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Pay special attention to: It might help you to print out the sweepstakes rules and highlight the most important elements, or to write down notes and keep them close at hand as you write.If you summarize the relevant rules in a checklist, you can easily check the requirements off when you have finished your essay to ensure you haven't overlooked anything.
If you have time before the contest ends, put your essay away for at least a week.
Let your mind mull over the idea subconsciously for a little while.
Many times, people think of exactly what their essay needs to make it perfect, right after they have hit the submit button. This is also a good time to ask a friend to double-check your spelling and grammar.
Letting your entry simmer in your mind for a while gives you the time to come up with these great ideas before it's too late. Does the essay still sound good when you read it out loud? Even your computer's spell check programs make mistakes sometimes, so it's helpful to have another person read it through.
The very first thing that you should do to win essay contests is to read the rules thoroughly.
Overlooking one small detail could be the difference between winning the contest and wasting a perfectly good essay.
Newsweek’s Special Edition collects all the drama, tragedy and biting quips from the past six seasons of the Emmy-winning series and takes you behind the scenes of the upcoming Downton Abbey film.
Did you know that you can win prizes for your writing skills?
If your first draft is feeling a little bland, consider whether you can add a red mitten to spice up your story. This is also the time when you should cut out extraneous words and make sure that you've come in under the word count limit, which will generally improve your writing.
Once you have written the first draft of your essay, look over it to ensure that it flows smoothly. Do your thoughts flow smoothly from one point to another? In Stephen King's book, , King writes that he once received a rejection that read: "Formula for success: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft – 10%." In other words, the first draft can always use some trimming to make the best parts shine.