- Reviews in American History
What is Americanism?
- Thomas Bender
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 35, Number 1, March 2007
- View Citation
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Americanism Essay: Examples, Tips & Topics [2023 Update]
It’s not hard to see why Americanism is one of the most popular essay topics. The concept of Americanism is in the center of the US identity. Writing an essay about it is an excellent way to find out more about this great country.
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That being said:
From this article, you will learn everything you need to know about Americanism and essay writing. Choose your topic, follow our tips, and write your perfect composition! Besides, you’ll find out the Americanism definition and history in the article.Before we move forward, check our custom writing services and bookmark our website. Our free tips will help you with all kinds of essays.
- 🏆 Essay Contest
- 📝 Types of Essays
✍️ Before You Start
- 🖊️ Introduction
- 📄 Main Body
- ✅ Conclusion
- 🦅 Patriotic Essay
- 💰 American Dream
- 🗽 American Identity
- 🏻🤝🧑🏾 American Values
🇺 what is americanism.
Americanism is a set of ideas specific to the United States. Among its key concepts are freedom, equality, individualism, and democracy. It is believed that the United States is an exceptional nation because of these values. In short, you can say that Americanism is what makes people in the US American.
☝️ The Meaning of Americanism
First, let’s see the Americanism definition. It is an idea that celebrates the freedom and individualism of the US citizens. Opportunities and possibilities make the USA distinct from other countries. Carl Schurz, an American statesman and reformer, once said about it:
“This is not a mere idealistic fancy. It is the natural position of this great republic among the nations of the earth. It is its noblest vocation, and it will be a glorious day for the United States when the good sense and the self-respect of the American people see in this their “manifest destiny.” Carl Schurz
Americanism has no counterparts in other cultures. At the same time, it is a way of life, a set of beliefs, and a national character.
What else makes Americanism unique? For instance, it doesn’t depend on a person’s place of birth. Anyone can become an American. They only need to accept the US values, such as:
- To be in control of one’s fate;
- To be oriented on future goals;
- Not to be afraid of changes;
- To believe in equal opportunities;
- To appreciate individuality.
As you can see, Americanism has a lot in common with nationalism and patriotism. Indeed, it emphasized the love for one’s country. It includes its symbols, such as the flag and Declaration of Independence. But, unlike nationalism, Americanism doesn’t regard ethnicity as vital.
There are also some other terms associated with Americanism:
- “Melting pot” is a metaphor of the US as the place where diverse cultures melt into one. You can see it explored in various Americanism essay examples .
- The American Dream is the idea of a perfect way of life. People come to the United States to achieve it.
- Some people identify as US citizens, as well as belonging to an ethnicity ascribed at their birth. For example, one can be Asian-American or Italian-American. It is called hyphenated Americans.
- Pan-Americanism is a movement that promotes good relationships between all countries on the American continent.
- There are many positive traits to Americanism. Still, it is sometimes seen as a hypocritical idea. Critics point out that the US doesn’t always follow its ideals. Also, they say that US policies do more harm than good. The dislike of America’s values is known as anti-Americanism.
📜 History of Americanism
Did you know that Americanism has a long and exciting history? Well, you’ll see it in this section:
- Americanism has its roots in the 17th century Protestantism. Back then, people proclaimed the US the “chosen country.” It meant that America, with its morals and democratic principles, should be an example to others.
- Later the colonists won the Revolutionary war. People saw it as proof of the country’s special status. They believed that new land offers unlimited opportunities. You only had to work hard.
- Soon the idea of Manifest Destiny was born. The US was supposed to spread its values throughout the continent. When the era of globalization came, Americanism became even more widespread.
- After World War I, veterans started an organization called the American Legion. They wanted to promote patriotism, democracy, and freedom. Besides, they came up with the concept of “100 percent Americanism”. By it, they meant the complete adherence to the US values. The organization still exists today and holds annual Americanism essay contests.
- Theodore Roosevelt is associated with the popularization of Americanism. He encouraged immigrants to come to the US and adopt the American way of living. People from all over the world moved to the United States in search of a better life.
- The idea that all men are created equal is written in the Declaration of Independence. While this statement is many centuries old, it still inspires millions of Americans.
