Then, do some preliminary research to determine what aspect of that broader topic interests you. 

Length: 2000-3000 words, double-spaced

1  In deciding what you want to do for your final research project, you should first choose a broad topic related to the course material (the history of Europe from 1900 to the present).  Some potential broad topics may be World War I, World War II, the Cold War, colonialism, fascism, communism, Brexit, the Treaty of Versailles, war reparations, concentration camps, refugees, immigration, etc., etc.  The potential broad topics are endless.

  1. Then, do some preliminary research to determine what aspect of that broader topic interests you.  You may already know this before even getting to this step, but if you’re stumped, researching can help you figure out what you find interesting.
  2. NEXT, you should narrow your original topic by choosing to either a) examine this topic as it relates to one (1) nation or region of Europe or b) compare and contrast this topic as it relates to two (2) or three (3) nations or regions of Europe.  Remembernot all 

For instance, if you’ve decided to choose fascism as a broad topic, you could narrow it down by examining “Fascism in France.”  Or if you choose to compare and contrast, you could examine “Fascism in France and Germany.”

Then, do some preliminary research to determine what aspect of this narrower topic interests you.  You may already know this before even getting to this step, but if you’re stumped, researching can help you figure out what you find interesting. Make note of what articles and resources you discover. 

  1. NEXT, you should further narrow your topic.  How you further narrow the topic is up to you, but some further ways to narrow the above sample topic, “Fascism in France and Germany” would be “Women and Fascism in France and Germany” or “The Differences in the Success of Fascists in France and Germany” or “Fascist Organizations in France and Germany.”

Then, do some preliminary research to determine what aspect of this even narrower topic interests you.  You may already know this before even getting to this step, but if you’re stumped, researching can help you figure out what you find interesting. Make note of what articles and resources you discover. 

  1. FINALLY, you should further narrow your topic by determining what time period you will discuss.  A paper on “Fascist Organizations in France and Germany” would likely be restricted to the period between 1920 and 1945 (or a narrower subset of that period,) but other topics may be less obvious. This step may only be obvious after you have completed your research.
  2. After completing all of your research, and gathering most of your sources, you should then think about your thesis, or what it is you want to say about your topic.  This may end up changing the title of your final paper, but likely won’t end up changing your topic.
  3. You may not even need to go through these steps to get to a topic this narrow. You may already know what you want to write about.  You may not want to follow this path, and may not want to pick one or two nations.  That’s fine. One of your assignments, due November 10, is to tell me what this narrow topic is, and to provide some of the sources you’ve looked at.  I can give you advice at this stage.