Get On The Case: Ethics Writing Competition

A2Ethics held its first Ethics Bowl case writing competition for Michigan high school students in April 2017. We invite philosophically-minded students across the state to write about real-world ethics issues that matter to them and/or they wish to discuss with others. Any student currently enrolled in a Michigan high school is eligible to participate.

Stating The Case for Case Writing

Ethics Bowl is a fast-growing national extracurricular program for high school students interested in learning about ethics and philosophy. A2Ethics organizes and produces the Michigan HS Ethics Bowl in partnership with the University of Michigan Department of Philosophy Outreach graduate students and teachers belonging to Ethics Bowl League schools. The season leads up to Bowl Day, where school teams present the ethics case studies set they have prepared to panels of judges. The winner of the Michigan Bowl is both state champion and gets the chance to represent Michigan in the annual National Bowl.

As case studies are the essence of the Bowl and the fundamental building blocks of our discussions, we are always looking to discover and recognize new and promising young writers. The case writing competition succeeds admirably in doing exactly that. It also expands student awareness of the Michigan HS Ethics Bowl.


 A Case of Your Own
Imagine and then write a scenario or story of 500 to 800-words that identifies a real-world ethics dilemma or current ethics issue that may have special relevance to you. The scenario has to be original and never published/publicly recognized. Include both background of the scenario and several questions that pinpoint the ethics issues at play. Keep in mind: it's an ethics case, not a legal brief, medical history narrative or business presentation. For examples, check out the case library for the National High School Ethics Bowl or the cases of students from prior Michigan Case Writing Competitions.

Building A Case or Cases Together
Cases can be written by you alone or as a member of a group. For a collaborative case, all authors must be credited. You may be listed as an author on a maximum of three cases. Note: If we see your name on more than three, we will think you haven't read these guidelines and rules...and none of your submissions will count. 

Midnight Case Deadline and Where to Submit Your Case(s)

The deadline to submit your case studies is Monday, April 15, 2024 by midnight.

Please submit case studies to: [email protected]. Cases should be submitted as Word documents or Google Docs; no PDFs, please.

Judging Cases
For the 2024 Competition, there are five judges, all accomplished and experienced in evaluating case study and essay writing, and all familiar or with an interest in philosophy and ethics. All submissions are formatted to assure author anonymity.

Cases are judged on the basis of: (1) clear articulation of an ethical issue and its moral complications; (2) consideration of possible multiple perspectives; (3) creativity; (4) and organization and clarity of writing. The 2024 rubric can be found here.

Cases Are Prized
One grand prize award and two honorable mentions are selected, with prizes of $350 and $150 respectively. 

The awards for the 2024 Michigan Ethics Case Writing Competition will be announced on Friday, May 17, 2024. 

Case Life And Beyond
All cases written for the competition will become the property of Before they are considered for inclusion in the annual Michigan Ethics Bowl case set, they may be edited. Writers are notified before their case studies are included in the case set. Finally, all submissions can be included in current and future case sets, in full or in part, including ones not selected as winners.You can see all prior cases here.

                  So...Get on the Case...Ethics Case Writing that is and Write On Too!