🏆 American Essay Contest
Americanism is an excellent topic for an essay. Want to know why? It helps to raise patriotism and promote knowledge about our fundamental rights. No wonder there are even competitions held between students.
Receive a plagiarism-free paper tailored to your instructions.
Colleges and universities usually announce Americanism essay contests as an opportunity for the winners to obtain a scholarship.
What is it exactly?
Americanism essay contest is an annual essay writing competition organized for high-school students. The sponsors of the event are the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion. Generally, the contest is oriented to promoting national values and discovering new perspectives.
According to the rules, participants need to conduct research and compose a paper on America’s topic. The ideas can be completely diverse: patriotism, foreign relations, religion, etc.
The participants of the Americanism essay contest are divided into three classes:
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- Class I – grades 7 and 8;
- Class II – grades 9 and 10;
- Class III – grades 11 and 12.
Besides, there are specific participation requirements . Students who are allowed to take part in the competition should be:
- American citizens
- Lawful permanent residents.
Regarding the formatting requirements , the essay should be either typed or handwritten. The maximum length is 500 words. No visual aids are allowed.
The work should be submitted to the local American Legion Auxiliary Unit. Before sending your essay, make sure the document includes:
- title page (with essay title on it);
- the participant’s name and address (city, state, zip, street, house, apartment number);
- school grade;
- school name.
The contest winners usually receive money awards or scholarships: the higher the class, the more prestigious the prize.
Would you like to participate in the competition? Below, you will find the essential tips and useful advice on how to write a perfect paper for the Americanism essay contest.
☑️ Americanism Essay: Ideas & Tips
Now you’re ready to write your paper on Americanism. Follow our how-to guide to get the best results.
📝 Types of Americanism Essays
You might be wondering: what kind of composition should I write? There are many ways to discuss Americanism. Let’s see which design you can choose depending on your topic.
Definition essay on Americanism
When writing about Americanism, it would be your first choice. This type of composition is focused on the concept’s meaning. For example, if your topic of choice is “What Americanism means to me,” it would be logical to write a definition essay.
You can start by introducing the definition of the word “Americanism.” Look into several different dictionaries. Then, write your thoughts on the topic. Think of what you can add to the definition based on your personal experience.
Argumentative essay on Americanism
In this case, you research the topic and then discuss it. You also provide evidence to support your ideas.
Let’s imagine that your topic is “Why Americanism is important.” State your personal opinion in the intro paragraph. Then, prove it by using facts. You can sum it up as “Americanism is important because…”
Descriptive essay on Americanism
It’s a type of composition that involves creativity. Convey images, sounds, and textures through words.
For example, an essay titled “Why America is a beautiful country” is likely to be descriptive. You can discuss the landscapes and places you’ve seen. Choose ones that left the impression on you. Similarly, you can honor your relatives by writing a composition about them.
Compare and contrast essay
Sometimes you want to talk about two different things in your composition. For instance, you choose the subject “Americanism and nationalism.” A compare and contrast essay would be the perfect choice for you.
In it, you enumerate the common elements between two things (compare.) Then, say what makes them different from each other (contrast). This way, you gain a deeper understanding of both concepts.
Choose the essay design that suits you best and follow the instructions below.
Now let’s see what other prompts can make your writing experience better.
- First of all, decide on your essay topic. Ideally, it should be something that you care about. This way, it will be easier for you to express your personal opinion.
- Search credible websites when you look for information. Sites ending with .gov and .edu usually have the most competent data.
- Try to avoid using biased sources when you’re writing about Americanism. This topic can be sensitive to some people. So, it’s better to stick to the facts.
- Another thing to keep an eye on is relevance. Check the date of the source before using it. For instance, you want to explore the attitudes towards Americanism from ten years ago. Look for the information from this period. If you’re writing about the current situation, avoid outdated sources.
- Finally, create a draft for yourself. In it, you can outline the basic structure of your essay. It will help you to work in an organized manner. An outline will also make your ideas flow logically.
🖊️ Americanism Essay: Introduction
Now you’re ready to start writing! And the first thing to consider is the opening paragraph.
