Review Paper

1.     Your term paper for ANTH 405 will be a concise review paper, or “mini-review.” As its label implies, a mini-review presents a succinct review of recent progress in the scholarly literature on a particular topic. It summarizes the current state of knowledge of the topic, and creates an understanding of the topic for the reader by discussing the findings presented in recent research papers. A review paper is not a “term paper” or a book report. A review paper synthesizes the results from many primary literature papers from the peer-reviewed academic literature to produce a short, coherent, and critical summary of the current state of knowledge about a specific topic.  2.     An excellent guide to writing review papers (including mini-reviews) is available here: This guide is meant for serious students and scholars at all levels, including you. You can find good examples of full-length review papers in journals such as Annual Review of Anthropology, Evolutionary Anthropology, or Trends in Ecology & Evolution. Good examples of mini-review abound; use Google or Google Scholar to find examples of mini-reviews in scientific subjects. 3.     Before you can begin to write this paper, you need to undertake diligent and inventive searching in the library, and in the various electronic databases and catalogues available through the library. Most or all of this work can be done virtually. Make sure that you budget sufficient time for this phase of your project so that you will not be stuck if you need to have books recalled from the library or if you need an interlibrary loan. Our library system is replete with helpful librarians you can help you find the resources you need. 4.     After you have collected promising resources, scan them carefully for their relevance and interest, and put aside those that appear to be of limited use. Not all the papers or books you collected may be useful, and a bibliography that is packed with entries of marginal importance or relevance is useless to a critical reader. The emphasis of a review paper is interpreting the primary literature on the subject. You need to read several original research articles on the same topic and make your own conclusions about the meanings of those papers. Sources other than primary scholarly articles (e.g., news pieces, and blogs) may be cited, but these should not be you dominant resource. Citations to online sources need to follow a standard style guide (see item 5 below). 5.     Once you have a good idea of what has been written about your topic recently and what is of greatest interest to you, you can create a provisional outline for your paper. This is an essential step to writing a clear and concise review paper because it will keep you on track and prevent you from wandering off on tangents. As you develop your outline, keep in mind that you are trying to introduce review your topic for a general audience. Logical organization is critical. 6.     Once you have developed your outline, start writing your first draft. Insert citations to the primary literature into the text, grouping citations when appropriate, e.g., “The topic of alien abduction was not examined critically until the later 20th century when it began to be investigated by a series of American psychologists and sociologists (Greenman, 1970; Phobos and Delmos, 1983; Aldebaran, et al. 1995).” All references cited in your text need to be listed in full in your bibliography. There are many style guides that can be used; for your review paper any of the common style guides may be used as long as you are consistent:   7.     The main text of your mini-review paper should not exceed 10 pages (or about 3000 words), not including the bibliography. 8.     Limit yourself to no more than 50 bibliographic sources. The bibliographies need to be academic studies done, no wikipedia, nothing from the internet, they need to be peer reviewed articles and research done. They also cannot be books, they need to be hard research done, that is cited and credible. The majority of the paper is in-text citations that back up the topic of the paper which is infant care of chimpanzee’s. THIS IS A REVIEW PAPER, not a regular term paper. The formatting needs to follow APA style and needs to be credible.

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