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The Common People versus Oppressive Russia

by ImHero


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Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:59 pm
tamtam97 wrote a review...



I realize this is long, but this piece would be stronger (and funnier) if it wasn't as easy to argue against. I'd consider focusing and then coming up with more compelling and/or humorous examples. Keep writing! :)




ImHero says...


two Russian Revolutions in three pages?! This is short! :) And defiantly not fun, just a boring old essay so I agree somewhat:)



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Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:53 am
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polinkacreations wrote a review...



Well, hello there once again!
Since not only am I a huge history fanatic, I am also a Russian - thus, your piece instantly grabbed my attention. So, two things then: nitpicks, and content review -
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Nitpicks:
- Russian citizen (should be a small c)
- There should be no comma after "over many years" - otherwise it sounds like the Russian people mismanaged themselves
- I understand you want to show that you're quoting, but is it necessary to do it after each sentence? I think you'd be better off to write a couple of lines, then source the historian. Unless you've been taught otherwise.
- "anti-Bolsheviks soldiers, and everyone who opposed the Bolsheviks Party" = those two are the same thing :D Include the Tsarists, SR's and anti-Bolsheviks in there (it's more specific)
- About.com? My history teacher would kill you for that:D It's like sourcing wikipedia, my friend. Be careful where you source from. Books are best. If not, articles. A great site for that is jstor.com (saved me plenty of times, that one).

Content:
- First paragraph. Hmmm. Here's where my historical critique comes into place. You see, if this is a history essay, then my teacher would instantly cross out the first paragraph since though it is very nicely written, it does not present fact, merely opinion of the writer. Judging by that you do have sources at the end, it is an essay. So, I suggest you cut down the poetic angle from the first paragraph, and leave the facts. Say when the Civil War happened, who started it, why it happened. (Although I don't actually know the essay title. The one that's in the heading isn't focused enough).
- There wasn't talk about Bolshevism taking over the world - if you remember, Trotsky believed in that ideology whilst Lenin did not have such intentions at all. He had enough problems within Russia to deal with.
- Also, don't forget that Bolsheviks took power with no resistance whatsoever because power was left lying around by the incompetent Provisional Government. That anti-climactic episode slightly undermines your epic tale of Russian people seeking revenge and being suppressed all the time.
- Second paragraph: "Failed attempts"?? I'd say the Emancipation of the Serfs (souls) in 1861 was quite the major change in people's lives! It changed the entire hierarchy of the country, its economy, legal system, social order....
- The rest of that paragraph is very good - concise, to the point and sourced well. Great job!
- "mainly because of Lenin’s Political leadership" - when you make sweeping statements like that, it's a good idea to back it up with some fact. I would disagree with you on that one, since Trotsky was the war hero in the Civil War whilst Lenin did little compared to him.
- "The Bolsheviks could have easily been stopped with the introduction of more countries against the party." - well, you see, you say that, but don't forget that WW1 was just over and the death toll for it was absolutely devastating - everyone, the mothers girlfriends and daughters wanted their men back! All other countries had their own dead/wounded to deal with, moreover there was the task of getting the economy back on track. There was no time for Russia, nobody wanted to deal with it - and for good reason! So, unless you back up your statements with fact, it's easy for me to counter you:)
- Funny thing you mention the League of Nations. The only time I'd source that organisation is when I'm talking about the failure to collectively preserve peace. Not a good example of countries actually making any progress...
- I like the last sentence. Powerful, inspiring.
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Conclusion:
- To be honest, I don't quite see what you're arguing here. You presented the facts (although not enough of them, me thinks), and stated your opinions on the matter (once again, not really backing them up). The subject you're writing about is fascinating and worth exploring, but I feel this essay hasn't done it justice.
- Your style of writing is good. You've obviously done research - good. BUT. Make your essay more precise, create yourself a question then explore it. It has to have more focus, more structure. That is essential in getting good marks in history - shows you know what you're talking about and you are ready to argue your point of view.
- For instance: "The Russian people were suppressed by the Bolshevik government and were helpless against them." Then, go ahead and give both sides of that argument. Or, phrase it as a question: "Were the Russian people suppressed by the Bolshevik government?" Then, a couple paragraphs for 'yes' and a couple for 'no', then conclusion.

Sorry if I'm nitpicky, I love history very much and though I may have sounded negative, I did enjoy reading this piece, and would love to see some more if you ever post more!
Keep up the great work!
~Polinka





As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
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