REALL Student Essay Contest

October 1999

To encourage critical thinking in young people today, and in light of many credulous media presentations of claims of psychic powers, alien abductions, hauntings, and other paranormal phenomena, we are conducting an essay contest for area high-school students.

The winning entrant will be awarded a $250 cash prize for a 1,500 to 3,000 word essay in one of the following areas:

  1. An evaluation of a paranormal belief in an event or phenomenon that apparently doesn't follow the laws of nature as we presently understand them, and is not demonstrable under controlled laboratory conditions. Some examples include ESP, ghosts, astrology, levitation, and psychic predictions.
  2. An evaluation of a controversial or pseudoscientific claim, such as cold fusion, facilitated communication, subliminal advertising, homeopathy, therapeutic touch, psychic healing or repressed memories.
  3. An experiment to test a paranormal or pseudoscientific claim, such as those mentioned above. These lists are not all-inclusive.

Matters of faith or religion, not claimed to be upheld by scientific evidence, are excluded.

REALL's annual essay contest is open to high school students in Central Illinois. Contestants have until December 31, 1999, to fill out and submit the information on the registration form found in the enclosed Instructions and Contest Rules. Registration is mandatory in order to participate and may be accomplished by U.S. Mail or e-mail to our address or web site listed below.

Essays should be submitted and post-marked by March 31, 2000 to the address below.

Feel free to encourage all of your students to pick a suitable topic and enter. In the interest of fairness, all deadlines will be strictly enforced. The winner will be announced by May 2, 2000.

For more information and full rules, visit our web site,

REALL Student Essay Contest
P.O. Box 20302
Springfield, IL 62708


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