Anthropology 101 – Carter

photograph of a skull against a black background

A 7,000 year old skull that helped researchers to understand more about the ancestors of European humans. To learn more, read this article from Harvard Medical School

About this guide

This guide provides students with suggested print and online resources for research on biological anthropology, for Anthropology 101 with Professor Carter.

Use the tabs above to navigate through the guide.

Your assignment

A group research project on a topic related to biological anthropology. You and your group will select a topic, conduct research, and assemble a poster presenting the research during the scheduled final exam time. At the poster presentation, you will also submit a portfolio with all of the steps of the research process, including an annotated bibliography of your sources.

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Choosing a Topic

Your topic should be focused, but not so narrow that you cannot find enough information about it. For topic ideas, look at your course readings and lecture notes, or look at some of the reference sources on the “Background Info” tab of this research guide.

Research Questions

A research question articulates exactly what you want to know about your topic, and helps guide your research. Your research question should be specific, but open-ended.

The video below offers some tips for creating open-ended research questions.


Keywords are the words you type into a search box to search for information on your topic. The words you use to describe your topic may be different from the words used by the library catalog and databases. If you have trouble finding information on your topic, ask a librarian for help choosing the best keywords to use in your search.

Watch the video below for a short tutorial on keywords.

Video courtesy of Ray Howard Library at Shoreline Community College (CC BY-NC 3.0 US)


When searching for background information, you might want to start by using some of the terms below, or combining these terms with words that describe your specific topic.

  • Archaeology
  • Bioarchaeology
  • Biological anthropology
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Human adaptation
  • Human behavioral ecology
  • Human evolution
  • Human osteology
  • Human paleobiology
  • Human morphology
  • Paleoanthropology
  • Paleopathology
  • Physical anthropology
  • Primatology

Reference Sources

References sources are a good place to start to get background information on your topic.

Online Reference Sources

To access these resources from off campus, you will need to log in using your Pipeline username and password.

Print Reference Sources

These resources are available in the Luria Library Reference section.

  • 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook — R 301 B619t 2010


Search the library catalog for print books and ebooks on your topic, using some of the keywords suggested on the “Background Info” tab.


To find articles from periodicals (newspapers, magazines, and academic journals), search the library databases. To access databases from off campus, you will need to log in with your Pipeline username and password.

Use one of the following databases, or ask a librarian to suggest the best database for your specific topic:

  • Academic Search Premier Provides abstracts for articles from nearly 13,200 periodicals (journals, magazines, and newspapers) in all subject areas.
  • JSTOR Includes scholarly articles in all subject areas.
  • Project MUSE Provides complete, full-text versions of scholarly journals in many subject areas.
  • Science Full Text Select Provides full text for more than 400 journals from a wide range of scientific fields.

Evaluating Websites

Figuring out whether the information you find online is credible enough for college research can be challenging. Use the P.R.O.V.E.N. Test for Evaluating Sources to determine whether the sources you find are credible:

  • Purpose: The reason the information exists. Is the purpose to sell, to entertain, to inform, to teach, or to persuade? Do the authors and publishers/sponsors make their purposes clear? Is this source designed for general readers or academic readers?
  • Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs. Does it relate to your topic? Does it meet the requirements of your assignment? Is it too basic or too advanced?
  • Objectivity: The reasonableness of the information. Is it fact or opinion? Is it biased? Do the authors use strong or emotional language, or leave out important facts or alternative perspectives?
  • Verifiability: The truthfulness and accuracy of the information. Where does the information come from? Can you verify it in other sources? Are there citations or links to other sources? What do experts say about the topic?
  • Expertise: The source of the information. Who are the authors, publishers, or sponsors of the information? Are they experts, or has the information been reviewed by experts? Is it posted on a personal website or blog?
  • Newness: The timeliness of the information. When was the information published or posted? Is it up to date? Is your topic in an area that requires current information (such as technology or current events), or will older sources work as well?

Internet Search Tips

For tips on advanced searching in Google, check out the video, Know More Now: Searching Smarter in Google.