Race As a Biological Category Applicable to Humans
ANTHRO 101 ESSAY INSTRUCTIONS
Essay Prompt: Refute the notion of race as a biological category applicable to humans
An assignment link is set up on Canvas for you to submit your essay. The assignment link takes you directly into our class page for Turnitin.com, so you don’t need to create an account and you don’t need a class ID or password.
You must submit a properly formatted essay that includes in text citations and a reference page. You must use APA formatting for your essay (APA formatting resources are provided for you).
You should upload your essay a few days before the deadline, because if Turnitin.com detects any plagiarism or other issues, you can fix your mistakes and then re-upload your essay before the deadline expires. (If you need to make changes and then re-submit your essay, that will completely replace your previous submission.)
• Submit your essay no later than a few days before the deadline (you may submit as early as you like).
• Log back in afterwards and check your originality report (any plagiarized material will be highlighted).
▪ If plagiarized material is detected, remove and replace it with your own words and resubmit your essay.
▪ Make sure that you have uploaded a properly formatted (APA) essay with a reference page.
▪ There should be at least 3 articles listed in your bibliography (that you read for your literature review).
In order to successfully complete this assignment, you must follow these instructions:
Complete your literature review before attempting to write your essay!!!
Literature review – For your research, you must read at least three (3) of the peer reviewed scientific articles provided to you on our class Canvas page - also included under the Essay Instructions folder. You may also look up peer reviewed scientific articles via the campus library. You must conduct an appropriate academic literature review in order to gain adequate knowledge of the topic. You are required to read at least three (3) articles for your literature review, but you can read more if you choose. Don’t search for articles on the Internet! You may only use peer reviewed scientific articles published in scholarly journals. DO NOT USE INFORMATION FROM THE INTERNET!!! NO WIKIPEDIA!!!
If you need assistance writing your paper:
• A scientific writing guide is also posted for you on Canvas under the Essay Instructions folder.
• If you need help with the structure of your essay and in-text citations, work with a writing tutor.
If you need assistance with APA formatting:
• APA formatting resources are included under the Essay Instructions folder and APA formatting links can be found within the module for this assignment.
Cover page and headers are not required (you may include them if you use a formatting template).
Your paper should be typed double-spaced, using a clear font, no larger than 12pt. F Your paper should be two (2) full pages minimum and three (3) full pages maximum.
• Your essay must include all the required components: introduction, thesis statement, body, and conclusion - and a reference page (bibliography).
• You must write an original essay (ENTIRELY IN YOUR OWN WORDS) containing your own objective perspectives on the topic, making references to factual information (written in your own words) that you learned from the three articles you read for your literature review.
• Include in-text citations to identify for your readers what specific literature sources your statements are based on. Your essay should have adequate and properly formatted in-text citations throughout. (If you need help with in-text citations, you must work with a writing tutor!)
• Do NOT plagiarize! Your essay must be entirely in your own words. Plagiarism will result in a zero grade for this assignment, which will detrimentally impact your overall grade for the course.
• Please note that excessive use of quotations (too many quotes) in your paper is considered to be a form of plagiarism. *This is a short essay, so you don’t include more than 2 one-sentence quotes.
• Be very specific with your sentences and do not make vague statements. Do not leave the reader guessing or requiring clarification as to what you are saying.
• Do not use incomplete or run-on sentences and be sure that your paragraphs flow properly.
Your introduction will be one or two paragraphs long and will tell the reader:
• The subject or topic of the essay (a brief and concise introduction to the topic).
• In a science essay, the topic will often constitute an unresolved problem.
• Don’t write random statements. Everything you write must be attributed to a source from your literature review and you must cite all sources of information that your statements are based on!
Your thesis statement is a rational, objective, and well-informed statement about the topic that directly addresses the prompt. Be very specific and concise. Your thesis statement should be one sentence. Underline your thesis statement. Your thesis statement should be the last sentence of your first paragraph (introduction paragraph).
Your essay should be constructed around your thesis statement.* You should begin with a clear and concise (one sentence) thesis statement and build the rest of your essay around it. This is an example of a good thesis statement that directly addresses the prompt: Science proves that human “races” do not exist, yet people ignorantly still believe they do.
The body of your essay will usually incorporate these elements:
1) A background to the problem at issue. Your background will incorporate a (brief) literature review of each of the existing perspectives addressing the problem.
2) The main points and rationale of your own argument supported by factual references. You must have adequate in text citations throughout your paper, but do not over-cite material into your essay (i.e., do not incorporate more than two sentences of direct quotes).
3) Completely and adequately address and support your thesis statement. Do not leave the reader requiring further clarification of the points you are making or guessing as to what particular aspects of the topic you are referring to.
A good essay body closely addresses and adequately supports the thesis statement. The number one error in undergraduate essays is not completely addressing and adequately supporting the thesis statement. The body of your essay must adequately address and support your thesis statement without being tangential.
Your conclusion should be a paragraph summarizing the essential points of your argument and clearly stating your conclusions. The golden rule of conclusion writing is not to include any material that has not been discussed in the body (i.e., don’t introduce any new information). Do not repeat information or state the exact same sentences you included earlier in your paper. Science essays are different from non-scientific critical writing, and your reader should not be kept in suspense about your conclusions. Spell out your conclusions as soon as possible in the interests of clarity and to help your reader evaluate the strength of your argument. At the very least you should be able to clearly indicate the perspective that you are supporting.
