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Posted at 6:30 AM ET, 01/21/2010

Academic journal for high schoolers

By Valerie Strauss

Since 1987, educator Will Fitzhugh has been publishing what is probably the world’s only journal for the academic history papers of high school students writing in English.

It’s called The Concord Review, and its contents belie the common thinking that young people today can not analyze their way out of a paper bag and can’t write a lick.

The work produced for the review is impressive. Fitzhugh, a former teacher, accepts submissions from around the world though most of the 879 papers that have been published in the quarterly journal are from the United States. Student authors often send the papers to colleges as part of their application packages (more than 90 have been sent to Harvard University.)

Topics run the gamut. The current issue, for example, includes a paper on Pakistan by Lara Mitra from Sidwell Friends School in Washington D.C., and on the War of 1812 by Daniel F. Webber of The Blake School in Minneapolis.

In the fall 2009 edition, Keith Jamieson of Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Md., wrote “Our Tottering State: The Third Century and the Fall of Rome.” (Jamieson is now at the University of Chicago.)

Fitzhugh is appropriately passionate about the importance of the history research paper in high school. Many students graduate from high school today without ever having written an extensive paper, leaving them unprepared for college work. High school teachers might do well to look at The Concord Review to see what is possible if they would only make the assignment and give students the support to complete it.

You can find The Concord Review here; click here if you are interested in finding out how to submit a paper.

Later today I will post a piece from Fitzhugh about writing for knowledge, as well as a post from a high school student about her experience writing her first extensive research paper, published in the journal.


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By Valerie Strauss  | January 21, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  High School, History  | Tags:  The Concord Review  
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