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Senior Exit 2

Mar 9, 1999
OK. I think I MIGHT have my topic:
"How and why has the sword evolved (or developed?) since its invention?"

Something along those lines. Keeping in mind the previous requirements (6-10 double-spaced pages, at least 5 sources, similar to a college thesis, show good research, etc). I'm primarily concerned with the amount (will I get enough?), and whether or not this is too broad a topic. I would focus on the specialization of various swords through history, not every single detail on each sword's development.

Any suggestions ( on the topic, or on how to phrase it, etc.) would be greatly appreciated.


I think you better stick to a particular geographic area. I'd pick Europe because it's easy to find references and you have a good variation of swords. You can easily follow the changes from the Roman Empire, to Migration Period, to Middle Ages, to Rennaissance and beyond. There are many books you can look into. Just take a look at Del Tin's line of swords will show you the changes.

Swords evolved because things changed. Technology, availability of resources, economic development, social/cultural/moral/religious changes, competition with advances in armor and other anti-armor weapons.

Do a page on each of these factors, give examples to how they impacted the swords of their day. Throw in an intro and conclusion. And whola, 10 pages easy.


The following is a cynical rant. Read at your own peril.

Want to learn how you get to cheat on research in college?

Step 1.

Find an unconventional theory that will catch the TA's attention.

Step 2.

Find evidence to collaborate with said theory.

Step 3.

If unable to find solid evidence, distort the facts.

Step 4.

If unable to find any facts, make 'em up.

Step 5.

Fill in the blank pages with big words.

Step 6.

Collect "A" paper.

Sorry for the rant. Academia is a pretty cynical place.

[This message has been edited by tallwingedgoat (edited 08 September 1999).]
I hadn't thought of arranging it by factors. I was planning on doing it chronologically, as well as geographically. I had thought of narrowing it down more, but I'm not sure if I can find enough, from a hostorical standpoint, on JUST European swords. Maybe I'm wrong?

If I don't localize, I can even bring it as far as what is made today, from the Ontario "katana" to the custom swords forged all over (including those made in countries other than those of their origin, like today's American custom smiths).

For the product I'm going to make a sword (or maybe a miniature, or knife) by stock removal. I want to make a heavy-type sword (or mini), and all the heavy European swords I can think of are double-edged.
Any and all opinions welcome.

If you decide to do modern swords, be sure to check out Michael Bell. He not only makes swords, but makes his own sword steel to boot. This is rather unique here in the States and might perk up the ears of your intended audience.

If it's stupid but works, then it isn't stupid.

You can find an enormous amount of information on just the European sword. In fact if you're limited to ten pages you could narrow it down to, say, the rapier, or the medieval knightly sword. You could write a whole book on either. Take a look at www.netsword.com and http://swordforum.com

-Cougar Allen :{)
TWG, the method you describe for getting an A is not a secret. The "anti's" have been using the same technique for years. Steps 1 and 6 are slightly different than you state.

Their Step 1 states: To unduly influence, through factual or emotional means, in order to acheive your own personal gains.

Their Step 6 states: Continue unfactual diatribes until goals are achieved.

Sorry to say, but it looks like they've stolen something out of your playbook.

Not the sharpest tool in the shed.

[This message has been edited by Ron L (edited 16 September 1999).]