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Critical Essay (Example)

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Name of student Professor Course Date Hydraulic hypothesis In ancient Southwest Arabian histories irrigation is known for the crucial role it played. Large scale irrigation systems as well as crop agriculture played a major role in sustaining these ancient states. According to hydraulic hypothesis in a situation where a society depends entirely on agriculture practiced in a semi-arid region there would be a need for water supply. This situation results into various agricultural water management systems and a control of the agriculture which is centralized. As a result a centralized leadership is established whose effort preponderate the self-interest of individuals. Therefore water management in agriculture marks the beginning of human civilization (Mitchell et al 534). This paper seeks to refute the hydraulic hypothesis through provision of clearly illustrated examples. The role played by climate change can result into even more centralized dynasties. It is also evident in some regions such as Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica that centralized political power came into existence prior the large-scale irrigation schemes and that the irrigation activities were adopted to cub the pressure imposed on land by the political power. The Chinese empire reinstatement after its falling is attributed to landmass compactness rather than large-scale irrigation. Also it is not in all cases that a large-scale irrigation scheme always produces a centralized political power which is evident in the case of cylon. These arguments make the hydraulic hypothesis invalid. Work cited Mitchell William P. "The hydraulic hypothesis: A reappraisal." Current Anthropology 14.5 (1973): 532-534. Davies Matthew IJ. "Wittfogel's dilemma: heterarchy and ethnographic approaches to irrigation management in Eastern Africa and Mesopotamia." World Archaeology 41.1 (2009): 16-35. [...]

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Critical Essay One Due Sunday Sept 17 The Hydraulic Hypothesis as put forward by Steward and Wittfogel argues that large-scale irrigation requires “centralized coordination and direction of effort” in a community. This control, in turn, leads to the development of a centralized political authority that has the ability to shape most – if not all -- of the institutions of a civilization: social, political, religious, educational. In other words: those who develop and manage the irrigation systems, control civilization and its development. This is an important idea. The article by Mitchell in our “Content Folder Two” asks us to consider cause and effect when evaluating this hypothesis. Do those who know how to lead the rest of us in developing and deploying technology to manage natural resources, also lead and develop other elements of our civilization? What are the main arguments for and against the Hydraulic Hypothesis as discussed by William Mitchell in the article from Current Anthropology? Are there lessons for 21st century civilizations here or does this only apply to ancient societies? Your Task: Craft a 600 – 750 word response. This should be a typed, double-spaced essay. Consider the following organization for your essay but feel free to develop your own thesis and presentation. Introduction. Identify the issue at hand and offer a statement describing your position and how you will support it. This is your thesis statement. Body: Define the Hydraulic Hypothesis Offer two (or more) examples that support/refute it Conclusion: Where does your analysis lead us? Please edit and revise for proper grammar, style, etc. See the attached style sheet if helpful. Please complete and submit your paper at Black Board no later than Sunday, September 17. The link to submit your paper is in the Week Three Folder. Please contact us with any questions. Use the following guidelines as you edit your final essay. General Guidelines: While you are free to develop a thesis and an organization all your own, please observe the following guidelines no matter which issue you investigate. Your essay should focus upon one key issue or theme. Provide evidence in the form of examples from your readings to support your analysis. Try not to depend upon long and numerous quotes. We want to read and understand your analysis. Presentation: Your paper should by typed, double spaced and approximately 600-750 words in length (ca. 3 pages). A good presentation is a key element for a successful essay. Begin with an introduction that includes a thesis statement. Students often find it helpful to revise the introduction after writing the entire essay. Each paragraph in the body of your paper should be well organized with a topic sentence and transition statement that allows each paragraph to flow logically to the next. Sum up your essay with a conclusion that reminds the reader of your significant points and persuades the reader to accept your interpretation. Please include a bibliography of all secondary sources used. Choose a manual of style for documentation and use it consistently. The Humanities Division prefers the Chicago Manual of Style, prepared by Kate Turabian. Use the style manual of your choice. Stylistic concerns: Avoid the passive voice when possible. “The boy threw the ball” is almost always better than “the ball was thrown by the boy.” If you often use the word “was,” revise to make your writing more active. Know when to use each of these words: to, two, too Do not use contractions. Avoid personal pronouns such as “I” and “you”. Know the difference between “it is” and “its.” The second is possessive (hers, his, its) and does not require an apostrophe. Maintain a consistent verb tense throughout the essay. Endeavor to write in the historical past tense. Edit the essay for proper spelling. Please avail yourself of spell check features. Spell check is no substitute for good editing. Read and reread the final essay before turning it in. Read it out loud. Ask a roommate to read it. Master the proper way to make plurals. An apostrophe denotes a possessive and only very rarely a plural. When writing of historical persons do not identify them only by first name unless they are prophets, monarchs or artists. Thus, Martin Luther may be referred to as “Martin Luther,” “Luther” or “Dr. Luther,” but never simply “Martin.” Figures such as Moses, Buddha and Mary are referred to by a single name. Michelangelo Buonarroti, may be identified only as “Michelangelo;” Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England, is simply Elizabeth I. You may never refer to a secondary source by first name. Plagiarism Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s words or ideas and presenting them as your own. Plagiarism will not be tolerated in this class. You may not ‘copy’ from a source; you may, however, quote or paraphrase. In either of the latter cases you MUST cite the source you have used. For example, consider the following quote from Keneally’s Schindler’s List: “Oskar did not seem to realize that throughout Poland in the summer of 1943, he was one of the champion illicit feeders of prisoners; that the malign pall of hunger which should by SS policy hang over the great death factories and over every one of the little barbed-wire labor slums was lacking in Lipowa Street in a way that was dangerously visible.” Now consider the following uses of the above quote: Oskar Schindler did not realize that throughout Poland in the summer of 1943, he was one of the great secret feeders of prisoners; that the terrible pall of starvation which should by SS policy hang over the great death factories and over all the barbed wired labor camps was lacking in Lipowa Street in a way that was remarkably visible. This is plagiarism. Only a few words have been changed and clearly the original version is better. Schindler fed the prisoners in his factory conspicuously well. According to Keneally, the policy of the SS was to provide prisoners in the concentration camps and in the labor camps with so little food as to maintain a “malign pall of hunger.” Schindler clearly violated this policy to a dangerous extent. In this example the writer has paraphrased, pulling out the main idea of the passage, and has directly quoted a phrase of the author’s. Both activities deserve citation. This is not plagiarism. Plagiarism and You: If quoting from a source other than class lecture and discussion will enhance your work, you must cite your source. If you use 5 or more words directly from a source, you must place those words in quotation marks and identify that source in a footnote, endnote or parenthetically, with proper bibliographic citation. If you use a significant idea from a source in your analysis, without quoting word for word, you must also offer proper attribution. Sources include your textbook, monographs, encyclopaedias, newspapers, journal and magazine articles, internet sources, television and film documentaries, and your colleagues’ work, etc. The penalty for plagiarism in this class is a zero for the assignment. The offending assignment will also be sent to the office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. There a file will be established in your name. A second offense will result in an ‘F’ for the course. If you have any question regarding plagiarism, please ask your instructor. Please also refer to the Academic Honesty Policy in your Student Handbook and the NU Catalogue.

Subject Area: Anthropology

Document Type: Reports

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