Final Research Paper
Throughout this course, we have learned how culture is a powerful tool that allows humans to adapt to their own unique environments. To better understand cultural diversity, comparisons between cultures are often used to explain the similarities and differences across societies. To demonstrate your understanding of the adaptive nature of culture, you will prepare a research paper that requires you to think about what people are doing, why they are doing what they do, and how these behaviors tie in with their environment.
In this paper, you will be comparing and contrasting one of the following topics in two cultures (other than your own), providing an analysis of the similarities and differences, and explaining why these differences might exist.
In your Partial Rough Draft, you selected a topic from the following list:
- Body art and ornamentation
- Child rearing practices
- Healthcare practices
- The use of music or dance as a form of political protest, or as a reflection of cultural issues, values and beliefs
- Educational practices
- Elderly care
- Body language and proxemics
- Rites of passage
- Conflict resolution
- Marriage practices
- Alternative gender roles
- An alternate topic that was approved by the instructor
In Week Three, you conducted your research and completed a Partial Rough Draft of the Final Research Paper. You have also received feedback from your instructor on this draft. It is important at this stage that you carefully take the time to review the feedback that was provided. If, based on this feedback, you feel the need to conduct any additional research, now is the time to visit the Ashford University Library and locate additional scholarly sources.
For this assignment, you will expand your rough draft into a five- to seven-page research paper (excluding the title and reference pages) that contains the following components:
- A discussion of how two cultures (other than your own) approach the topic, including specific ethnographic examples. Be sure to choose two specific and contemporary (currently existing) cultures. Terms such as European, Asian, or African refer to continents, not cultures, and are not appropriate for this paper.
- A compare and contrast analysis of the similarities and differences in how the two cultures approach the topic from a culturally relativistic perspective. In your analysis, address how the information on the cultures was gathered as well as how cultural relativism played a role for both the anthropologist in the field and for you in this discussion.
- A discussion of whether the differences are related to other cultural factors such as kinship, division of labor, gender roles, economic organization, and political organization as well as whether the differences can be seen as adaptations to the social or natural environment. You don’t have to cover every single one of these cultural factors, but you should include a discussion of the most salient ones related to your topic.
- A discussion on the cultural context of the topic and how it relates to symbolic systems such as religion, communication, or ritual.
- A discussion of how this particular cultural practice has changed over time and whether it has been modified, adopted, diminished, and/or spread through colonialism and/or globalization.
Take extra care as you are writing this paper to ensure that you have given proper consideration to all of the notes that were provided to you by your instructor. You will also want to allow plenty of time to proofread the Final Research Paper and double check for formatting and the use of proper citations. If you are concerned about plagiarism, please utilize the “Plagiarism Flow Chart.”
The paper must be five to seven pages in length, excluding the title and reference pages, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. You must use at least three scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library to support your claims. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.
Writing the Final Research Paper
The Final Paper:
Must be five to seven double-spaced pages in length, excluding the title and reference pages, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Must include a title page with the following:
Title of paper Student’s name Course name and number Instructor’s name Date submitted Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis. Must use at least three scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library. Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
The Ashford Writing Center (AWC) has two kinds of tutoring available to you.
Live Chat – If you have writing-related questions about a topic before you draft a discussion post or submit a written assignment, you will now be able to chat live with a tutor for a short (up to 20 minute) conversation. Live Chat will be available Monday through Friday from 10:00-11:00 am and 4:00-5:00 pm (PST). AWC Live ChatEmail Paper Review – If you have a draft, partial draft, or even if you’re having trouble getting started, you can complete a submission form and email your paper to the AWC for review.
Writing Tutors will do their best to return your paper with their comments within 48 hours, not including Saturdays and Sundays. Please plan accordingly if you would like to receive feedback before an assignment due date. AWC Email Paper Review
Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.