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History 2603E “China: Tradition and Transformation” (2017-18)
Second Term Research Paper (Due Friday, 16 March, 2018)
The paper should be critical analysis of issues suggested by lectures and readings. Some additional research will be expected, and use of primary source materials is especially encouraged. The paper is to be between 2,500-3,000 words (10-12 typed double space pages) in length and is to be based on a minimum of 10 sources. Do not use general material such as textbooks, internet sources and encyclopedia entries.
Your paper is an exercise in communication. It must be easily understandable, which means properly written, correctly spelled and logically organized. If you are in any doubt about any of these issues, consult Mary Lynn Rampolla, A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (Bedford/St. Martins, 8th ed.) and Huron History Department’s Guide to Footnotes and Bibliography (Hist. 2603E course syllabus, pp. 8-10). Be aware that a spell-checker is no substitute for thorough proof-reading. Please number the pages of your paper to make it easier for the instructor to comment on them.
Submit the hard copy of your paper at the beginning of class and soft copy to the turnitin.com via OWL (http://owl.uwo.ca) on the due date. Email submission will not be accepted. In determining what day a late essay was handed in the instructor will use the date stamped upon the essay by the operator of the essay box near A15, which typically closes at 3:45 pm.
Suggested paper topics
1. Discuss the view that in the year 1600 the empire of China was the largest and most
sophisticated of all the unified realms on earth.
2. Did the Chinese discover the New World before Christopher Columbus?
3. Discuss the impact of commercialization on the Ming society.
4. What were the Manchu influences on the Han Chinese during the Qing period?
5. Discuss the place of the Qing dynasty in Chinese history.
6. Do you agree with the view that the Opium War was a turning point in Chinese history?
7. Although Dr. Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan) did not lead the 1911 revolution which overthrew
the last Chinese dynasty, he is widely regarded as the Founding Father of Republic of
Republican China. Why?
8. How important was the New Cultural Movement?
9. Why was Xi’an Incident crucial in modern Chinese history?
10. What were the characteristics of Chinese Communist revolution?
11. How essential was Mao Zedong’s role in the success of Chinese Communist revolution?
12. Why did the Nationalist Party (Guomindang) lose its power struggle with the
13. What was the impact of the Korean War on China?
14. Discuss the causes and/or effects of the Great Leap Forward.
15. Discuss the causes and/or effects of the Cultural Revolution.
16. What is your assessment of China’s economic performance during the 1949-76 period?
17. Have the post-Mao reforms changed the nature of the Chinese communist system?
18. What were the causes and/or effects of the 1989 Tian’anmen student protest?
19. Do you agree with the view that political reforms lag behind economic reforms in