Every good introduction starts with a catchy sentence. It is intended to grab the reader’s attention. This sentence is also called a hook. There are many different ways to formulate it. For example, you can say what makes your topic exciting. Alternatively, you may start with a famous quote about America.
For instance, you can begin your essay with this quote:
This is America: A brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light, in a broad and peaceful sky. George H.W. Bush
Keep in mind that the introduction is a crucial part of your essay. It provides the reader with the necessary background information. It also contains the thesis which you will be discussing.
So, you start by telling the reader what they need to know before reading your composition. Namely, it can be the definition of Americanism and other key ideas.
America is the country full of choices and opportunities. It impresses with its astonishing landscapes, tasty cuisine, fascinating traditions, and rich cultural heritage. Yet, the most significant distinctive feature of the USA is the wide diversity of ethnicities and ideologies presented among the country’s citizens and residents. Even though people’s beliefs differ to some extent, each member of the American community has a right to speak up their mind and state their point of view. This is what makes the country strong and unique.
The next step is to state your thesis. It sums up your position on the topic. Let’s say your essay is titled “Why should I be proud to be an American?” The thesis can be, “I am proud to be an American because I have freedom of voice and freedom of choice.” Remember to connect everything with your thesis statement!
📄 Americanism Essay: Main Body
Now it’s time to develop it in the body paragraphs. Their structure depends on the type of composition.
- In Americanism definition essays, it’s your explanation of the central concept. For example, you can say which parts of the dictionary explanation you disagree with.
- In argumentative essays, it’s the reasoning and evidence which support your point of view. For instance, you can analyze the statistics showing the attitude towards Americanism.
- In descriptive essays, it’s the picture you convey through words. Describe a national park, a city, or a person.
- In compare and contrast essays, it’s the similarities and differences between the things in question. You can alternate between comparing and contrasting. Or, you might focus consecutively on similarities and then differences.
For example, in an argumentative essay, the first body paragraph can look like this:
I am proud to be an American because I have freedom of choice. The USA is a truly liberal country where every individual is capable of setting life goals and principles and satisfying them. In America, people have a right to decide upon their religious views, choose educational institutions, express their sexual orientation, etc. Being capable of determining the way of life the citizens prefer to lead, the Americans feel more fulfilled and satisfied with their lives. The freedom of choice opens a considerable number of opportunities. Moreover, it provides people with the ultimate right to build their own life – the one they desire to have.
Here’s another tip: use enumeration in your paper. Start each paragraph with “firstly,” “secondly,” etc. It will give your composition a clear structure.
✅ Americanism Essay: Conclusion
And now it’s time to finish your essay. In the closing paragraph, you sum up the main ideas that you’ve arrived at. For example, go back to your thesis statement and say if you’ve proven it.
Naturally, there are different ways to conclude different types of compositions:
- Recommend your readers to visit the most beautiful US locations.
- Say that despite many similarities, the things in question are different.
- Finish your definition essay by formulating your short explanation of Americanism.
For example, the concluding paragraph might look like this:
Overall, the idea of Americanism is based on the liberal society where every member is capable of speaking up their mind and defending their position. America opens the door to the world of liberty and justice. Offering freedom of voice and choice, the country provides its citizens and residents with the possibility to take the preferred life path. Here, people feel independent and fulfilled because their points of view are taken into consideration. Due to the constant development of the Americanism concept, the USA remains one of the most powerful countries in the world for the past couple of centuries.
Keep in mind that sometimes there’s no definitive answer to the thesis question. Don’t worry if there are some objective contradictions in your composition. You can state in the conclusion that there exist various points of view on the subject.
Now you know everything, you need to write a perfect essay. We hope our tips will help you do your best.
💡 Americanism Essay Topics
Can’t choose a topic for your composition? Check our list and get inspired. See a few Americanism essay examples that illustrate our ideas below:
- Explain whether you think that the American dream is still alive .
- What is the role of consumerism in American culture?
- Discuss the value of traditional American culture.
- Analyze how the concept of freedom is understood in America.
- Diversity and respect as a part of American culture.
- Explore the specifics of a family institution in modern America.
- Describe the women who made an impact on American history.
- Discuss how the film Armageddon reflects the American culture of patriotism.
- Is teaching patriotism in schools a possible task?
