For 2019-2020, the Bill of Rights Institute’s We the Students Essay prompt is “What does civil discourse mean to you?” Civil discourse is a concept that goes beyond a simple dictionary definition, and understanding it involves a combination of personal experience and ‘big ideas.’ Perhaps it is something you recognize from an occurrence in your own life. Maybe you can easily recognize when it is missing. Differing perspectives are a key part of learning, of democracies, and of civil society. For this essay, we ask you not only share your comprehension of what civil discourse is meant to be but to also relate what it looks like when it works – and when it doesn’t – and why. We encourage you to bring emotion, creativity, specific examples (including current events), and well-researched facts into what you write. A good essay will demonstrate how civil discourse is not just an abstract idea, but is, in fact, action inspired by constitutional principles, and demonstrated through civic virtues. Learn about the prizes and the rules here.