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How to Get Published in The Concord Review

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a female student writing an essay

How to Get Published in The Concord Review

If you’re an aspiring historian, The Concord Review offers you the perfect opportunity to sharpen your research and writing skills. Whether you aim for a career in academia, law, journalism, or any field that demands critical thinking and analytical skills, the experience gained from contributing to the journal can be incredibly beneficial.

We’ll guide you through the essential steps of developing a strong thesis, conducting thorough research, and writing a compelling article that meets the high standards of The Concord Review. Let’s get started on your path to publication.

What Is The Concord Review?

Since its launch in 1987, The Concord Review has become the world’s only quarterly journal dedicated to publishing academic research papers by high school students. Its unique emphasis on historical research conducted by high schoolers has established it as the most prestigious journal in the field.

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Despite changes in the academic world, the journal’s mission to highlight outstanding high school historical research has remained steadfast. By its Fall Issue (#137), it had featured over 1,500 research papers from young scholars across 46 states and 46 countries.

The Concord Review‘s exceptional historical essays have subscribers globally, ranging from Canada to Kenya and Australia to Switzerland. Schools in places like Bangkok, Singapore, and various US states have included the journal in their curricula, using the essays as examples of high-quality historical writing.

What Articles Does The Concord Review Publish?

The Concord Review is open to a wide range of topics—from local historical events to major global issues—as long as they’re scholarly. Your article must discuss historical subjects and back everything up with both primary and secondary sources to keep it solid and credible.

For example, in its Winter 2016 Issue, the journal published the following pieces:

1. “Game of Thrones: President Suharto and The Rise of Indonesian Forestry” by Jun Bin Lee

This piece looks at President Suharto’s time in power in Indonesia. It focuses on how his governance style impacted the country’s politics and economy. Lee argues that while Suharto’s rule initially brought stability and growth, it eventually led to corruption and inequality. The article takes a critical look at forestry policies and how they influenced Indonesia’s environmental and economic frameworks.

2. “Where Democratization Stops: Judicial Independence in the Progressive Era” by Perri Wilson

Wilson’s article tackles the vital role of judicial independence in creating a fair legal system. It traces how this independence evolved and why it’s key in protecting citizens from government overreach, especially during the Progressive Era—a period rich with reforms and their effects on the judiciary.

3. “Protagoras and Athenian Democracy” by Duohao Xu

Xu’s paper studies Athenian democracy and spotlights the philosopher Protagoras’ significant influence. The article suggests that Protagoras’ relativistic ideas promoted a more inclusive and participatory government, which was vital for Athens’ thriving democracy. It shows how his philosophy encouraged all citizens to participate in political discourse and shaped democratic practices in ancient Athens.

As you can see, The Concord Review publishes articles that dig deep into history, focusing on more than just the facts. These pieces do a great job of breaking down events and important figures, showing not just what happened but why it matters. They explore things like the tricky dynamics of political power, changes in the legal system, and how big ideas in philosophy end up shaping governments. When you read these articles, you get a full, rich picture of history that goes way beyond dates and names.

What Are The Concord Review’s Submission Guidelines?

When considering a submission to The Concord Review, it’s important to be well-acquainted with its specific criteria and expectations.

A student writing her essays

Authorship

Your essay should be an original piece that you wrote during your high school years and has not been published elsewhere. While you should be the sole author, seeking feedback and engaging in discussions is encouraged.

Word count

Your essay should be between 5,000 and 9,000 words, with the average published paper being around 8,500 words, including endnotes and bibliography. The longest paper submitted was 21,000 words, detailing the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Formatting

Adherence to the Turabian (Chicago) style for endnotes and bibliography is required. Submit your essay in Word or RTF format and maintain a consistent font style, such as Times New Roman, throughout your document.

Acceptance rate

Currently, the journal publishes only about 5% of the articles submitted.

Submission fee

Each essay submission comes with a $70 fee. This fee includes a yearly subscription to the e-book version of the journal, and it helps sustain the publication.

Deadlines

Be mindful of the submission deadlines: August 1 (Winter), November 1 (Spring), February 1 (Summer) and May 1 (Fall). The journal operates on a rolling admissions basis, keeping your essay eligible for up to four issues. If selected, you will be notified about a month before publication.

Tips for Getting Published in The Concord Review

Before you start writing, consider signing up for The Concord Review‘s free newsletter. This keeps you informed about any updates to the submission guidelines and gives you insights into the journal’s preferred style, depth of research, and topics.

Now, writing a compelling historical essay boils down to three important steps: thesis development, research, and writing.

