Four-Way Test Essay Contest


The District 5610 Four-Way Test Essay Contest begins at the Rotary Club level where each club can have their own contest with sixth graders in their community.  Find a sixth grade teacher who is willing to work with you and then have his/her students write essays using the following rules.  The winner of each local contest must be to the District 5610 Chair, Pat Sutliff, by April 1, 2024 in order for the district winner to be chosen and announced before the end of April.  This is an easy, fun way to get the name of Rotary out into the community and to teach young people about our ideals.  The necessary forms for this contest can be found on our District 5610 website.  Further information: Pat Sutliff <> or 605-593-2896.


Official topic:   How Can I Apply the Four-Way Test to My Life?

1.   Participants must write on the official contest topic.

2.   At the top of page 1 should be the official topic and number of words.

3.   Each essay must be 200-500 words in length, typed and double spaced.

4.   Each page of the essay must be numbered starting with page 1.

5.   No reference can be made in the essay that identifies the student or family.

6.    Student name must be on the Four-Way Test Entry Form only

7.   Attach one Four-Way Test Entry Form to essay.


History of The Four-Way Test

Herbert J. Taylor, a Chicago Rotarian and president of Rotary International conceived the Four-Way Test.   In 1932, the creditors of the company assigned Taylor the task of rescuing an all-but-bankrupt aluminum cookware company.

Looking at the situation the company and its competitors, Taylor decided that the only avenue in which the company could compete with others was in character, dependability and service-mindedness of company personnel.  He felt the company needed a simple measuring stick of ethics that everyone in the company could use.  In July, 1932, after careful consideration, Taylor penned, “The Four-Way Test of the things we think, say or do…”


In January, 1943, Rotary decided to make the Four-Way Test a part of the Vocational Service ideal.   Rotarians have always shown a deep interest in young people, the future of our world.   Therefore, we invite you to participate in our Essay Contest.