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Whether you’re an anthropology major or you have to take ANT 104 to fulfill a graduation requirement, chances are that you might have to take this class. The course is usually either taught by Professor Shea or Professor Twiss. These tips are applicable for ANT 104 taught by Professor Shea.

1. Actually go to class

This might seem arbitrary, of course you should always go to class! But there will always be people whose attendance will inevitably drop halfway through the semester, and that’s not a good thing, especially for this class. ANT 104 is heavily based on lectures; your grade comes from just two exams and homework (Revealing Archaeology). The two exams, counts for 50% of your grade, are solely based on the lectures. So come to class because something Professor Shea says during class will likely be a question on the exam.

2. Don’t wait until the last minute to complete a Revealing Archaeology Module

Modules are your homework and in total, account for the remaining 50% of your grade. They are due weekly on Thursdays at 11:59PM. They take around 45-60min to complete, so if you sit down at 11:30PM to start working on it, chances are you won’t finish in time. Professor Shea also does not allow any extensions and once it’s late it counts as a zero. So, focus on doing them before to save yourself the stress.

3. Write down whatever he draws on the whiteboard

Chances are, if he’s taking the time to illustrate something on the whiteboard, he wants you to remember it because it will be on an exam. Whether it’s a silly image or a confusing name, just write it down because you might need to know it later.

4. Take advantage of, but don’t rely, on Echo

Professor Shea’s lectures are recorded and posted on Echo. However, due to technical difficulties, sometimes the video doesn’t work properly or he forgets to turn the mic on so the video won’t have audio. Other times it won’t record at all. That said, if you ever can’t come to class, take notes on his Echo or use it for studying for an exam. Don’t count on it for every class though, because it’s not very reliable.

5. Write notes down and don’t type them

This may be frustrating for some, but it’s proven to be the most effective way to score well on his exams and exams in general. Handwritten notes are better for memory and information processing in the brain. Shea even says: “Taking notes by hand...will help you remember things better…I am not sure why this is so, but it is a pattern I have noticed among the students who got the top grades in this class.”

There you go, five tips that will help you ace this introductory-level class. Remember to just enjoy yourself in class because even if you don’t like archaeology, Professor Shea tells some interesting stories and hilarious jokes that you don’t want to miss out on.


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Mehar Bharatiya

Hi, I'm Mehar and I'm an Anthropology Major and Geology Minor at Stony Brook University! I like reading, writing, art, and cats. In my free time I like pondering philosophical quandaries, watching meme compilations, and engaging in political discourse!


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