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12 Modern History Comparative Essay

Comparative historical analysis

Task description

For this task you will be required to complete a Historical Analysis of 1200-1500 words.

You must complete a comparative analysis of one key theme or feature of the Hitler and Stalin dictatorships.

Your question is “Compare the role of (insert your topic) in the dictatorships of Stalin and Hitler up to 1939.”

  • Select your theme or feature
  • Confirm the topic and question with your teacher
  • Research a variety of sources
  • Draft a plan that compares the two dictatorships
  • Write final essay which should include an equal focus on each dictatorship
  • Use in text referencing and a correctly formatted bibliography using Citemaker

Outcomes being assessed

MH 12-8 plans and conducts historical investigations and presents reasoned conclusions, using relevant evidence from a range of sources

Secondary Sources: background information and recommended websites

Secondary Sources: Reference encyclopedia

Secondary sources: journal articles and ebook chapters

Secondary Sources: Academic journals or magazines 

Articles from periodicals, magazines or journals is referred to as 'Journal literature'. Journal articles provide valid, reliable and up-to-date information on your topic.

Use History Reference Source & JSTOR to find academic journal articles. 


*You'll need to access these databases on the CANVAS Library page when you're at home

State Library of NSW

catalogue   |   online eResources

Find books and other published material in the State Library of NSW catalogue. This catalogue also includes ebooks.

New South Wales residents with a Library card or a registered NSW public library card can access these resources from anywhere, anytime. 


Search Google Scholar


  • Google Scholar is an immense database of scholarly literature
  • Search Google Scholar after you have refined your search and are looking for specific information.


Assessment details and links

Acceptable themes or features must not go beyond 1939 and could include the following:

  • Propaganda and/or censorship
  • Terror/repression
  • Consolidation of power
  • Prisons/camps
  • The Party
  • Cult of Personality
  • Youth
  • Women
  • Religion
  • Opposition
  • Social and/or cultural changes
  • Economic changes
  • Foreign policy
  • Consent and popularity
  • Ideology
  • Totalitarianism
  • A student developed key theme or feature (this must be negotiated with your teacher before you begin research for the task)

Secondary Sources: Books

Search for books in our collection.

Use Cite this title (APA format) to copy your book to your Bibliography.



Resources at Willoughby Library

  • Use the catalogue to find books.

Primary Source Material