Hominin Discussion Paper

Anth:  Hominin Discussion Paper                                                  


Write a short opinion paper on your interpretation of the evidence for early human evolution.  Which of the four species alive 1.8 mya is the most likely ancestor of Homo erectus?  How do you explain the morphological differences between Dmanisi skull 5 and WT 15000?  Does the physical evidence support the idea of one diverse species from 1.75 mya to 50,000 years ago, or does the evidence support the idea of multiple species that lived distinctly different lives over that time span?  Were they all early humans from different areas that gradually became “us”, or were they distinctly different species?

This assignment is a persuasive argument paper.  In order to write a persuasive argument, you will have to decide your position on the subject.  Research the evidence for one species with regional variations over time vs. multiple species that lived side-by-side and discuss you thoughts in a short paper.  Refer to your primate research paper for ideas on ecological and dietary influences.  Cultural behaviors, tool types, morphological traits, or many other kinds of evidence also can be used to back up your position.


Your paper must have an introduction, a thesis statement and a conclusion.  Your thesis statement must appear at the end of your first paragraph.  Your conclusion should demonstrate what you think about this subject.  You might agree with current scientific interpretation of the evidence or you might disagree.  The point of this paper is for you to state your position and back it up with solid research.

1)    Use your textbook as a source of information: 

Stanford, Allen and Anton’s “Exploring Biological Anthropology” 3rd edition.

     2)    Use the following website as a resource:  http://humanorigins.si.edu/ (hominin resource site)

     3)    Use other reputable published primary or secondary sources of information.  Primary sources are scholarly articles from academic journals or college-level educational sources.  Secondary sources include newspapers and magazines/periodicals that report or comment on scientific discoveries.  Avoid sources that take a position with weak or non-existent evidence.


You may NOT use Wikipedia, Answers.com, Enchanted Learning.com or any other similar tertiary source.  DO NOT use any blog source or Internet student-generated sites to gather information.  Use of these sites will result in half-credit as a starting point for your grade. 


   1) Papers must be organized and well written to be considered for full credit.

   2) Typed, double-spaced, spell-checked and proof-read for correct grammar.

   3) One-inch margins – no 1.25 inch margins.  Adjust your default margins to 1-inch if necessary.

   4) Three full pages minimum, four-page maximum.

   5) Use in-text citation every time you use a statement or concept from any source (textbook included).

   6)  All sources must be referenced in APA format on a separate sheet. 

 Papers without a source page will lose 5 points.


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