Confederation: the Division of Powers
Your assignment asks you to examine an historical issue of current interest and to consider what can be said about it in public context. The format is a talk to a high school class. Topics flow from significant anniversaries, but as you will see below, there are
plenty of different angles and approaches, from politics to everyday life.
Imagine that a high school teacher has decided to invite you, as an intelligent historian, to give a talk to her students on an issue of importance in Canadian history. Your assignment is to write a 2000-word talk (aimed at grade 12 students) that answers one of the questions below. What would you tell the students?
You should write the talk as though you will read it to the students. By this we mean: write the text you would use in the actual talk. Don?t tell us what you might say ? write what you would actually say.
This is a twist on a standard essay.
It is an essay in the sense that it should: build from careful reading and intelligent analysis; have an argument; use evidence and information, gathered through careful research, to illustrate key claims and arguments; be written in full sentences and proper paragraphs; use proper referencing (Chicago-style
footnotes). It is not a standard essay in that you are not writing it for a professor or TA. It is a public talk, aimed at high school students, so you will need to think about your assignment a bit differently than you would for a straight-up research essay. Aim your talk at a group of Grade 12 students. How does the potential audience affect your tone, your approach, etc.? How much background information do you have to provide? How can you make the topic engaging without losing complexity, nuance, and detail?
When marking this assignment, we will consider the following questions:
? Is the analysis thoughtful and intelligent?
? Is the research thorough and complete?
? Does the talk make rigorous and substantive use of evidence?
? Is the writing clear and understandable?
? Is the paper well organized?
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