Western Canadian Newspapers

Today we're playing with primary sources. Pick a newspaper from early in Western Canada's history. A couple of good sources are:

(The Manitobia site has sometimes been a little bit buggy. It's got great papers, but its got a bad server.)

  • Pick one newspaper and one event,
    • perhaps Confederation,
    • the hanging of Louis Riel,
    • the beginning of World War I,
    • or the introduction of conscription in World War I.
  • Read all you can about that event.
    • Print off your article/s.
  • Then pick a second newspaper and read about the same event.
    • Print off your article/s.
  • Do the same thing with a third newspaper.

Based strictly on the newspaper accounts and using no other sources, write a brief article (about 250 words) that describes the same event the newspapers are talking about.

  • Quote freely and liberally from the three articles you have read.
    • While you should still put quotes in quotation marks, don't bother about citations for the purposes of this assignment.
  • Write with the most vivid prose you can based on the articles you've read. Don't be more descriptive than your sources.
    • While you are writing, consider how your writing differs from that of your sources.
      • Are you more accurate? Less accurate?
      • More interesting or less?
      • Why do you think that?
    • Did your sources/the authors of the articles you read actually see the events?
      • Does this make them more or less a reliable source of information than a book written 50 years after the events?
    • Try to compensate for the bias of your sources.
  • Attach your piece of writing together with your sources.


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