- The peculiarities of American communication culture.
🦅 Patriotic Essay Topics
- Why I am proud to be American . This topic is all about your personal attitude towards the US. Describe the things that you love most about America. For example, it can be the right to speak your mind, have a good education, etc.
- Why is patriotism important for America? Discuss the significance of patriotism for your country’s well-being. A nation that loves its homeland does everything to make it better. Besides, working for the common good helps to prevent conflicts between people.
- What can we do to promote American patriotism ? Think about the ways of spreading the love for the United States. For instance, we can teach the history of the early colonies and the Founding Fathers. We can also talk about how patriotism helped us win in sports, conflicts, and even wars.
- Can patriotism be harmful? It’s an exciting and controversial topic. Think of its deleterious forms. For example, the ones that fuel prejudice, such as nativism.
- What is the difference between constructive and blind patriotism ? It can be a compare and contrast essay. Discuss the meaning of these two concepts and say how to tell them apart.
- Why do we pledge allegiance to the flag ? This topic is concerned with official symbols of the US. The flag is one of them. You can talk about its history or describe what it stands for.
- Is American patriotism voluntary or obligatory? It’s an excellent topic for an argumentative essay. Traditionally being American means adhering to a set of values, including love for one’s country. Does it make patriotism required?
- Is patriotism a reasonable justification for conflicts? Loyalty to the country played a crucial part in several clashes. For instance, you can explore its role in the Red Scare, the Cold War, and Iraq operations.
- Patriotism and the beauty of America. From canyons to big cities – describe the most stunning places in the US! Say if the beauty of your country makes you love it even more.
- The role of patriotism in my life. And here, you can focus on your personal experience. Do the outstanding achievements of the American nation inspire you? Do you have a relative that you’re incredibly proud of? Discuss it in a composition!
💰 American Dream Essay Topics
There have been at least a hundred thousand movies, songs, books, and manifests about the all-famous American dream. Writing an essay on this subject would be an exciting experience.
- Concepts of the American Dream . Study various dictionary definitions and come up with one of your own. Try to sum up the critical elements of this concept. Then, describe it the way you see it.
- Is the American Dream still relevant today? Some people say that its popularity is on the decline. Study the facts and learn about the attitude of the majority.
- American Dream : then and now. As you probably know, the idea of the American Dream is several centuries old. Throughout history, its meaning has changed. What used to mean perfect living conditions for everybody now has to do with fame and money. You can explore the changes in the American Dream and the reasons behind them.
- Is it worth pursuing the American Dream ? Some think the pursuit causes more harm than good, while others feel inspired by it. A person’s attitude toward achieving the American dream largely depends on how they interpret it.
- American Dream in The Great Gatsby . Here you can conduct a short literary analysis of the novel. See how F.S. Fitzgerald describes the ambitious, self-made men of the United States. Say if you agree with the characterization or not.
- What do the skeptics say about the American Dream ? It’s always important to hear the arguments from both sides. Find a competent opinion against the American Dream and analyze it. You may choose a speech, a book, or a poem.
- Who can achieve the American Dream ? Discuss if everybody can attain the status associated with it. Think about people from different social groups: aristocracy, new immigrants, or people of color.
- Can the American Dream be destructive? Centuries of pursuing wealth and happiness have plenty of negative consequences. For example, many people have unrealistic expectations. Others still exploit the poor for their profit. See how it is connected with the American Dream.
- What makes people disillusioned with the American Dream ? Here you can focus on dubious things associated with it. For example, there can be obstacles beyond one’s control. Similarly, a lack of privilege can make the dream unattainable.
- Is the American Dream useful? Despite its downsides, the dream remains an essential concept for the nation. However, because of its ever-changing meaning, it’s hard to keep up with it. Say if this concept has outlived itself or is still useful despite the changing times.
🗽 American Identity Essay Topics
The United States consists of people coming from all over the world. Like a melting pot for different cultures, America combines them into one identity.
- What makes the American identity unique? Here you can enumerate the character traits typical for US citizens. It can be exceptionalism, individualism, etc.
- What elements of American identity are borrowed from other countries? Think about food or traditional holidays. You may also discuss things like the legal system and religion that helped to shape national identity.
