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"The Burden of Feeble-Mindedness": The History of Eugenics and Sterilization in Massachusetts

School: Gann Academy

City/State: Waltham, MA

Grade(s): 11

Format(s): Report: History

Subject(s): Science and Technology, Social Studies

Type(s): Informative/Explanatory

Writing Assignment Description

Reid Grinspoon, while an 11th grade student at Gann Academy in Waltham, Massachusetts, authored this research paper on the history of eugenics in his home state. The report tackles a fascinating but scary topic in a clear and understated voice. After extensive research, the author is able to come to a thoughtful conclusion on what made Massachusetts an infertile ground for legislation that was popular in other New England states.

The author was the recipient of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize from The Concord Review in 2014.

Since 1987, The Concord Review, a unique quarterly academic journal at the secondary level, has published over 100 issues with over 1,000 exemplary high school history research papers by students from 44 states and 40 other countries. The Ralph Waldo Emerson Prizes have been awarded to over one hundred students who have shown outstanding academic promise in history at the high school level since 1995. The website of The Concord Review can be seen here.

According to The Concord Review, the author of this paper is a member of the 2017 class of Harvard College.

How This Writing Can Be Useful

  • Excellent example of scholarly research including the use of medical journals
  • Convincing conclusion with ample citations lending credence to the author’s thoughts
  • Models strong and clear writing
  • Powerful example of research with a local aspect
  • Bibliography features a wide range of sources

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