Class: Biological Anthropology (ANTH 1)
Assignment: “Introduction to Biological Anthropology Article Criticism Assignment”


Public media outlets give substantial attention to biological anthropological research. The media frequently discusses new fossil species and fossil discoveries, genetic discoveries relating to human evolution or human variation, and many aspects of population migration and forensic analyses. However, these popular media articles often dilute or simplify the information that has actually been published by biological anthropologist researchers.

This assignment consists of four parts that will result in a five page paper:

Part 1: Find a report in the popular media on a topic relevant to biological anthropology. The article that you find must not be older than August 2013. When you find the article that interests you, please check on its relevance with your Teaching Assistant. If you do not check on its relevance and the article turns out to be inappropriate, you will lose points on your final paper.

Part 2: The popular media article that you find will be based on an academic article published in a peer-reviewed journal. Find that scientific article and read it thoroughly (more than once!). If you need help navigating the UCSC online library resources, please consult with Dr. Reti or you TA.

Part 3: Provide a summary of the scientific research article addressing the following questions:
– What issues in biological anthropology are addressed and why are they important
– What is the hypothesis (or main question) being addressed in the article?
– What are the primary findings of the article and how do these findings change our
views about the topic being addressed?
– What are the overall conclusions of the research? Are these conclusions warranted?
– What new questions do these conclusions bring up that might be studied in future
biological anthropology research?

Part 4: Compare the scientific research article with the popular media article and address the following questions:
– How well did the popular media report accurately reflect the scientific research article?
– Is the information in the popular media report correct or is misleading in any way?
– How would you have presented this scientific research to the general public

Prepare a paper based on your answers to these questions. You must provie a copy of the popular press report and the scientific research article (stapled to the paper at the time of submission). The paper should be FIVE double-spaced pages with one inch margins using
12 pt. Times New Roman font. On a separate page, please provide citation information for both articles in APA format.

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