Anthropology (ANTH) 408

Method and Theory in Anthropology (Revision 1)

ANTH 408 Course website

Delivery Mode: Individualized study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Reading course - Social Science

Prerequisite: 12 credits in Anthropology and permission of course professor. Independent Studies Web form.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Anthropology Studies home page

Course website

ANTH 408 is not available for challenge.

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ANTH 408 provides students with an opportunity to investigate problems or issues in greater depth than is possible in a lower level course. Before registering in ANTH 408, students must discuss the topic they wish to explore with the course professor. Since this is a flexible course design, the process of negotiation with Athabasca University faculty can take three or four months to complete, and students are not registered in the course during this stage of negotiation. Rather students, in consultation with the course professor, design their own course topic, agree on the course objectives, and then register in the course.

Once registered in this course, students, in consultation with the course professor, carry out tasks enabling them to accomplish the course objectives, guided and supported by the course textbook, course professor, and staff members at Athabasca University Library or other libraries to which the students have access.

Upon completion of ANTH 408, students will have designed and carried out a program of research and written a major paper (approximately 40 to 50 pages, double spaced) on a theoretical or methodical problem.


ANTH 408 is divided into three parts, each focusing on a particular set of tasks.

  • Part 1: Topic, Thesis Statement, and Materials
  • Part 2: Formal Outline
  • Part 3: Final Essay


To receive credit for ANTH 408, you must achieve a composite course grade of at least a ā€œDā€ (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Proposal Draft Paper Final Paper Total
15% 25% 60% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Your textbook, Thinking it Through: A Practical Guide to Academic Essay Writing (1989, rpt 1995) by Heather Avery et al. is now out of print. This book serves as a general guide for your course and is not critical to your ability to complete the assignments. If you wish to refer to it, you can find a copy in AU Library; any other reputable guide to academic essay writing will serve the purposes of this course. Please consult with your tutor.

Other Materials

The course materials also include a student manual and study guide.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, 1992.

Updated March 17 2016 by Student & Academic Services