A year’s worth of challenging academic research presented by seniors at Providence Preparatory School showcased a variety of topics on a college level.
“The seniors all give a 20-minute speech on the topic of their choice in front of a public audience,” said head of school Bret Billman. “Our students have been working on this for about a year, beginning in their junior year.”
The requirement of a senior thesis has been in place for three years. According to thesis director Lauren Glenn, the requirement fills a gap between high school writing and the level required in college.
“It’s really intended to mock college writing, and they do it at a slower pace than you would in college,” Glenn said.
Students begin by writing a traditional high school report, and then learn how to turn that into an academic paper, complete with statement, arguments, and conclusion. They begin with an annotated bibliography.
“The next thing you do is write a research paper that’s unbiased, showing different claims and both sides of different claims,” Glenn said. “After the research paper they begin turning it into a persuasive paper.”