2.7 Chapter Assignment

Historical Beliefs & Death Related Practices Assignment

This chapter’s assignment is about cemeteries, grave markers, and death statistics. It involves visiting one or more cemeteries, taking photographs, conducting some web-based research, and writing a short essay. It is important to complete all Chapter materials (chapter content, including all embedded links to readings and videos, and the required course materials) prior to starting the assignment.

Assignment Formatting & Style for Written Report

  • Assignment formatting requirements: Arial 12-point font; 1 inch/2.54 centimeter margins; single spaced; APA in-text citation style, reference section and cover page.
  • Use proper essay/paragraph style.
  • Paraphrase as opposed to relying on direct quotes.
  • Proofread your submission to make sure it is clear, well written, and intelligible.

Steps to Completing the Assignment

  1. Visit one or more cemeteries (the larger and older, the less likely you will have to go to more than one) and find 6 grave makers/headstones that meet the criteria in I & II below. Some cemeteries provide burial services for particular religious or cultural groups, either through separate cemeteries or sections of cemeteries. As different groups may tend to use different forms of grave markers, due to the small sample size for this assignment, it is better to stay with the same group for all 6 grave markers/headstone that you are required to identify. Calling the cemetery in advance will help you identify appropriate cemeteries and locations within cemeteries for this assignment. Stopping in at the cemetery office can also make it easier to find the locations for the type of headstone/grave markers required for the assignment.
    1. Find and photograph 3 grave markers/headstones within a 10-year period for people who died between 1910 and 1932.
    2. Find and photograph 3 grave makers/headstones within a 10-year period for people who died between 2000 and 2022.
  2. Go online and search Canadian statistics for the 2 decades from which you drew your sample markers/stones to find out: the 10 leading causes of death and life-expectancy for those 2 periods of time.
  3. Write a short essay (500-750 words) where you address/reflect upon:
    1. The differences in appearance of the grave markers (e.g., what they look like, what they are made of, what is written on them, etc.), between your two selected decades.
    2. The differences in the cause of death and life-expectancy across your two selected decades.
    3. What you learned collecting the data for the assignment (the photographed grave markers and the collected statistics), as well as your experience completing the assignment, including spending time in a cemetery.
  4. Organize the photos, statistical data collected, and short essay into a document for submission. For each photo, indicate where and when it was taken. Clearly indicate which cemetery or cemeteries you went to and include their address(es).
  5. For the statistical data and any course materials referred to in your assignment, include proper APA in-text citations and a proper APA reference section.

As explained in this chapter’s materials, cemeteries are interesting historic sites, and many are places where you can commune with nature. Icon with exclamation mark inside a hexagon to signal potentially emotionally difficult or distressing course content.However: Due to the often isolated nature of cemeteries, it is highly recommended that you do not visit a cemetery on your own. Instead ask a friend, family member, or classmate to join you. 

Assignment Submissions Must Include

  1. A proper APA style cover page.
  2. A short essay as detailed above.
  3. Photographs of the 6 grave markers you selected.
  4. A proper APA reference section that contains all the material cited in the assignment.



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On Death and Dying (Original) Copyright © 2022 by Jacqueline Lewis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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