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ANTH 195A: Research Design in Anthropology (Saldivar, Spring 2023): Home

Course Description and Paper Topic


This course is a formal classroom seminar that prepares students to undertake the ANTH 195B/195C senior honors thesis sequence.  The senior honors thesis is optional for majors, but restricted to students who have a minimum GPA of 3.4.  The ANTH 195B/C sequence must be completed in consecutive quarters during the student’s senior year, and this course in research design is a required prerequisite for that sequence.  As the 195B/C sequence is constructed as an independent study under the mentorship of a chosen faculty, students desiring to undertake a senior thesis will benefit greatly from the formal preparation intended in this course on research design.  Combined, this three-course sequence will allow students to apply their knowledge of the discipline in constructing a research problem, conducting original research, and writing up the final results.


The goal of ANTH 195A is to guide students in formulating a research problem that they will pursue in ANTH 195B/C.  Students must make contact with a professor/mentor in the department at the outset of this course (if they have not already done so).  The mentor will help guide the direction of the student’s research question and help assess the feasibility of the project in terms of the project scope and likelihood of completion within the designated time frame.  During ANTH 195A, students will plan their research agenda and conduct background research that will frame their senior thesis project.


  • Students will learn how to transform ideas to topics, and topics to questions, and questions to research problems
  • Students will learn how to conduct a relevant literature review related to their research problem
  • Students will learn the components of a research proposal and gain skill at writing and assessing proposals
  • Students will prepare themselves for undertaking original research as part of the ANTH 195B/C Senior Honors Thesis course sequence.


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