Essay Assignment Proposal
Throughout the semester, and particularly in the last two ethnographies for Cultures Around the Globe look at the relationship
between culture and power. In particular these ethnographies examine the relationship between individuals, who are often poor,
marginalized and powerless, and cultural institutions that wield power and authority. Quite often, this results in discrimination at
various levels as marginalized people experience structural violence, symbolic violence, racial violence and/or material violence.
• Describe the ways in which violence (structural, symbolic, racial, and/or material) impacts different cultural groups
• Demonstrate an understanding of how individuals and groups resist and/or accept power
• Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts about power and authority
• Be able to apply key concepts regarding power and authority to demonstrate your understanding of power relationships
between individuals and institutions. (This includes, but is not limited to, appropriately using correct terminology (i.e.
hegemony, agency, etc) and theoretical frameworks.
Essay Assignment Proposal:
Before you write your Essay Paper, you will submit a proposal in which you will choose a culture we have not or will not be covering
in class. The culture or group can be a subculture within a larger culture (veterans, immigrants, refugees, ethnic group, etc). You will
need to decide if you are going to complete essay option one or option two.
The proposal will have two parts: 1) a summary with a thesis statement and support and 2) an annotated bibliography.
Once you have done some research on a culture, you need to write a summary of the topic that includes a thesis statement. The
thesis statement is that sentence or two in your text that contains the focus of your essay and tells your reader what the essay is
going to be about. You need to include evidence that supports your thesis statement.
Below are some websites to help you write a thesis statement:
• The Writing Center
• Tips for Writing a Thesis Statement
I strongly recommend taking advantage of the Writing Center here at SDSU.
You will choose at least three peer-reviewed sources to read thoroughly and construct an annotated
bibliography. You may include more than three sources. These are the best resources, so you that mean
you likely reviewed at least twice as many.
• Look for reliable, valid sources that discuss research and use scientific language.
• Look for the author’s credentials. Are they a person who has a documented knowledge of science?
• When was the source created? Could research since that time have changed the information
included in your source? If so, look for more recent works that give you the same (or different)
ANTH 350/S. Black
• What type of source is this – popular, journal, web?
• The depth and level of detail offered in the source. It should be appropriate to your level of
understanding but use relevant vocabulary and cite research to support its information.
So, what is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography that is descriptive and informative describes or summarizes a source as does an abstract, it
describes why the source is useful for researching a particular topic or question, its distinctive features. In addition, it
describes the author’s main arguments and conclusions without evaluating what the author says or concludes. The
summary should be at least 100 – 200 words.
When citing your sources, you will use the Chicago Style Guide, which is now used by AAA (American Anthropological
Association). The link is also posted on Blackboard.
Smith, John 2005. “Breeding Evil.” Economist. 376 (2005):8438, accessed August 6, 2005,
This editorial from the Economist describes the controversy surrounding video games and the effect they have on
people who use them. The author points out that skepticism of new media has gone back to the time of the ancient
Greeks, so this controversy surrounding video games is nothing new. The article also points out that most critics of
gaming are people over 40 and it is an issue of generations not understanding one another, rather than of the games
themselves. As the youth of today grow older, the controversy will die out, according to the author. The author of this
article stresses the age factor over violence as the real reason for opposition to video games and stresses the good
gaming has done in most areas of human life. This article is distinctive in exploring the controversy surrounding video
games from a generational standpoint and is written for a general audience.
Please pay attention to the last sentence. While it points out distinctive features about the item it does not analyze the
For more information on writing an annotated bibliography see the University of Maryland Website.
What are you going to be graded on?
• Summary thoroughly describes the topic chosen. It includes a thesis topic and supporting sentences.
• There are a minimum of three annotated bibliographies at least 100-200 words each.
• You have followed the directions for the annotated bibliography.
• You have used complete sentences and correct spelling and grammar for both the su