- Multiculturalism in the US . America is an amalgamation of various nations and ethnicities. Some of their traits merge into one collective identity. Others remain specific to the countries they originate from. You can write a fascinating essay on cultures co-existing in the US.
- What is the American Spirit? It’s an exciting concept that is hard to define. You can talk about the American Spirit at war. Or, you may choose to describe people who embody it, such as George Washington .
- Why is optimism essential for the American identity? Without a positive attitude, you can’t build a successful future. Result orientation, action, and love of change make Americans optimistic.
- Manifest Destiny in the US . As you already know, Manifest Destiny is an integral part of Americanism. Discuss its origins and effects on the nation in a fascinating essay.
- American national symbols . You’ve heard of Uncle Sam, stars and stripes, and a bald eagle. But what do these symbols mean? Explore their history and impact in your essay.
- The role of historical knowledge in the US identity. You will probably agree that knowing the country’s history is essential. It teaches us valuable lessons, inspires us, and sets examples. You can describe your personal experience in your composition.
- The Constitution as the beginning of US identity. Here you can write about what made the Constitution a crucial document. Back when it was created, it allowed both democracy and slavery. Think about similar contradictions in the American identity.
- The importance of sports for the US. Sports have always played an important part in uniting people. Baseball, football, basketball – the list goes on! Choose your favorite games and describe their importance for the nation.
🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 American Values Essay Topics
US citizens have particular sets of values. Find out what rules govern the lives of Americans.
- Freedom as a fundamental American value. This topic covers all kinds of liberty—from religious to political. Think about the role freedom played in the formation of the United States.
- American home as a value. It’s traditionally accepted to take great care of your home. At the same time, there’s a tradition of moving often. Think about what this contradiction can mean.
- Equality: the essential American value. See what equality means for America and discuss its milestones. Don’t forget to mention the civil rights movements in your essay. For example, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP.)
- Hard work as an American value. As you know, work is one of America’s greatest virtues. The idea is that everyone gets what they deserve. Thus, those who put more effort—gain more profit. Do you think it’s true?
- Change in American society . Many cultures around the world treat change as something negative. It’s not the same in the US, where people welcome changes. Variation is believed to bring progress and a brighter future. You can compare the attitude towards change in the United States and other cultures.
- The value of democracy in the US. Democracy helps to prevent conflicts and promote development. Many people think that it’s a superior form of government. Say whether you agree with this statement and why.
- What makes materialism a national value? You may be interested in exploring this topic and its history. In America, material wealth is a natural reward for hard work. Find out where this belief comes from and what it means today.
- Education as an American value. This topic is closely connected to the idea of opportunity. By going to university, you can become whatever you want to be. Explore this notion in your Americanism essay.
- The importance of Martin Luther King’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” MLK’s address brilliantly sums up American values. It also points out the problems we need to solve to make our lives better. Explore it in your essay.
- Donald Trump and re-evaluation of Americanism. Since 2016, Americanism became widely popular due to Donald Trump’s policies. The belief in the unique mission and exceptionalism are back in the spotlight. You can discuss whether it’s a good or a bad thing in your essay.
Now you’re all set to write a perfect composition. What writing tips did you find the most useful? Let us know in the comments!
You might also be interested in:
- Coral Reef Essay: Descriptive Writing How-to Guide
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🤔 Americanism Essay FAQs
Americanism essay is intended to capture the spirit of the USA. It often includes a reference to the ancestors and appreciation of human rights. Take aspects of the American way of life and develop them in a patriotic style.
Americanism is a concept that sums up the ideals of the USA. It treats equality, freedom, and one’s love for the country as especially important. Anyone who adopts Americanism can become a US citizen.
Americanism is an essential part of US culture. It’s a philosophy, a way of life, and a set of rules. It is unique, and it makes America different from all other countries.
You can say that Americanism is a belief in freedom and equality. It provides us with ideals we can follow to make the US better. These are the traditional values that make this country great.
