You will write a research paper on a topic designed in consultation with your professor. The paper will be submitted as email text. The deadline for submission of the paper is indicated on the course syllabus, as are other details, such as length.

The research paper must be on a theme designed in the midst of our course, using readings and other materials identified in that setting, and illuminating major issues raised in our course. The paper will be judged according to its relationship to our course, as well as in relationship to other traditional academic considerations. Certainly, issues you have defined yourself and sources you have come across on your own can and should play some role in your research paper. However, a research paper on themes and based essentially on materials not a part of our syllabus, however well researched or written, will not do.

You will use two types of historical sources = primary and secondary [ID]. Primary sources should be, as far as possible, at the center of your attention. Secondary sources, including standard reference works [ID], should be used to help you generate a "true and significant" historical narrative [ID] based on careful reading of your sources. You may use Russian-language sources, of course, but Russian language ability is not a course requirement. Hundreds of English-language (largely translated) primary sources are identified in the course syllabus and The Student's Annotated Chronology and Systematic Bibliography [TXT].


Your research paper will include scholarly notes to sources. These notes are sometimes called "footnotes", referring to the older tendency to place scholarly notes at the bottom or foot of each typed or printed page. You will not place notes at the bottom of the page. You should insert your notes in brackets at the appropriate point in the text of your essay. You should use shortest possible abbreviation in these bracketed textual notes, so as to interfere as little a possible with the flow of your narrative. In this research-paper exercise, the presumption is that extended narrative statements that we might be tempted to put in a footnote ought to be in the text itself, or tossed out altogether. "Footnotes", in other words, ought to serve the sole purpose of guiding your reader to where your narrative can be confirmed. Be careful that your abbreviated citation allows the reader with ease to find the full source reference in your bibliography. And that leads us to this =

You will place an alphabetized bibliography at the end of your text. If you cite in footnotes more than one source by the same author, distinguish one from the other by placing the date of publication in parenthesis after the name or abbreviation used in the note.

Here is an example of a narrative fragment with two "footnotes", followed by a fragment from a possible bibliography that explicates the two "footnotes".

After the unsuccessful August coup against his reforms, Mikhail Gorbachev expressed his opinion that his enemies in the Soviet establishment feared the new Union Treaty he was about to sign [Gorbachev (1991):71-6]. Gorbachev was identified in the minds of the coup conspirators with a reform of federal relations among the sixteen Soviet republics. The conspirators were threatened by the fact that the new treaty weakening the authority of military/industrial insiders in Moscow [Gorbachev (1989)].

= Bibliography =

Gorbachev, Mikhail (1991). The August Coup: The Truth and the Lessons . London: HarperCollins, 1991.
-------------------- (1989). Perestroika is the concern of all Soviet peoples: Speech at a meeting with working people in Kiev, Feb. 23, 1989. Moscow: Novosti, 1989.

Here is a webpage that makes some suggestions about how you might organize a "standard" research report.