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Suggested Topics for Research Paper and Instructions
The following is a list of topics to help you get started on research. Your final research paper is required to be an argumentative essay and should have a thesis that argues something and not just describes events. The list is by no means exhaustive and these are just suggestions. Dont feel bound to them. Consult with your instructor if you have questions. If youre advised to move in a different direction or change course on your approach to a topic, heed that advice. Your research paper is to be double spaced, have an augmentative thesis supported with evidence, be in 12 pt font, have page numbers, citation, i.e. endnotes or footnotes are required as well as a references page/bibliography. Title pages are not required but all pertinent information should be on the first page (title, name, course code, instructor, date). All notes and references are to be in Chicago style. The research paper is to be 10 pages in length and is due 19 June. You
should make use of at least 10 academic sources for your paper. If you are uncertain about requirements for any assignment contact your instructor. While the topics state discuss, these are broad general suggestions. You are to have an argument/thesis. For example, if you chose the first suggestion as your topic:
Discuss the origins and creation of the British intelligence system.
You now have to devise an argument. What about the origins and creation of British intelligence? What do you want to say about? What you dont want to do is restate the origins of it. I know how it was created, you want to offer something original, why was it created? After reading about it, you may conclude that you disagree with the conventional story of its creation and have a different take on things. You still use books written by historians on the subject to prove your point but rather than repeating their arguments (which is tempting to do) you will use their work to prove your thesis and ideas.
Topics (you may devise your own but seek approval first):
Discuss the origins and creation of the British intelligence system.
Discuss Pearl Harbour as an intelligence failure for both the U.S. and Japan.
Discuss the role that intelligence played in Operation Barbarossa in June 1941.
Discuss the role that partisan or underground organizations had during WW II in ONE of the following countries/regions: France, the USSR, Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece, or Southeast Asia.
Discuss the importance of Ultra to the Allied victory in Europe during WW II. Discuss Soviet efforts to learn about American atomic bomb research to 1949.
What role did VENONA play in the early stages of the Cold War?
Detail the operations and importance of the Cambridge Five for Soviet espionage.
Discuss American covert operations in ONE of the following cases: Iran 1946-53, Guatemala 1951-55, Thailand 1950-1975, Vietnam 1954-1964, Cuba 1959-1963, Congo 1960-1963, Chile 1970-1973, Indonesia 1964-1966
Discuss security threats to Canada between 1864 and 1939.
Discuss the origins and effectiveness of Chinese intelligence from 1949-1970 How important was the defection of Igor Gouzenko in 1945?
Discuss the development and importance of intelligence services in, or involving the crisis or conflict in ONE of the following countries during the Cold War: Iran, Israel, Northern Ireland, East Germany, South Africa, Canada
Discuss the role of women in espionage during the 20th century, using specific examples.
Discuss the role of race and ethnicity in espionage during the 20th century, using specific examples.
Relate the treatment or characterization of espionage in one major spy novel series or spy film(s) of your choosing to the evolution of that genre.
Discuss the role that terrorism has played in affecting the development of intelligence agencies. Think about specific countries, chronological periods, and/or specific terrorist related events.
Discuss the organization and impact of ONE terrorist organization or network of terrorist organizations.
Produce a biography of a notable individual in espionage: an agent, an operative, or a director or founder of a service or agency.
Discuss the relationship between the laws of a particular country and the practice of intelligence.
Discuss the use of a particular technology in espionage.
Discuss the current operation of one or a group of related intelligence agencies. You might want to focus on one country or do a more comparative approach.

Discuss the roles that intelligence services might play in this post-Cold War era.
Discuss the impact of recent information leaks/whistle blowers like Wikileaks and Edward Snowden on intelligence agencies in the United States. You should aim to historicize this topic. As in, what was new about these leaks and what wasnt or about the surveillance conducted.
Discuss the role of Russian disinformation as a tactic, whats new what isnt, why does it work? Discuss the PRCs use of the UFWD. Is it effective? A threat? Why? Why not?


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