Be The Brainiac - Share your college life-hacksIt could win you a published article and by-line on our blog PLUS  a $250 Visa gift card

You’ve heard it from us; now we want to hear from you! We at CengageBrain know that everyone is an expert at something. Enter our Be The Brainiac writing contest by submitting your very own blog post on your best back-to-school tips for your college or university.

Contest steps

  1. Submit your article via the submission form below anytime before  Friday, August 2nd. One submission per person.
  2. Our editorial staff will select 3 finalists to have their blog posts published live  on the CengageBrain blog – permanently.
  3. Next, it’s up to the public to vote on their favorite of the 3 finalists. Vote on your favorite blog post by commenting, “Vote!” anytime before Friday, August 9th.
  4. The writer of the post with the most votes will win a $250 Visa gift card!** We’ll announce the winner on the CengageBrain Facebook page Monday, August 12th.

Let’s get started!

Article criteria

Welcome aboard, blogger! As every good writer knows, each new writing gig will come with some key things to remember. Criteria to keep in mind for this post:

  1. Introduce yourself — Include a brief author bio or introduction including your name, school, year in school, and course of study. Readers love to know where their information is coming from!
  2. Must be 600-800 words — First try flushing all of your ideas out, then edit them back down to around 800 if too long, or start digging up some additional research if too short.
  3. Include 3 links to other reputable blogs, .orgs, or .edus — What turns a good blog post into a great one is creative ideas paired with demonstrated research on the subject matter. Include these outbound links like source citations as you would in a research paper. For a good example, check out this “How to” blog post by our staff writer, Ginny Gaylor.
  4. Include at least 1 quote from a student or staff member from your school — Skilled writers always look for as much perspective on their topic as possible. Put your reporter hat on and see what your community has to say!
  5. Must be well-written, creative and fun for your peers to read — Once you complete the first four criteria, we’ll be selecting our top three finalists based on criteria #5. Keep your audience (college students!) in mind as you write. Consider what might be useful to them, what students need to know, and what they might enjoy reading.

Helpful article topics to consider

  • Move-in tips
  • First day of school advice
  • Suggestions for fun and happy dorm living
  • Getting the most of orientation week
  • Greek life/Rush week

Unhelpful article topics to not consider:

  • “Throwing a stellar kegger 101″
  • “How to smuggle paraphernalia past your RA”
  • “Top 10 tips for cheating your way through college”

You get the idea. So, what are you waiting for? Now that you know what it takes to write a terrific blog post, start your engine! When your article is complete, fill out the form below and hit “Submit” when you’re 100% happy with your work.

We can’t wait to learn these back to school tips from the experts themselves!

Official Rules

  • Must be 18 or older to win
  • **Visa gift card winner must be a resident of the continental U.S. for shipping purposes
  • All submissions must be at least 600 words to be considered