IFC Guidelines

  1. This project is open to junior and/or sophomore members of NEHS only.
  2. Only one essay may be submitted by an NEHS member, with a maximum of three essays per chapter. Advisors must approve all submissions before students upload their writing.
  3. Select and read a text that may be considered by some to be controversial.
    • The controversy may be based on the ideas presented, the language used, or the scenes depicted.
    • The text must have literary merit, a value that might place it in English or social studies classrooms for reading and discussion or place it in libraries for students and teachers to select.
    • Writers may define the word “text” broadly to include novels, graphic novels, young adult literature, a visual text, short stories, or non-fiction.
    • The text may, in fact, be one that has been assigned within the context of an English or social studies curriculum.
    • The text need not have been challenged officially or informally, but in the opinion of the reader may be challenged.
  4. Write a rationale for the book, promoting an argument for the value of the text to be available to a wide, age-appropriate audience OR arguing for the book to be restricted. The argument, regardless of reader stance, should consider counter-arguments that differ from the writer’s opinion.
  5. Essays should be submitted as double-spaced text using 12 point Times Roman or Times New Roman font with one inch margins. Essays should not exceed three pages (850 words) and must include an informative title (do not simply use the title of the novel being discussed, however).
  6. If only the text being discussed is referenced in the essay, use internal documentation, citing the title and author; subsequent page references should be parenthetical. If other research is done and cited, then a Works Cited page should be included with the submitted essay. MLA format guidelines should be utilized.
  7. The NEHS member will submit her/his essay using the AwardSpring submission platform.
  8. Please address any questions to nehsapply@niu.edu.

Submission Instructions

Step 1

Please make submitions for the Intellectual Freedom Challenge through the NEHS AwardSpring link.

Register for an account with your email address and a password.

Step 2

Complete the questionnaire, including contact and academic information, to determine if you are eligible to appy for the Intellectual Freedom Challenge.

Step 3

Complete all the additional requirements for the Intellectual Freedom Challenge.