Goal: Much of this course has utilized textbooks and general material. It’s important to recognize that this information comes from research that is published in scholarly journals. For this assignment, you will read two articles and compare them.
Find two articles from the two journals listed below. Read the articles and then write a critical summary of the topics discussed in the articles. Please be aware that a 2-page article will not provide sufficient material for your essay.
Papers must be written as critical summaries of the articles you’ve chosen and should address all of the following questions:
• What are the authors’ main arguments and how do they support their arguments?
• How do their arguments and the evidence they present support, contradict, and/or add to the issues covered in class and in the textbook?
• How do the issues that are raised in the articles address evolutionary topics related to the development of humans? If the authors do not address this question, then you are required to make this connection in your essay (this is one of the steps to writing critically).
• What are the problems (if any) with the authors’ arguments or use of evidence?
Your paper should focus on an issue in human evolution (for example, the evolution of hands, the evolution of tool use or the evolution of sexual behavior). The two articles should be about living primates (chimpanzees, orangutans, monkeys, etc.) and/or fossil hominids (Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, Homo erectus, etc.) but they must be about the same issue. For example, the one article could be about the hands of Ardipithecus and the other about chimpanzee hands. Or, the two articles could solely be on the hands of Ardipithecus but these two articles would need to be significantly different from each other. They would need to be by different authors and use different methods or perspectives on the issue you have selected.
Technical details of the final paper:
• Essays must be between 3-4 pages, double-spaced in 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins.
• Put full bibliographic references at the BEGINNING of your paper (Use APA, MLA, or the format you are used to). A DOI (digital object identifier) must be included.
• You must have an Introduction and Conclusion! An introduction of a scientific paper gives away the punch line. What is the purpose and conclusion of your paper? Tell the reader from the beginning. As such, an introduction should also summarize the full paper. This is not background.
• A conclusion wraps up and restates the major points of the essay. These are not just the last words that you typed.
• Essay must be organized into logical paragraphs each with a topic sentence.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology (AJPA) and Journal of Human Evolution
Both are available online through the library.
• RESTRICT your search to the past ten years. The more recent the better.
There are two other pieces of this assignment. Prior to writing the paper, you will submit your articles to the instructor. And at the end of the semester, you will present a brief summary of the articles to your classmates.