Research Paper

I’m studying for my Science class and need an explanation.

Your Research Paper assignment is a 5-8 page (1200 to 2000 words) research paper on a topic of your choosing, as long as it pertains to biological/physical anthropology. Font will be 12pt in Times New Roman (or something very similar), one-inch margins and double-spaced. I will require a header at the top each page with your name and class, in a similar fashion to the header at the top of this page. Please include page numbers on a corner of each page of your paper. Do not include a title page, rather a bolded title at the top of the first page (similar to this document). Do not over-space the top of the document. The format of your paper will be in accordance with the American Anthropology Association (AAA) style guide. I have posted the AAA style guide on blackboard.

Appropriate topics include, but are not limited to, evolutionary theory, primatology, paleopathology, human skeletal biology, genetic studies, forensics, etc. This can be a fun investigation of something you find interesting.

You will be responsible for finding at least 3 journal articles that are related to your topic of interest and using their content to support your paper. As this is an academic paper sources must be academic peer-reviewed journals, which means no blogs, no wikipedia, no newspapers (yes this includes National Geographic and Smithsonian). Some books may be acceptable, but I would advise against their use, as it may be hard to ferret out what would work and what will lose you points.

Anything that is not common knowledge requires a citation. You will be using in-text citations in accordance to the AAA style guide. A good rule is, when in doubt cite. I need to know where you are getting your information. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you have a question with regards to proper citation or how to cite, look at the style guide.

You will be turning in your paper by uploading it on Canvas. There will be a 15% deduction for each day your paper is late. Late count starts the minute after the due time/date. Do not wait until the last minute. Finish early so you don’t have to worry, as I will not allow any excuses for late work. For example, if you were just about to submit your paper and your computer freezes, or the internet goes out, and you have to run to the library in the hail and snow, barefoot, while fighting zombies, to get your paper turned in, but it is 12:01 am, your paper will be late.

CITATION EXAMPLES:

Within text:

Preferred resources are those that are disproportionately selected relative to their abundance in the habitat (Marshall & Wrangham, 2007). If you have more than two authors list the first author followed by et al. (Marshal et al. 2007).

In Bibliography:

Marshall, A.J. & R.W. Wrangham.

2007 Evolutionary consequences of fallback foods.

International Journal of Primatology 283(55):1219-1235.

Further Instructions for your Paper

This assignment’s purpose is to be able to research a topic further than just googling; to be able to academically research. The sources you use need to be academic. What I mean by academic is that they should be peer-reviewed academic journals (see below). Further, your formatting should be exactly what I am asking for.

First and foremost, you will be heavily graded on whether or not your sources are academic in nature. For each non-academic source, I will deduct up to 30% off your grade. Since you need three sources, you stand to fail this assignment rather quickly if you don’t have the correct sources.

What are acceptable sources? All fields in science have peer-reviewed publications, usually in the form of journals. This is how research and conclusions are presented. Peer-reviewed means they have gone through a rigorous process and any conclusions presented have to include what methods were used as well as background and analysis. The supplemental reading I have provided in class has all been from such sources.

Here are a few examples in the Anthropology world

American Journal of Physical Anthropology (Links to an external site.)

American Journal of Primatology (Links to an external site.)

And this (Links to an external site.) will give you possible links to all anthropology journals.

You are more than welcome to bring in publications from other disciplines.

Common misconceptions of acceptable sources:

1. It ends in a .edu. This does not make it an academic source. I suggest you look at who wrote whatever you are reading and see if they have published.

2. The Smithsonian, National Geographic are also not allowed. Again, look at who wrote the article or whose research they are referencing.

In-text citation: This is a concept that eludes most people. If you are using an idea that is not common knowledge you need to provide an in-text citation (see style guide and assignment). When you are paraphrasing one of your sources, you need to cite. When you quote, you need to cite. When in doubt, cite. Not citing is called plagiarism.

Frequently asked questions about sources:

Once I have my academic sources can I use other non-academic ones? – Yes, you may. But do not lean too much on them for the content of your paper or your grade will suffer.

Can I use our textbook or lecture notes? – Yes, but same as above, do not make them your primary sources.

How about if I find an academic book? – This is a gray area. Some books are acceptable, some are not. You can email me with the book information if you want to double and make sure it’s a valid source.

Articles are asking for money to access them, do I need to pay? No! You can access any article through the school library for free!

Citing and quoting: Your paper should be in your own words (remember to still cite). You are welcome to use quotes, but do NOT make your paper quote-heavy. Your paper should not be a bunch of quotes tied together.

Page length:

This is to be a 5 to 8-page paper (1200 to 2000 words) not counting the bibliography. If you give me a short paper you will be marked off from anywhere from 20% to 90% of your overall grade. On the other hand, if you turn in too many pages (9+) you will also lose points. This will be a challenge for many of you. It may be difficult to write what you need to in so few pages, keep it pithy and to the point.

While this is not an English class I do expect proper collegiate writing. When writing your paper please organize it well. Setup an introductory paragraph to let me know what you are going to be writing about. Break-up all subsequent thoughts into separate paragraphs.

While you are welcome to submit your paper anytime before the due date, You will be using the Safeassign feature to submit your paper. Your paper will be deducted 15% for every day it’s late.

Download style_guide.pdf