- Comparing and Contrasting: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Argumentative Essays: Online Writing Lab: Purdue University
- Definition Essay: Excelsior Online Writing Lab: Excelsior College
- Writing the Introduction: Monash University
- Anti-Americanism Causes and Characteristics: Pew Research Center
- Americanism: Encyclopedia.com
- The Value of Democracy: Encyclopedia Britannica
- The American Spirit: Heritage.com
- Values in American Culture: Boston University
- Revisiting the American Dream: Is the U.S. Providing Fewer Opportunities to Get Ahead?: Wharton University of Pennsylvania
- Reality and the American Dream: Is Meritocracy Defined by Socio-Economic Status?: McKendree University
- One American Identity, Two Distinct Meanings: University of Colorado
- Writing Descriptive Essays: Purdue Online Writing Lab: Purdue University
- There Are Many Ways to Be Patriotic: Penn State College of Liberal Arts
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I would agree. ‘Dig deep’ and ‘dig deeper’ seem fine to me, and are common in corpora (more common than ‘dig deeply’ or ‘dig more deeply’ in BNC and COCA). I was wondering, is that because ‘deep’ can be a flat adverb, or is it because ‘deep’ here is an adjectival complement: that is, you’re not digging in a deep manner, but digging so as to be at a deep point (compare ‘run deep’, ‘go deep’, etc.)? I sympathize with the students over ‘computer program,’ as I often have to check myself with that one too!
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Americanism Essay Contest For Grades 7–12
FRA sponsors an annual essay contest to promote the spirit of Americanism and patriotism among our country’s youth. FRA's Americanism Essay Contest is open to all students, grades 7 through 12, including those who are home schooled. Students are invited to submit a 350-word essay through an FRA member or local FRA branch before the December 1st deadline . Local winners are forwarded for competition at the regional level and regional winners compete for national prizes. The grand national winner receives $1,500. Other winners receive $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place, and $500 for third place. Each national winner will receive an attractive plaque citing his/her achievement, and every entrant judged at the national level receives a certificate of recognition. Prizes may be awarded to students winning at local and regional levels of competition.
Find a Sponsor: Find the branch closest to you in the drop down list and click "select" to see the address. This is where you will send your completed essay and cover sheet.
Download the flyer from the link below (you can fill out the contact information on your computer before you print it!) and post it proudly wherever appropriate--high schools, on-base education offices, commissaries, exchanges, on-base community centers, etc.--to get the word out (you may need permission to post in some locations).
Essay Contest Poster Essay Cover Sheet Essay Rules Congratulations to the 2022–2023 FRA Americanism Essay Contest Winners!
OVERALL WINNER : Molly Neal, Branch 294, South East Region
Grade 7 Winners 1 st place: Elizabeth Schlatter Branch 124, Northeast New England Region 7th-Grade_1st_Place_Elizabeth Schlatter.pdf 2 nd place: Benjamin Wu Branch 104, Northwest Region 3 rd place: Genevieve Miranda Branch 070, Southwest Region
Grade 8 Winners 1st Place: Brynn Gullin Branch 146, Northeast New England Region 8th-Grade_1st_Place_Brynn Gillin.pdf 2nd Place: Katie Labao Branch 302, Southwest Region 3rd Place: Jalen Meads Branch 293, East Coast Region Grade 9 Winners 1st Place: Molly Neal Branch 294, Southeast Region Molly Neal - 9th Grade - 1st Place.pdf 2nd Place: Annabel Marshall Branch 24, East Coast Region 3rd Place: Lilly Anna Flygare Branch 251, South Central Region Grade 10 Winners 1st Place: Anna Dollar Branch 34, Southeast Region 10th-Grade_1st_Place_Anna Dollar.pdf 2nd Place: Sophene Avedissian Branch 302, Southwest Region 3rd Place: Justin Glasow Branch 208, East Coast Region Grade 11 Winners 1st Place: Ariana Perez Branch 302, Southwest Region 11th-Grade_1st_Place_Ariana Perez.pdf 2nd Place: Erin Stenros Branch 214, Northeast New England Region 3 rd Place: Bayleigh Guidry Branch 251, South Central Region
Grade 12 Winners 1st Place: Morgen Davis Branch 185, West Coast Region 12th-Grade_1st_Place_Morgan Davis.pdf 2nd Place: Charlotte Wallace Branch 055, Northwest Region 3rd Place: Caleb Gargus Branch 105, North Central Region