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April, 1998


Great American Think-OffTM
http://www.think-off.org/index.php
GRADE LEVEL: 11-12

CONTENT:
The Great American Think-OffTM is an annual essay contest and philosophy debate. The contest is open to all U.S. residents.

AESTHETICS:
The Web site is mainly a contest information page. Text is presented in paragraph form. Some graphics are used to enhance titles and menus.

ORGANIZATION:
A lot of information at the site is available on the home page. Links to additional information and details on past years' contests can be found on the main page. Users can navigate the site using the menu located at the bottom of each page.

REVIEW:
The Great American Think-OffTM is a yearly essay contest and national philosophical debate. The topic for 1998 is "Is Honesty Always the Best Policy?" Any U.S. citizen can enter with an essay of 750 words or less, based on personal experience only. Details on submission are available at the site. Each state has a winner and runner-up, and the four finalists are selected from that pool. Finalists must participate in the Final Four debate at the New York Mills Sports Center (Minnesota) in June. This debate is held live and two essayists from the pro and con positions compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals. The audience decides the winner. Additional details on the final debate are available at the site. The debate is sponsored by TIES --an educational technology services provider-- and the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. Viewers can read about past winners and topics at the site, and can pose questions to the contestants via email. Anyone interested in the contest should visit this site for information, but teachers and students could also use the site for in-class debates or essay topics.