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John Locke Essay Competition

This course is designed for students who plan to submit an essay for the John Locke Essay Competition which “encourages young people to cultivate the characteristics that turn good students into great writers.” This course will provide an overview of the major topics and themes as well as practice with skills to write clear, concise and substantive essays for submission.


Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Be familiar with all the topics available for the essay
  • Compare topics that will work best with their writing style
  • Identify and explain patterns between various topics
  • Learn how previous winning essays have been constructed
  • Choose an essay topic that best suits their unique strengths and interests
  • Outline initial essay for critique & review
  • Finalize essay for submission

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Pick 1 or more topics that match students’ interests and abilities
  • Construct an argument and refutation essay for 1 or more topics
  • Outline potential essay for key ideas,
  • Know correct formatting for in-text citations, footnotes and bibliography
  • Draft, review, and edit a strong final essay for the John Locke Competition
  • Satisfies criteria for Knovva Academic Standards, based on IB, PISA, Cambridge, and Common Core standards
  • A Certificate of Completion from Knovva Academy and corresponding transcript


Dr. Diane B., Ph.D.

Ph.D., University of New Mexico
Social Studies Instructor at Knovva Academy

Dr. Diane is an award-winning teacher who has taught AP classes for 24 years. She has worked with the College Board to score, set rubrics and develop questions for the AP U.S. Government Exam since 2005. She is a National Board Certified Teacher (2001) and was named New Mexico History Teacher of the Year in 2018. Dr. Diane has also taught undergraduate students at the University of New Mexico in American Studies, Education, and with graduate students for the Master’s degree Capstone Research Project. Dr. Diane attended the University of New Mexico, achieving a Ph.D. in Language, Literacy and Socio-Cultural Studies. Her area of research is the World War II period, specifically Japanese American Internment and Civil Liberties during wartime.

Related Skills

  • Historical Research Methods
  • Point-of-View
  • Critique
  • Argumentative Claim
  • Refutation
  • English Grammar
  • English Vocabulary
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Drafting & Revision
  • Giving and Receiving Feedback
  • Group discussion
  • Essay Writing
  • Public speaking

Our Schedule


John Locke Essay Competition course
9 Lessons

80 minutes per lesson

Date and Time

Apr 3 – May 29,2022
6:00 PM ET Sunday


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