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Compare the intensification of hunting-gathering in European Mesolithic societies with that of hunter-gatherer societies in the Americas.

Assignment 2: Research Paper Outline and Paper

Part A: Research Paper Outline

Weight: 10% of final grade
Due: End of unit 11
Length: 23 pages (500750 words)

Part B: Research Paper

Weight: 25% of final grade
Due: End of unit 20
Length: 1015 pages (2,5003,750 words)

Assignment Overview
The Research Paper assignment has two components. First, it requires you to prepare a Research Paper Outline, which you will then use to produce your final Research Paper submission. A choice of topics and instructions for completing this assignment are given below. You should select your research topic as soon after Quiz 1 as possible. You are strongly advised to consult with your tutor about the suitability of your selected topic and research strategies before you begin researching and writing.

In completing this assignment, you must consult or refer to at least eight (8) resources other than your course textbook. You may choose from the resources listed in the Supplementary Readings section at the end of each unit, or you may wish to consult resources that are available from other academic libraries. Your sources should be academic monographs or journal articles. Lecture notes from other classes, encyclopaedia entries, newspaper articles, and Internet sites such as Wikipedia are not acceptable. Please consult with your tutor if you have any questions about potential sources.

For more information on essay writing, refer to the Tips on Essay Writing section in this Course Information. For additional information on researching and academic writing style, proper referencing formats, and other tips on scholarly essay writing, consult the Athabasca University Librarys Help Centre.

Suggested Research Paper Topics

1.Brian Fagan (p. 180) states that Increasingly during the late Ice Age and more frequently in Holocene times, hunter-gatherer populations were confronted with new challenges, challenges created both by major climatic changes at the end of the Pleistocene and by local population growth. Discuss the concept of intensification as a strategy for meeting these challenges. Compare the intensification of hunting-gathering in European Mesolithic societies with that of hunter-gatherer societies in the Americas.

2. In the 1930s, V. Gordon Childe, a renowned expert on European and Near Eastern archaeology, proposed that the shift to food production was one of two major events in human history that improved the condition of human societies. Evaluate this theory by outlining the advantages and disadvantages of food production in prehistoric cultures in the following three regions: Southwest Asia, Europe, and the Americas. In your opinion, why did people in some regions of the world not adopt food production as a way of life?

3.Summarize the concept civilization as it is used by archaeologists. Then select two Old World civilizations and compare their formation. Focus on factors that may have contributed to their development, such as the development of long-distance trade, the appearance of social ranking, state-supported monumental construction, the intensification of agriculture, and the increased inter-societal competition for resources. Discuss which of the theories proposed in your textbook best accounts for the rise of each civilization. Justify your choice.

4.Although all world civilizations eventually collapse or decline in one way or another, three of the greatest civilizations of the Americasthe Maya, the Aztec, and the Incaunderwent particularly spectacular collapses. Fagan discusses contributing factors such as environmental change, ecological stress, endemic warfare, competition for trade, and responses to environmental (social and physical) fluctuations. Evaluate each of these explanations with specific reference to the collapse of the Maya, Inca, and Aztec civilizations. Archaeologists suggest that understanding how and why ancient societies collapsed is crucial for the long-term survival of todays civilizations. In your opinion, how can we benefit by studying the collapse of ancient societies?

Part A: Research Paper Outline

This component of your research paper assignment, which is worth 10% of your final grade, must be submitted to your tutor for grading and evaluation at the end of unit 11.

Your 2 to 3-page outline must contain an introductory statement or position, a body of text comprising several subheadings that indicate the concepts to be presented, and a concluding statement or position.

Your outline should also include the following elements:

the specific topic to be discussed
the various themes you intend to discuss
your personal perspective on these themes
the lines of evidence you intend to use to support your position
a bibliography of the resources you plan to consult
Remember that the structure of your research paper may differ slightly from the outline, and your opinions or choice of evidence may change as you investigate your topic more thoroughly. However, a good outline is a valuable tool for keeping your writing on track. In reviewing your outline, your tutor will advise you on the adequacy of your information and may suggest other resources for you to investigate.

When you have completed your outline, make a copy for your records and submit it using the assignment link on the course home page.

Part B: Research Paper

This component of your research paper assignment, which is worth 25% of your final grade, must be submitted to your tutor for grading and evaluation at the end of unit 20, or before you write the final exam. This 10 to 15-page paper (typed/word processed and double spaced) should be written so as to be clearly and easily understood by someone not familiar with the topic. Refer to the Tips on Essay Writing section before you begin.

Your research paper will be graded on the basis of the following criteria:

You will receive full marks in this category if you keep to the point, and resist the temptation to wander off topic or include material that merely repeats what you have already said or is not needed to make your point. Be concise.
Define any term that has more than one meaning, especially if the force or clarity of your argument hinges on a particular meaning. For example, culture is a concept that has many meanings, and unless you state what you mean when you use the term, no one will know for sure what you are talking about. Assume that you are writing for a fellow student rather than for an omniscient marker. Then you will be less likely to assume that the reader is going to know what you mean by a particular term.
Logic and Organization
At the beginning of the paper, state what you plan to accomplish, and describe how you plan to do it. Equally important, conclude with a demonstration, or at least a statement, that you have accomplished what you set out to do. Between your opening and concluding paragraphs, make sure that your sentences follow logically and that you make appropriate transitions between paragraphs. Do not change topic or focus without acknowledging that you are doing so, and explaining why.
Avoid using other peoples words to make your points. However, once you have made your point in your own words, it is good practice to illustrate what you mean by including an example drawn from one of your research sources. Assertions should be qualified in some way; for example, use phrases such as it tends to be rather than it is, or research indicates rather than studies prove. All direct quotations and paraphrased material should be properly referenced. (See the Citations and References section.)
Marks will be deducted for errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation that detract from the clarity of your argument; for inaccurate statements; and for inappropriate or misleading word choices. Be sure to proofread your assignment before submitting it.
When you have completed your research paper, make a copy for your records and submit it using the assignment link on the course home page.

All assignments are marked within five business days of their receipt, and the grades and comments are uploaded on the assignment link. When you review your graded assignment, call your tutor to review his or her comments and to discuss the assignment.

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