INI304H Assignments

INI304S1 Assignment Schedule 2020

Date Assignment Value
February 11 Critical Analysis (1,500 words) 20%
April 3 Research Essay (3,000 words) 40%
March 31 Term Test (2 hours) 20%
  Class participation 20%
  Final grade 100%


Essay Writing Assignment #1: Critical Analysis

The first assignment in INI304H is a 1,500-word (5-6 double-spaced pages typed in 12 point font) critical analysis of the “official story.” The assignment is due on Tuesday 11 February 2020. Read carefully and respond methodically to the following proposition:

In 1979, the Final Report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded “that the Warren Commission's investigation was conducted in good faith, competently, and with high integrity, but that the Warren Report was not, in some respects, an accurate presentation of all the evidence available to the Commission or a true reflection of the scope of the Commission's work, particularly on the issue of possible conspiracy in the assassination. It is a reality to be regretted that the Commission failed to live up to its promise” (261).

In terms of the judgement rendered by the HSCA, critically evaluate the validity and soundness or strength and cogence of the premises and conclusions based on deductive or inductive reasoning presented in The Warren Commission Report.

A considerable amount of class time is being devoted to the nature of critical analysis and the strategy for composing this form of argument. Particular attention will be devoted to focusing the analysis on very specific piece of evidence which contributes to a specific conclusion linked to a broader conclusion. The review will be evaluated in accordance with the criteria outlined in the Evaluation Checklist posted on the website.

Essay Writing Assignment #2: Research Essay

The evidence of conspiracy in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 is comprehensive and controversial. This research essay assignment of no more than 3,000 words (10-12 pages) in length challenges you to find and to evaluate evidence (according to the principles of critical thinking addressed in this course) in order to analyze critically the role of one of the following potential participants in the alleged assassination conspiracy and/or coverup.

(a) Organized crime (also referred to as the Mafia or the “mob”)
(b) The anti-Castro Cubans
(c) Communists (Cubans and/or Soviets)
(d) The FBI (especially Director J. Edgar Hoover)
(e) The Dallas Police Department (including the County Sheriff’s Office)
(f) The Secret Service
(g) The CIA and/or other military intelligence agencies
(h) Vice President Lyndon Johnson (Kennedy’s successor)
(i) Texas oil magnates and right-wing affiliates
(j) The "military-industrial complex"
(k) The House Select Committee on Assassinations (perpetuation of coverup?)
(l) The mainstream media (short-term and long-term contribution to coverup?)
(m) Lee Harvey Oswald (with accomplices)

This topic requires research from eight to ten reliable sources. Michael Griffith’s article, “Suspects in the JFK Assassination” offers a useful overview which can serve as a starting point

As an alternative, you may also consider focusing on one of the following topics:

The use and/or abuse of factual evidence either by the Warren Commission or by pro-conspiracy sources

The use and/or abuse of eyewitness testimony either by the Warren Commission or by pro-conspiracy sources

The use and/or abuse of expert opinion either by the Warren Commission or by pro-conspiracy sources

The use and/or abuse of logical evidence either by the Warren Commission or by pro-conspiracy sources

The evidentiary controversy surrounding the Jim Garrison investigation and trial of Clay Shaw

The evidentiary controversy surrounding the investigation and report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations

The media’s role in the coverage of the JFK assassination or in the defense of the Warren Commission or in its representation of the conspiracy perspective

In the "Other Assigned Readings" section of the website Forum, you will find a selected "JFK Assassination Bibliography," consisting of the major published books on various aspects of this subject, as well as the "JFK Assassination Readings Online." These reading list represent a starting point for research, which can be bolstered through further consultation with me as the specific focus of the essay evolves. Other “ Online Resources ” in my website will also be helpful in contributing ideas and further readings. I can also make you aware of other books and articles as well as authoritative internet resources that focus on your topic.

The objective of this assignment is not to reach a theoretical conclusion about who did or did not mastermind or participate in a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy and to cover up the crime. The ultimate objective of this assignment is to conduct an evidentiary analysis for the purpose of assessing the validity of claims that your chosen participant was or was not indeed a major player in this political murder mystery. It is important that the conspiracy perspectives be subjected to the same degree of critical evaluation as is the official story.

Like the first assignment, this essay is designed to assess your critical reading and analytical writing skills. Your essay will be assessed in accordance with the "Essay Evaluation Checklist" used to grade your first assignment in this course. This essay is due no later than Friday 3 April 2020, and it is worth 40% of your final grade in the course.

Late essays will be subject to a penalty of 2.5% daily. In other words, an essay originally graded as 32/40 (80%) will be reduced to 31/40 after the first day of lateness, 30/40 after the second day of lateness, 29/40 after the third day of lateness, 28/40 (70%) after the fourth day of lateness, and so on.

Essays must be documented and prepared in accordance with the MLA or University of Chicago Press format as demonstrated in the following websites: (MLA) (UCP) (APA) (MLA) (UCP) Use author-date tab (APA) (MLA) (UCP) Use Documentation II: Author/Date References (APA)


INI304H1 Take-home Term Test 31 March 2020

Compare and contrast the nature, use, and impact of the evidence presented to support the arguments in the articles by LeMoyne Snyder and D.B. Thomas (both of which are found in the weblinks below and in the "Other Assigned Readings" section of the INI304H Forum under "Snyder article" and "Thomas article" respectively). In the final analysis, how do these two articles reflect the illusion and reality of evidence?

Under normal circumstances you would have approximately 2.5 hours of class time to write out your response. But these times are not normal circumstances. Instead, you will submit your response to me as an essay of approximately 1,000 words by email ( attachment in Word (the same way as your first essay) by Tuesday 31 March at 4:00 pm.

No additional research is necessary, other than my PowerPoint lectures available on the INI304H website Forum. Likewise, no documentation is necessary. This term test is worth 20% of the final grade. or or or

The Snyder article may also be found at the following weblink: