Writing Guide for ANTH100 Research Paper Spring 2014
Writing Guide for ANTH100 Research Paper Spring 2014
Bibliography Deadline: Week 6 in Discussion.
Paper Deadline: Week 8, March 5, in Lecture.
Return date: We will hand the papers during Week 11,
(Students who have done poorly may get a chance to rewrite)
• You must submit both a paper copy of your research paper as well as an electronic version onto Blackboard through Safe Assign.
• The hard copy needs to be handed in at the beginning of the lecture while the electronic version must be submitted through the Blackboard website by the beginning of lecture (9:00am).
• Students who submit only one version (electronic or hard copy) of their paper, or who submit a different electronic version than hard copy of their paper may receive a zero for the assignment.
• Late Papers:
o Late papers will not be accepted without a penalty unless there is a compelling reason and only if the instructor and TA have been consulted well in advance.
o Papers that are handed in after the deadline will be marked down 10% for each day late. If it is turned in after 9:05am on March 5th it will be counted as 1 day late. Weekend days will be included in the late day count. Papers more than one week late will not be accepted.
• Cover Page with the following information:
o Title of Paper
o Name of Student
o Name of TA
o Discussion day and time
o Email address
• At least 5 full pages and no more than 7 full pages in text length (page length does not include your cover page, illustrations, and bibliography)
• 12 point font size
• Times New Roman font
• 1 inch margins on all sides
• Last name and page number on bottom right corner of every page except cover page
• Bibliography/Works Cited Page with at least 5 scholarly sources
• Use AAA (American Anthropological Association) citation formatting
• Staple the paper in the top left hand corner
• Do not use plastic covers or binders
• Avoid using 1st or 2nd person voice in the paper
Bibliography/Works Cited Deadline:
The first part of your paper that you must submit is your bibliography page. This must be submitted during Week 6 in your discussion section and will be worth 5 points of your overall paper grade. Make sure to also include which paper topic you are choosing for your paper in your bibliography. Each source should be properly cited in AAA format, be considered a scholarly source, and be relevant to your topic to receive full points.
One of the most important aspects of a research paper is to have a strong and clear thesis statement that will guide the structure of your paper. A thesis statement is essentially what you are going to argue in your paper and tells the reader the direction that your paper will be going. Your thesis statement should be in your introduction. The introduction should include your thesis statement as well as a general summary of the evidence you will be including to support your thesis. The body of your paper should be clearly organized with each paragraph containing a single flow of thought with supporting evidence. Your conclusion should restate your thesis and summarize your evidence. The approximate break-down of the points for the paper is as follows:
5 scholarly sources due week 6 5 points
Thesis Statement 10 points
Body Paragraphs, Content, and Information 50 points
Conclusion 10 points
Bibliography 5 points
Proper Formatting (cover page, works cited, page length, etc.) 10 points
Grammar and Spelling 10 points
Total 100 points
Paper Topic and Thesis:
The paper topic must be chosen from the list of approved topics provided at the end of this writing guide. Once you have defined your research topic, you must include a thesis statement in the first paragraph of your paper. A thesis statement should provide an overview of your argument in one or two sentences. A strong thesis statement takes a stand, is specific, and expresses one main idea.
Writing the paper:
You should be especially careful to write the paper using clear and accurate spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. Before handing in the paper, you may wish to read it out loud, several times. This will help you find awkward sentences, grammatical errors, and other mistakes which you may skip over while simply scanning the paper with your eyes. A clear and logical narrative flow is not just a matter of style; it is critical in the formation and presentation of the research topic. We cannot evaluate the quality of the research if the writing is cluttered with grammatical mistakes, run-on sentences, and jumps of logic.
KEEP IN MIND that this is an Anthropological paper. Your sources and the way in which you approach the topic must be anthropological. You can draw from history, biology, business, the medical field, etc., but the primary goal of the paper is to examine an issue from an anthropology perspective. Therefore, the majority of your sources should be from anthropological journals and books.
Also, this is not an opinion paper. Scholarly papers are not concerned with personal opinions, experiences, beliefs, or viewpoints. You must focus your research and writing towards an objective view based on data and collected evidence from a variety of researchers and scholars on the topic.
Sources and References:
You must include at least 5 scholarly sources in this research paper. Part of writing a good paper is finding and using current sources. We expect to read up-to-date information from scholarly sources, not data from out-of-date or popular articles. All sources used in writing the paper must be properly cited in the text as well as in the bibliography. Also, you can use any of the articles or textbook from this course, but at least 3 of your 5 sources must be from your own outside research.
