Essay Assignment Anth 1001A
1) Requirements (Dates, page lengths)
2) Select essay topics
3) Bibliography & Academic Sources
4) Sample Essay
The Essay assignment for this course must be 6-7 pages long. Essays must be typed and double-spaced, in 12 point font (preferably Times Roman), and left justified with 1 inch margins. You must include a title page that includes the title of your essay, student and course number, date, and the name of the professor. Your essay must include a bibliography. You may use the American Psychological Association Style (APA). Staple your essays in the upper left corner, do not use plastic or any other type of cover. Do Not place essays under office doors. If essays are handed in outside office hours, deliver them to the Main Office and have them date stamped.
Extensions and Late Penalties
The essay is due on June 10th, 2019, at the beginning of class. Assignment extensions are granted only in cases of genuine need (e.g. illness). A physicians’ letter will be required, stating the duration of the illness. Requests for extensions must be made prior to the deadline. Three per cent per day will be deducted from assignments handed in late without prior approval of the professor (INCLUDING weekends). No assignment will be accepted beyond two weeks past the deadline.
2) Select essay topics
The following questions are designed to get you thinking about your assignment. You do not have to choose one of these topics if you already have your own ideas.
These are suggested essay topics only. Students may construct their own particular essay question as long as it is discussed with the Instructor.
1. Discuss the various fields and sub fields of anthropology, how do these combine to form the anthropological perspective?
2. What are the pros and cons of adopting farming as a mode of production?
3. Discuss the progression of ethnographic studies from the 19th Century to recent times. What have been the main theoretical and methodological changes that have occurred?
4. What are the main aspects of Darwin’s theory of Evolution?
5. What are the main characteristics of language? What role does language play in ethnic and social identity?
6. Paleo-anthropology is a distinct subfield of physical anthropology, discuss its main characteristics and practices.
7. What are the main facets of cultural anthropology, how does it differ from, and remain related to, other types of anthropology?
8. Discuss the evolution of bipedalism in australopithecines and early hominids.
9. The ‘ethnographic enterprise’ poses several questions regarding ‘translation’ difficulties. What are the chief characteristics of such difficulties and how do ethnographers and ethnologists overcome them?
10. What is the significance of art to anthropologists and what aspects of society does art reflect?
11. Address the earliest evidences and major hypotheses concerning Palaeolithic art in Europe.
12. What are the main systems used for reckoning descent and how are these linked to different Modes of Production (such as Pastoralism, Hunting, Farming etc.)?
13. What are the main aspects of social stratification that anthropologists study? Describe the main characteristics of social stratification and discuss how these differ over time and across cultures.
14. What are the major issues confronting relations between Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian state?
15. The anthropology study of religion/spirituality is a complicated and often difficult process. What information on society can anthropologists gain from research into religion/spirituality?
16. Culture is one of the central components of anthropology. What is culture, in what manner do anthropologists study culture, and what theories have anthropologists constructed to explain cultural phenomena?
3) Bibliography & Academic Sources
An academic source is written by a scholar. Usually, it comes in the form of a book (published by a University Press), or peer reviewed articles that come from periodic journals found either on- line or in libraries. The easiest way to find a journal article is to do an on line search (through the University library site). Generally, journal articles are shorter in length and usually address a more specific research question. Additionally, it is easier to find lots of up to date journals than it is to find new books.
At a MINIMUM: The bibliography should contain 3 or 4 books, and 2 or 3 journal articles, excluding the course textbook. Some internet references are acceptable, though NOT Wikipedia, as this is not a scholastically reviewed source of information. You may include non-academic sources as ‘extras’ but these types of sources generally do not contribute much to an academic paper.
When using internet sources, students should give preference to academic sources, i.e. those web pages produced via university, or government departments. In most cases, internet sources should be considered supplemental to the main bibliography.
Online journals, from credible academic institutions, are acceptable as part of the journal article requirements for the bibliography. Please note that if you retrieved on line journal article from the library website you DO NOT NEED to include the website link in your bibliography. Just include a regular bibliographic citation of the journal article:
Huntington, Samuel P. (1993). “The Clash of Civilizations?” Foreign Affairs (72) pp.24-49.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Professor and/or Teaching Assistant for advice.
Here is an example of one style that is acceptable as per the University Social Science writing regulations:
Brading, D.A. (2001). “Monuments and Nationalism in Modern Mexico.” Nations and
Nationalism (4) 7: 521-531.
