5 Essential Approaches Applicable While Composing an Anthropology Essay

Anthropology is widely known as the study of humanity, or rather the study of the scientific aspect of humankind as well as their interactions with their environmental set-up. It, therefore, goes without saying that it is a very detailed and a history-based course of study. While writing an anthropology essay in an anthropology class, one is expected to read widely and possess imperious writing skills. Depending on the type of essay that one is instructed to write, an inclusion of ones’ opinion is relevant while writing anthropology essays.

The 5 essential approaches applicable while composing an anthropology essay includes;

  1. Know the Type of Essay You Are Required To Write

The approach that one applies while writing an anthropology essay depends on the kind of essay that one is instructed to write. The type of essay may include;

  1. Persuasive Essays

They are also referred to as critical essays. Persuasive essays often demand a cogent thesis on a particular anthropological theory that is in question.

The importance of persuasive essays is to argue out and defend ones’ view, compelling the reader to get on board with your thesis and to convince the audience that your thesis is accurate, authentic and reliable.

  1. Expository Essays

Expository essays refer to writing that intends to expound or illuminate an identified subject matter. It is based on facts and explanations, and not opinions or descriptive details. Anthropology as a study often has essays that require the student to know various facts on the topic in question and present them accurately.

 Expository essays are important in the field of anthropology because anthropology as a field in science creates a lot of debates on very many aspects and the essay seeks to provide facts.

  1. Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays are referred to as writings that are detailed in nature and that elaborate on a given topic using appropriate details. The importance of descriptive kind of essays and especially in the field of anthropology is that it demands a well- detailed body reflecting ones’ sensory observation. It is neither intended to be argumentative in nature nor is it intended to persuade the reader but to invoke the readers’ senses.

  • Know Your Target  Audience

In order to successfully write an anthropology essay, one ought to understand ones’ audience. Knowing of ones’ audience is instrumental as it determines the level of success that ones’ essay has attained. With regards to the type of essay that one follows on writing, the audience needs to have their thoughts challenged and to find ones’ essay reliable and factual. Your audience matters. For example, if one writes an anthropology essay that ought to be persuasive in nature and yet the reader does not feel compelled to agree with the writers’ point of view, then one has not successfully written such an article.

An audience can either be the passive or the active kind. Bearing this in mind, the anthropology student ought to approach writing ones’ essay to meet the needs of the particular kind of an audience that one is expecting. Examples of an audience could be anthropology experts or an anthropology examiner as well as ones’ fellow anthropology students. After understanding the kind of audience that the essay shall have, the writer ought to know what the target audience is likely to expect and surpass their expectations.

  • Choose Your Topic Wisely

One may have a topic assigned or one may be given the leeway to write on a subject matter under the anthropology study of ones’ choice.  Where one is assigned a subject matter to write an essay on, one should strictly adhere to it. However, where one is given the liberty of choosing a topic for the essay, one should not be quick to rejoice. Choosing ones’ essay topic demands the writer to do thorough research, and analyze what ones’ interests are, particularly in anthropology. Narrow your focus.

Choosing a topic for ones’ essay is a lot of work as it shall involve a lot of ones’ time and resources but can be used to ones’ advantage. The writer ought to identify ones’ stronghold in anthropology study and really maximize on it.

The importance of choosing ones’ topic wisely is because an essays’ topic determines the kind of body the essay shall have. The kind of body the essay shall have determines the kind of subject matter that the essay shall address, as well as the type of essay that one shall choose.

Understand the question asked. Since we are looking at both sides of the coin, one may have a topic assigned in the form of a question. The two main types of questions asked in an anthropology class are namely; closed questions and open questions. Each of the mentioned types of question demands a certain way of approaching an answer throughout the essay. Therefore, before the writer begins on writing ones’ essay, one ought to understand the question that one is being asked. If it’s not clear, it is encouraged that the student asks for clarification from the lecturer before commencing to write the anthropology essay. The two main types of questions demand a particular approach as explained below.

  1. Closed Questions

Closed type of questions drives towards a particular answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. In anthropology, there are various philosophical opinions on the various concepts of a human kind such as evolution. In regard to this, the lecturer may pose a close question an assignment such as, ‘Is Darwin’s Theory of Evolution of Man Flawed?’ For such a question, one may have to choose a topic that strictly adheres to the question. The answer for such a question may need to be a particular ‘yes’ or ‘no’ according to ones’ position that should be well explained throughout the essay. Ones’ position should always be supported by verified and cited textual evidence or resources.

