Assignment 1.1: Article Abstract and Personal Reflection

Weight: 10% of final grade
Due Date: Friday 29 January

The purpose of this assignment is to have you
a) read an article or textbook selection critically, paying particular attention to the author’s main argument(s) and approach to the subject matter
b) provide a brief summary of the supporting evidence and arguments used to substantiate the thesis
c) reflect on the ideas and arguments raised in the reading and relate them to your own experience
d) express your ideas clearly in writing


Choose ONE of the following articles/readings from Modules 1 and 2:
  • George F. Stanley, “The Beginning of the Volunteer System in Canada, 1840-1867,” in Course Reader (Lesson 2)
  • Desmond Morton, “French Canadian Troops in the Northwest Campaign,” in Keshen and Durflinger, War and Society in Post-Confederation Canada (Lesson 3)
  • Mike O’Brien, “Manhood and the Militia Myth: Masculinity, Class and Militarism in Ontario, 1902-1914,” in Keshen and Durflinger, War and Society in Post-Confederation Canada (Lesson 4)
  • Desmond Morton, “Canada’s Expeditionary Force: The Canadian Contingent in South Africa, 1899-1900,” in Course Reader (Lesson 4)
  • Barry Gough and Roger Sarty, “Sailors and Soldiers: The Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Forces, and the Defence of Atlantic Canada, 1890-1914,” in Course Reader (Lesson 4)
  • Paul Dickson, “The End of the Beginning: The Canadian Corps in 1917,” in Course Reader (Lesson 5)
  • Roger Sarty, “Hard Luck Flotilla: The RCN’s Atlantic Coast Patrol, 1914-1918,” in Course Reader (Lesson 5)
  • Jeff Keshen, “Words as Weapons…,” in War and Society in Post-Confedeation Canada (Lesson 6)
Write a 2-4 page essay (around 500 to 1000 words) in which you identify the subject of the reading, the author’s thesis (or main argument) and the kinds of evidence used to substantiate that thesis.
Assess the reading in two ways. First, explain whether or not you found the argument convincing, and why (or why not). Second, try to relate what you learned from the reading to your own experience in the Canadian military (or as a Canadian citizen).

Enclose the passages you cite in quotation marks (if quoted word for word) and indicate the source of the reference (author’s name, title, and page number) in a footnote or endnote. You will find more information in the Citation Guidelines link.

Present your essay in typed, 12-point font, double-spaced format. Avoid exceeding the specified length.
Your essay will be graded on content (your understanding of the reading/article), presentation, and writing (grammar, syntax, etc.).
Post to the Discussion Forum for Assignment 1.1. Read one other persons abstract and comment.