1. Develop your thesis.

Crafting a strong thesis statement is key for any research paper, and it’s especially important if you’re aiming to get published in a journal like The Concord Review. Here’s a straightforward, step-by-step guide to help you nail it:

a. Choose a specific topic. Start broad, then narrow it down. The tighter your focus, the stronger your thesis. For instance, instead of tackling World War II in general, zoom in on something like the impact of wartime propaganda.

b. Conduct preliminary research. Before you can craft a solid thesis, you need to see what’s already out there. This initial research helps you spot a unique angle and ensures your thesis brings something new to the table.

c. Ask a question. Turning your topic into a question can really focus your efforts and guide your thesis. Change “wartime propaganda” to something more direct like, “How did American propaganda during World War II shape public opinion?”

d. Formulate your thesis statement. Your thesis should answer your research question clearly and assertively. For example, a robust thesis could be, “American propaganda during World War II created a strong narrative of patriotism, significantly boosting public support for the war effort.”

e. Ensure your thesis is arguable. A good thesis needs a bit of tension; it should present a point that others might argue against, giving your readers a reason to dive into your paper.

f. Make your thesis specific. Your thesis should be detailed enough to give a clear picture of what your paper is about. Steer clear of vague terms and generalities.

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g. Refine your thesis. Your thesis isn’t set in stone. As you write and research more, you might find that it needs a bit of tweaking to better match your discoveries.

h. Get feedback. Before you lock in your thesis statement, get some feedback from people who know their stuff, like peers or a teacher. They can offer insights that might strengthen your argument.

By following these steps, you’ll build a solid, engaging thesis that sets up your research paper perfectly, making it a strong candidate for The Concord Review.

2. Research.

Researching for your thesis involves a methodical and thorough approach to gathering and analyzing information. Here’s how you can effectively research your thesis:

a. Define your scope. Start by defining the scope of your study. What are the geographical and chronological boundaries of your research topic? What specific aspects are you focusing on? Having a clear scope keeps your research from wandering off track.

b. Gather background information. Kick things off with general sources like books, encyclopedias, and reputable online resources to build a solid understanding of your topic. This step helps refine your thesis and pinpoint areas for deeper investigation.

c. Use scholarly sources. Aim to base your paper on scholarly sources like books, peer-reviewed journals, and academic articles. Tap into databases like JSTOR, Google Scholar, and history-specific ones like Historical Abstracts.

d. Consult primary sources. Primary sources are important for historical research because they provide firsthand evidence. Depending on your topic, look for letters, diaries, official documents, photographs, and other artifacts. Check out primary source databases, archives, or libraries with historical collections.

e. Organize your research. Keep your information tidy as you go. Tools like Zotero or Mendeley are great for managing your sources, or you could keep detailed notes including bibliographic info and summaries.

f. Analyze and interpret your findings. Start making sense of your evidence. How do your sources respond to your research question? What trends are appearing? This analysis will support your thesis and form the core of your paper.

g. Fill the gaps. Spot any gaps in your research. Are there unanswered questions? Any differing views that need more exploration? You might need to do more digging here.

h. Seek expert advice. Don’t hesitate to reach out to teachers, mentors, or history experts. They can point you towards crucial resources, give feedback, and guide your research.

i. Stay focused and critical. Keep your research tightly focused on your question and critically assess your sources. Consider each source’s reliability, bias, and relevance to your thesis.

j. Reflect and adjust. Keep evaluating your thesis as your research unfolds. Be ready to tweak it to better align with the evidence you gather. Allowing your thesis to evolve with your insights can lead to a more robust argument.

By following these steps, you’ll ensure your thesis is well-researched and  well-argued—qualities that are essential for a successful submission to The Concord Review.

3. Write a compelling article.

Writing a well-crafted article for The Concord Review demands clear structure, meticulous attention to detail, and a systematic approach to presenting your historical research. Here’s a guide to help you write an article that meets the high standards of this prestigious publication:

How To Prepare For Grad School

a. Create an outline. Start with an outline that maps out your introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Note down the key points or arguments you’ll discuss under each section. This keeps your thoughts organized and ensures the information flows logically.

b. Write a strong introduction. Set the stage for your research paper. Open with a hook—like a fascinating fact, a poignant quote, or an intriguing question—to capture the reader’s interest. Clearly state your thesis statement, summarizing the main argument of your paper, and briefly outline the supporting points.

c. Develop the body. Tackle one main idea per paragraph, each supporting your thesis. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces its main idea. Back it up with evidence from your research, both primary and secondary sources. Analyze how this evidence supports your argument, and keep your language clear and straightforward.

d. Incorporate source material. Use quotes, paraphrases, and summaries to strengthen your arguments. Make sure they complement your analysis rather than replace it. Cite your sources meticulously as per The Concord Review’s style guide to uphold academic integrity.

