If you would like feedback and support while writing, the Marks Family Resource Center, located at 3808 Walnut Street, is an excellent resource. Consult their web page, where you will find links to guides on writing. They also meet with students to improve their writing one-on-one. Writing Center drop-in tutoring hours can be found here.
You should use consistent style for your in-text citations, references cited, and writing in general. All Undergraduate Theses submitted to the Department of Anthropology must use the formal “style guide.” We recommend the American Anthropologist for cultural anthropology and linguistics topics, American Antiquity and Historical Archaeology for archaeology topics, and American Journal of Physical Anthropology for physical anthropology and biological anthropology topics. You must use the style guide consistently for the Abstract, Main Text, References Cited, Figures, and Tables. All citations must have the complete reference in the section “References Cited.” All figures must be numbered and must be referred to in the text at least once. Online style guides are available for the following journals:
American Journal of Physical Anthropology:
All pages in your thesis should be numbered at the bottom center using Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3 . . .) (including Main Text, References Cited section, Figures section, and Tables section). The Title page is not numbered. Any preliminary pages (Abstract, Table of Contents, or lists of Figures) use small Roman numerals (i, ii, iii . . .).
Your title page is unnumbered. All text of the title page should be centered and have the same font as the main text Your title page should have the following elements (note the use of upper and lower case):
[TITLE OF THE UNDERGRADUATE THESIS IN UPPER CASE]
Submitted to the
Department of Anthropology
University of Pennsylvania
Thesis Advisor: [name of the Thesis Advisor]
The Undergraduate Thesis must include a formal abstract (summary) of 100-200 words at the beginning, immediately following your Title page. Your thesis abstract presents a concise summary of the thesis (research problem or issue, the methods or approach used, and results). Do not cite references in the abstract.
Anthropology generally uses in-text citations to refer to published work as you’ll see in the Style Guide above. It is better to over-cite your sources than to under-cite them! Below are links to the Penn Library’s documentation guide and the University guide to academic integrity. Please read these documents carefully:
We discourage the use of footnotes and endnotes for “additional information.” If necessary, use endnotes rather than footnotes. Endnotes appear in sequence at the end of the main text as a separate section titled “Endnotes” and are numbered in sequence in the text (using a superscript font). Endnotes are single-spaced with double spaces between them.
Your Undergraduate Thesis should include a complete “References Cited” section (this is not a “Bibliography”). Refer to the appropriate style guide (American Anthropologist, American Antiquity, Historical Archaeology, or American Journal of Physical Anthropology) above for details on citations. Your References Cited section must include all and only the references that you’ve formally cited in your main text, endnotes, figures, and tables. Work with your advisor to agree on appropriate citations for archival sources, interviews, museum records, and other research data.
The Undergraduate Thesis in Anthropology is a formal document, so your figures and tables should be sharp, clear, readable and directly relevant to the topic. Your figures should be clear and legible. Scan images from publications and reduce or enlarge these to best fit the margins of your page using Photoshop or Illustrator (available on computers in the Department and in Weigle Information Commons).
Figures includes diagrams, photographs, drawings, graphics, illustrations, and maps. They will be numbered in sequence “Figure X..”. Label all of your tables “Table Y..” in a separate numbered sequence. You should mention each figure and table at least once in your text [for example: “As Table 5 demonstrates, the alcoholic content of maize beer is low.”] Each figure or table must have an individual caption on the page where it appears. If information or images in your figures come from published or unpublished work of others, you must include formal citations in your captions and References Cited section (“Figure 3: Location map showing the excavations completed during the 1994 field season (after Smith et al. 1995).”
Photographs are numbered in the figure sequence. Photographs should be sharp, fit within the required margins, and have direct relevance to your thesis. Like all figures, each photograph must have a caption, must be cited in the text, and must be listed in the table of figures if you include one. You must cite the sources of any published image you reproduce, and that citation must appear in your “References Cited.”
The text, tables and figures of your thesis should have a 1-inch margin on all sides. Your text should be double spaced except for the Title Page, Abstract, Table of Contents, long quoted passages (“block” quotes), References Cited, Endnotes and Captions. Format these sections according to the style guide for your thesis subject area.
Choose a clear standard typeface (Times New Roman, etc.) and format pages with 12-point font throughout your document.
Gibaldi, Joseph. 2009. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America. A comprehensive guide to writing research papers.
Strunk, W. and E.B. White. 2005. The Elements of Style. New York: Penguin Press. Appropriate for more humanities-oriented papers (and therefore possibly for cultural- and linguistic anthropology theses). Focuses on rules of standard English and calls attention to common errors.
Turabian, Kate L. 2007. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 7th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Updated in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style.
University of Chicago. 2010. The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Another classic, comprehensive style guide; extensively revised for the 16th edition.