Gutierrez, Nativdad. (1998). “What Indians Say About Mestizos: A Critical View of a
Cultural Archetype of Mexican Nationalism.” Bull. Latin Am. Res. (17) 3: 285-301.
Harvery, Neil. (1995). “Rebellion in Chiapas: Rural Reforms and Popular Struggles.”
Third World Quarterly (16) 1: 39-73.
Hilbert, Sarah. (1997). “For Whom the Nation? Internationalization, Zapatismo, and the
Struggle over Mexican Modernity.” (29) 2: 115-148.
Karttunen, Frances. (1997). “Rethinking Malinche” in Indian Women of Early Mexico .
Edited by Susan Schroeder, Stephanie Wood and Robert Haskett. University of Oklahoma Press: London.
Kellogg, Susan. (2000). “Depicting Mestizaje: Gendered Images of Ethnorace in Colonial
Mexican Texts. Journal of Women’s History (12) 3: 69-92.
Kellogg, Susan. (2005). Weaving the Past: A History of Latin America’s Indigenous
Women from the Prehispanic Period to the Present. Oxford University Press: Oxford, New York.
Messinger Cypess, Sandra. (1989). “From Colonial Constructs to Feminist Figures:
Re/visions by Mexican Women Dramatists.” Theatre Journal (41) 4: 492-504.
Morales Moreno, Isidro. (1997). “Mexico’s National Identity After NAFTA.” American
Behavioral Scientist (40) 7: 858-883.
Morris, Stephen D. (1999). “Reforming the Nation: Mexican Nationalism in Context.”
Journal of Latin American Studies (31): 363-397.
Poynton, Peter. (1997). “Mexico: Indigenous Uprisings: Never More a Mexico Without
Us.” Race and Class Commentary: 66-73.
Pratt, Mary Louise. (1993). “Yo Soy La Malinche: Chicana Writers and the Poetics of
Ethnonationalism.” Calloloo (16) 4 : 859-873.
Ramirez, Renya. (2002). “Julia Sanchez’s Story.” Frontier: A Journal of Women’s
4) Sample Essay (Note: this is a second Year essay example, and not all of the points covered are essential for a first year essay. It is meant to guide you as you write your essay.
The Role of Urban Iwi: Possibilities for Decolonisation?
By Tom Dicknharry
St # 987654321
Dr. No for the course
ANT 0102 A
September 7th, 2012
University of Ottawa
An introduction is meant to present the author’s main argument(s) to the reader. A good introduction will start by broadly framing the topic, defining key terms and definitions that will be used, and briefly mentioning some of the debates that are associated with it:
Globalisation is a supremely complex phenomenon. It touches many aspects of human life, albeit to differencing extents, in almost all contemporary societies. Manfred Steger defines globalisation as “…a multidimensional set of social processes that create, multiply, stretch, and intensify worldwide social interdependencies and exchanges while at the same time fostering in people a growing awareness of deepening connections between the local and the distant” (Steger, 2003:13). While some people celebrate the more superficial aspects of globalisation, such as the availability of commodities that offer a taste of the “exotic,” there are equal sentiments of opposition to the globalisation process. Coined the “anti-globalisation movement” by the media, most of the voices calling for resistance to globalisation are doing so based upon the economic components of globalisation, which are thought by many to be one of the main factors of inequality and underdevelopment in the world today.
The impetus behind economic globalisation since the 1980’s has been the proliferation of neo-liberal agendas by International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the World Trade Organisation (Thomas, 2005:328). Of notable concern to anti-globalisation movements, are the impacts of free trade which force local producers to compete on a world scale, and structural adjustment programmes which force national governments to cut spending.
The first part of the introduction should be followed by a specific question or statement of the paper’s purpose. A well organised introduction will also elaborate a little bit about how the main points will be argued, and in what order:
As states become more entangled in the process of economic globalisation, the publics’ taken for granted notions about the social responsibilities of the state are called into question. Economic globalisation restrains the state from investing in public services which in turn, affects segments of the population unevenly, exacerbating economic and social stratification. This divisive process ultimately facilitates the emergence of local identities. This paper will argue that it is at the level of these local identities, where struggle against economic globalisation will be most effective. Firstly, the problems arising from resistance at the transnational and state level will be discussed, followed by an explanation of why local resistance is the best of the three alternatives.
