Students taking field notes

Writing Awards

Every year the Department of Anthropology offers five competitive awards recognizing the achievements of our undergraduate majors and minors. There's an award for every sub-field of anthropology, and one especially for holistic papers that cross boundaries.

  1. Carl Jantzen Award for the Best Paper or Creative Work in Cultural Anthropology, funded by the Carol E. Kist Fund, is named to honor the work of Carl Jantzen, a cultural anthropologist who taught at Miami for over three decades. Cultural anthropology is a broadly defined field that examines social and cultural diversity and variability in human organization, behavior, language, meaning, motivation, ideology, and material culture in past and present peoples.
  2. Award for the Best Paper in Physical or Biological Anthropology is funded by the Carol E. Kist Fund. Physical and biological anthropology are fields that examine the biological and behavioral adaptations, variability, and evolution of human beings and their non-human relatives.
  3. Ronald and Judith Spielbauer Award for the Best Paper in Archaeology and Material Culture was founded by anthropology students to honor the work of Ronald and Judith Spielbauer and endowed by A. Robert and Nancy Tolley. Ron and Judith have taught at the Department of Anthropology, Miami University, for almost four decades. The prize is awarded by faculty for excellent papers, which analyze past and present human societies through their material remains and culture.
  4. Award for the Best Paper Expressing a Holistic Approach in Anthropology is funded by the Carol E. Kist Fund. The Department of Anthropology works to foster a four-field understanding of human beings. Papers that explicitly use theoretical and methodological approaches from at least two of the sub-disciplines are eligible for this award.
  5. Award for the Best Paper in Linguistic Anthropology is generously supported by A. Robert and Nancy Tolley. This prize recognizes a distinguished paper or creative work that uses a linguistic anthropology approach to analyze empirical data and present original findings.

If you've written a great paper for one of your classes, talk to your professor about submitting it for one of the writing awards.

Papers written by students will be judged on their originality, organization, clarity, the use of empirical data to support the argument, and the sophistication of the theoretical framework. Papers submitted for consideration annually in the competition must have been written within the last year, and should follow these guidelines:

  1. Papers are to be submitted directly by the student to the department administrative assistant.
  2. No evidence of the author's identity (or of the course or professor for which it was written) may be provided in any way through the text or by reference in the paper.
  3. The author’s name, contact information including email, award competition for which the paper is submitted (see categories below), and the title of the paper are to be submitted on a separate cover page. The title on the cover-page must match the title on the submitted paper.
  4. Papers must follow the style guidelines of the AAA, APA, or SAA.
  5. Four hard-copies of the paper and one cover page are to be submitted to the Anthropology Office (Upham 120).
  6. Awardees will be notified mid-April via email of the award.
  7. Awards include a prize of $250 and will be presented during the End of Year Anthropology Reception.
  8. All awardees are strongly encouraged to attend the reception and are invited to bring significant others to celebrate with them, although the ability to be present at a ceremony does not effect eligibility.

Submissions that do not meet the above requirements will be considered ineligible and returned without consideration. An individual is not eligible for more than one of these awards per year.  Your application may be acceptable in multiple categories at the discretion of the Award Committee members.

Awards Criteria

Papers written by students will be judged on their originality, organization, clarity, the use of empirical data to support the argument, and the sophistication of the theoretical framework.  Papers submitted for consideration in the 2014 competition must have been written within the last year, and should follow these guidelines:

Papers are to be submitted directly by the student to the department administrative assistant.No evidence of the author's identity (or of the course or professor for which it was written) may be provided in any way through the text or by reference in the paper.The author’s name, contact information including email, award competition for which the paper is submitted (see titles above), and the title of the paper are to be submitted on a separate cover page. The title on the cover-page must match the title on the submitted paper. Papers must follow the style guidelines of the AAA, APA, or SAA.Four hard-copies of the paper and one cover page are to be submitted to the Anthropology Office (Upham 120) in mid-April.

Awardees will be notified via email of the award including a prize of $250. Awards will be presented during the End of Year Anthropology Reception early May. All awardees are strongly encouraged to attend the reception and are invited to bring significant others to celebrate with them, although the ability to be present at a ceremony does not affect eligibility.

Submissions that do not meet the above requirements will be considered ineligible and returned without consideration. An individual is not eligible for more than one of these awards per year, although we will accept submissions in multiple categories.  Each award includes a prize of $200-250.  Winners will be recognized at a Reception and on the Department of Anthropology web site.