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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

Having students engage with scholarly material to understand the process of argument development is an expectation for a university student.

However, by using a DHSS approach, your students can understand how academics develop and prove their arguments by having students use digitized materials to prove or disprove an argument. They can then visually present their findings to explain the argument for a wider audience.

Summary

Description:

  • 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

Difficulty:

  • 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 was seeing 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 photographs she digitized. She then tagged 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. Using Scalar, WordPress, or other web publishing forums, 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 across multiple pages.

This task can be done with any number of academic articles and digitized collections (if your students are not digitizing materials themselves). This task can invite creative ways for your students to think through academic arguments and the presentation of findings in a way that might get them to think about how they can develop their own arguments in a traditional assignment such as an essay or a DHSS assignment such as an exhibit.

Proving/Disproving suggestions