41 Semester Research Project Instructions

This assignment is your opportunity to more deeply explore an indigenous or other “non-Western” culture or group. You are encouraged to “follow your own path” in research!There are two parts to this assignment, due in two different modules (check the Schedule of Work for due dates):

  • Module 2: Semester Research Project Proposal
  • Module 4: Semester Research Project Essay

Module 2: Proposal

How do professional anthropologists “follow their own path” when starting original research? They begin by creating a proposal outlining the type of research they want to pursue when they do field work.

The Semester Research Project Study Proposal is your first step in the Semester Research Project assignment. Check the Schedule of Work for due date.

Instructions

  • Choose a cultural group, a topic, and two anthropological concepts from the lists below. You may choose other groups, topics, or concepts, but they must be approved by the instructor.
  • Conduct preliminary research on the cultural group, topic, concepts, and outside scholarly resources. See your librarian for research help, and consult the text for the concepts.

Write a 150-word, one to two paragraph overview of your ideas, for your research. Your proposal should include:

  • the culture you will study,
  • the topic you will investigate,
  • two anthropological concepts (with brief definitions or explanations, citing our text) that will guide you in your research and analysis, and,
  • one outside source you can use in your research (give the name and author of the source, and include internal citation).
  • At the end, add a bibliography listing both sources, and any others you choose to use.

Your proposal should include:

  • two anthropological concepts (with brief definitions or explanations, citing our text) that will guide you in your research and analysis, and,
  • one outside source you can use in your research (include internal citation),
  • bibliography listing both sources, and any others you choose to use.

Cultural Groups

  • Agta (Philippines)
  • Ainu (Japan)
  • Diné/Navajo (U.S. southwest)
  • Dinka (Africa) Hadza (Africa)
  • !Kung San (also called Ju/hoansi) (Kalahari Desert, Africa)
  • Maasai (Africa)
  • Maori (New Zealand)
  • Maya (southern Mexico, Central America)
  • Mbuti (also called Mbuti Pygmies, or Ba Mbuti) (Africa)
  • Munduruku (Amazon, South America)
  • Nuer (Africa)
  • O’dham (Sonoran desert, U.S. and Mexico)
  • Quiché (Peru/Bolivia, South America)
  • Sámi (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia)
  • Yanomami (Amazon, South America) Yaqui (Sonoran desert, U.S. and Mexico)

You may select another non-Western or indigenous group from your textbook. If you choose another group, you need to email your instructor for approval.

Topics

Think broadly about what topic you would like to investigate!

Suggested topics include:

  • Artistic practices
  • Beliefs (may be separate from religious ideology)
  • Clothing styles
  • Death/Funerary Customs
  • Gender
  • Indigenous rights issues
  • Kinship
  • Marriage practices
  • Religion
  • Ritual
  • Socio-political organization

If you choose another topic, you need to email your instructor for approval.

Anthropological Concepts

“Anthropological concepts” are ideas we use in anthropology that help us understand what we see — like ritual, tribe, gender, etc. Here is a list of some anthropological concepts that may be useful to you.

Use the definition and theory of the concept from the textbook to understand and analyze the topic you choose…

  • Band
  • Chiefdom
  • Colonialism
  • Cultural Loss
  • Cultural Relativism
  • Cultural Revitalization
  • Division of Labor
  • Enculturation
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Innovation
  • Kinship
  • Language Revitalization
  • Marriage
  • Pastoralism
  • Power (and types of power)
  • Racial Thinking (remember: “race” is a social construct)
  • Reciprocity (and types of reciprocity)
  • Religion
  • Revitalization movement
  • Rite of passage
  • Ritual
  • Subculture
  • Tradition
  • Tribe

Module 4: Essay

Earlier this semester, you selected a group and related topic in your “Follow Your Own Path” Proposal. Now it is time to expand these into a full paper through research and writing!

Research

As you research and collect information about the cultural group and topic you chose for your Proposal, remember to locate TWO scholarly resources, in addition to your textbook, to supplement your information and knowledge. These should be professional or academic sources.

Instructions

Write a 1500-word essay (no more than 1750 words), on the specific cultural group and topic you have proposed and researched.

  • Include at least 7 internal citations within your essay (with at least one from each of your three sources: your text and two outside sources), in support of your explanations.
  • Quotations should be 10 words or less.

The essay assignment should include:

  • A general introduction to the essay. Introduce the cultural group, including its geographic location. Introduce the topic you have chosen for the focus of the essay. Explain why you chose this cultural group and this topic.
  • A detailed discussion of the specific topic you have chosen. This is the body of your essay assignment. Support and document your findings with citations from your sources.
    1. You should have a minimum of five points in your discussion of the topic, with at least one paragraph for each of these points. Each paragraph should have at least one citation as a source for the information you provide.
    2. You should use a minimum of two anthropological concepts (be sure to define them according to your textbook, and cite your text), to help explain and analyze the topic you have chosen. These should be woven into the five main paragraphs.
    3. The seven internal citations are spread throughout the essay, and are the way you show that you conducted research! There is one for each of the five main points, and one for each of the anthropological concepts.
  • A concluding paragraph summing up the findings of your research.
  • Bibliography or References List at the end of the essay.