  • Open Questions

Open questions allow longer responses to questions in comparison t closed questions. It requires more information as well as creativity that closed questions has no room for. As anthropology is a very vast subject, most of its questions are open in nature, requiring the student to do some thorough research and present ones’ opinion in an elaborate and sophisticated manner, with good command in anthropology terms. Therefore, the student is advised to understand what type of question the writing is based on, before outlining the content of the essay. It is also important for the writer or student to note that there are questions that are more open and others more closed. The writer should be able to point out the variation prominent in a query and act on that understanding by placing it in context.

  • Prepare an Outline of Your Ideas

The student or rather the writer should jot down the outline of ones’ essay. Such an outline should clearly give the picture of the entire essay, more so, the introduction, the body and the conclusion of the essay.

  • The Introduction

An introduction is the presiding part of an anthropology essay that introduces the subject matter that the writer is addressing throughout the essay. An introduction should only introduce the topic and not give details on the subject matter. It should be brief and clear.

  • The Body

Outlining the body of anthropology essay is important as the writer is able to gather his/her thoughts in a chronological manner. Outlining the body of the entire essay should enable the writer to have a flow in ones’ work. The writer ought to bear in mind that the essays’ body should be accurately paragraphed, with each paragraph seamlessly complementing each other, under a certain subtopic. The writer ought to pay a keen eye on the topic sentence for every paragraph as it narrows the focus for every paragraph.

Outlining the body also enables the writer to gather all the textual evidence that one shall be supporting their thesis with. It is well known that anthropology is a science thus technical and very detailed, therefore requiring the writer to support his ideas, observations and position through sufficient admissible textual evidence. Textual evidence refers to all the written documents that the writer shall be relying on throughout the essay. Textual evidence includes an article, texts, journals as well as lecturers’ class notes. However, textual evidence ought to be well cited throughout the essay to avoid a plagiarism case and for purposes of its admissibility. Citing of ones’ textual resources is done by way of a bibliography, as it acknowledges the authors of the reliable resources.

While outlining the body of the essay, the student should see to it that the entire essay is absolutely flawless. The flawless nature of the essay’s body shall be brought about by the logical arrangement of the ideas as well as the gradual development of the ideas providing a well-elaborated depth and momentum in the essay.

  • The Conclusion

It is recommended that the conclusion to an anthropology essay should also be outlined. The purpose of outlining it is so that the student is able to know what his or her position is and to define that position in clear terms. Anthropology as a study is often argumentative in nature and as such, its respective essay should be inclusive of the writers’ position on a given subject matter.             The conclusion enables the reader to understand whether the student has understood the issue discussed throughout the essay as well as its significance to the entire anthropology study.

  • Follow The Guidelines

Where the student or writer is assigned to write an anthropology essay accompanied with a set of rules, the rules ought to be adhered to. Such rules could be on the format of the essay such as the font size, space between sentences and font type. It could also be the method of citation such as the MLA format of citing resources or the use of footnotes. Guidelines could also include word count such as a word count of 2500 and so on.

However, where one has not been given such specific instructions with regards to the essay, it is encouraged that one should follow the standard way of essay writing. There are also various rules in essay writing that are not always provided but ought to be adhered to. Such rules include appropriate use of punctuations, good command in English and appropriate use of various anthropology terminologies. It should also be observed that the use of terminologies does not only mean that one can only use very technical terms to appear to have a good command in the English language. A student or writer can use simple words appropriate and still convey the message that is free from ambiguity.

In conclusion, an anthropology essay is more like an academic story or tale, with facts depicting knowledge of the study and recognizing widely known anthropology experts. It is advisable to follow the standard format while writing an anthropology essay. The standard format includes writing of an introduction, a body and a conclusion. In every essay dealing with the anthropology, field needs to have a ‘voice’ or otherwise termed as a position. The writer’s stand needs to be clear throughout the essay document. Every word needs to serve the message of your essay. Few students are able to write an entire essay in one stream of consciousness. However, it is encouraged that one to outline the contents of an essay as a draft to keep referring to. Having an outline of ones’ essay encourages a writing and reading flow throughout the document. As most anthropology essays are argumentative in nature, be sure to argue, counter argue and conclude. Above all, a writer ought to proofread ones’ essay. Proofreading ones’ work gradually grows the editing skills of the writer. It also enables the writer to submit an essay that is free from clerical errors that may decrease the value of the document. Each revision also refines the argument present in the essay, and the writer is able to identify any written phrases that may cause ambiguity in ones’ argument.


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