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Discuss why (according to your two authors) race is a cultural construct and not a biological one.

ANTHROPOLOGY 1AB3: Assignment #2

worth 25% of final grade – due December 4th by 11 p.m. to the Avenue Dropbox

This assignment asks you to write an essay about a topic from this course, while developing your research and writing skills. You may choose any one of the following questions. Find and read two peer-reviewed anthropological journal articles on this topic, and compare their perspectives on the question.

1. Discuss why (according to your two authors) race is a cultural construct and not a biological one.

2. Discuss how (according to your two authors) white privilege operates within two social contexts.

3. Compare two ritual rites of passage (as discussed by your two authors).

4. Discuss the symbolism of two religious practices (according to your two authors).

5. Compare effects of structural violence in two social contexts (as discussed by your two authors).

6. Compare two anthropological analyses of refugee/migrant lives. What do they each emphasize?

Note on sources: You may refer to and cite materials from the course syllabus as well as your two journal articles, but do not use any additional external material to write your essay. This is because we want you to write a close analysis. Do not choose the first articles you come across; they should be relevant to the question you are writing about. Your two sources need to be full articles (approx. 20 pages each, on average), not book reviews or review articles. If you are unsure if your selected source is appropriate, ask your TA. More information about appropriate sources will be given in the week 10 lecture. We have also arranged for a synchronous research skills session through the McMaster library, to be held on Wednesday November 11, 2:30-3:20pm (see detailed announcement on Avenue).

Assignment guidelines

Structure: Your essay should have an introduction with a clear thesis, a body, and a conclusion that emphasizes the most important points of your essay.The introduction and conclusion should not be sentences repeated from the main body of your paper.

Length: Your complete essay should be between 1400 and 1600 words, not including your References Cited page. Note that all in-text citations are included in this word count. If you do not fall within this length range, marks will be deducted from your paper.

No title page: You do not need a title page, and you do not need to put your name, student number etc. on your paper. We can tell who you are on Avenue’s Dropbox.

Formatting: Use Times New Roman or Arial 12-point font with 1-inch (2.5 cm) margins. Your paper should be double spaced.

Due date/time: December 4 by 11 p.m. to the Avenue Dropbox. Upload a single file (this must include your paper and References Cited page) in Word or PDF format only. Then log out. Log back into Avenue to make sure it is there. (Standard late marks apply if it is not uploaded on time.)

Late penalties: 10% off per 24-hour period or part thereof.

Citations: You need to cite direct quotes or any ideas that you paraphrase. If in doubt, cite it anyway!

Please use direct quotes sparingly. Put author ideas into your own words and cite. In this class, we are using the Chicago Manual of Style Author-Date system (Chicago Style Guide). There are no endnotes or footnotes with this system. Refer to this website for examples of how to cite different types of sources (books, articles, etc.):

Turnitin: All papers uploaded to Avenue are automatically passed through, where they are checked for plagiarism against internet-based papers and articles. Please do not plagiarize.

Grading rubric

Excellent essay: 85-100% – Essay is well presented, shows an excellent understanding of the subject matter. The arguments are clearly constructed and supported by appropriate material/references. There is good evidence or originality of thought and analytical skill. Demonstrates the ability to make a concise but thorough argument. Citations are present and style is correct.

Good essay: 70-84% – The essay is well organized and clearly presented. Displays a sound understanding of the central issues, some insight, and arguments are supported. Identifies most (but not all) important issues in the relevant articles. The essay contains a few minor errors in grammar and spelling. Citation is present, style is in correct format.

Average essay: 60-69% – Essay is well organized, displaying a basic understanding of most (but not all) of the main issues in the article. There are more than one or two grammatical errors and/or poorly expressed ideas. Citation is present and generally in the correct style, but there may be some mistakes.

Below average: 50-59% – The essay is poorly constructed and does not identify or adequately discuss the important issues in the articles. The essay may not be fully focused on the question asked and there is little evidence of citations. Citations may also have omissions or errors.

Poor essay: 0-49% – The essay summarizes the assigned article and addresses the question, but is not sufficiently accurate, extensive, or detailed. This is more a summary than a critical analysis. There are significant issues with grammar, spelling, and citation style.

Good luck! Please get in touch with me or your TA if you have any questions.
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