This explanation will be broken down into three parts and illustrated using a case study of the Zapatista National Army of Liberation (EZLN): First, struggle at the local level represents the specific needs and interests of marginalized groups. If they are listened to by the state, there will be opportunities for a greater degree of substantive democracy. Second, local movements require fewer resources which is important seeing that most of the people who are aversely affected by globalisation are also impoverished. This contributes to equity within and outside of the movements as there is not as much dependence on funding. Lastly, local movements empower people making it easier for them to demand social justice.
C) Thinking it through: thesis statement and major subheadings
A general rule of thumb in an undergraduate paper is to have three main subsections that give slightly different arguments of the same thesis statement. Say that you want to argue that “Mexican nationalism has been constructed in such a way that subjugates Aboriginal people” Some ideas for this might be:
1) Mexican nationalism subjugates Aboriginal people in Mexico through stories and myths that vilify ‘La Malinche’, an Aztec woman who was a translator for Cortez and later became his lover. She has become a symbol of treachery under Mexican nationalism and is readily associated with Indigenous Mexicans.
2) Mexican nationalism subjugates Aboriginal people in Mexico through the “Mestizo identity.” This ethnic category pays lip service to the idea of mixed origins (between Aboriginal and Europeans) but in practice, the Mestizo archetype ignores Aboriginal traditions and glorifies European culture and institutions.
3) Mexican nationalism subjugates Aboriginal people in Mexico through theatre and artwork that depicts Indigenous Mexicans as ‘backward and lazy’.
Typically, a well organised paper will have about five subsections all together:
Sub-section #1 (example: The Curse of ‘La Malinche’)
Sub-section #2 (example: The Mestizo and Other Mexican myths
Sub-section #3 (example: Orientalism in Mexican Art)
Subsections will make it easier for you to organise your thoughts into smaller parts so that the assignment seems less intimidating. It is almost as if you are doing three miniature essays on the same theme.
In social science, paraphrasing an author is generally preferred over quotes:
According to Runge, the benefits of common property include avoiding the costs associated with private property, protection against the uncertainty of shifting natural resources, and the transition costs associated with changing traditions that are connected to certain ways of life (Runge, 1992: 33).
There are circumstances when quoting an author cannot be avoided; this usually occurs when someone has said something that is so succinct and descriptive that it becomes hard to paraphrase them without losing some meaning:
Edward Said writes that the narratives created by the West reflects the belief that Middle Eastern people are “dark, chaotic and only respond to force” (Said, 1978:52).
If you feel that it is absolutely necessary to quote an author for an entire paragraph, you MUST indent the quotation and use a smaller font:
In Chapter 3, entitled Colonizing Knowledges, Linda Tuhiwai Smith explains that spiritual wholeness is the last frontier where Aboriginals have been able to evade the colonising clutch:
The arguments of different indigenous peoples based on spiritual
relationships to the universe, to the landscapes and to the stones,
rocks insects and other things, seen and unseen, have been difficult
arguments for Western systems of knowledge to deal with or accept.
These arguments give a partial indication of the different world
views and alter Aboriginal ways of coming to know, and of being,
which still endure within the indigenous world. Concepts of
spirituality which Christianity attempted to destroy, then appropriate,
and then to claim, are crucial sites of resistance for indigenous
peoples. The values, attitudes, concepts and language embedded in
beliefs about spirituality represent, in many cases, the clearest
contrast and mark of difference between indigenous peoples
and the West. It is one of the few parts of ourselves which the
West cannot decipher, cannot understand and cannot control…
yet (1999: 74).
Choosing to include a large quote like this obliges the author to very carefully analyse the content, in some cases picking out certain words and discussing alternative meanings. This writing strategy is used most often in literature or from authors who are writing from a post-modern perspective.
Whenever you paraphrase an author, or even refer to his/her work more generally, you must give them credit. The best way to do this is by using an embedded citation. The best way to do this is through the author-date-page style:
Living in their respective communities and growing food has been the central method of keeping their cultural and linguistic distinctiveness. This applies especially to maize which has greater symbolic meaning to the culture of the Maya people in Southern Mexico (Morales, 866:1997).
In social science, you should never use footnotes for text citations. Footnotes should only be used when you want to tell the reader something that does not fit in the text.
When writing a formal essay, tone and language use are very important. The best way to learn how to write well is to read a lot of articles written by academics. Without ever taking the ideas of another person, you may want to consider imitating the tone, flow or sentence structures of authors whom you admire.
