Sample History Paper on Russian history

Tutorial(you must upload your thesis, your outline, and your bibliography to Brightspace)



Length:  approximately 1,500 words


Here are some possible essay themes:


The Nature of Autobiography

Coming of Age, Bildungsroman

Style and Subject

Fiction and Nonfiction

Trauma and Memory

Childhood and Nostalgia

Form and Pattern

Politics and Art

Aesthetics and Life

Children and Parents

Exile and Home

Education, Inside and Outside the Classroom



Choose one theme to pursue.  You are allowed to come up with your own, although I would like you to clear it with me first.  Essays should be around six pages (not including the title page or bibliography).  The themes are deliberately broad, as part of the assignment involves your coming up with a clear, concise, and convincing thesis or argument about your theme in relation to Speak, Memory.


Your essay should have an introductory paragraph that closes

with a proper and specific thesis statement, paragraphs organized around topics that reinforce your thesis, and a strong concluding paragraph.


For this essay I want you to use at least four critical resources, so check with me if you have trouble finding the most appropriate books and/or articles.  Because the library is closed, I advise you to make use of the website JSTOR (which is free to access as Dalhousie students) provides thousands of articles on numerous subjects.  I will be including a list of critical articles on Speak, Memory that can be accessed via JSTOR, regardless of location.  Note:  Internet sources such as Wikipedia, Douban, SparkNotes, and CliffsNotes are not critical sources.  Please ask me if you have any questions about the validity of a source.


I want you to use the critics to aid your argument, but not to supplant it.  Sometimes you may agree with the critic, but your argument is often enhanced by having an opinion to spar against.  Be specific, focus in on key scenes or elements, and make sure that your argument is well supported with evidence and quotations from the works.  When it comes to quoting from the text, comment on the quotes you use and do not simply allow them to speak for themselves.  If you have any questions while writing your essays, or if you would like me to see rough drafts, please let me know


Thesis statements:  please email me your thesis statements by March 27th.  This is just for me to make sure that you are on the right path with your paper and that you have had a chance to come up with a clear, coherent, and concise argument that can be pursued in an essay.  I will give feedback on this, as I want to make sure that everyone does a good job with the question and that finds a good angle with which to pursue it.


Note: while the thesis is not due until , I very much encourage you to email it to me as soon as you are ready.  The more time you have to work on your paper with the proper feedback, the better it will no doubt turn out.