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RESEARCH
PAPER
PROJECT:
Topic
Selection



The
research
paper
involves
organized
writing
on
a
topic
of
interest
to
the
student,
usually
from
a
perspective
that
the
sources

consulted
present
or
suggest.
The
end
result
is
a
5‐7
page
paper,
complete
with
footnotes/endnotes
and
bibliography.
Michael

Kort’s
book
is
a
Cine
resource
to
explore
topics;
see
also
online
resources
below.


Themes:

Here
are
some
suggested
topics.
Feel
free
to
come
up
with
your
own
(these
need
to
be
approved
before
you
start
your
work).



• Tsars
(his/her
reforms,
foreign
policy,
domestic
reforms,
views
on
Russia’s
identity,
etc.)

Examples:
Catherine
the
Great
and
the
Partitions
of
Poland,
Alexander
I
and
the
Decembrist
Revolt,
Lenin
and
the
New

Economic
Policy

• Revolutionary
movements
in
Imperial
Russia
(origin
and
guiding
principles,
modes
of
action,
tsar’s/autocracy’s

response,
etc.)

Examples:
Alexander
Herzen,
George
Plekhanov,
Narodnaya
Volya,
Lenin
and
Bolshevism

• Wars
(origin
and
causes,
belligerents
and
alliance
systems,
directions
of
attack
and
their
purpose,
key
confrontations,

short
term
and
long
term
impact,
etc.)

Great
Northern
War,
any
of
the
Russo‐Ottoman
wars,
Napoleon’s
Russian
campaign,
Russia
in
World
War
I,
Operation

Barbarossa,
Cold
War
clash.

• Literary/artistic
Cigures
(key
themes
in
work,
reClection
on
time
period,
etc.)

Ivan
Turgenev,
Fyodor
Dostoyevsky,
Aleksandr
Solzhenitsyn,
Anna
Akhmatova

• Art/Architectures
(features,
method,
material,
role
of
artist,
provenance,
style,
discussion
of
relevant
examples,
etc.)

• Building
projects
(reasons,
timing,
location,
Cinancing,
construction,
manpower,
impact,
etc.)

St.
Petersburg,
the
Siberian
Railway,
the
Space
Race

• Agreements/Treaties
(origin,
parties
involved,
stipulations,
objectives,
impact,
etc.)

Congress
of
Vienna,
Treaty
of
Brest‐Litovsk,
Nazi‐Soviet
Pact

• Ecological
issues
(the
sources
of
the
ecological
crisis,
role
of
government,
international
involvement,
etc.)

Chernobyl,
Lake
Baikal

• Women
and
their
role
(especially
in
the
USSR;
laws
affecting
women,
education,
role
in
political
groups,
role
in

literature/art/culture,
etc.)

• Human
rights
violations
(nationalism,
religious
and
ethnic
minorities,
political
opponents,
etc.)


Choosing
a
Topic:

Choosing a topic for any paper is a process. Completing each of the following steps (in any order), should help you choose a topic that
is appropriate for the assignment.
• Library research—Find at least two useful reference books and three library books
• Internet research—At least one useful scholarly web site
• Talk to your parents, family friends, a member of the history department
• Primary sources.—where relevant or available
• Are enough secondary sources available on this topic?

Resources:

http://www.besthistorysites.net/20thcentury_russianrevolution.shtml#Russia


http://gethelp.library.upenn.edu/guides/hist/imperialrussia.html


http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/hickey/Russian%20and%20Soviet%20History%20Resource%20Page.htm


http://www.unc.edu/depts/slavic/outreach/Russia%20Links%20Nov06update.htm