Establish a profession tone by shying away from colloquial language or everyday expressions. If you must use a term or word that is slightly informal, you can acknowledge your ambiguity about using this term by placing it in single or double quotation marks:
In Clark’s interpretation, the ‘smash-and-grab’ lifestyle seems to garner more respect.
The same goes for words or terms that are hotly debated in the academy:
Although there are salient issues surrounding the concept of ‘race’, the term is persistently used nonetheless.
In ‘traditional’ African society, the women were thought to have held much power in the household.
When writing a paper, always try to structure your sentences in the most direct way you can. For instance, instead of writing:
Molly, who came over to our house every week, … you could try: Molly came over to our house every week.
Another trick that shows polished writing is to avoid the use of contractions, except in cases where you wish to denote ownership. Lastly, avoid incorporating emotionally charged language into your paper. You will undoubtedly write essays about social injustices that have occurred throughout given societies, but you must always maintain a professional tone. For instance; instead of writing the first option which is laden with value judgements, refer to the second option which is more objective but is gets the point across all the same:
When the Europeans got here they began stealing everything they could find with no regard or respect to the human lives that were already here…
Contact with the Europeans, and their subsequent settlement, was deeply disruptive to most Aboriginal societies…
The Importance of Analysis
An analysis is the most important part of your paper; in essence, learning how to process, and think about knowledge, is the whole foundation of a university program. A strong analysis will explain, interpret, criticise and even extend the work or ideas of other people in order to say something new and interesting.
When you are trying to make a point or an argument in a paper, you will most likely begin by telling the reader what other people have said that this subject. After you have done this, you may want to explain either why you think these authors are correct (and thus support your argument) or why they are incorrect, or have left something out.
An analysis is where YOU can really shine as a thinker; the key is to be PHILOSOPHICAL. You must show the reader that you can do more than just memorise theories and data; you can actually think of something creative to say in response to the work that you have learned and read. You can also use an analysis to evaluate the theories used in your paper. What do they explain? Is there anything that they cannot explain? What/whom do the theories leave out? This is an opportunity for you to reflect about the nature of society and culture.
In this example of an analysis, the author is interpreting the meaning of some famous Canadian paintings; the paintings are criticised and shown to be symbolic of European power in Canada:
In illustration of its identity, Canada has often relied upon artwork to communicate its image to citizens and people abroad. The Canadian state has captured the essence of its early days in the art of a cluster of painters called ‘The Group of Seven.’ Much of their work shows Canadian landscapes completely absent of any man made amenity including [wo]man [her]himself. The tangle of trees and bush, lakes, rivers and rocky shores are meant to show the great Canadian wilderness as it may have appeared to the ‘first’ European settlers.
That no people are shown in the landscapes is very telling of how the early settler authorities viewed the First Nations; as being invisible or negligible – a complete testament to Terra Nullius (Scott, 2006: 481). The absence of Indigenous inhabitants from The Group of Sevens’ work sets the stage for a Canadian history that was ‘earned’ by hardworking and fearless explores whose descendents were able to tame the dense wilderness thus making Canada what it is today. The Aboriginal inhabitants, who lived off of the land for thousands of years prior to European arrival, are no less fixed in this scenario; they are fixed outside of the process by which Canada became settled, as evidenced by their absence from the paintings.
You conclusion should re-visit the main points of the paper and elaborate on slightly about ‘what it all means’ in the context of your putting all of your points together. Although you may wish to touch on some ideas for future papers or research, you should not bring up new points or ideas that have not been already discussed in the paper. The length of a conclusion could vary depending upon paper length. For an 8-10 paper, you should have anywhere for a half page to three quarter page conclusion.
Here is an example of a conclusion of a book review:
The central task of this paper was to review two books written about Globalisation: Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging by Michael Adams and The New Imperial Order: Indigenous Responses to Globalization by Makere Stewart-Harawira. After providing summaries for each book, an analysis of theory was conducted. First, the theoretical frameworks used to guide the author’s research were identified, compared and contrasted. The second section discussed how well the results and theories used in the books are able to explain current issues in globalisation. Lastly, the respective contribution to theory of the two books was analyzed.
It is promising that two such difference books can reach similar conclusions, namely, that the loss of traditional culture does not have to be the inevitable fallout of globalisation. While it does seem clear that some groups will have to work harder than others to maintain their identities it likely that the next stages of globalisation will be characterized by a greater degree of two-way transmissions – especially in the cultural arena.
s (23) 2: 65-83