Traditional Cultures

Film Research Essay Instructions
ANTH 304-70, Spring 2024

This assignment requires you to select ONE of the six films in the special list [see list of links], watch it, and write about it, using outside references. All of the films are about people living in regions of the world we have studied. Although the topic of this course is “traditional cultures” we must also be aware of contemporary issues and problems faced by these groups. Therefore, these films all have to do with development, prejudice, war, politics, tourism, human rights, and so on—things that disrupt peoples’ lives and change them, for better or worse; things that change and even destroy their “traditional” cultures. [See the end of this handout for a synopsis of each film, to help you select one of interest to you. Remember, you only need to choose ONE film.]
(1) Watch the film of your choice. If relevant, make connections with lecture materials or chapters in your textbook [you can compare and contrast, for example].
(2) Then, do some research about the situation, people, place, issues, or events depicted in the film. Write an essay that expresses your analysis of the situation, drawing upon the film, the class materials [if relevant] and at LEAST 3 scholarly outside references. See next page for reference materials allowed. Some of the things you might consider incorporating into your paper [although you are free to think of other themes]: Was there ethnocentrism shown in the film? Racism or prejudice? If there are “bad guys,” what was going on to make them treat people as they did? Did the original, traditional culture actually contribute to the situation? What examples of cultural misunderstanding do you see? Is the idea of human rights something our culture believes in, or is it universal? Use your imagination, but bring culture and culture change into the mix in some way.

• Minimum length: 1500 words, single-spaced, not including reference list. Type the word count under your name in the heading.
• Write formally—do not use slang. Be analytical [what you think] rather than emotional [how you feel]. It is OK to have sentences like “I believe that. . .” or “I argue that. . .” but you need to have evidence to back up what you are saying. That is where the research comes in.
• Your essay must have an introductory paragraph(s), a “body” of topic paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph(s). The introduction should describe what your paper will be about. The “body” of the paper [that is, your topic paragraphs] should make the points, and the conclusion should bring everything back full circle.
• Please use headings [e.g. Introduction, Background, Historical Factors, Yaddayadda (or whatever is appropriate), Conclusion] for the sections of your paper.
• You may use whatever reference citation format you are familiar with (APA, MLA, etc.). However, just be sure to provide ALL of the relevant information. For books: date of publication, author, title, and publisher. For articles: date, author, title of article, journal title, journal volume & number, page numbers of article. I provide an example at the end of this document, in case you aren’t especially familiar with any one style. Just be consistent!

• You MUST cite your references in parentheses throughout your paper, as well as having a complete reference list at the end of the paper.

• Do not QUOTE. This is a short paper, so I don’t want to see any direct quotes. Write in your own words, and paraphrase the information you learn you’re your sources. You MUST cite the source of anything that did not come from your own head. So for example, you would cite something you got from a book by Joe Smith, written in 2009, like this (Smith 2009). Please see the Reference List handout for many examples that will help you. Ask me if you have any questions!

Sources Allowed [or not]
• You are required to find JOURNAL articles [these are described below if you are not sure].
• Exceptions to the minimum three scholarly articles requirement:
o If you have at least TWO scholarly articles, for the third one you may use high quality news magazines or newspapers [National Geographic, The Atlantic, New York Times, etc.].
o If you have at least TWO scholarly articles, for the third one you may use a scholarly or professional website such as museum websites, national or international websites (e.g. United Nations, Amnesty International, etc.).
• If you have the three scholarly articles already, then you are welcome to ALSO use [for example] a National Geographic, a museum website, United Nations, or etc.
• If you have the three scholarly articles already, then you can certainly ALSO use the textbook, or even lecture [if relevant to the film you picked]—but remember the lecture and textbook are NOT “outside scholarly references”; they are just part of your class materials. Using your class materials is OK but they don’t count as “research” since they are already provided for you.
• DO NOT use Wikipedia. Wikipedia can often give you great suggestions about sources to find, but don’t use a Wikipedia page as a reference please.
• DO NOT use blogs, travel diaries, facebook pages, or anything that is NOT scholarly.
• Do feel free to ask me if you are not sure.

What is a “journal article”?
• A journal article is a scholarly, peer-reviewed article, generally describing scholarly research in some way. Such articles are the type of resources, in addition to books, that ought to be used for student “research papers.”
• A good clue that you have the correct kind of journal is that its title has the word “journal” in it. A famous example is the Journal of the American Medical Association. Many journals put the word “journal” in their subtitles instead. For example, American Anthropologist is the Journal of the American Anthropological Association.
• Use the Library databases, as described below, to find appropriate journals.

How to find articles:
• Click on Library main page; Click on Databases, and then select Anthropology.
• This takes you to a page that lists anthropology databases.
o AnthroSource is one of the best. AnthroSource is a database that contains all of the journals published by the American Anthropological Association. You can search this database as a whole, or go to specific journals. Try different key words to see what you can find.

o You might also try JSTOR or Google Scholar
o Anthropology Plus is a good database.
o eHRAF World Cultures is also good
o Although I prefer that you find articles in anthropology, I will also accept relevant articles in other journals—economic or political topics, human rights, culture studies, and so on. There are some journals devoted to the cultures of certain regions, like Journal of Pacific Island Studies, and so on. You can make the connection to culture and the anthropological perspective in your paper.
• You can also type search terms in the first page of the Library website, where it says One Search.
~See examples of how to format a reference list below~


[This is an example of how to list a reference that is a BOOK]
Bennett, Tony
1995 The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics. London: Routledge Publishers.

[This is an example of how to list a reference that is an ARTICLE FROM A JOURNAL]
Csordas, Thomas J.
1988 Elements of Charismatic Persuasion and Healing. Medical Anthropology Quarterly

[This is an example of how to list a reference that is a CHAPTER IN AN EDITED VOLUME]
Thomas, William

  • 2009 Eldertopia: A Vision for Old Age in a New World. In, The Cultural Context of Aging: Worldwide Perspectives. Jay Sokolovsky (ed.), Pp. 533-535. Westport, CT: Praeger Publications.

***Conventionally, book titles, journals, magazine, and newspapers are italicized [like Journal of the American Medical Association, or National Geographic, or New York Times, or Culture Sketches].
*** If you mention a book in your paper, italicize the title. If you mention an article title or chapter title in your paper, put it in “quotation marks.” This lets the reader [ME in this case] know instantly what kind of source you are talking about. You don’t need quotation marks around the article or chapter titles in your reference list, though—just if you include it in your actual paper.

Do you need urgent help with this or a similar assignment? We got you. Simply place your order and leave the rest to our experts.

Order Now

Quality Guaranteed!

Written From Scratch.

We Keep Time!

Scroll to Top