This assignment’s purpose is 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. 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 valid 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

American Journal of Primatology

And this will give you possible links to all anthropology journals.

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

Do not pay for any publication. Any journal (above included) you need will be available through the SDSU library for free.

Common misconceptions about acceptable sources: 1. It ends in a .edu. This does not make it an academic source. I suggest you look at who wrote what 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 the article is 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 rely too heavily 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.

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 including your 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, THIS PAPER WILL BE DUE BY 11:59 pm November 16th, You will be using the Turnit in feature to submit your paper. Your paper will be deducted 15% for every day it’s late, starting at 12:00 am November 17th.

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