More than Marks Writing Contest

We know how hard you work on your writing, and we’re giving you a chance to show it off to the world! If you wrote something this year that you’re really proud of, we’d love to read it —because we understand that writing is about more than just marks (although marks are nice too).

Who can participate?

You must be a UTM undergraduate student in good standing.

What can you submit? 

  • You can submit any writing you’ve done for a credit-bearing UTM course this year, such as:
    • an essay
    • a review
    • a report
    • and more!
  • Your submission must be no longer than 30 pages in total (including references, tables, graphs, cover page etc.).
  • You can submit a paper exactly as you wrote it for a course, or you can revise it before submitting it to us.
  • You can submit one paper you wrote by yourself, and/or one paper that you wrote as part of a group (a maximum of two in total).

Entry Instructions & Deadline

Submissions are closed for 2021. Congratulations to our winners!
Please submit your paper via email to no later than the deadline (TBD for 2022).


  1. First-place winner(s): $150 Gift Card for the UTM Bookstore
  2. Second-place winner(s): $75 Gift Card for the UTM Bookstore
  3. Third-place winner(s): $25 Gift Card for the UTM Bookstore

Contest Winners

2021 Winners

Rachel Stubits

First Place: Rachel Stubits

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS): A Review (PDF)

Committee remarks:

This essay is an erudite and well-researched account of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, covering the current state of research on possible causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, and doing so in a clear, coherent manner, with the effective utilization of both prose and tables. In addition to presenting the scientific context, the author also makes clear the personal and emotional struggles involved in living with and studying this disorder, which makes the essay a powerful reading experience and one that conveys a sense of urgency for further study of this condition.  

Veronika Sizova

Second Place: Veronika Sizova 

The Monster in the Looking Glass: Reflections of the Creature in Frankenstein’s Heroines (PDF)

Committee Remarks:

This is an articulate and creative examination of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, taking a novel interpretive approach by making an insightful connection between the struggles of Frankenstein’s monster and the struggles that three of the novel’s female characters face as they cope with being marginalized in a patriarchal society. The author notes that the monster ultimately “lacks a coherent gender role”; nonetheless, this very ambiguity enables it to shed light on the status and behavior of the female characters, just as, by the same token, they shed light on it. 


Myia Hellmer

Third Place: Myia Hellmer

Tonian Macroalgae Fossils from the Dolores Creek Formation, Canada. (PDF)

Committee Remarks:

This is a well written paper on the evolution of green algae and their rise to dominance during the Cambrian. The paper is sound in terms of its methodology and clearly represents a formal undergraduate research project. This paper is a clear and well written analysis of a new type of algae, thus making an original contribution to knowledge in the field. The paper’s findings have the potential to impact current understandings of the timing of algae and land plant diversification. 

2020 Winners

First Place: Cathy Tran

The Craniometric Value of Foramen Magnum Length & Nasal Breadth: A Statistical Exploration of the Significance of Variation Across Sex and Populations (PDF)

Second Place: Ronda Robinson

The Other Brother: A Critical Analysis in Comparison to Frankenstein (PDF)

Third Place: Laurella Cano Jose

Rhetorical Address II: Cities are Not Built for Women (PDF)

2019 Winners

Matthew Kolisnyk

First Place: Matthew Kolisnyk

Machine Consciousness: More than just philosophically interesting. (PDF)

Myia Hellmer

Second Place: Myia Hellmer

A Review of the Metamorphic Petrology of the Appalachian Mountains (PDF)

Giorgi Buzaladze

Third Place: Giorgi Buzaladze

Finding a More Effective Way to Address Health Problems in Africa (PDF)

2018 Winners

Andrew O'Brien

First Place: Andrew O'Brien

Energy Outcomes of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster (PDF)

Avleen Grewal

Second Place: Avleen Grewal

“You are there” paper- Letters from a British Magistrate in India to his friend in England. (PDF)

Sughanda Suri

Third Place: Sughanda Suri

Alderville First Nations: The Journey for Equality (PDF)

2017 Winners

Shaishav Datta, Johnathan Davidson, and Thomas Piekut

First Place: Shaishav Datta, Johnathan Davidson, and Thomas Piekut

An exploratory surface-subsurface trace metal analysis of benthic foraminifera from San Salvador, Bahamas (PDF)

Maleeha Iqbal

Second Place: Maleeha Iqbal

Eliminating workplace gender segregation does not work (PDF)

Yan Liu

Third Place: Yan Liu

Ivan and Zosima: Existential Atheism vs. Existential Theism (PDF)