ANTH 102: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
FINAL PAPER ASSIGNMENT:
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.
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.
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...
References: Works Cited
You must refer to at least FIVE SOURCES in your paper. TWO of them MUST come from your textbook and at least ONE MUST come from another academic text, either a journal article or book. It is appropriate to cite sidebars from the text including “Original Studies,” “Anthropologists of Note,” “Biocultural Connections,” etc. Failure to make appropriate and relevant reference to five readings (or fieldwork, see below) will be penalized. These references must support your specific culture’s background information as well as your theoretical perspective.
Cite your chosen readings clearly in both the body of your text, as well as in a “Works Cited” or “Bibliography” section at the end of your paper. Follow the writing guidelines carefully—these will be strictly enforced.
You may support your paper with actual fieldwork — participant-observation at church or a sporting event or a performance that correlates to the cultural area you have chosen are acceptable. In order to qualify as a reference, you must state the date and place of the events that you witnessed. Ideally you will include your field notes as an appendix to your paper (these notes do not count toward the word count!).
NOTE: DO NOT PLAGIARIZE!! NO EXCEPTIONS!
If you use someone else’s words verbatim, they must be enclosed in quotes and followed by a citation of the author, the year of publication, and the page number(s): “(author year: page(s)).” Similarly, if you paraphrase an idea from a specific author or source, you must have an appropriate citation.
Inclusion of appropriate citations earns you credit. Plagiarism earns you an F!
DO NOT CUT AND PASTE FROM THE INTERNET — I WILL NOTICE AND YOU WILL BE PENALIZED!
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