Molin Prize

Guidelines for the S. Eric Molin Prize Contest for Best Paper By a Student

(1) Length: The presentation must be an appropriate length; that is, the talk should last no more than twenty minutes. Members of the committee will attend each presentation and time the talks. In practical terms, the text of the essay (exclusive of endnotes) should be no more than nine pages, double-spaced, with twelve-point type and reasonable margins. The committee advises contestants to practice the talk in advance to ensure that it does not run over the allotted time.

(2) Presentation: Presentation: In order to be eligible for this competition, contestants must be physically present to read the paper at the EC/ASECS conference.  An entrant cannot have someone else give the paper since a part of the committee’s evaluation will be on the actual presentation and the way in which the contestant fields questions after the talk.  The paper must be unique; that is, a contestant cannot recycle a paper previously presented elsewhere.  After the conference, contestants must send each committee member a copy of the paper in full (and with endnotes) by December 1.  A summary of the talk as part of a roundtable or panel discussion is unacceptable.

(3) Audience: In addition to the content of the paper, the committee will also evaluate the writer’s ability to make a specialized topic accessible to a wider audience of eighteenth-century scholars. Contestants should recognize that one element of a paper’s success is its understanding of the broader context in which the argument is situated. Because the prize committee is composed of scholars from a range of specialties in 18th-century studies, in various disciplines and national cultures, they may not be familiar with all the criticism on the paper’s topic. Therefore, the essay should establish how the writer’s perspective relates to those of other scholars who have written on the same subject.

(4) Submissions: Entrants must first submit an abstract to the members of the committee by September 27, 2016. (Committee members’ email addresses will be sent to all who indicate an intention to apply before the deadline.)  After the conference, those who submitted their abstracts should send a full copy of the paper to the committee as a Microsoft Word attachment by December 1, 2016.  Please email your abstracts and papers to all members of the committee; if you do not do this, the committee may not consider your submission. A member of the committee will send an e-mail confirmation of receipt and will alert entrants if any problem arises with transmission. NOTE: the committee will allow entrants to make changes (at entrants’ own discretion) before submitting the paper, including the insertion of parenthetical citations and/or endnotes/footnotes/Works Cited or the rendering of any revisions as prompted by, say, the panel Q and A. Caveat: no paper submitted may be longer than 12 pages (double-spaced, 12 point font, 1-inch margins), all-inclusive.

(5) Membership in EC/ASECS: You must be a current dues-paying member of EC/ASECS by the preregistration deadline, 9/27/16. To join, please see the Membership link on the EC/ASECS web page at