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FRS 130 - The Cold War

The problem in a nutshell

You need a topic

  • that you care about;
  • that addresses a historical question;
  • for which you can identify primary sources that are accessible to you; and
  • that's the right size for a 30-page paper due on January 6.

What kinds of questions do historians ask?

To start with, what questions have other historians asked about your general topic? If you are writing about something that already has been addressed by other historians, it can be very useful to survey that literature and ask yourself which approaches are interesting to you.

And remember: history is about change over time. Simply describing the events of the past isn't very interesting, unless there is disagreement about what actually happened.