Level 4 – The Essayist

Prior to Level Four, all of the information asked of Zeta Psi brothers has been automatic; memorization of facts, understanding of historical dates, and a conceptual understanding of the significance of men’s and women’s fraternal organizations.

The Essay is your opportunity to creatively research a topic of interest for the Zeta Psi Fraternity.

All essay’s will be published on the Zeta Psi Fraternity website therefore please ensure that all of the content of your paper is fit for public consumption.

Candidates are encouraged to be as specific as possible in their paper. For example, it is preferred that you write a paper regarding the Upsilon Chapter during Reconstruction rather than a history of the Upsilon Chapter.

Upon request, candidates will be provided with a Zete Mentor; this mentor will assist the candidate in Essay development.

Essays that are endorsed by the Ritual Committee will be published on the Zeta Psi Fraternity website. Essayists will receive the Ritual Scholar Award at the Phi Alpha’s Luncheon at the annual Zeta Psi Fraternity International Convention. Some Essayists will be invited to be examined by the Ritual Committee to determine if they are fit to join the ranks of The Worthy.



  • Candidates must be fully initiated brothers in the Zeta Psi Fraternity
  • Candidates must have attained the first three Levels of The Torch of Zeta Psi. You must submit your proof of these three levels with your Essay or your Essay will not be considered by the Committee
  • Candidate must submit their topic to the Ritual Committee for approval prior to writing their Essay (Submit your topic here)

Candidates must meet the Essay Submission Criteria listed below:

Essay is between 8-16 pages, double-spaced (more specific details about the format of the paper and grading criterion are listed here at Torch Essay Rubric)

Essay will be on one of the following 7 topics:

  1. The History of Fraternities and Sororities
  2. History within Zeta Psi Fraternity
  3. History of Local Chapters
  4. Relationship of chapters with the University/Government/Society at Large
  5. A Zete Brother of renown
  6. The History of Fraternal Ritual (note that this topic is not about current ritual concepts but how ancient organizations influenced the actions of fraternities)
  7. Subject to approval by the Ritual Committee, candidates are allowed to submit a topic that does not fall into the six topics listed above