17.565 | Spring 2019 | Undergraduate

Israel: History, Politics, Culture, Identity


Final Paper

The final paper is an independent research project on a topic agreed upon between students and the instructor. It should be based on about 6–8 scholarly articles, or on their equivalent (like books’ chapters), and on additional material if needed.

Topic, paper’s outline, main argument, and the bibliography will need to be discussed with the instructor in advance and agreed upon before you begin writing. 

There is no required range of pages for the final paper. Once you feel that you have covered and discussed the topic in all its aspects, as they are presented in your bibliography, and that you have also addressed the main argument as it was agreed upon, then it is a good sign for you to stop writing. However, 8–18 pages, double spaced, font 12 can serve as a good measure stick for the length of the paper.

As mentioned in class more than once, the instructor will also be happy to read draft papers before the final submission.

Possible Topics

  • Israeli Settlements, 1967–2019
  • The Palestinian National Movement
  • The Israeli Occupation
  • How Jewish is the Jewish State?
  • The Holocaust in Israeli Identity
  • The Haredim
  • Jewish Religious Radicalism: The Movement to Build the Third Temple
  • The Israeli Military
  • The Israeli Economy
  • Israel’s Hi-Tech and Startups Industry
  • Israel’s Security Industry
  • Israel’s Aerospace Industry
  • Israel’s Higher Education System
  • The Arab Citizens of Israel
  • Israel’s Popular Music as an Expression of Israeli Identity
  • Israeli Architecture
  • Israeli Literature
  • Israeli Film and Israeli Identity
  • Is Israel a Militaristic State?
  • The Israeli Diaspora
  • US-Israeli Relationships
  • The BDS Movement
  • The American Jewish Community and Israel
  • Or any other topic that you want to explore

Student Examples

“The Establishment, Perpetuation, and Rejection of Normativity in Israeli Cinema” (PDF)

“The Shift in Israeli Identity Towards Nationalism and a More Religious State” (PDF)

These examples appear courtesy of MIT students and are anonymous by request.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2019