Reference Page (Bibliography):
At the end of your essay you must include a properly formatted (APA) reference page, which lists the articles, books, etc., that you read/viewed for your literature review. Your reference page must be on its own separate page, placed at the end of your essay. You may title it: “References,” “References Cited,” or “Bibliography.” The reference list must be in proper APA format. The specific format of each reference included in your list is different, depending on what type of source it comes from (e.g., journal article, textbook, documentary, etc.). Your reference page must include a minimum of 3 peer reviewed scholarly articles you read for your literature review. (You may include additional articles.)
Race As a Biological Category Applicable to Humans
Culturally, race occurs in humans. However, the race’s biological aspects are required for the accessibility of their actualism in a non-species-specific way and to determine whether cultural categorization is in line with biological categorization within the human. Today’s racial biological aspects can be objectively instigated with hereditary molecular data via hypothesis testing. Hereditary data sets are utilized to unfold whether biological races occur between humans and chimpanzees, human’s closest evolutionary relation. The human race has been categorically grouped depending on adaptive characteristics like skin color. However, such characteristics portray the underlying environmental elements on which their adaptation is based and not general hereditary variation. Notably, there is a lack of objective measures for pinpointing one characteristic over another to the racial definition in humans. Humanity possesses much hereditary diversity, but this diversity’s vast majority portrays personal uniqueness and not a race.
Review of Literature
Although adaptive traits like skin color are widely used to distinguish human races, they represent the underlying environmental aspect individuals adapt to, not overall genetic divergence. Different adaptive traits form discordant groupings. According to Templeton (2013), racism cannot be defined by a single adaptive characteristic. As a result, human races are not determined by adaptive traits. Humans have a wide range of genetic variations, although the vast majority reflect individual differences and not a race. To implement modern biological racial notions, hypotheses can be tested using molecular genetic data. The chimpanzee, the closest living relative of humans, and genetic data sets are being utilized to investigate the possibility of biological races. Chimpanzees can be categorized into races according to the two most widely accepted biological conceptions of race, but humans cannot. There is a common misconception that humans may be classified based on skin color; however, this is not always true. Skin color is more of an adaptive attribute than a marker of genetic distinction. Choosing one adaptive characteristic over another to identify race does not have objective criteria. As a result, human races are not defined by their adaptive qualities. Humans are frequently represented as distinct divisions on an evolutionary tree in the most present methodical literature on the human evolutionary subject. Every time this approach has been tested, a human tree-like structure is false, making it scientifically untenable. It is also socially irresponsible since these images of human development significantly impact the general public more than a scientific paper’s more nuanced language would. Individual differences, not a race, account for most of the human genome’s richness.
Consequently, racial prejudice and the justification of discrimination against people of different races could result from such beliefs. According to Kang and colleagues (2015), many individuals estimate many genetic commonalities amongst humans. Furthermore, some lay people believe that humans have a great deal of genetic resemblance, while others believe this genetic similarity is minimal. These studies investigate the impact of racial ambiguity and biracial targets on neurological and evaluative responses influenced by ideas about genetic overlap. According to their initial investigation, Kang et al. (2015) revealed that people with fewer genetic overlap estimates were more sensitive to multiracial targets than those with higher genetic overlap estimates. In a second study, the researchers found that genetic overlap’s lower estimates projected longer response times when comparing biracial (as opposed to monoracial) faces to racial categories. Finally, their third study claim that modified biological overlap assumptions and people in the low overlap condition openly judged multiracial individuals more negatively than those in the high overlap category. According to this research, bi-racial and mixed-race persons’ perceptions may be affected by their ideas regarding genetic overlap. Deficit models of education, for example, are based on the idea that students from minorities are less intelligent and thus less capable of succeeding in school because of their race, which is a genetically determined category. Because of this, science education must pay special attention to the biological conceptualization of race; profound educational efforts are needed to ensure an accurate understanding of race.
It’s possible, according to a recent study by Outram et al. (2018), that the growing interest in genetics will lead people to believe that racial imbalances are innate and unchangeable. Using data from a nationally representative poll, the authors examine whether or not people in the United States feel that race and heredity play a significant role in explaining racial health disparities, such as general aptitude, athleticism, and intellectual capacity. Their findings indicate that self-described racial construct is primarily significant in attributing overall racial ability, age maximization is an elementary factor in athleticism attribution, and genetic and racial intellect, as well as education, is paramount in lowering such deterministic perspective of race and genetics. Arguably, their findings claim that racial comprehension’s biological and non-biological forms continue playing a crucial function in the racial politics and social variation within contemporary American society.
The racial case in this presentation offers a prime instance of this inadvertent biological conceptualization. Many related concepts to human diversity, such as gender, and personality type, could readily be found as a biological aspect in a person’s mind. Unfortunately, though, comprehending human beings’ biological aspects can negatively impact their attitudes and behaviors regarding human diversity.
Kang, S. K., Plaks, J. E., & Remedios, J. D. (2015). Folk beliefs about genetic variation predict avoidance of biracial individuals. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00357
Outram, S., Graves, J. L., Powell, J., Wolpert, C., Haynie, K. L., Foster, M. W., Blanchard, J. W., Hoffmeyer, A., Agans, R. P., & Royal, C. D. M. (2018). Genes, Race, and Causation: US Public Perspectives About Racial Difference. Race and Social Problems, 10(2), 79–90. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-018-9223-7
Templeton, A. R. (2013). Biological races in humans. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 44(3), 262–271. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.04.010
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