HIS 242 Course Quick Search

HIS 242
History of Russia II

Professors Charles Evans
and Beverly Blois

Photo of Rabochnik i kolkhoznitsa (Worker and Farm Girl) by sculptor Vera Mukhina.


ps.  I am always looking for photographs, images, slides, artifacts, etc. that I can use in my courses.  If you have anything that you think might be of use or interesting to me, please let me know.  I credit all images/materials that I use in the course.

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Contact Information
Professor Evans email cevans@nvcc.edu
Professor Evans phone 703.450.2520
Professor Evans home page novaonline.nvcc.edu/eli/evans/index.html
Professor Blois email bblois@nvcc.edu
Professor Blois phone 703.450.2503
Professor Blois home page www.nvcc.edu/home/bblois/
ELI telephone 703.323.3347 (1.888.435.6822)
ELI fax 703.323.3392
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This is the HIS 242 course website. On this page, you will find important information about the course and the links to the course assignment schedules (see below).


  • Check your specific Critical Course Deadlines. These dates can be found on the ELI home page, and they are also indicated on your course schedule (See the links below). Please make a note of these dates.
    • You must withdraw before the Last Refund Date to receive a refund.
    • You must submit your introduction paragraph or complete the Course Introduction Check quiz (see unit 1) by your First Assignment Due Date to avoid being administratively deleted from the course without a refund.
    • You must complete your Midterm Exam by your Midterm Exam Due Date or you will be withdrawn from the course.  (No Exceptions; No excuses accepted.) For your exact midterm exam due date, see your course assignment schedule linked below on this page.
    • Your Last Withdrawal Date is the last date on which you can withdraw yourself from the course using Novaconnect, without grade penalty.
    • Finally, remember, you must complete all course assignments by your official course End Date.
  • Check Novaconnect to verify your instructor's name.
  • Please note that your enrollment in this course is subject to the general ELI rules and regulations.  Please be sure to review these procedural matters now.  For an Incomplete grade in the course, a student must earn 500 points, pass the midterm exam and explain the extenuating circumstances for the incomplete request.
  • Take appropriate action now if you will need proctored examinations.
  • Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is encouraged to contact a counselor for disability services.  Contact information can be found online on the college web page.  For additional information, please contact an ELI counselor at elicounselors@nvcc.edu or 703.323.2425.  All information is kept confidential.
  • You must submit all of your assignments and extra credit through Blackboard according to the Submitting Assignments and Using Email in Your ELI History Course instructions.  (No more than one submission per calendar day will be accepted.)   Feedback on your work will be returned via e-mail, usually within 24-72 hours.
  • Please review the information on Using Blackboard for instructions on how to submit assignments, access the online discussions and view your gradebook.
  • To begin the course, review this page, click on your course assignment schedule (below), check out the information on all of the course assignments and exams and begin with unit 1 of the course.
  • Finally, please remember that you must pass the final exam with a grade of "C" (175/250) or better to earn a passing grade of "C" or better in this course.
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Required books
The text for the course is Nicholas Riasanovsky and Mark Steinberg, A History of Russia, 8th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2011, isbn 9780195341973).  Earlier editions of this textbook cover much of the same material but lack coverage of Russian events over the last twenty years.  If you wish, you can read my Explanation of why I choose this text.
You must read one of these two books in the course: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Signet Classic, isbn 9780451527097, although any edition is acceptable), or Lawrence Scott Sheets, 8 Pieces of Empire (Crown Publishers, isbn 978-0-307-39582-5; any edition is acceptable).  Please check the distance learning bookstore website for information on where and how you can purchase your textbooks; the Sheets book may not be available in the NVCC distance learning bookstore.  You may also be able to buy your books at another retail outlet or on the web. If you are wondering whether you must buy the textbook, then please watch this short video.
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Course overview
This course reviews the history of Russia from about 1900 to the present and introduces students to the world of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.  We will examine the major themes and issues that have defined Russia's recent past, and we will also take a look at some Russian cultural achievements in such areas as art, architecture, music, theatre, dance, literature and philosophy.  Although there is no formal prerequisite for this course, some basic knowledge of European history will be helpful.
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Course objectives
If you successfully complete this course, you will be able to:
  1. Define and describe the importance of some key individuals and events in Russian history
  2. Understand the general chronology and geography of Russian history
  3. Understand the main forces at work in the historical development of Russia
  4. Appreciate some of the cultural achievements of the Russians
  5. Develop an ability to analyze historical sources and reach conclusions based on that analysis
  6. Compose critical essays that explain the importance of certain historical events in Russian history
  7. Understand the role and work of the Russian historian
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Course prerequisites
Although there are no formal prerequisites for this course, please consider:
  • It is expected that students possess college-level reading and writing skills.
  • You should also have relatively good technology and web-use skills.  Please check ELI's Smartmeasure to see if you are ready for distance learning. You can also check out our short quiz, Is A Web Course for Me?
  • I highly encourage you to have taken at least one 100-level introductory history course,
  • I would recommend that you allot at least three hours a week of study time for this course.
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Course grading
Course grades are based on the following point scale:
  • 1,000-900:  A
  •    899-800:  B
  •    799-700:  C
  •    699-600:  D
  •    599-000:  F
Please be sure to check the very, very IMPORTANT Explanation of Assignments and Grading. You may also wish to have a look at the list of all the supplemental materials for the course on the Quick List of Study Aids.
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Course assignment schedule and deadlines

For fall 2012, there are different schedule versions available: For summer 2012, there are different schedule versions available: For spring 2012, there are different schedule versions available: Please make sure that you double-check your registration so that you know which one you signed up for. You can always finish faster than your course schedule, if you wish.

There are specific assignment deadlines in this course, and these are listed on the course schedule. You may not submit late extra credit work from a course unit. You may submit any of the course assignments, or optional course assignments late, but the maximum point value will then be reduced by one-half.

You are expected to make regular and steady progress in completing your assignments and examinations.  Please check your Blackboard online gradebook for your grades.  Once you begin this course, it is your responsibility to withdraw if you do not intend to finish it.  If you do not withdraw and if do not finish your course assignments, then you will receive a grade based upon the work that you have submitted.  Usually, this grade is an "F."
You can earn extra credit in the course by finding typos or broken links on the course web pages.  You can also suggest additional websites that would be useful in the course.

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Writing in the Course
Note that proper grammar, spelling and style are an inherent part of each assignment in this course.  Please check Charlie's History Writing Center for more information. (You can also watch the short YouTube video about the center.)
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We do wish to acknowledge the help and suggestions of many people in creating this course and also offer a note about copyrighted materials.


All materials on this site are copyright © 2011-12, B. Blois & C. T. Evans
For information contact cevans@nvcc.edu