Archaeology Research Paper Topics

The hypothesis guides your research and requires evaluation, explanation, and testing. Think of your sources as the attorneys who are presenting their arguments for and against your hypothesis. Be explicit when you explain your reasons for your conclusions.

That is a is a thesis or proposition such as “the Maya collapse resulted from an increase in population that surpassed the productive capacity of the available agricultural technology” or “the Neanderthals became extinct as the result of new diseases introduced by contact with anatomically modern humans.” The hypothesis posits a cause and effect relationship between events or variables and engages the reader’s interest by telling the reader what the research is about.

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A good topic and an interesting hypothesis are the heart and soul of any paper. You must reach a verdict by deciding in favor of one or the other. Don’t be afraid to conclude that the hypothesis you began with is supported by the evidence. What would be the significance of the answers for your readers?Do not describe other people’s work or reiterate an author’s arguments, and do not rely on other writers’ interpretations of the sources. The abstract summarizes the research, the results, and the conclusions.Remember that web sites, blogs, and similar sources may be unfiltered opinion and not data.Always provide sufficient detail for the reader to know where you obtained your information, and include the author, year of publication, place of publication, and specific page numbers.The format is “author’s name-date-page numbers” (e.g., Potter 1979: 15-20). Figures (maps, plans, photographs, or other images) are grouped at the end of the paper, each with a number and a caption explaining the figure and identifying the source.The entry in the bibliography corresponding with this citation is Potter, Timothy W., 1979, . Figures are not window dressing: each should add something to your paper.Graphs, charts, and tables should be used sparingly. Never take credit for other people’s ideas or words.A simple line graph depicting declining rainfall in the Bronze Age may show the severity of a drought affecting the Mycenaeans more clearly than the presentation of quantitative data in a table. Do you present only positive evidence to support your hypothesis (this weakens a paper), or do you consider negative evidence in an attempt to challenge the hypothesis (always best)? Your paper must be your work entirely with your own thoughts, ideas, and words.Use primary sources such as published books and articles in peer-reviewed journals, and limit your use of secondary sources such as textbooks, dictionaries, and encyclopedias.If a source has not been subjected to peer review or editorial control, you should be skeptical of its contents.

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