. Browne could add to his collection and provide a rationale for selecting it.
  • Choose one of these precepts and describe—in detail—what it means to you.

Tenth through twelfth graders will answer one of the following essay questions based on the following book: Alexi, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York, Little Brown Books, 2009.

Question Option 1: Consider the following quote from the book: “Life is a constant struggle between being an individual and being a member of a community.” 

  • How does this quote describe Arnold’s experience?
  • How does this quote apply to your own experience in your community?
  • Describe a detailed plan of action that you think would help a young person to develop their identity while living in two different cultures.

Question Option 2: Identify three stereotypes that were expressed in the text and comment on the impact that you think each of them might have had on Arnold.

  • Compare these stereotypes to those you have experienced. 
  • How do you think stereotypes develop and what purpose do they serve?
  • Do you think stereotypes about a particular group of young people can interrupt their dreams and career plans? How?


Tuesday, November 13th: Book distribution during Provost Scholars Program at CWRU

Tuesday, December 11th: Essay outline due

Tuesday, February 5th: Essay Rough Draft Due

Monday, March 11th: Final Essay Due by 5:00pm

Submissions will be evaluated by a faculty or staff person at East Cleveland City Schools and Case Western Reserve University. 

Essay Requirements for 8th & 9th Grades

Essay Requirements for 10th,11th & 12th Grades