How to Write an Anthropology Essay

Anthropology essay can be quite difficult for students. Our tips are going to help you brush up academic writing skills that are required to write an excellent anthropology essay. Besides, there is a range of peculiarities anthropology essays of any level have. They are also discussed below.

First off, it is vital for a student to choose a topic he or she is familiar with, if possible. It is a major mistake to pick a topic that is entirely new to you hoping that you will learn more. Anthropology essay writing demands profound research. So, it is better not to start from scratch.

Preliminary Work and General Advice on Writing

Before you proceed to write your essay, you should read your assignment several times. In cases you have any questions, ask your instructor now. First, it may be difficult to get in touch later. And secondly, you will waste a lot of precious time you could have spent on researching your topic.

Read all the parts of your assignment not to miss any instructions and details. The slightest mistake will lower your grade significantly.

Be attentive to the essential instructions. If you are supposed to comment on the issue, it is not enough to describe it instead. If you have to analyze the concept, you are to use the proper tools for analysis. And so on.

Stick to the format required. Students often don’t pay any attention to it until the text is written. As a result, they spend plenty of time on formatting and re-formatting a ready work, which is very counterproductive.

Mind that your paper has to be 100% original. The uniqueness of your anthropology essay hugely depends on providing a bibliography and citing of the academic resources that you use. It doesn’t just concern direct quotes. Every piece of information you use in your research has to be cited appropriately and in accordance with the format.

The sources you use must be reliable. Commonly, they include academic journal articles, books, and statistics. However, the list of sources can be broadened with documentaries, researchers’ memoirs, etc.

What you can’t use are free encyclopedia articles (including Wikipedia, beloved by all the students worldwide), blogs, forums, and so on. If you think that using quotes from your sources will add credibility to your paper, you are quite right. But it is essential to understand that you are supposed to conduct your own research for an anthropology paper. Thus, the amount of the unique ideas should be prevailing over those of other people. What is the point of writing a paper if you don’t tell anything about what you think about the topic?

Ask for additional instruction about using quotes. If there aren’t any, the quotes, both direct and indirect, should amount up to 30% of the whole text. You should use quotes only when necessary. You are to make it clear that this information is relevant to your research.

One of the most critical parts of your anthropology essay writing process is the revision. There are two levels of revising a paper – a surface-level revision and an in-depth revision. The surface-level revision presupposes editing and proofreading, that is correcting major grammar and spelling mistakes, searching for typos, and apparent misconceptions in style and semantics. The in-depth revision deals with rearranging the material to make it meet the purpose of writing. Unfortunately, the majority of students tend to reread the text once when it is already completed. This approach couldn’t be more wrong. Each part of your anthropology essay has to be revised at both levels in the process of work.

How to Make Your Anthropology Paper Successful

Target Your Audience: Wouldn’t it be easier if it all was just like at high school when your teacher was the only one to read your papers? You pretended to write for everybody, but actually just tried to get a good grade. After all, when you write an anthropology paper, you want to get a good grade or a credit too. But the chances that an increased number of people will read your paper are much higher.

It is quite hard for an inexperienced writer to select the target audience. In academic writing, it is reasonable to select the style and vocabulary YOU are supposed to use at this stage of education. If your fellow students are to read your paper, they will understand it even without slang. If distinguished scientists are going to read your paper, they will not be surprised that you are not smarter than them. But it will not prevent them from appreciating the results of your research.

To be sure you have done everything to make your anthropology paper perfect, check the following:

  • an introduction that includes the thesis statement and the hook
  • works cited
  • enough evidence of your point comprised in strong arguments
  • the underlined relevance of your topic
  • explanation of every concept that concerns your topic
  • the sound conclusion that produces a strong impression on your readers.

Some issues often get overlooked by students who write anthropology papers. Nevertheless, they are crucial.

Stating the Thesis: The first thing you have to write down in your outline. It is an obligatory part and, which is even more important, it helps to structure the whole paper. The thesis is the main idea that you are going to prove in your anthropology paper. It may be regarded as a narrowed down topic of your work presented from your point of view. It has to be clear and concise and, ideally, take a single sentence regardless the length of your anthropology paper.

Body Paragraphs: They always have to begin with a topic sentence. They are indicated in the outline, too. Topic sentences direct the arguments used in the paragraph.

Organizing Your Paper: Your anthropology paper is to have a clear organizational structure. Your instructor may suggest a structure for your paper, or you can develop it yourself. One way or another, it is essential to convey the topic of your research.

Evidence: Your thesis and topic sentences arranged in compliance with the structure make a good outline. To develop it is in the paper you have to employ proper evidence: detail, quotes, stats, data, etc.

The Integrity of the Paper: Your paper has to be coherent. There shouldn’t be any ‘gaps’ between body paragraphs. The topic sentences put together have to make a full picture. Besides, the ideas in one paragraph should be closely connected too.

Transition Sentences: Alongside, with topic sentences, they are critical for structuring your anthropology paper. They are used at the ends of paragraphs to connect them to each other.

Keep It Logical and Consistent: You will hardly need to change the tone and style of your paper. There could be exceptions, of course, but such switching is usually considered to be a mistake.

Drawing Conclusions: The conclusion may contain a single paragraph or a whole section. Regardless the length, this part has to restate your thesis, summarize the most significant results or your research and bring the closure to the discussion. On the other hand, if the discussion can’t be over at the present stage, you should show the perspectives of the further research. Same applies to the conclusion as well.

The Matters of Style

Several stylistic aspects are to be taken into consideration when you write an anthropology paper. They are:

The Voice. The category of the voice indicates whether the action is performed by a person or an object expressed by a noun or pronoun in the function of the subject, or whether it itself experiences someone’s action.

Active voice suggests that the subject is the one conducting the action. For example, “Anthropology students gain valuable knowledge about the evolution of the society and the ways how people communicate under both social and biological influences.” If you use a good grammar checker to proofread your paper, you will notice that the usage of passive voice is indicated as a mistake.

The reason for this is that students are strongly recommended against using passive voice in academic papers. However, you can use it in very limited number of cases when the outcome justifies the means. You can use passive voice when the performer of an action is obvious or insignificant, or when the action or its result is more interesting than the performer.

Avoiding Wordiness. Passive voice is also one of the reasons why your paper turns out too wordy. Other reasons are using clichés, unnecessary constructions, like ‘in order to’ instead of ‘to,’ repetitions, etc. Even if you have to cover a particular volume, remember that the quality of content is more valuable than the word count.

Other Aspects. To ensure the coherency of your text, you have to use parallelism and agreement. The agreement is making the number and person of all the sentence parts matched. Parallelism is also matching. It means that all the parts of a list or a sentence have the same grammatical form. Both agreement and parallelism are fundamental in essay writing and influence the final grade.