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The Ethnic Heritage of Caucasian and the Cultural Diversity on the Modern World

Step 1.  READ THESE ENTIRE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE BEGINNING. You will be marked down if you miss any of them!

Step 2.  The Library Research Portion of the Writing Assignment:  Find an academic, peer-reviewed source, either a scholarly article or book, on a topic about your ethnic heritage with which you are not familiar. The topic of your ethnic heritage upon which you decide to focus should: (1) be narrow enough for a four page paper, and (2) must be a topic that relates to the second part of the paper, where you will either observe an event related to the topic, or else interview a family member about that topic.

The following are some major anthropology journals.  These are just a sampling.  There are many others.  If you are unsure about whether a particular journal or article is acceptable, check with the librarian or Dr. Udvardy.

Africa                Man                Current Anthropology    Human Organization    Oceania                     

American Anthropologist            Ethnology                    Journal of Anthropological Research

American Ethnologist                Ethnos                          Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Cultural Anthropology                Folk                              Medical Anthropology Quarterly

Step 2.a.  Session with the Young Library.  During this session, you should learn:

        How to differentiate between academic sources and non-academic source materials.

        How conducting research using the Google or another mainstream internet search engine is different from using the databases of the Young Library, a major research library,

        How to access an anthropology or social science database.

        The mechanics of searching for articles on your topic, e.g., generating alternate keywords to find articles written on the topic you have selected.

        How to differentiate between a full-length article (acceptable information source) versus an abstract or book reviews (unacceptable information source).

        How to locate a book in an academic library such as the Young library using its Call Number, finding it on the shelf, and checking it out at the Circulation desk (dont forget to return it by its due date!)

Step 2.b.  Read the article or relevant parts of the book.  Take notes about what you learn.

Step 3.  Select and complete EITHER Option A OR Option B and follow those directions:


Oral interview based paper.

Conduct a semi-structured interview:  Peruse the academic source you selected and read, and write a list of about 5-6 questions to ask your interviewee about that same topic.  For example, if you wrote about Irish ethnicity in America, interview your parent(s) about how closely their experience or that of your ancestors fits with what you have learned in the article or book.  Include not only questions about procedure, but also the feelings and emotions that were felt or displayed.

    Call, or use any facetime medium (zoom, facetime, skype, whats app, etc) or meet with your relative to interview them.  Do not email them or use written correspondence this is an exercise in conducting a live interview.  Take notes during the conversation, or, if you like, you can tape record it for later replay.

    Keep your list of about 5-6 questions with you and begin to ask them.  However, if your interviewee has important, relevant information that they begin to say, let them continue!  People generally love to talk, and your may learn a lot which you did not anticipate!  As long as it is about the topic you chose, that is fine.  Hence, you must balance finishing all your questions with what your interviewee has to say.  Also balance how enthusiastic they continue to be in the interview with tiring them out or making them bored!

    Take notes during the interview.  You are welcome to record the conversation (with your interviewees permission) if you like, but the notes will make it easy for you to write up your paper.

For the Interview, you can make it up or write a scenario for an interview because I don’t have an interview.

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