Hi, I'm currently a first-year in the Honors Program of a fairly elite public university (Average ACT for my class is 30; 33 in Honors). I made a 4.0 in my first semester, and am on track to finish my AB in History a year early, or complete an AB/MA in four years. My goal is to earn a PhD in History (specializing in early America). I want to attend a program that is top 20(ish) in the nation, with top 10 schools as the dream. I am trying to build credentials for admission to a program, maybe even without the MA in hand.
I know research is huge for grad school, so I am trying to do a supervised research project in the fall. I am studying abroad over the summer. So far, every professor I have written a paper for has been very pleased with my writing, but I know there is always room for improvement. I really try to get to know professors, so I think I should have decent letters of rec. I plan to study for and take the GRE during this year. I know this is a long post, but what suggestions do you all have for me? What are they looking for? Thanks for reading and for your advice!