Anthropology 1 essay

The topic for this research paper is deceptively simple: When and how did we become “human?

This assignment is a Position Paper in which you are to take a position on the topic (based on your personal understanding of the material presented in this class) and support your position by reviewing, discussing and citing reputable research sources.

A. Your first paragraph must explain your definition of what it means to be “human”, ending with a thesis statement that encapsulates your plan to support your position.

B. IMPORTANT: This assignment covers only from the past 2.5 million years ago to today.

a. DO NOT include discussion of species prior to 2.5 million years ago.

b. DO NOT include discussion of the development of bipedalism for this assignment.

C. Present and analyze the current scientific research regarding this topic.

D. Your paper must end with a clear and concise conclusion that recaps your argument and restates your thesis.

So … how do I do this?

1. Introduce and define the scope and focus of your paper in a concise thesis statement that appears at the end of your first paragraph. A thesis statement tells the reader what the paper is about.

2. Support your position as stated in your thesis. Ways to support your position include discussing physical aspects of hominin evolution over the past 2 million years (what changed, what species, what impact?), genetic aspects of hominin evolution over the past 2 million years (what derived, what species, what impact?) and/or cultural aspects of hominin development (what changed, what species, what impact: changes in stone tools, social group behaviors or interactions, symbolic representations, etc.). What is your supporting evidence for your position on when did hominins become “human” in the last 2 million years?

3. Read and refer to at least three different sources (more sources are recommended). DO NOT use Wikipedia or similar crowd-contributed websites as sources of information for this paper. Talk with the college reference librarian for help in finding appropriate research for your paper. You may use links in the class power points to research further sources for your paper (NOT the power points themselves).

4. Recap and conclude. Your conclusion must include a restatement of your thesis and clearly reference your analysis and position on this topic.

5. Submit your completed assignment by clicking on the Turn-It-In link at the bottom of the Assignment page on the course website.


Submit your paper as a Word doc or .docx or as .rtf or .pdf file. Canvas does not accept work submitted in .pages or as Google Docs, Google Drive shared documents or as ZIP files. I cannot grade your paper if I cannot open it!

Requirements for this Assignment

A. Type your name, the topic (Third Assignment) and the due date in the top left corner of your paper. DO NOT put anything else at the top of the page. DO NOT use a cover page, DO NOT include an abstract for this paper.

B. Minimum at least four full pages of text. 4 to 5 pages is an appropriate length for this assignment. Double-spaced, one-inch margins (check your left and right margins), typed in English, 12-point font.

C. Include a full source page at the end of your report (three sources minimum, more is better). List complete source citations in APA format. Include as much of the following information as possible: author(s) family name followed by first initial, year of publication, title of article or book, name of journal, magazine or book including volume/issue and page numbers of publication, website where the article was published, date of website information retrieval.

Website APA citation format examples:

The Writing Center. (2019). Plagiarism. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved January 4, 2019, from

D. Use in-text citations to identify the source(s) of quoted and/or technical and/or highly specialized information included in your paper. In-text citations look like this: (family name of author, first initials of author, year of publication). For example: (Smithson, J. 2019). DO NOT use footnotes. DO NOT include the entire source citation as an in-text citation.

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