According to Drakulic, what were the main challenges of everyday life under communism?

Published by Jeannie R. Ferrell

Nov 17, 2022


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Read the following chapters in Slavenka Drakulic’s How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed: Introduction, Chapters 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 19
Based on this reading, write a 3-4-page paper on the difficulties of life under communism. More specifically, your paper should answer the following questions:
1. According to Drakulic, what were the main challenges of everyday life under communism? Describe a representative example from at least three chapters in your answer (i.e., three total examples).
2. To what extent is Drakulic biased? Do her biases impact the reliability of her perspective on communism and its problems?
3. Based on your response to the previous two questions, what does Drakulic’s book reveal about the reasons why communism eventually collapsed in the late 1980s?
2. Outside Sources: DO NOT use outside sources such as Wikipedia or an online summary of the book (e.g., Bookrags) – you must rely exclusively on the book and your own thoughts.
o The paper must be at least three pages and must not exceed four pages.
o The paper must be double-spaced with 1” margins in Times New Roman 12-pt. font.
o The pages must be numbered.
o State your thesis clearly and succinctly in your first paragraph and be sure to stick to the argument throughout the paper. For an assignment of this length, the introductory paragraph should be between 1/3 and 1/2 of a page long, or about 3-5 sentences.
o Be specific in your thesis; do not just write a thesis that states, “Communism had many problems.” Instead, briefly list the problems Drakulic identifies with communism and make an argument about how they contributed to its collapse.
o Most of the subsequent paragraphs will address question #1 above but be sure to also devote a paragraph to question #2 (separate from the conclusion). Question #3 may be addressed in the conclusion, though the best papers will do so throughout.
o Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence introducing the main theme or argument for that paragraph.
o Generally, paragraphs should not be longer than 3/4 of a page. The point of the argument gets lost if the paragraph is too long, so avoid paragraphs spanning over a page in length. By the same token, a paragraph should typically be longer than one or two sentences, since short paragraphs make it hard to develop an analytical point.
o Your conclusion should summarize your main argument(s), but the best papers will use the conclusion as an opportunity to build on your argument and analysis.
o The paper should use a few important quotes or phrases from the book in constructing its argument. Use these quotes as evidence to prove that argument.
o The meaning of a quotation is frequently not self-evident; if you use quotes, be sure you analyze them or explain how they relate to the main argument if need be.
o To cite the book, use parenthetical citations after a quote, e.g., (Drakulic, 23).
o Do not merely insert a quote into a sentence. Instead, set it up briefly. For example:
 WRONG: “That’s a good bake.”
 RIGHT: Mary Berry exclaimed, “That’s a good bake.”
***only cite the book. No outside sources.


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