Outstanding Senior Papers

March 19, 2021

Each year, the senior students are required to choose a topic of their choice, develop a thesis to defend, research the subject and then write a formal research paper to be submitted to the teaching faculty for review and evaluation. This is a fundamental part of our program of college preparation for our students and represents a major intellectual effort. Mastering this process, in our opinion, is an important if not essential requirement for any graduate of a college-preparatory school.

After the papers are submitted at the deadline, they are read by a number of faculty members and then discussed before final grades are determined. Those papers found less-than-acceptable as
submitted may be required to be re-submitted with guidelines for improvement or to be defended by the author to a faculty committee. The final grade on the senior papers is composed of the evaluation of the end product (60%) as well as the process and work with the faculty advisor (40%).

We are very pleased that this years’ submissions were all approved with passing grades and three of the papers were considered outstanding and worthy of special recognition. The three 12th
grade students recognized for their outstanding work are Arina Y., Ian H., and Clara S.

Arina, enrolled for the third year at AIS-Salzburg and a native of Ukraine, submitted her research into the bias found in history textbooks and the detrimental effects that this may have on society at large. Arina was able to meet what turns out to be one of the most difficult of requirements in writing up good research in that she expressed her personal position clearly and effectively throughout the paper while appropriately grounding this with adequate and quality expertise and supporting data. Too often, students will try to let the research data try to do the talking for them: Arina’s personal position, however, comes through loud a clear; appropriately argued and effectively evaluated. Mr. Agardy, the college counselor commented that Arina’s paper was superbly written and brilliantly argued—a pleasure to read.

Ian, a native of Romania and a citizen of Germany, submitted his senior paper on an investigation into the motives behind Ceausescu’s policies and their effects on Romania’s development. He argued that Ceausescu conned the West by defying the USSR and snuggling up to Western leaders, allowing him to disregard and trample upon human rights and impoverish the country without suffering criticism from abroad. Ian’s paper was thoroughly researched and effectively organised with quotations and citations woven smoothly into the text. He demonstrated superior understanding of the topic as well through excellent research reading. The paper included an excellent thesis, continuously-logical argumentation and strong topic sentences tying back to the thesis throughout. Stylistically, the paper is a pleasure to read and leads up to an incredibly strong conclusion. His insightful analysis of the subject, excellent synthesis of source materials within his argument and his mastery of scholarly language well exceed high school and even college level expectations.

Clara S., a native of Salzburg who spent some of her formative years in the U.S., investigated the contributions that African-Americans made toward the development of jazz and Rock ’n Roll and examined the role this music played in changing race relations in the 20th century. Her writing is enthusiastic, engaging and full of interesting points developed through long hours of reading and research as well as obvious personal interest. Her final submission was evidently revised and rewritten in a determined effort to present a highly-polished work which impressed the teaching faculty with sophistication of language and style.

All three of these senior papers represent solid, if not exceptional, preparation for university studies at the bachelor level and beyond, and the faculty, administration and staff of AIS-Salzburg would like to recognize the exceptional level of readiness for upcoming academic challenges. 

Congratulations to each of these senior authors!