Formatting

  • Your essay should be a minimum of 1500 words (no more than 1,750 words), double-spaced. Include the word count after the last sentence in the paper for only the body of the paper. Don’t count the words in the heading, title or Works Cited/Bibliography. Remember, the assignment is graded for word count, not page length.
  • Include a Works Cited or Bibliography. Be sure to use full bibliographic references for all sources, including websites, according to correct style.
  • Remember to proofread and edit for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Use the spell and grammar check!
  • Type your full name and “Semester Research Project” at the top of the first page.

Submission

Save your work as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file only. Other formats might not transmit and cannot be guaranteed on time or graded. Submit this assignment in the “Semester Research Project” Assignment Folder in our website.

Grading

The Proposal and the Semester Research Project will be graded based on the Writing Assignment Rubric below and be checked against anti-plagiarism software applications such as Turnitin.

Refer to the Schedule of Work for due dates on these written assignments.

Proposal: Semester Research Project Rubric (10 Points)
Exceeds Expectations
(10 points)
Meets Expectations
(8 points)
Almost Meets Expectations
(7 points)
Does Not Meet Expectations
(6 points)
Not Submitted
(0 points)
150 words or more.

Ideas are clear, specific, and meet or exceed minimum word requirement. At least one outside source is listed and cited.

150 words.

Ideas are clear, but not specific. Meets minimum word requirement. At least one outside source is listed.

Less than 150 words.

Ideas are not clear or specific. Does not minimum word requirement. At least one outside source is listed.

Less than 150 words.

Does not address all required topics. Does not minimum word requirement. No outside source is mentioned.

Not submitted.

 

Essay: Semester Research Project Rubric
Exceeds Expectations
(100 points)
Meets Expectations
(76 points)
Almost Meets Expectations
(54 points)
Does Not Meet Expectations
(32 points)
Not Submitted
(0 points)
Ideas/Content
(40 points)

Anthropological ideas are clear, specific, and paper exceeds minimum word requirement. Main ideas stand out along with details. Clearly illustrates critical and reflective thinking.
Ideas/Content
(30 points)

Anthropological ideas are clear but information is general and predictable. Paper meets minimum word count. Shows some critical and reflective thinking.
Ideas/Content
(20 points)

Anthropological ideas are clear but more information is needed. Paper meets minimum word count. Poorly thought out response.
Ideas/Content
(10 points)

Anthropological information is limited and text is repetitious. Paper does not meet minimum word count. No central theme. No evidence of having given the assignment real thought.
Ideas/Content
(0 points)

Not submitted.
Anthropological Concepts
(40 points)

Anthropological understanding is illustrated through an in-depth application of concepts presented in the course.
Anthropological Concepts
(30 points)

Anthropological understanding is illustrated through a strong application of concepts presented in the course.
Anthropological Concepts
(20 points)

Anthropological understanding is illustrated through an adequate application of concepts presented in the course.
Anthropological Concepts
(10 points)

Anthropological understanding is illustrated through a superficial application of concepts presented in the course.
Anthropological Concepts
(0 points)

No assignment submitted or submitted late.
Organization
(10 points)

Organization (including introduction and conclusion) enhances the central theme. Sequencing is logical and transitions are smooth.
Organization
(8 points)
Organization is adequate and introduction needs more anticipation. Conclusion leaves no closure. Connections are faint.
Organization
(7 points)
Organization is not clear. Introduction is present, but has no lead. Conclusion is present but not clear.
Organization
(6 points)

No clear direction with no lead or conclusion. Connections are confusing or incomplete.
Organization
(0 points)

No assignment submitted or submitted late.
Conventions
(10 points)

There are few or no errors in punctuation, capitalization, grammar and spelling. Paragraphing adds to organizational structure. Properly and explicitly cited.
Conventions
(8 points)
There are a few errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization. Paragraphing may create problems. Properly cited.
Conventions
(7 points)
Some usage, grammar, or paragraphing problems are more frequent. Spelling and end-of-sentence punctuation are almost always correct. Internal punctuation may be incorrect or missing. Improperly cited.
Conventions
(6 points)

Errors in grammar and usage affect meaning. Paragraphing is missing or does not relate to organization of text. Frequent spelling errors. Punctuation is often missing or incorrect. Improperly cited or no citations present.
Conventions
(0 points)

No assignment submitted or submitted late.

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Cultural Anthropology by Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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