Expectations for the Thesis
The Anthropology Department envisions the thesis as an opportunity for you to demonstrate your command of a focused literature on a particular topic within the discipline of anthropology. We expect that through the thesis process you will achieve the following:
Personal Intellectual Growth
- Demonstrate intellectual curiosity through the choice of topic and approach.
- Acquire a specialized set of skills (listening, formulating research questions, using constructive criticism) developed through a productive relationship with an advisor.
- Create a completed product.
- Demonstrate a depth of knowledge about one of the four fields in the discipline of anthropology.
- Evince your intellectual heritage by drawing on and citing appropriately the anthropological scholarship and theory relevant to your topic.
- Examine a cultural text or ethnographic case with depth and originality.
— Describe, interpret, and analyze the text or case.
— Recognize the contradiction, complexity, and embeddedness of this case.
- Indicate that you think anthropologically.
— Understand insider’s / outsider’s perspective by demonstrating an awareness of your own positionality.
— Understand a relativistic perspective as compared to an ethnocentric one.
— Understand the limits of relativism.
— Put the case in temporal or spatial context. Explain how the case is historically constituted and situated in a particular place and space.
— Understand the social construction of reality.
- Demonstrate ethical research practices (which you explain in a methodology section).
- Apply ethnographic, ethnohistorical or archaeological methods which you specifically identify and justify (in a methodology section).
Writing and Mechanics
- Compose a grammatically correct, well-organized, lucid and cogent document.
— Use precise, concise language.
- Clearly articulate your argument in the introduction.
- Effectively present evidence to support your argument.
- Support your argument in a compelling conclusion.
- Engage the reader in the topic.
— Be aware of and sensitive to audience.
- Write in the discipline, using appropriate style.
- Demonstrate academic honesty through appropriate in-text citation for paraphrases and direct quotes and a comprehensive bibliography formatted using the AAA Style Guide