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Topic: Nixon's Visit to China (1972) History Research Paper (Research Paper Sample)


The requirements of the research paper are attached in the following file. Please read it in detail and spend more time on the plan of how to write it. This essay will make up a high percentage of the course. Please answer all questions and write logically. Thank you very much for your help. Please contact me if you have any questions.


SISU 212: China, Japan, & United States


Research Paper


Topic: Nixon's Visit to China (1972) 


The Purpose:

The purpose of the research paper is for students to individually research a historical event or phenomenon that happened in modern/contemporary China and Japan. Students will research the historical significance of the event in Chinese or Japanese history, and how the event impacted present-day China/Japan.   

The Content:

The research paper should address six themes.

  1. What historical factors/backgrounds caused this event to happen?
  2. Who were the main actors in this event? Who was affected?
  3. What were the key happenings/characteristics of the event? Any debates or controversies?
  4. How was this event significant to the country’s domestic politics/society?
  5. How was this event significant to the country’s interaction with other countries?
  6. What impact or legacy did this event have?  


  1. Separate Title Page. Include the title of the paper, the date, and your name.
  2. Page Length and Font: 6 to 8 pages (Title Page and Bibliography Page are not included).

The font should be Times New Roman 12, double space.

  1. Separate Bibliography Page: List the sources used for research. There should be a minimum of 7 sources (Wikipedia cannot be one of the seven sources).

*If you choose to use a foreign language source, then you should translate the title of the source into English.



  1. Whichever citation you use (Chicago, APA, MLA, etc.) be consistent.
  2. Use End Notes, or Foot Notes for citation. Do not use parenthetical citations.


Style and Grammar:


  1. Personal opinions are not appropriate for the research paper. The paper should not include phrases such as “I feel that …”
  2. It is important for the reader (the professor) to be able to read and understand your paper. Points will be taken off for serious grammatical, stylistic, and punctuation errors that make meanings of the sentences and paragraphs unclear and hard to follow. Be sure to proofread your paper before submission.


Helpful Tips:


  1. In your research and writing process, do not just jump right into writing. Reflect, take notes, think about the arguments/observations being made by the authors of your sources.  In writing the research paper, provide examples and evidence that defend your analysis and conclusion.
  2. If you need help in researching or writing the paper, please contact the professor to schedule an online office hour.


Submission Deadlines:


Submission of Research Outline/Draft: Oct.30th


The outline may be simply an introduction of the research paper, or a rough draft of the entire paper.    * More content is submitted, more feedback the professor can give.


Submission of Final Research Paper: Nov. 6th






Grading Rubric:

Title Page (2%): 

Include the title of the paper, the date, and your name 


Introduction (5%) (no longer than half a page)

Briefly introduce the topic of the research paper, the significance of the historical event your research paper is about.


Main Body Content (70%)

The research paper should address six themes.

1.What historical factors/backgrounds caused this event to happen?

2.Who were the main actors in this event? Who was affected?

3. What were the key happenings/characteristics of the event? Any debates or controversies?

4.How was this event significant to the country’s domestic politics/society?

5.How was this event significant to the country’s interaction with other countries?

6. What impact or legacy did this event have?  


Conclusion (5%) (no longer than half a page)

What was your personal impression after researching this topic?

(Did you learn something new?  interesting? provoking? disappointing? Did your research make you more/less appreciate the importance of this historical event?)

(Only for the conclusion section, you may use a personal pronoun).


Reference Page, Citations, Format, Grammer (12%)

At the end, list minimum of 7 sources you used for the research (Wikipedia cannot be one of the 7 sources).

Use consistent citation format (MLA, Chicago, etc). 

Also attach foot notes or end notes for citations. Parenthetical Citations will not be accepted.


Final Research Paper Draft Grade: (94%)

Submission of Research Topic Proposal: (1%)

Submission of Research Paper Outline: (5%)


Total Grade: 100%


Xikun Wang
The Presidential visit by Nixon to China in 1972 set the stage for strategic engagement between America and the People’s Republic of China. This was a first step in a series of events that would normalize the ties among the two countries. China was by then headed by a communist party that grabbed power from their nationalist counterparts through a civil war in 1949. As a result, the United States was a sworn enemy of the PRC based on its communist links. Furthermore, the potential of communism to spread in Asia and Europe also posed a significant risk to the United States due to the differences in ideologies. However, a potential falling out between the PRC and the Soviets along their borders provided an opportunity for the U.S. to befriend China and undermine the Soviets. As a result, the Nixon visit to China enabled the United States to influence the largest communist powers and improve its position as a global driver of democracy and liberal rights.[Connolly, Chris. “The American Factor: Sino-American Rapprochement and Chinese Attitudes to the Vietnam War, 1968–72.” Cold War History 5, no.4, 2005: 502]
Historical factors Surrounding the Visit
The war between North and South Vietnam caused complications, with the South exceedingly overwhelmed by its aggressors. The PRC and the Soviet Union supported the North with both monetary and military assistance against the South. The aim was to increase the communist base in Asia by influencing South Vietnam. However, conflicts began to form between the PRC and the Soviets leading to a confrontation. With the United States unable to adequately provide a lasting solution to the war, this conflict provided an opportunity to leverage the Soviet Union. A meeting with the Soviets was continually undermined and delayed; thus, this offered a chance for the U.S. to quicken things up and sign the necessary agreements with them. By intervening and meeting with the PRC, the U.S. could create a rift between the two nations slowing down the continued spread of communism. Gaining leverage over the soviets would enable the United States to impose their abilities over issues such as the Vietnam war. This means that having China as an ally would enable it to use them as a medium to contain Vietnam. Additionally, this also provided an opportunity for China to gain a partner to prevent the possibility of attacks from the Soviets based on their growing hostilities. An alliance would also improve trade relations enabling the economic growth of China after a series of devastating civil wars and isolation over the years.[Connolly, Sino-American Rapprochement, 504] [Connolly, 502]

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