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The Stock Market Game Essay Contest Rules
This is a state contest for students participating in either, or both, the Fall
and Spring sessions of the Stock Market Game, 2007-2008.

Awards will be given for both sessions at the Banquet of Champions
Luncheon held on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at Noon at Champions Club,
UNL Campus, Lincoln.
The Nebraska Council on Economic Education is pleased to announce the Stock Market Game Essay
Contest as an adjunct of the regular Stock Market Game. It correlates with the National Essay contest,
InvestWrite, allowing you to participate in both contests.

1) Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic economic concepts related to stock markets.
2) Think critically about saving, investing and spending valuable resources wisely.
3) Analyze stocks using various stock selection strategies.
4) Plan an investment strategy.
5) Utilize complex research strategies.

Essay Questions and Student Background
Students participate by writing essays in their grade division: Elementary, Middle School and High
School. Further information including a lesson plan for each division can be found on the Nebraska
Coordinator home page as well as on the national SMG site, InvestWrite.

Essay Question for grades 4-5:
Research the clothing industry and pick two popular companies that are listed in the stock market.
Describe what they sell and how much they earn. Explain which of the two companies you think is a
better investment.

Background for Students:

How much money did you spend last year on clothes? Take a guess. Now, imagine adding together all
the money that young people spent last year on shirts, shoes, shorts, and other clothes. Surveys show
that young people spend close to $200 billion a year on clothes and all other goods and services. Just
one of those billions is a lot of money. If you could spend $10,000 a day, it would take you more than
350 years to spend one billion dollars. With young Americans eager to buy clothes, many stores have
opened to sell them what they want.

Essay Question for grades 6-8:
Choose two funds that you think are the best ones for the savings you’re setting aside for college. Write
a review of the funds as if you were reviewing two movies. Explain the funds differences and similarities;
what it is you like about each fund, and why each one should be included in your investment portfolio.
Student Background:

Movie reviews in the newspaper or on the web can be a big help when deciding which movie to see. But
imagine going to a theater and discovering that it offers more than 8,000 different movies. Deciding
which one to see would be quite a challenge. With mutual funds the challenge isn’t imaginary because
there really are more than 8,000 of them. Some emphasize growth, others focus on value, and still others
combine both growth and value. They may focus on domestic funds or international funds. Some
specialize in certain sectors, such as health care or energy. Some even focus on social issues such as the

Essay Question for grades 9-12:

Explain how you would invest the money, which will have 40 years to grow on earth during your mission.
Research the stocks you would choose, and explain why their risk and potential return make them your
best investment. Would you change your investment strategy if your trip was the equivalent of only 3
years on earth? If so, research the stocks you would choose and explain why their risk and potential
return make them your best investment.

Student Background:

You’ve been chosen for a space flight that will explore a distant galaxy. The spacecraft will travel at
nearly the speed of light, which causes time to slow down in the spacecraft compared to time on earth. It
will seem like you are gone only one month, but when you return 40 years will have passed on earth.

Before you leave on your mission, you have $10,000 to invest.

1) Students must be currently enrolled in The Stock Market Game sponsored nationally by the Securities
Foundation for Economic Education.
2) Entries must be submitted by an individual student.
3) Each student may submit only one entry with a maximum of 700 words.
4) The title chosen by each student (excluding the author’s name) must appear at the top of the first
page of the text. If references are cited, include them following the last page of the text. (Please note:
only the body of the essay will be included in the word count; the title and the works cited will not count
against the 700 word limit.)
5) The format for references or works cited can be chosen by the teacher.
6) Identification of the student or teacher in the essay will result in disqualification.
7) Each entry must be an original work, representing the student’s own research, thinking, and writing.
8) Entries must be typed in 11 point minimum letter size. (All essays must be submitted in plain text; no
charts, graphs or symbols will be accepted.)
9) Scoring will be as follows: content 80%; spelling, grammar, and writing ability 20%. Judges will base
their decision on the author’s understanding of the subject matter, rationale, and writing style:

Understanding of the Subject Matter
Does the student exhibit knowledge regarding the concept of researching and planning an investment strategy? The
student should address the scenario using relevant terminology and display an understanding of the core concepts of
the stock market in the scenario.

Is the essay thoughtful? The written argument should be presented in a manner that indicates there was a logical
thinking process involved in addressing the assignment.

Writing Style
Is the student’s work interesting to read? Does the written response encourage the reader to continue reading to the
conclusion of the essay? Students have an opportunity in this exercise to exhibit the ability to communicate thoughts
in an engaging and inviting manner, rather than focusing on grammar and spelling.

10) Portfolio equity achieved by the team during The Stock Market Game will not be considered in the
judging. The major criterion will be what was learned from the experience.
11) In addition to the Entry Form, each entry submitted must have a separate page included with the
essay containing the:
        A)       name of the student
        B)       team number
        C)       semester the student played The Stock Market Game
        D)       school attended by the student
        E)       teacher or advisor officially listed with The Stock Market Game
        F)       school address, telephone number and teacher e-mail
        G)       grade level and course
12) Stock Market Game Teacher/Advisor may submit five entries from any classroom and only one entry
per student. If you have more than one class participating in The Stock Market Game program, you may
submit up to five entries per class (see awards #2) to The Stock Market Game Office for judging in the
State SMG Essay Contest.
13) The judges’ decisions are final.


    1) Subject to the considerations set forth for the judging of entries in the competition, awards are
       made in the following categories.

                Division I: Elementary
                Division II: Middle School
                Division III: High School

2) Awards will be presented to one winner in each of the divisions.
       First Place: $50 awarded for winning essay.

All entries from Stock Market Game advisors for the State Stock Market Game Essay Contest must be
sent to:

                Jennifer Davidson – SMG Essay Contest
                339 College of Business Administration
                University of Nebraska – Lincoln
                Lincoln, NE 68588-0481

Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2008.

              2007-2008 Stock Market Game Essay Contest Entry Form

Date of Entry _________________________
Title of Entry _______________________________________________________________________
PRINTED Name of Writer _______________________________________________________________
SMG Team Number ______________________ Division ___________ Subject ___________________
Teacher’s Name ______________________________________________________________________
Principal’s Name ______________________________________________________________________
School Name ________________________________________________________________________
School Address ________________________________________________________________________
City _________________________ State ____________ Zip ___________________
Email Address ________________________________________________________________________
School Phone (____)____________________ School Fax (____)____________________
School District ________________________________________________________________________
By signing their name, student is stating that all work for this entry was done by the student listed above.

__________________________________________________ Grade __________________________

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