e. Analyze and interpret. Beyond presenting facts, include your own analysis and interpretation. Discuss the significance of your evidence and its contribution to understanding your topic more deeply. This critical analysis is what sets apart superior research papers.

f. Write a conclusive ending. Wrap up with a conclusion that restates your thesis in light of the evidence you’ve discussed. Summarize your main findings and their implications, and reflect on the broader impact of your research. Propose directions for further study.

g. Revise and edit. After drafting, take a break, then revise. This might mean rethinking your argument, refining your thesis, or rearranging paragraphs for clarity. Editing should focus on grammar, style, and punctuation. Make sure your writing is clean and engaging.

h. Get feedback. Show your draft to teachers, peers, or mentors. Their feedback can provide new insights and highlight areas for improvement.

i. Finalize your manuscript. Use the feedback to refine your paper. Make sure it’s polished and adheres to The Concord Review’s submission guidelines. Check the formatting of citations and the bibliography thoroughly.

j. Proofread. Give your manuscript a final read to catch any errors. A clean, error-free paper reflects your dedication and professionalism.

Writing for The Concord Review is a significant academic endeavor that can have a profound impact on your studies. By following these steps, you ensure that your article is insightful, well-structured, and ready for submission to the journal.

What Are the Benefits of Getting Published in The Concord Review?

Publishing in The Concord Review offers several significant benefits for high school students interested in history and academic writing. Here’s a closer look at some of the key advantages:

1. Academic recognition

Getting your research paper published in The Concord Review is a prestigious achievement. This journal is well-respected for its rigorous standards and is recognized by universities and scholars worldwide. Having your work featured here can significantly enhance your academic profile.

2. Improvement of research and writing skills

The process of preparing a manuscript for The Concord Review involves extensive research, drafting, and revision. This rigorous preparation hones your research and writing skills—abilities that are essential for college success and beyond.

3. College admissions advantage

Colleges and universities look favorably upon students who demonstrate the initiative and capability to conduct serious research. Publishing in a distinguished journal like The Concord Review showcases your commitment to academic excellence, setting you apart from other applicants.

A hand holding a medal.

4. Awards

Students who get published in The Concord Review have a chance to win the journal’s prestigious awards: The Emerson and the Fitzhugh Prize. These awards honor high school students who have showcased exceptional promise in their submission.

The Emerson Prize is an annual award named after the great American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. Since its inception in 1995, The Concord Journal has honored over 200 students with this award. In 2023, the recipients were awarded $1,000 each for their remarkable contributions to the journal.

On the other hand, the Fitzhugh Prize, named in honor of the journal’s founder, Will Fitzhugh, has been awarded since 2021. In 2023, the awardee, Samuel Benjamin Sanders, received a generous sum of $5,000.

5. Professional development

By publishing your research, you start building a professional academic portfolio early in your career. This experience is valuable not just for educational pursuits but also for future career opportunities in fields that value analytical and communicative skills.

6. Networking opportunities

Authors in The Concord Review often gain access to a network of like-minded peers and educators passionate about history and academic research. These connections can lead to further academic collaborations and mentorship opportunities.

By aiming to get published in The Concord Review, you’re not just working toward adding a line on your resume. You’re also setting a strong foundation for your academic and professional future.

Conclusion

Publishing in The Concord Review gives you a unique chance to stand out as a young historian. By engaging in rigorous research, developing a compelling thesis, and carefully writing and revising your article, you show a dedication to excellence that extends beyond high school.

Your path to publication displays your knowledge of history and shapes your future. As you hone your skills and add to scholarly discussions, you open doors to academic and professional opportunities. Let your research echo through the halls of history.

FAQs

How many submissions does The Concord Review get?

The Concord Review receives approximately 900 submissions per year from high school students globally. However, the journal is highly selective, with only about 45 papers, or 5% of submissions, being accepted for publication. This competitive acceptance rate highlights the importance of submitting a well-researched and meticulously written paper.

Is there a submission fee for The Concord Review?

Yes, there is a $70 submission fee which helps cover the costs of the review and publication process.

Who is the founder of The Concord Review?

The Concord Review was established by Will Fitzhugh in March 1987. He saw the need for a dedicated academic journal where high school students could showcase their historical research and writing talents.

What is the citation style for The Concord Review?

Submissions should be formatted according to the Turabian (Chicago) Manual of Style, with footnotes and a bibliography. Ensure your manuscript is double-spaced, uses Times New Roman 12-point font, and includes page numbers.

Can international students submit their work to The Concord Review?

The Concord Review welcomes submissions from high school students around the world. The journal prides itself on including diverse historical perspectives and analyses from various cultures and regions.

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