Scholarly vs. Popular Sources:
Newspaper articles, popular magazines, general Web sources, or dictionaries are not considered to be scholarly sources. Magazines such as National Geographic or Archaeology have good information, but they are not scholarly sources. For this paper we will allow you to use articles from the list of approved magazines below, but only a maximum of 2 sources can be from these magazines and you should not rely too heavily on them for your paper.
Please note that web sources such as Wikipedia and dictionary.com are not scholarly sources and will not be counted among the five that you must use. A quick way to help determine if a source is scholarly is to see if a detailed bibliography (or list of references cited) is included at the end of the source. If you cannot determine if a source is scholarly or not, ask the reference librarian or your TA.
Here is a list of some good anthropological journals that are considered scholarly. These are not the only scholarly sources, but they are some of the most common. You can access these journals through the library or online.
• American Anthropologist
• Ancient Mesoamerica
• American Antiquity
• Current Anthropology
• Latin American Antiquity
• Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
• Journal of Archaeological Science
• Journal of World Prehistory
• Journal of Anthropological Archaeology
List of Approved Popular Sources:
• National Geographic
• Scientific American
Even when you are not quoting directly from a text you need to show what sources you have used to gather information. You must show references throughout your report showing where you received your information. An in-text citation must include the author’s last name, the year it was published, and the page number of the book or article where you got the information. Here are three examples of different kinds of references:
Direct quote: “West Mexican art had a sacred rather than a secular function” (Furst 2005: 35).
Paraphrased quote: West Mexican art did not have a secular function, but instead appeared to have more of a sacred purpose (Furst 2005: 35).
Source reference: According to Furst (2005: 35), West Mexican art had a sacred function.
WARNING! DO NOT USE LENGHTY QUOTATIONS:
Many times when you are writing a paper, you may be tempted to use lengthy quotations from your references that look like this:
. . . all the people with the Capac Cocha, which by another name is called Cachaguaes, . . . went separated from one another, without going by the royal road directly, but without turning anywhere, traversing the gorges and mountains that they found before them, until each one reached the part and place that . . . were waiting to receive the said sacrifices . . . [Molina 1989:126-127 (ca. 1575)]
We realize that these types of quotations make writing your papers much faster. However, these types of quotations are not necessary and should not be used this type of short paper papers. ALWAYS try to put information from your sources in your own words! Putting the material in your own words shows the reader that you are knowledgeable about your subject. If you use lengthy quotations they will NOT count towards your overall page length.
Note that if you use illustrations, such as pictures or maps, you must also provide citations for them. It is not enough to simply photocopy a figure and staple in to the back of your report. You must provide information on where you obtained the illustration, and a caption explaining why the illustration has been used in the report. Also, illustrations are not included in your total page count.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated in this class. If you are caught using someone else’s paper, not citing your sources, turning in a paper from another class, copying and pasting from websites, etc. you will receive a zero on your paper and you may fail the class and/or have a formal complaint written against you and placed on your permanent record at the university. Please make sure that all of the work you turn in is your own and that your information is properly cited. The Blackboard submission through SafeAssign checks your paper against web sources, other student’s paper from both previous and current semesters at UIC and other colleges, and provides us with a summary report of any lines of text that are similar to another source. In short, it makes it very easy for us to see plagiarism in your papers, so please do not use someone else’s words. If you are not sure what constitutes as plagiarism, please ask one of the instructor’s and we will help you.
The Bibliography/Works Cited Page:
The bibliography should follow the AAA (American Anthropological Association) writing format. The AAA format guide can be found online at: http://www.aaanet.org/publications/style_guide.pdf in greater detail, but here are some examples of the most common citations you will be using:
A book with a single author:
2001 Shamans, Healers, and Medicine Men. Boston: Shambhala Publications.
An article from a journal:
1992 Ritual Gesture to Poetic Text in the Christianization of the Andes. Journal of Latin American Lore 18(2): 125-161.
Article in a Magazine:
2011 Lofty Ambitions of the Inca. National Geographic, April: 40-58.
List of Research Paper Topics
• Pick only 1 of these topics below to write about for your research paper.
• Some topics will require additional focusing by choosing a particular society or time period.
• Remember that topics are not thesis statements; you must create your own thesis based on the topic you choose.
• We may approve additional topics if you would like to write about something that is not on this list. However, you must have your topic approved by your TA or the instructor before beginning your paper.
Cultural Anthropology Topics:
• Describe medical or healing practices of a non-western society (ex. Tibetan medicine, Ayurveda, Chinese acupuncture, etc.). Discuss how aspects of this system differ from “Western” medicine, and describe how these practices and beliefs are tied to other cultural aspects of the society that practices this medicine (for example, spiritual or religious connections to healing practices, historical aspects of social or economic organization that shaped beliefs about medicine, etc.).
