The Kent School Guild was founded in 1956 and exists to encourage independent scholarship culminating in a research paper. The Guild candidate presents the paper at a meeting open to the entire School, including but not limited to students and faculty. After the presentation, typically lasting between twenty and forty minutes, the candidate submits to questions from the audience.
To be accepted into the Guild, the Candidate's presentation must be approved by the Members of the Guild who judge papers based on such standards as scholarship, level of difficulty, organization, clarity, use of language, and presentation. A key element of the evaluation is the candidate’s ability to respond to questions about the broad context of the subject and about implications of conclusions reached in the paper.
For me, writing for the Guild was a gateway into what I have spent the rest of my academic career engaging in. While at Kent, I wrote one paper as a fifth former, and then I wrote a second paper as a sixth former. Both were projects that allowed me to delve into topics I knew nothing about, let alone had any classroom exposure to before choosing them.
The benefit of this was being able to learn how to conduct independent research, use unfamiliar resources, and truly take an initiative in your work. This experience not only made the transition into college research and writing easier (since students are often presented with open-ended or self-selected topics), it also was a great background to have in becoming a research assistant for a professor. I spent two and a half years working as a research assistant to the same art history professor at Colby, and he was very happy with the quality of research, writing and editing I did for him. I think having worked on long projects for Kent's Guild was a good stepping stone.
After college, I have continued to use the same skill set in law school. I am now in my third year, and although the topics, syntax, and arguments have grown more complex, the fundamental approach to research and writing remains the same in my academic, extra-curricular, and work product for a professor.
Please take care.
Meg Dodge ‘04