DHSS Assignment Guides

Proving/Disproving an Argument

Proving or Disproving an Argument as a DHSS Assignment

Featuring work from Robyn Le Lacheur‘s exhibit “Looking Back: Temporal and spatial connections of post-war migration and displacement through the eyes of the Toronto Telegram

imageHaving students engage with scholarly material to understand the process of argument development is an expectation in higher education. Using a DHSS approach, your students can understand and demonstrate how academics develop and prove their arguments by using digitized material to prove or disprove an academic argument and visually present their findings to a wider audience.



  • The organization of digital materials to support or refute an argument put forth in a secondary source.

Possible tools/technologies:

  • WordPress
  • Scalar
  • Omeka
  • Word
  • PowerPoint

Elements of Process:

  • Identify a corpus of materials
  • Identify argument
  • Identify a medium for presentation
  • Sort materials as evidence for/against argument
  • Present materials

Size of assignment:

  • Medium


  • Moderate

In Robyn Le Lacheur‘s exhibit: “Looking Back: Temporal and spatial connections of post-war migration and displacement through the eyes of the Toronto Telegram,” she used photographs published by the Toronto Telegram to explore patterns of migration and settlement after World War Two. However, she also used a corpus of digitized materials to compare what she saw in these photographs to others’ analysis of similar materials.


“Woman reading The Evening Telegram,” Toronto Telegram (07/1940)

One of the comparisons she made was against Terrence Wright’s article “Moving Images: The Media Representation of Refugees“ published in Visual Studies in 2002. Robyn reviewed the article, highlighted Wright’s findings, and then assessed whether his argument held water in relation to the archive she was working with by tagging the photographs in her digital archive that aligned with Wright’s argument. 

While Robyn explored this argument in one page of a larger exhibit, your students could create a whole exhibit proving or disproving an argument found in an academic article using the digital materials explored in class. Using Scalar, WordPress, or another web publishing forum, have students demonstrate their understanding of an article and then showcase how and why they support, or contest, the scholars’ conclusions based on digital materials they would showcase across multiple pages of their exhibit.

This task can be done with any number of academic articles and digitized collections (if your students are not digitizing materials themselves) and can invite creative ways for your students to think through, and present, an academic argument for something like an exhibit.

Proving/Disproving suggestions