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ANTH 2225: Ancient Civilizations


  1. Objectives
  2. What information do I need to know for the annotated bibliography and the term paper?
  3. How do I find books, encyclopedias, and scholarly articles?
  4. How do I recognize scholarly articles?
  5. How do I make my searching more effective?
  6. Summary & closing


By the end of class, you will be able to:

  1. Find the ANTH 2225 library course guide for this class
  2. Identify characteristics of scholarly articles
  3. Find a reference book using the ANTH subject guide
  4. Find a book using MRU LibrarySearch
  5. Find a scholarly article using MRU LibrarySearch
  6. Find a scholarly article using a recommended database using the ANTH subject guide
  7. Improve searching efficiency

Key Points for Annotated Bibliography

  1. Minimum resources
    1. Required Text
    2. Minimum one reserve text
    3. Maximum one website

Key Points for Term Paper

  1. Minimum 10 resources
    1. Required Text
    2. Minimum one reserve text
    3. Minimum one reference text (only available electronically this semester)
    4. Maximum one website
    5. Maximum of six journal articles

When researching theories in anthropology, returning to the original source, also known as the primary source, can help you understand the nuances of the theory. You'll likely use other reference texts to help simplify and make sense of the theory.

Look at how the concept of "hydraulic civilization" is described in the original source by Wittfogel:

Scholarly Articles

  • Often referred to as academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed 
  • Written by experts in a particular field
  • Keep others interested in that field up to date on the most recent research and findings. 

What is peer-review?

  • When a source has been peer-reviewed it has undergone the review and scrutiny of a review board of colleagues in the author's field.  They evaluate this source as part of the body of research for a particular discipline and make recommendations regarding its publication in a journal, revisions prior to publication, or, in some cases, reject its publication.

General Characteristics

  1. Author: Expert in the field
  2. Review: Reviewed by other experts (peers)
  3. Audience / Language: Written for scholars and students; uses academic language
  4. Content: Original research and criticism; uses previous research literature for background
  5. Citations: Always

Finding Sources

  1. Start with the Anthropology Subject Guide

Less is More: Start with one or two words and then add one additional term at a time

  • ceremony
  • ceremony burial

Phrase searching: Use "quotation marks" around key ideas made up of multiple words

  • "ceremonial burial"
  • very useful when you have a specific phrase containing common words

Truncation: Use an asterisk * to find different endings to your keywords

  • ceremon* = ceremony, ceremonies, ceremonial
  • environ* = environment, environmental, environmentalists

Use limits: These refine (narrow) your search using different restrictions

  • Date (last 10 years)
  • Peer-reviewed (for articles)

Boolean:  OR / AND / NOT

  • use OR for spelling (archaeology OR archeology) and words with similar meanings
  • use AND to combine words and phrases (this is usually the default when searching)
  • use NOT to exclude a word or phrase (be careful when eliminating something from a search - it's easy to exclude too much)

Useful Guides and Resources

Society for American Archaeology Style Guide

3.1 Preparing the Manuscript
3.4 In-Text Reference Citations
3.11 References Cited
3.11.1 Book, single author
3.11.2 Book, multiple authors
3.11.13 Article in edited book or monograph
3.11.14 Article in edited volume in a series
3.11.9 Article in a journal
3.11.22 Web pages and electronic documents

Annotated Bibliography Resources

An annotated bibliography is a list of references with a brief description

  • Summarize the work – describe the content of the article
  • Evaluate the work – critically look at the good and bad aspects of the article
  • Do NOT use the abstract to summarize, use your own words

To avoid plagiarism when paraphrasing remember these five important points:

1) Your paraphrased text should be significantly different from the original (i.e. don't just change a few words here and there)

2) You must change the structure of the sentence or paragraph you are paraphrasing, not just the words.

3) If you use anyone else's words verbatim (word for word) you need to put quotation marks around it.

4) Use proper citation method, (for ANTH 2225, use SAA citation format) to give credit for the idea's, opinions or theories you are presenting.

5) Check that you have preserved the original meaning of the text in your paraphrased version

Paraphrasing Guide - OWL@Purdue


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Chris Thomas

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