A world-class history quarterly, The Concord Review, holds a writing workshop for high school students.
Sudbury, Massachusetts—December 13, 2016
College bound high school students can now learn from one of the best sources in the country. The Concord Review [tcr.org] is offering several two-week intensive expository writing workshops. The workshops will be held on the campus of Regis College, just west of Boston in Weston, Massachusetts and—for the first time—in Seoul, South Korea.
This will be the fourth year of their Summer Program writing and research workshops, but they are greatly expanded over previous years. There will be two sessions in Boston, in early and late June with 24 seats in each session. Each session runs for two weeks, and includes both boarding students and day students.
“We had such strong response last year when we announced the course, and such positive feedback after the sessions, that we felt expanding the program was the right thing to do.” said Steven Lee, Summer Program Manager for TCR. “Several students told us they wished the program lasted longer!”
“As a former History teacher, I know the challenges for students doing longer research papers in most classrooms.” said Will Fitzhugh, TCR’s Founder and Editor in Chief. “But many students are fully capable of this level of work. The pages of TCR are full of examples. And students are hungry for instruction on how to improve. We are pleased to provide advanced instruction for motivated young scholars.
The sessions are led by History and expository writing instructors with advanced degrees in their topics. Some are former TCR authors. “I select the instructors with an eye toward very strong academic credentials coupled with an appreciation for secondary students and for the study of History.” says Fitzhugh.
During the program, students attend interactive group classes, have individual meetings with the instructors, attend a question-and-answer session with past authors, work in research and writing sessions, visit historical sites, see documentaries on various topics in history, and read past Concord Review essays.
“Steven has ensured that we have not only a strong academic program, but good venues for the classes and good activities.” Hours of instruction and study are balanced with trips to historical sites and other activities. “Steven has done an excellent job as Manager of the Summer Program,” said Fitzhugh. “He shares my interest in highest-quality education and providing opportunities for students to excel in academic writing.” He has also provided a critical link in connecting with interest from students in Asia, and has established the first international TCR Summer Program session to be held this year in Seoul, South Korea.
“There is a great deal of interest in Korea, China, and elsewhere outside the U.S. in the kind of English-language, advanced-writing TCR celebrates.” said Lee. “We are very excited to make this move. We had several students in last year’s session from Korea and we expect that this will make participation easier for more scholars.”
The venue for the Boston sessions is Regis College. Boarding students will stay in the dormitories, and join day students in Regis classrooms, library, and dining hall.
“The Concord Review provides a splendid forum for the best student work in history.” says Diane Ravitch, Senior Scholar at New York University. “It deserves the support of everyone in the country who cares about improving the study of history in the schools.” Other supporters include noted Historians Arthur Schlesinger. Jr. and David McCullough, and Dean of Admissions at Harvard College, William Fitzsimmons.
“We are fortunate that we have always had a large number of supporters who admire the work of our authors, and believe in our mission.” said Fitzhugh. “Now we can directly help young scholars develop their potential. It’s very gratifying.”
The Concord Review has been, since 1987, the only journal in the world for the academic history papers of secondary students, now with 1,219 essays [average length 7,400 words] by students from 44 states and 40 other countries.
About forty percent of students published in The Concord Review have been admitted to Harvard, Princeton, Stanford or Yale, and many have gone to other highly selective colleges—MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, the London School of Economics, Caltech, and so forth. The Dean of Admissions at Harvard has written: “We have been very happy to have reprints of essays published in The Concord Review, submitted by a number of our applicants over the years, to add to the information we consider in making admission decisions…All of us here in the Admissions Office are big fans of The Concord Review.”
Students who work on research papers during the TCR Summer Program are not guaranteed to be published in the journal, but the work they will do gives them an advantage in preparation for expository writing in college over their peers who do not have such practice.
There are very few opportunities for high school students to work on serious term papers in history. Most of the emphasis is on STEM and personal writing, and usually high school teachers have so many students that they cannot possibly find the time to advise students on a 5,000-word history paper. A national study, commissioned by The Concord Review, found that a very large majority of high school teachers do not assign term papers, and colleges only ask for the 500-word personal essay. As a result almost all of our high school graduates arrive in college never having written a serious research paper. This is the reason so many colleges, even Harvard and Stanford, now require a writing course for all their first-year students.
There are currently seats available in all sessions, but last year’s course filled up quickly, so Lee recommends that students register as soon as possible. “I had a great time working this year with the amazingly bright and hard-working students our program attracts. I’m really looking forward to the 2017 sessions!”