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Kent School Guild: Home

What is the Kent School Guild?

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. 

Guidelines for Guild Papers

An Alumna Reflects on Her Guild Experience

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

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the proper format for a Guild paper?  Depends on your field. History, English, Science, Art, Music etc all vary in the expected shape of research papers, citations and presentations. The Guild aims to respect the standard medium of each specialty. Work with your faculty sponsor to determine what is appropriate.  
  • What is the length of a Guild paper? Depends on what you do.  A paper that involves reporting on your own scientific research (or code, or musical composition, etc) where tremendous effort is undertaken to form the base of the paper before any writing takes place could be fairly brief (4-5 pages + citation and data/graphs).  A review of the published literature (research of others) should be extensive, comparable to a term paper (10-20 pages + citations). 
  • What is the format of the presentation of the Guild paper?  Originally meant to be a simple reading of the paper, the ability to easily share images to support a talk has created a situation where most presenters have a series of slides to augment the explanation of their work.  This is never expected, but can add to the effectiveness of a talk in helping the audience grasp a complex topic few in the audience are familiar with.   
  • Who are the Faculty Members of The Guild? Mr. Klingebiel (Head of the Guild),  Dr. David Greene, Mr. McDonough, Ms. Prickett.

Establishment of The Guild