Herndon, Virginia, USA 20172 [email protected]

EPC Judging Process

Once the judges have read the participant’s essays and listened to their speeches, they grade the entries.

There is no favoritism as the essay judges do not know who the writers are and for the speeches, we assign judges that do not have a personal connection to any of the youth they are judging. The final ranking is based on BOTH speech and essay scores. A participant may have had the highest score on their essay, but their speech score may have brought it down, or vice versa. The person with the highest combined score is the one that is ranked.

When we choose speakers for the award ceremony, we ask judges to pick a speaker from each level for the award ceremony speeches irrespective of essay scores or overall standings. This is a bit more complex since we do want to diversify the mixture of presenters by gender and regions.

The top ranking essays and posters are published in that year’s volume of Young Muslim Voices.

Our goal is to benefit our children, but if we make a mistake we ask Allah’s forgiveness. And Allah knows best, Glorified and Exalted. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the judging process feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Ranking Process and Winners

Five contestants are awarded the top five positions in each level based on the ranking below. The awardees are exclusive to each other as such that no awardee gets more than one award each level. 

    1. Top three (1st, 2nd and 3rd positions) are based on cumulative (essay and speech) scores 
    2. Special essay – is the one from the essay ranking list who has not been picked in item 1 
    3. Special speech – is the one from the speech ranking list who has not been picked in items 1 and 2

Other important information:

    1. Make sure your essay responds directly to the assigned topic
    2. Your essay should be well organized (both in content and structure) and well thought out.
    3. There should be a clear flow of ideas throughout the essay (i.e., from one sentence to the next and one paragraph to the next.)
    4. Your ideas should be supported with research that should be referenced correctly.
    5. Try to be creative and novel in your approach to the topic.
    6. Essays should be typed and double-spaced.
    7. Your name or your school’s name should not be anywhere in or on the essay.
    8. Last but never least, pay attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
    9. Written statements from the parent/guardian and the author confirming that the work was primarily done by the author (Book publication requires that the work is original and their own.  SEE Essay Guidelines)

Category Leads Roles and Goals

*Category lead is the principal point of contact for the judges 

*Category lead will distribute essays and Google forms to the judges. They will collect scores from j u d g e s , resolve issues (if any) to minimize deviations among the judge’s scores, and rank the submissions. 

*Category lead will assign judges during the speech contest and assign lead judge per level (if need be) 

*Category lead will cross-verify the speech scores as judges’ enter their data in the JotForm (An automated reply including the judges scores will be transmitted to the category lead). Judges will review the speech results and they will identify two potential speakers for the award ceremony from the lead judge and rank EPC submissions 

*Category lead will compute and list the awardees (five awards per level and each one is exclusive of the others) 

*Category leads must cross-verify their results by an independent evaluator or by a fellow judge (there will be a computer and a person available to cross verify your scores, if need be) 

*Category lead will announce the results at the award ceremony (Ascending order: Participants, Special speech, Special Essay, 3 rd , 2 nd and 1 st positions) and electronically forward the results to [email protected] 

*Category lead will announce the results at the award ceremony (Ascending order: Participants, 3rd, 2nd and 1st positions in essay and speech respectively) and electronically forward the results to [email protected] 

*Category lead must ensure that the judge’s send feedback to participants once emails are given corresponding to the participant ID number (if possible) 

*Category leads are encouraged to come up with ideas to organize special sessions on the day of the 3 events. This could be in the form of a knowledge bowl/Kahoot etc. 

Expectations for All Judges: 

*Please alert the category lead if you have a conflict of interest in the level you’re judging. 

*You will let us know which grades/levels your children are competing in, if any, so that we can assign you to judge other grades/levels. 

*You will review the rubrics and essay topics before you start to judge 

*You will review the essay files upon receipt to make sure that they are all included and do not include duplicates or have other problems. If you see a problem, please alert the Level lead as soon as possible 

*You will give yourself enough time to judge the essays fairly and without rushing 

*You will score essays based on the rubrics not your opinion of the content of the essays or topic. You will return your score sheets on time. 

*Your positive and constructive comments/feedback are important.