Plato's Theory of Justice

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ANTH 102: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Anthropological Research/Analysis
DUE: December 12, 2009 (Graduating Seniors Paper’s due December 5)

This paper should be 1,800 – 3,000 words (6-10 pages double spaced), not including “Works Cited” sections or appendices. Your paper should be clearly written, use short declarative sentences, and avoid redundant statements, rhetorical flourishes, and excess verbiage. DO NOT pad the word count!

Papers will be graded on quality of content, clarity, and style. Ingenuity and clarity will be rewarded. Excess verbiage, awkwardness and muddy thinking (evident in essays that have not been read out loud) will be penalized. Essays should be proofread and points will be deducted for spelling or poor grammar.

In this course, you have been encouraged you to expand your insights and judgments by learning how anthropologists explore our world. To do this, we have examined various aspects of anthropological endeavor and a variety of cultures, social classes, and populations. Your challenge is to apply these concepts and methods to a research topic of your choosing. The purpose of this paper is to take a specific instance of a topic in anthropology and to stake out your understanding and perspective.

These instructions are laid out as eight steps. These steps are meant to help organize your thoughts. Your paper should integrate these steps into a well thought out essay. You may use them as a template to outline your paper.

Introductory Sections

The introductory sections of your paper should begin with a short (2-3 paragraphs) description that describes your paper, the general Anthropological Area, your Research Question, your specific Case Study, and what you expect to accomplish.

Explain why you chose your area and examples and how they relate to your thesis.

STEP 1: Thesis Statement

Choose an Anthropological Area and a Research Question.
Your “area” should be a subfield of anthropology or a specific area of inquiry associated with it.

Your area may be an ethnographic inquiry into a particular cultural group or subgroup.

Your research question should draw out some interesting or important aspect or aspects of the cultural group or area you wish to discuss. For example, in an ethnographic inquiry of a sports team or church group, you could ask “What are the hierarchical arrangements (divisions of labor, etc.) of this cultural group and how do they reflect or contradict those of the larger culture in which they are embedded?”

Your Thesis Statement constitutes both your topic and viewpoint. In a sense, the thesis statement is your answer to a central question or problem you have raised. For this paper, your thesis statement should center on the theoretical concepts presented in your text and in class. These concepts may be found in your textbook headings and the syllabus. Your thesis statement should reflect your own interest in the topic — why did you chose it?

STEP 2: Methodology.

Choose examples or a case study that reflects the group or area you choose to study (e.g., an idea like “peasants in the United States,” or a cultural group like a specific church community or sports team). This will be the specific focus of your writing. Your methodology section consists of a statement of your specific examples or case study, why you chose it/them, and the “toolkit” you will use and why.

Main Sections

The main body of your paper should elaborate on and support the material you exposed in the introductory sections.

STEP 3: Background

For Step 3, you will do background research on the culture you wish to write about. For the purposes of this paper, your background research should consist of a description of the cultural group your case study is derived from including demography and current anthropological theories drawn from relevant literature. Your references should be drawn primarily from...
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