• Body modification (such as tattooing, scarification, foot binding, etc.) has been a common practice among many societies and sub-cultures throughout history. Choose 1 or 2 examples of different types of body modification practices, and explore how and why particular groups (or sub-cultures within a society) practice these body modifications. Consider how body modification shapes the relationships between these people and the larger society, and what meanings (and/or controversies) are attached to these practices of body modification.
• How is increasing globalization affecting social stratification and the unequal division of wealth within and between countries? For this question only examine the relationship between two countries, such as the United States and China. Discuss major factors that shape the specific effects of globalization for these two countries, such as the impact of colonialism/foreign occupation, corporations out-sourcing jobs, political tensions, or migration. Be sure to make your discussion of globalization specifically anthropological. For example, do not write a paper supporting free trade and capitalist enterprise from a purely marketing/economics perspective.
• Choose one of the following monumental locations to explore: Stonehenge,
Angkor Wat, Cahokia, the Tholos Tombs of Greece, Machu Picchu, Mesa Verde, or the Great Pyramids of Giza. Describe how the site was constructed, its context, and its place in the local culture. Make sure to reference nearby monuments, and discuss potential functions for the location as well.
• Examine the earliest evidence for the domestication of plants and animals in both the Near East in the “Fertile Crescent” and in Mesoamerica. Compare and contrast the two regions focusing on possible reasons why and how domestication developed in each of these areas.
• Choose and examine a long-distance trading network between at least two different cultural groups. Consider where and when the trading network occurred, what was being traded, and its social meaning from both (or all) cultural groups involved. Examples of possible routes include the overland Silk Road, maritime trade in southeast Asia, and obsidian trade in the Near East or Mesoamerica.
Linguistic Anthropology Topics:
• Choose one aspect of symbolic communication (e.g. hand gestures, personal space, greetings, etc.) and discuss how it differs between cultural groups (at least 2, but no more than 4). Describe how this form of communication may help or hinder communication between and within cultures. Discuss why these differences may have arisen and what, if any, historical significance they may have. Also, consider how other aspects of their society (household organization, social hierarchy, gender relations, political structure, etc.) may influence the cultural practices of this form of symbolic communication.
• There are over 6,000 languages spoken in our world today, but over half of those are in danger of disappearing within the next few decades. Examine 1-2 languages that are considered to be endangered and explore the causes for their disappearance. Describe the history of the language, the history of the people that speak the language, and the political and social aspects that may be influencing its development or disappearance. Also, provide a brief description explaining why anthropologists study dying languages and what significance the loss of a particular language, or the diversity of languages, has for the overall human population.
Biological/Physical Anthropology Topics:
• Did Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans interbreed during the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition? Do modern humans have any Neanderthal DNA? What genetic and archaeological evidence is there to support or refute the interbreeding of modern humans and Neanderthals? What are the multi-regional and replacement hypotheses? Does the archaeological and genetic evidence always agree? Please include at least 3 individual pieces of evidence to support your claims with at least one archaeological and one genetic piece of evidence.
• Anthropologists continually argue as to whether or not non-human primates (monkeys and apes) display aspects of cultural behavior. Discuss this issue and provide several pieces of evidence or examples of non-human primate behavior (you should include at least 4 individual lines of evidence). Do you believe, based on this evidence, that non-human primates have culture? You can argue for, against, or somewhere in the middle, but you must support your hypothesis with actual data. Make sure to also include also what your definition of culture is based on scholarly anthropological writings.
• Explain how variation in skin color and body build (height, stature, limb length) arose in modern humans. When may have these variations arose in the Homo genus and what significance do they have within the modern human population? How do these variations help populations to adapt to their environment and how does geography and migration play a role in the distribution of these features? How has globalization, mass transportation, and the increased movement of people around the world influenced the distribution of human variation and does that have any health implications?
Applied Anthropology Topics:
• Discuss the current obesity epidemic in the United States from an anthropological perspective. Examine how culture plays a role in the diet of Americans. Consider how regional, economic, ethnic, and generational factors affect nutritional habits. Is there a biological predisposition to obesity? (To avoid writing a business or economics paper, keep discussions of marketing and corporation responsibility to a minimum).
• Who can claim ancient remains? Is it the person who discovered them, the country in which they were found, or the museum that stores them? Define NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) and discuss how and why it was enacted. Discuss the ethics related to the excavation of Native American burials and grave goods, and then support the opinion of its merits with specific case studies (no more than three). What are its effects on the practice of archaeology in the United States?
Select your own topic.
You can propose your own topic of research to your TA. However, you will need to provide a series of specific points that you want to investigation as well as a sample bibliography. You will also need to tell why this point is important to you, how it is directly related to anthropology, and demonstrate that you will be able to do write an excellent paper on your independent topic.
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