Project #93850 - Research Essay: Darkness At Noon

Research Essay (Paper)

  • Due Dec 1 by 11:59pm
  • Points 100
  • Submitting a text entry box or a file upload (Turnitin enabled)
  • Available until Dec 1 at 11:59pm

Research Essay: Darkness at Noon


The book, Darkness at Noon, is an analysis of the way that the Communist Party seemingly attacked itself during the 1930s. It examines the motivations, goals and fears of the Russian Communists.


You are to write a paper addressing the following question:


What does Koestler mean by the concepts of 'anti-vivisection morality' and ‘grammatical fiction’? Describe/define these the concepts. Why was 'anti-vivisection morality' incompatible with Stalinist Russia? How does the concept 'grammatical fiction apply to Stalinist Soviet Society?  Are there any precedents for these ideas  in Russian history/culture or were they a uniquely Communist feature?





This is the course paper. As you answer the main question, be sure to put your discussion in broader historical context, relate it to the themes of the entire course. Explain how the issues discussed by Koestler connect to the previous experiences in Russian history we covered in class.


In order to answer these questions you MUST utilize at least 2 (two) outside sources. These may be books, articles, or documents from among the primary readings available on the class website.


You are writing a formal paper, so be sure to start the paper with a brief introduction that includes a thesis statement.  End the paper with a formal conclusion. You are free to utilize any footnoting system you desire, as long as it remains consistent throughout the paper. If you are utilizing outside sources, please cite their information on a separate Works Cited page.


Your paper is due in lecture on December 2nd  (Canvas  AND hard copy).



When writing the paper, you need to observe the following guidelines:


  • Avoid long quotations.  Numerous long quotes will lead to a lowering of the grade.
  • Papers that make full use of the book and utilize well supported arguments, buttressed by suitable evidence to answer the questions and present a well-organized, logical argument will receive a high grade.
  • Papers that only lightly rely on the book, are not well-organized, have numerous grammatical error, and are not logical in argument will receive a lower grade. 
  • The paper is to be double-spaced, with one-inch margins,12-point type, and paragraphs are to be indented.
  • The paper length should be about 5-6 pages, typed, double-spaced (approximately 1500-1800 words). The length limits are not rigid, but if you find yourself writing much less or much more than the suggested amount, it may indicate a problem in understanding or fulfilling the assignment.



Some Advice:

A good paper is one that is built around a clear structure, so you should OUTLINE the main points of your paper before you start writing. It’s easier to overhaul your outline than it is to overhaul a fully-written paper, so spend some time thinking about the structure of your paper before you launch into the writing.


Good writing is clear writing.


Your paper should have a clear introduction (conforming to the specific guidelines below), a body (in which you flesh out your argument with evidence, and consider alternative arguments), and a conclusion (in which you summarize your argument and findings and “open” the paper to consideration of broader themes). Write the paper in coherent paragraphs. Each paragraph should flow naturally and logically from the previous paragraph, and on to the next paragraph, following a clear train of argument.


Don’t cheat.

It’s not nice.




Subject History
Due By (Pacific Time) 12/01/2015 12:00 am
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