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ANTH-A 104 Cultural Anthropology

Selecting a topic

When picking your topic, make sure...

  • It interests you! You'll enjoy it and do a better job.
  • It meets the requirements of your assignment.
  • It’s broad enough to give you several search options.
  • It’s focused enough that you’re not overwhelmed with information.

If you are having trouble, think about examples discussed in class, ask your instructor, or consult the librarian.

Background information

Finding background information can help you narrow a topic. Some good resources for background information in anthropology include:

Selecting keywords...

Keywords are the search terms that you will use when looking for scholarly articles. Selecting the right keywords is an important part of the research process. For your assignment in this course, you are asked to research a specific culture. Your first keyword will likely be this culture's name.

Be aware that many cultures have multiple names. For example, if you are researching the Ojibwe people, then you may want to consider also using "Ojibwa" and "Chippewa" as alternative keywords. Wikipedia is a good place to check and see if the culture you are researching has another name.

If the culture you are researching is very specific and you are having trouble finding sources, you may want to consider expanding your search. Is the culture a sub-group of a larger group of people? Consider using the larger group's name as one of your keywords.

You will have better luck finding articles if you include some of the topics that you discussed throughout this semester in your search. Consider using as additional keywords:

  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Family
  • Kinship
  • Tradition
  • Ritual
  • Religion
  • Language
  • Food