Discuss the concept of an epidemiological transition.

Discuss the concept of an epidemiological transition. Explain the natures of those associated with the Neolithic, urbanisation/civilisation, colonisation/migration/ conquest, and modernisation.


MAJOR ESSAY (2500-3000 WDS)Assessment


Due by 11 May 2020


Maximum grade 40


Weighting 40%

  • Assessment of essays

All essays returned to you will have a marking matrix attached with comments. These are meant to be constructive and are made to point out errors and areas where improvements could be made. The comments will explain why you got the mark you did. They are, therefore, usually ‘critical’. You should consider these comments carefully, and try to understand why they were made. If you do not see the point, or want further comment, please take this matter up with whoever marked your essay, preferably via the course coordinator A/Prof Lara Lamb.

The following points will be noted particularly in marking essays:

  1. Relevance to the topic set.
  2. Organisation and effectiveness of argument, and proper use of anthropological concepts and principles as outlined during the course of your reading.
  3. Evidence of reading outside the set texts and accuracy of facts presented in the essay.
  4. Originality – careful and critical thought about the topic, and use of illustrative material from independent reading and also, to some extent, from observation and experience.
  5. Accuracy and clarity of written English, including grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Overall legibility and general setting out will be noted, especially of essay structure and referencing.

How to write an essay/presentation

Do not go over the word limit. This is set specifically to help you develop a sharp and concise style. Going under the word limit is preferable to ‘padding out’ your answer with vagaries or ‘waffle’ to reach the word limit.

Do not use value judgements of subjective terminology such as: primitive, backward, surprisingly advanced, superior or developed. You must be objective and indicate clearly what you mean by your terms.

Writing an essay is a gradual process; the final version of an essay should have been developed over several drafts, prepared as you explore the topic and compile notes from reading material.

You will usually need to do some reading before you can grasp the significance of the set topic. Begin with the suggested references in your book of reading and, as you read, keep a copy of the actual wording of the topic/question in view. Initial reading will enable you to:

  1. Recognise the implications underlying the actual wording of the topic.
  2. Understand key ideas and terms.
  3. Identify all parts of the set question.

After some preliminary reading, when you feel you are beginning to grasp the topic, draft an outline plan for your essay. This will involve drawing up headings for each major section of your essay, writing a statement, in your own words, which expressed the key idea or main point of each section and noting relevant references to substantiate the points made. Take care to acknowledge debate and deal with controversy when it is evident in the literature; Alternative points of view must be taken into account; do not simply select literature which supports an argument you favour, or a point you believe is true. It is expected that the points you make will be supported by well reasoned anthropological argument – fully and correctly referenced.

Once you have drawn up a tentative outline plan, proceed with more reading and comprehensive note taking. Read widely and critically. Continue to develop your plan gradually by compiling evidence, examples and quotations from the literature and review your plan from time to time in the light of any new literature. Remember that this plan should be flexible and you should be prepared to change it as you read and write more. It is often useful to write separate points on separate pages or cards so that you can easily re-organise your thoughts. When you feel you have ‘covered’ the topic in your developing plan, write your introduction and conclusion, and examine carefully, the scope and structure of your plan. Ask yourself:

  1. Have I compiled all the material necessary to answer the set question/address the set topic?

Have I dealt with the whole topic?

Have I answered questions that are not asked? Or included material that is not relevant to the question?

  1. Is there a clear thread running through the plan linking each of the parts logically together?
  2. Does the conclusion clearly follow from the main points of argument?

Then read through all your notes to refresh your memory and write your first full draft. Don’t worry too much about the prose at this stage, just let it flow from your developed plan. Write in your own words; take care to reference correctly and use quotations appropriately. Do not plagiarise.

When you have completed your first full draft, re-examine the scope and structure of your essay and expand or prune if your draft is too short, too long or not well balanced. Evaluate the effectiveness of your introduction and conclusion and check that they point to and address the main issues of the set topic; ensure that you have included references where necessary and check their accuracy.

Ask yourself; is my argument convincing?

At this stage, it is very helpful if you can read your essay aloud to another person. Take note of any comments they have and make any necessary adjustments.

Write your final draft and take particular care with spelling, punctuation, grammar and legibility, and the presentation of references. When complete, ask someone else to read your essay. If you are satisfied, produce your final copy; proof-read it carefully. Make a copy; attach cover sheet and submit it by the due date.


All written work must be referenced using the Harvard system.

Please refer to the USQ Library web site for referencing guides in the Harvard style. Go to <http://www.usq.edu.au/library/> and click on ‘Referencing Guides’. This provides details on the referencing of print and electronic publications.


If you require extra time to complete the essay, you must contact the course examiner as soon as possible to apply for an extension. Failure to do so will result in a penalty of 5% of the available mark, per day.

Choosing Internet sources
We can not stress enough though, how important it is that you are careful in choosing your sources. For academic purposes, there is a LOT of unsuitable material out there, and we expect you to be able to be discerning in this matter. For instance, Wikipedia and other online encyclopaedias are not considered appropriate resources at a tertiary level of study. A general rule of thumb is to use online journals that are contained in the library’s electronic data base (such as EBSCOhost). Internet material from academic institutions such as university and museum websites is also usually acceptable, but must be cited appropriately. In following these rules of thumb, you can generally be sure of the accuracy (and motives) of your sources. If you have any queries regarding the use of internet material, contact your lecturer for further guidance.