Shrinkage of the Aral Sea

My final report is about the shrinkage of the Aral Sea.  I will be concentrating on four points.    The first point is the cause of the shrinkage of the Aral Sea.  I will discuss how the Soviets in Moscow wanted to harvest great quantities of cotton from Central Asia.  In order to do this, they used the Aral Sea for irrigation to such an extent that the sea’s area shrank by 44%.  This caused many health and environmental consequences for Central Asia.

The environmental consequences that I will discuss include flooding due to poor drainage systems, the poisoning of water and soil by pesticides used to grow the cotton, dust storms, and deforestation. The health consequences I plan on discussing include starvation, infant mortality, contaminated breast milk, and the prevalence of water-born illnesses such as typhoid, hepatitis, and dysentery.

The final point of discussion will be the possibility of rebuilding the Aral Sea, along with the successes that have occurred since the collapse of the USSR.

I will need to continue doing more research for my report.  I am anticipating that the most challenging part of the project for me will not be the material, but the technological aspect of creating a website.  This is the part that I will need to dedicate the most time to, as I have never done anything like it before.

So far, I have learned the importance of examining sources on multiple levels.  First, getting articles from reliable databases, such as JSTOR, helps. Also, the fact that some of the authors I cited were cited in other scholarly articles gives more credibility to the authors. It is also important to have articles written by professionals, such as historians and scientists, and not university students or bloggers. The author’s credentials separate a scholarly article from an unscholarly article.

I also had to make sure, especially in the scientific texts, that I understood the point of the article. If an article is too difficult to comprehend, then it is pointless to cite it.

As for my critique of Evernote, my only issue was that it changed the format of the bibliography.  I found it easier to use Microsoft Word.

Here is my annotated bibliography:

annotated bibliography HIST 254

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