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.

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Bioarchaeology
  • Biological anthropology
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Ethnology
  • 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. Source Evaluation Questions to help you determine whether the sources you find are credible:

  • Purpose: How and why the source was created. Is it intended to educate, inform, persuade, sell, or entertain? Do the authors, publishers, or sponsors state this purpose, or try to disguise it? Why was this information published in this particular type of source (book, article, website, blog, etc.)? Is the source designed for the general public, students, or experts?
  • Relevance: The value of the source for your needs. Does the type of source meet your assignment’s requirements? Does the information answer your question, support your argument, or add something to your knowledge of the topic? Is it too general or too specific? Is it too basic or too advanced?
  • Objectivity: The reasonableness and completeness of the information. Do the authors present the information thoroughly and professionally? Is it fact or opinion? Is it biased? Do the authors use strong, emotional, manipulative, or offensive language? Do they leave out, or make fun of, important facts or alternative perspectives?
  • Verifiability: The accuracy and truthfulness of the information. Do the authors support the information they present with strong factual evidence? Do they cite or provide links to other sources? What do experts say about the topic? Can you verify the information in other credible sources? Does the source contradict itself, include false statements, or misrepresent other sources?
  • Expertise: The authority of the creators of the source. What makes the authors, publishers, or sponsors of the source authorities on the topic? Do they have related education, experience, or other expertise? Do they provide an important alternative perspective? Has the source been reviewed in some way, such as by an editor or through peer review?
  • Newness: The age of the information. Is your topic in an area that requires current information (such as science, technology, or current events), or could information found in older sources still be useful? When was the information presented in the source first published or posted? Are newer sources available that would add important information to your understanding of the topic?

Recommended Websites

For more help locating reliable information online, see the Finding Credible Web Sources research guide.