Apply the following notes to the uploaded assignment. Also requesting a overall grammar review.
1. Do not include an abstract, table of contents, or section headings.
should introduce your paper with a paragraph no longer than a page that
clearly communicates your position on the general question and
summarizes the evidence and arguments that you will offer in support of
the next 6-8 pages you will present your findings and analysis. As I
stated in the initial description of the project, the general question
of your paper will be whether the policies implemented by the Soviet
government in the 1930s made the country stronger or weaker, but I want
you to focus in on a particular line of argument. For example, you
could center your paper on one of the four topics we addressed in the
project sections. Or, you might identify a different unifying theme,
such as the role or state of the military. I am not looking for a
particular answer in your papers, but let me advise that you avoid
wasting too many words analyzing Stalin’s psyche or moral failings. To
the extent you discuss Stalin personally, your emphasis should be on the
details of the policies his government implemented and the effects of
these policies, as can be verified by reliable sources. A paper that
consists primarily of calling Stalin paranoid or brutal, and little
more, will not be very successful.
exposition should be composed in well organized, logically sequenced
paragraphs. Shifts to a new sub-topic, source base, or line of argument
should be clearly denoted with transitional phrases. One of the
reasons that I assigned journal articles was for you to see how scholars
balance analysis and evidence in their writing.
should end your paper with a conclusion of no longer than a page that
restates your general position and summarizes the analysis that you have
presented, perhaps signaling what you consider to be the strongest
evidence for your position.
In the short papers I asked you to read and analyze articles from peer reviewed journals. Perhaps
you have found these sources challenging and think that I have been too
critical in my comments but I want you to realize that these are
sophisticated sources befitting an advanced level history class.
hope that in reading them you were able to distinguish them from the
general sources and encyclopedic entries that you encounter. It
is not as if these general sources are without value, but the peer
review process gives scholarly articles a degree of rigor missing in
lesser sources. Before publication, each article is
reviewed anonymously by (usually) three subject matter experts who
validate that the author does not misrepresent the historical record and
sufficiently documents his/her assertions, even if they disagree with
the author’s conclusions. In discussions and in papers
I have sometimes taken you to task about statements like, “most
historians agree,” which we encounter often in general sources. When
you see a statement like that in a scholarly article, you can be pretty
sure that this is a reliable representation of the state of the field,
as opposed to a general source, where a history buff might be trying to
hide the fact that s/he has no evidence to support a particular
your final paper you should cite your sources using endnotes as well as
attaching a bibliography of all sources you consulted for the paper,
whether or not you cite them in the paper. Both should be formatted
using Chicago Style Citations. Of particular note, your endnotes should indicate the specific page(s) in the source that you are citing.
your papers, I want you to be comprehensive in sourcing your
information. This is especially important in studying Soviet history
because a lot of fundamental facts are contested. With regard to citing
your sources, please compare the following to examples.
- By 1939, Stalin had eliminated all potential rivals from the Central Committee.1
- “By 1939, Stalin had eliminated all potential rivals from the Central Committee.”1
two hypothetical citations do not indicate the same thing. In the
first example, you are signaling to the reader that you are presenting
an idea or assertion found in the cited source that you have rendered it
into your own words. In the second example, you are telling the reader
that this is a verbatim quotation from the cited source. Do not
confuse these. Punctuate and annotate quotations properly.
have asked you to write a paper 8-10 pages in length. This is not
particularly long for a capstone work in an upper level history class. I
will be interested in your ability to read, analyze, and synthesize
your sources, not to reproduce them. I am not going to set an arbitrary
limit on the number of quotations you can insert or the percentage of
the total words that can be quoted, but let me suggest that if your
paper includes a lot of quoted text that your total page length should
be closer to 10 pages than to 8.