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 academic year (Fall 2022-Winter 2023) 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

Please send submissions via email to no later than March 31st, 2023.


  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


2023 Winners

Kacper Mykietyn

First Place: Kacper Mykietyn

Street's Striking Coincidence In Defense of Rational Reflection Explanation (PDF)

Committee remarks:

In first place, we have “Street's Striking Coincidence: In Defense of Rational Reflection Explanation” by Kacper Mykietyn. In their unanimous decision to award this paper the top prize, the committee characterized it as a rigorous, careful, and sure-footed examination of Sharon Street's discussion of normative realism which makes use of a tone that is somehow engaging and personal, while formal and professional. The committee also appreciated the clarity and concision of the author’s writing.

Second Place: Zuhair Ahmed

Multispecific Drug Design: Advances in Event and Occupancy-Driven Pharmacology (PDF)

Committee remarks:

In second place, we have “Multispecific Drug Design: Advances in Event and Occupancy-Driven Pharmacology” by Zuhair Ahmed. Committee members observed that this was a remarkably well-researched paper and noted that it used erudite language to present its argument regarding both the potential and limitations of multispecific technologies.

Maria Sillano

Third Place: Maria Sillano

Standpoint Theory in Feminist Practice (PDF)

Committee remarks:

In third place, we have “Standpoint Theory in Feminist Practice” by Maria Sillano. In their assessment of this essay, Committee members described it as an engagingly written and elegantly nuanced discussion of the political implications of using standpoint theory in feminist discourse; they also praised its sophisticated command of academic writing strategies.

2022 Winners

Kaitlyn Harris. First place winner of More Than Marks 2022

First Place: Kaitlyn Harris

Weeping Willow (PDF)

Committee remarks:

This was a very well written and interesting examination of modernist poetry supporting a view that only through experimentation and a willingness to disregard conventions can poetry truly thrive. The author examines the uses made of ambiguity and apparently nonsensical imagery in modernist poetry, working sure-footedly through texts by Stein, Breton, Sagawa, and Mallarme. They show how these and other Modernist works are intended to "create a distinct mood, inviting the reader to experience rather than understand." The paper is clearly and elegantly written. Overall, this is an engaging and sophisticated explanation of how modernist poetry defies the standard conventions of grammar and syntax as a means of conveying meaning.


Asma Behery. Second place winner of More Than Marks 2022

Second Place: Asma Behery

Developmental Portrait: Growth Through Adversity in Higher Education - Developing Confidence, Persistence, Emotion Regulation, and Value for My Personal Goals (PDF)

Committee remarks:

An intriguing examination of a personal journey exploring the transitional experiences of a student through their first 3 years at UTM. The approach follows a reflective methodology model on the well-known DEAL approach. The author brings theory and practice together in a very thorough and detailed manner: the applications of the various theories to the author's life are clear and impressively laid out. This extends through the author's university voyage, showing how things changed over time and how the author has used their reading to reflect on and understand those changes and hence, their own life. This use of well-contextualized theory as a means of understanding their growth and development throughout their time at UTM makes for an interesting story of personal growth that should be inspiring for any reader 

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)