Skip to Main Content
live chat

HIS356: The Global Cold War

Start here to complete the different phases of your final project

The major research and writing for this course centers around a single project that covers the entirety of the Cold War and beyond. Each student will pick any country in the Third World (possible choices include Vietnam, Afghanistan, Angola, Algeria, Guatemala, Cuba, and Kenya, to name a few) caught between Soviet and American interests during the Cold War. You will seek out resources that detail the economic, political, and cultural history of that country, its experiences during the Cold War, and the overall consequences of this period in history on that country since the end of the Cold War. 

The project will be completed in four phases throughout the semester: project proposal, cultural history, annotated bibliography, and a presentation. Click on the following tabs for help with each phase of the assignment.

In this phase, you will do preliminary research on your chosen country. Specifically, what are the most significant challenges/situations faced by your chosen country between 1945 and the present as they relate to the Cold War and its after effects? You will also want to ensure that you are able to find primary and secondary sources on economic, political and cultural changes your country has faced related to the Cold War to the present.

Start with these background information databases to find overview resources and eBooks on your chosen country. Click on one of these databases (or use more than one), and type in your country name and "Cold war" as the search term. For example: Algeria "cold war"

Next, you can use the OneSearch tool in the Search Tools box below (scroll down) to find scholarly articles on your country and the Cold War. Use the same search strategy that we used above.

In addition to at least 3 secondary sources, you will also need to find at least 2 primary sources for this phase. Use the resources in the Finding Primary Sources tab.

For this phase, you will collect at least 4 primary sources and 4 secondary sources related to the culture of your country (by culture think how people with shared values live—specifically through writing, literature, art, music, language, beliefs, values, etc). Your goal is to write a thesis-based paper explaining the evolution of your country’s culture(s) from before the start of the Cold War, up into the present.

For the secondary sources, let's search the Library's OneSearch tool. In the OneSearch box below, type in your country and culture. For example, Vietnam culture. Then click the search button.  Note: The most useful sources for this part will likely be eBooks/chapters.  Click on the Table of Contents link for a book to jump to a specific chapter.

Table of contents link on eBook found in OneSearch

For primary sources, review the collections listed in the Finding Primary Sources tab. In addition, for present-day culture of your country, consider TV shows, movies, YouTube, newspaper articles, etc. You want to understand the culture of your chosen country, not through American eyes.

These might be found using a Google search. Example search: Vietnam "cold war" culture
Use the filters to find different types of sources.
vietnam "cold war" culture in google search box limited to videos

Be sure to evaluate sources that you find on the open web.

You can also check out the library's newspapers guide:

This assignment will focus on evidence related to the Soviet and American relationship with your given country during the Cold War (as well as other countries that may be relevant, such as China, Cuba, etc), as well as sources that relate to the country's experiences since the end of the Cold War, up to the present day. You should include at least 6 secondary sources (such as eBooks, peer-reviewed journal articles and reference materials) and 3 primary sources.

Start with these subject-specific history databases to search for scholarly articles and eBooks. Click on a database name to search:

Here is an example search strategy that you can try. Think about the topic and then put each main idea into it's own box. This tells the database that we want sources about Guatemala, the "cold war" and they have to mention Soviet or American.Searching the historial abstracts database for guatemala, "Cold war," and soviet or american or "united states"

  • Search tip: Use or between synonyms within the same box to return ANY of the words.
  • Search tip: Use quotation marks around phrases that you want searched exactly as written. Otherwise, each word would be searched separately. For example: "Cold war" instead of cold and war.

If you need additional sources after trying these databases, try the same search in OneSearch. It's good to use a combination of search tools and resources when researching to get the best possible results. OneSearch searches most of the library's 100+ databases at the same time across all subject areas. Reminder: you also need primary sources for this phase.

Below are a few resources to help with annotated bibliographies. Reminder: Do not copy the abstract when doing annotations for your annotated bibliography. You need to write the annotation yourself after reading the source.

Compile the work on the first three phases of the project into a historically-focused presentation. Elaborate upon and explain all the evidence and ideas you have studied throughout the term related to your chosen country. You may use the presentation software of your choice. Suggestions include: Prezi, Adobe Spark, Microsoft Powerpoint, Canva, and VoiceThread.

Your presentation must discuss the following:

  1. Your introduction slide must include a clear thesis statement that articulates your overall argument about the country's experiences related to the Cold War and thereafter.
  2. The history of your country up to the start of the Cold War
  3. The effects of the Cold War on the country's politics, culture, and economy
  4. The post-Cold War experiences of your country up to and including its current global standing.

All slides should provide evidence and analysis that clearly relates back to the thesis statement from your introductory slide. Cite your evidence within each slide and leave the final slide for a list of references.

Search Tools

Library's OneSearch


 Find articles, eBooks, etc.

Switch to Advanced Search


Note: This tool searches cover titles only, it does not search for article titles or within the text.

Google Scholar Search

Selected Cold War eBooks

Searching Help

Helpful Tips & Tutorials