Writing is an essential part of the history curriculum. Through an intentional writing sequence, students learn how to research, outline, compose a thesis and edit their work — all essential skills in their intellectual development.
Middle school students begin with paragraph construction and build towards essays before graduating to a term paper in the 8th grade. During the 8th grade term paper project, teachers introduce no new material and students study a contemporary issue of their choosing. They must present multiple sides of a policy proposal and craft a thesis that defends a specific policy that the government should pursue.
8th Grade Guide
Students select a historical topic to study. Once again, teachers introduce no new material for the duration of the project, allowing students to research their subject and craft a thesis that answers a historical question. Students must use a primary source in their writing.
9th Grade Guide
The 10th grade project is similar to the 9th grade one, but teachers introduce material concurrently with the term paper. While students have some days off from regular homework to work on their term papers, they must learn to balance their classwork with their term paper writing and research.
10th Grade Guide
In 11th grade, students write a pair of shorter papers that compare arguments offered by historians. In the first paper, teachers give students primary source documents to examine in order to determine which historian's argument is more persuasive than the other. In the second, students must conduct research to find those documents.
11th Grade Guide