Final Research Paper

Final Research Paper

Throughout this course, we have learned how culture is
a powerful tool that allows humans to adapt to their own unique
environments. To better understand cultural diversity, comparisons
between cultures are often used to explain the similarities and
differences across societies. To demonstrate your understanding of the
adaptive nature of culture, you will prepare a research paper that
requires you to think about what people are doing, why they are doing
what they do, and how these behaviors tie in with their environment.

In this paper, you will be comparing and contrasting
one of the following topics in two cultures (other than your own),
providing an analysis of the similarities and differences, and
explaining why these differences might exist.

In your Partial Rough Draft, you selected a topic from the following list:

  • Body art and ornamentation
  • Child rearing practices
  • Healthcare practices
  • The use of music or dance as a form of political protest, or as a reflection of cultural issues, values and beliefs
  • Educational practices
  • Elderly care
  • Body language and proxemics
  • Rites of passage
  • Conflict resolution
  • Marriage practices
  • Alternative gender roles
  • An alternate topic that was approved by the instructor

In Week Three, you conducted your research and completed a Partial Rough Draft of the Final Research Paper. The library research guide
helped you choose a topic, two cultures, and library resourses
containing information to be used in the paper. You have also received
feedback from your instructor on this draft. It is important at this
stage that you carefully take the time to review the feedback that was
provided. If, based on this feedback, you feel the need to conduct any
additional research, now is the time to visit the Ashford University
Library and locate additional scholarly sources.

Click here to access the Library Research Guide

For this assignment, you will expand your rough draft
into a five- to seven-page research paper (excluding the title and
reference pages) that contains the following components:

  1. A discussion of how two cultures (other than your
    own) approach the topic, including specific ethnographic examples. Be
    sure to choose two specific and contemporary (currently existing)
    cultures. Terms such as European, Asian, or African refer to continents,
    not cultures, and are not appropriate for this paper.
  2. A compare and contrast analysis of the
    similarities and differences in how the two cultures approach the topic
    from a culturally relativistic perspective. In your analysis, address
    how the information on the cultures was gathered as well as how cultural
    relativism played a role for both the anthropologist in the field and
    for you in this discussion.
  3. A discussion of whether the differences are
    related to other cultural factors such as kinship, division of labor,
    gender roles, economic organization, and political organization as well
    as whether the differences can be seen as adaptations to the social or
    natural environment. You don’t have to cover every single one of these
    cultural factors, but you should include a discussion of the most
    salient ones related to your topic.
  4. A discussion on the cultural context of the topic
    and how it relates to symbolic systems such as religion, communication,
    or ritual.
  5. A discussion of how this particular cultural
    practice has changed over time and whether it has been modified,
    adopted, diminished, and/or spread through colonialism and/or

Take extra care as you are writing this paper to
ensure that you have given proper consideration to all of the notes that
were provided to you by your instructor. You will also want to allow
plenty of time to proofread the Final Research Paper and double check
for formatting and the use of proper citations. If you are concerned
about plagiarism, please utilize the “Plagiarism Flow Chart.”

The paper must be five to seven pages in length,
excluding the title and reference pages, and formatted according to APA
style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. You must use at least
three scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library to support
your claims. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the
reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and
tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning
Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.

Writing the Final Research Paper
The Final Paper:

Must be five to seven double-spaced pages in
length, excluding the title and reference pages, and formatted according
to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Must include a title page with the following:
Title of paper Student’s name Course name and number Instructor’s name Date submitted Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis. Must use at least three scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library. Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

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550 words
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  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

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