Anthropology Essay Questions

Anthropology Essay Questions-39
When your instructor tells you to “argue,” “evaluate,” or “assess,” s/he is probably asking for some sort of critical essay.

When your instructor tells you to “argue,” “evaluate,” or “assess,” s/he is probably asking for some sort of critical essay.

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The final exam will be scored out of 80 marks (worth 40% of your final grade).

Part 1 of the exam is 60 points (questions will be handed out on exam day).

On exam day you will have a choice to answer two of the three essay questions.

This handout briefly situates anthropology as a discipline of study within the social sciences.

Ethnographies have traditionally been based on an anthropologist’s long-term, firsthand research (called fieldwork) in the place and among the people or activities s/he is studying. In some assignments, you might be asked to evaluate the claims different researchers have made about the emergence and effects of particular human phenomena, such as the advantages of bipedalism, the origins of agriculture, or the appearance of human language.

If your instructor asks you to do an ethnographic project, that project will likely require some fieldwork. What kinds of things did you see while you were riding? To complete these assignments, you must understand and evaluate the claims being made by the authors of the sources you are reading, as well as the fossil or material evidence used to support those claims.

Because they are so important to anthropological writing and because they may be an unfamiliar form for many writers, ethnographies will be described in more detail later in this handout. Fossil evidence might include things like carbon dated bone remains; material evidence might include things like stone tools or pottery shards.

Sample assignment: Spend two hours riding the Chapel Hill Transit bus. You will usually learn about these kinds of evidence by reviewing scholarly studies, course readings, and photographs, rather than by studying fossils and artifacts directly.

And cultural anthropologists study contemporary human groups or cultures.

The types of writing that you do in your anthropology course will depend on your instructor’s learning and writing goals for the class, as well as which subfield of anthropology you are studying.


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