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  This assignment gives you the opportunity to analyze and interpret primary
sources available on the internet. This is historians work: to critically read and
analyze speeches, diaries, government documents, letters, newspaper articles, etc.
to understand the motives and conduct of people in the past. The final product of
your reading and analysis will be a 2-4 page single-spaced essay (minimum: 2 full 1.0-
spaced pages, 1 inch margins, PLUS bibliography).
Two KEYs to doing well on this assignment: 1) find interesting primary sources
from the era 1989-90 or so, and 2) thoughtfully analyze them, displaying cool
bits of what you find (in short quotes and paraphrasing). This is the essence of
HISTORICAL RESEARCH: using a variety of sources to craft an original thesis
that you then support with short quotes and evidence from those sources.
  As you read, consider some of the themes and motivations for the fall of
communism in Eastern Europe. Why did the people want change? What do the primary
sources teach us about how people lived under the communist regime? What was unique
about life behind the iron curtain? Why did people oppose Communist Party rule in their
country? What were their main complaints? What was missing from their lives or what did
they want that they couldnt have under the restrictions of communist rule?
  To give your essay a clear focus, I recommend that you choose a specific East
European country for your focus: Bulgaria, Romania, East Germany,
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Poland, or the USSR/Soviet Union (even
though that occurred in 1991).
  Your essay must include reference to at least 3 different primary sources.
Thats the minimum. The best essays will use 4-6 different primary sources because in many
cases 3 will not be enough to craft a thesis and support it with short quotes and

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