ANTH 388 – Evaluation and Assignments

Your active participation matters! 
Contribute to discussion, whether through zoom or VIULearn.  The quality of comments and/or questions raised during discussion is how you will be assessed.  Be an informed participant; read the assigned materials!

Your regular engagement with VIULearn establishes your presence.  This means viewing content and/or responding to discussions.  Each student is expected to contribute to the general forums.  Those grouped as REQUIRED are just that; the expectation is that you will respond to these.  Whether you do all or some remains your choice; your participation mark will reflect this.

Postings can be a relevant article or a comment on one that has been submitted; the latter should be a substantive comment, i.e., an informed opinion, not one that states agreement.  Commentary should also be included with the former; why is it relevant to the course?  Do not provide a link to an item by itself or with the comment: “Really good.”  Provide an explanation.

Discussion Forums are embedded in a particular week.  You can also view them in VIULearn by clicking at the top, Communications, then selecting from the dropdown list: Discussions

Last day to post on VIULearn, if you want it to be considered as part of your participation mark, is Friday, April 23, 11:30pm!

For full credit (20%), you must be an active participant: (1) engage through zoom and/or respond to discussions marked REQUIRED on VIULearn, as well as (2) posting to general discussions.

You are encouraged to learn outside the classroom by taking advantage of on- and off-campus events, virtually.  Attend an event and submit an opinion piece (no more than 250-300 words) through VIULearn.  I will regularly offer suggested events, including relevant webinars, podcasts, or documentaries.  If there is an event that you wish to attend that is not listed, please check with me.

opin-ion \ ə-’pin-yə n \ n. 1 a: a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter.
(Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary 11th Edition)

As the above definition implies, I am interested in your response to the event.  Your commentary is NOT to be a summary.  Be reflective, support your opinion.

NOTE:  This is the only assignment that can be considered ‘optional’; there is no penalty if you do not complete this other than missing 5% of your mark.  This is to be submitted by the end of the semester, April 23, 11:30pm.

EXAM (20%)
The exam is based on course readings, plus Things That Art.  Students will respond to two questions.  There will be NO final exam.

Answers should be typed, double-spaced, 11-12-pt font.  Please save as docx or pdf-format; submit through VIULearn.  No bibliography is needed unless other sources are used.  You will be using your texts so in-text citation, such as, (Jain 2019, 99) or (Light 2020, 83).

Word count maximum for each exam question:  750

DUE:  Apr 1, 11:30pm

We all have names.  Some of us have many names, possibly even hyphenated ones.  Those names may reflect our ethno-cultural backgrounds; they may be ‘gifted’ to us; they may have changed over time—intentionally or unintentionally.  The change may be in the spelling, for example, from another language to English.  Week 3 and 4 have several readings on this topic, including an essay on my name.

In no more than two pages (ca. 250-600 words), tell the story of your name, minimally your surname.  You will likely have to do a bit of research on your name.  Think of this as a creative writing piece; if you want to compose a poem or a song, go ahead.

You will be assessed on the content, including your research, and your skill at conveying the story (grammar and spelling count!).  Submit docx or pdf-format via VIULearn.

DUE:  Feb 11, 11:30pm

This is no surprise to anyone reading or listening to the news.  There is a lot of ‘stuff’ out there, including the often-heard statement of ‘fake news.’  You are to select an event covered by two English-language media outlets to compare and contrast their reportage.  To see whether there is bias, choose media that are known to be different, that is, one that is left-of-centre and the other as neutral/balanced or right-of-centre.  There are even media viewed as not fact-checking or known for using questionable sources.  To assist with your selection, review the resources listed.

Media Bias / Fact Check (“dedicated to educating the public on media bias and deceptive news practices,” since 2015)

Media Bias Chart (created by Vanessa Otero, founder of ad fontes media, since 2018)

Snopes (fact-checking source, since 1994)

Some attributes, but not limited to, to consider are language use (neutral, provocative, gender); quoting individuals, are they credible; is the report factual or is an opinion being expressed, etc.  Your analysis should be no more than 1200 words (or 4-pages), excluding bibliography.

Properly reference your media sources, including URLs (I spot check these!).  Citations should be according to the Chicago Manual of Style, Author-Date.  I have highlighted Author-Date as CMOS has two styles and this is the one typically used in social sciences.

You will be assessed on identifying two media outlets (include their position on the spectrum of media bias, and URL) and the specific event, analysis of the reportage, and overall presentation (including spelling and grammar).  Submit docx or pdf-format via VIULearn.

DUE:  Mar 11, 11:30pm

Words have history; words can be ‘loaded,’ literally and figuratively.  In this final assignment, you are the owner of a new restaurant.  As the owner, you need to create a name for ‘your’ restaurant and provide a menu: ‘specials of the day.’  As well, provide a tagline (this is your marketing statement).

What does this have to do with language and culture?  Everything.  Does the name reflect the type of cuisine being offered, for example, fast food, family style, ethnic, haute cuisine, etc.?  Location can also be a factor, specifically, history.  In the restaurant business, there is a language of food, for example, ‘surf and turf’ or ‘blue plate.’  For your menu specials, suggest minimally three with unique names—again, reflective of your restaurant’s type.  The expectation is for you to justify your decision-making.  How did you come to your choices?

We will have explored examples of the choices made by some restaurateurs that have gone awry.  Success, besides having excellent front and back staff, includes marketing, so words matter.

This is to be prepared as a presentation: poster, video, or PowerPoint.  As this assignment needs to stand alone, you will have to include audio or sufficient text.  You will be sharing your projects online with your peers for comments.

Videos and PowerPoints should be no more than 8-minutes in length.  For tips on Poster Orientation and Size, check TRU’s online resource.  VIU Library also has a libguide on Presentation Design and Delivery.

You will be assessed on your linguistic creativity in your naming choices, as well as your justification.  Presentation style matters (such as, clarity, spelling and grammar, and/or images); it is the whole package!

DUE: Two presentation dates for those who like to get their work done early
Apr 8 & Apr 15


  • All written work is to be submitted typed, double-spaced, 11-12pt font size through VIULearn as a Word-docx or as a pdf.  Margins should be 2.5cm (1 in).  No cover page is needed; however please ensure that your name and student number are included.  Ideally, your essay should have a title—make it a habit!  For further information on how to present and write a paper, go to: On Writing.  Please review.
  • Whenever possible, incorporate course readings.  This illustrates that you can apply and reflect upon what you have learned.  Doing this well can raise your writing to the next level.
  • Citations should follow the Chicago Manual of Style, Author-Date.  Paraphrasing also requires you to cite your source.  Plagiarism will not be tolerated.  Students caught plagiarizing will automatically receive an “F” as their final grade.  Academic integrity matters; plagiarism is probably the most common form of academic misconduct.  Wikipedia is NOT an appropriate reference source!  It is a starting point for your research; check the sources used in the creation of the item.
  • If you are facing exceptional circumstances (e.g., ill-health), please contact me as soon as possible so that an extension can be made.  Given the circumstances we are facing (pandemic conditions), I recognise that every student’s situation is a bit different.  I will try to support you as best I can.  Please keep communication lines open.  (See VIU General Regulations.)
  • If you need help with your writing, please seek assistance from the Writing Centre, The Library, Nanaimo Campus, Fourth Floor, Room 474 Contact the Writing Centre at local 2115, or make an appointment online.  As well, refer to the numerous “how to” handouts available online, such as, forming sentences, common writing confusion, and using commas.

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.
–Gore Vidal, author (1925-2012)

Created 2021-01-11; last updated 2021-01-14.