The Answer Sheet: history paper

Posted at 03:49 PM ET, 01/21/2010

That first big research paper

The following was written by Christiane Henrich, a 17-year-old high school student about how she wrote her first substantial research paper, which was published in the academic journal for high school students, The Concord Review. She begins: "Before crafting my research paper on U.S. Civil War Medicine, I had never composed a piece of non-fiction literature beyond six or seven pages. Twenty pages seemed to be an unconquerable length." I remember the dread that filled me as my AP United States History teacher, Mrs. Melissa Humphrey, handed out the assignment for the twenty-page research paper. She also passed around copies of The Concord Review as examples of research papers done well. For us, the first deadline was only a few weeks away. We had to have a thesis. It was then that I truly realized the depth of this academic adventure. My job was not to simply report on some topic in U.S. history; I had to prove something. I had to create an arguable thesis and defend it. I was overwhelmed.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:49 PM ET, 01/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)