Cultural and Ethnic Studies Essay Writing Guide

Writing guide
Posted on February 8, 2019

When writing an essay on cultural and ethnic studies, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the subject matter of the essay, identify the right terminologies to use, and have a holistic approach of what the essay will entail. Professors in colleges give essays to scholars in the course of the school period, which is computed with the rest of the semester’s course work. Essays in cultural and ethnic studies seek to achieve a specific purpose. Notably, this can be to argue out a particular point or to explain certain stages needed to complete a task. The scholar should write the essay in a clear and systematic way that allows for the easy flow of ideas, which will reveal a proper understanding of the subject matter. The essay should be precise and should be within the guidelines of the professor as defined in cultural and ethnic studies. In some cases, when writing essays in cultural and ethnic studies, the professor might present you with several topics to choose from whereas, in other cases, you may be allowed to choose a topic for yourself. In such a case, you need to have an understanding of the way to select an ideal topic for your cultural and ethnic studies essay. However, for your professor to test your understanding of different issues in the subject area, he may decide to give you the topics to write.

Writing of an essay might be challenging but this cultural and ethnic studies essay guide will help you write your essay with ease.

Selecting a Topic for Cultural and Ethnic Studies: Prompts from Our Experts

There are various issues that you should consider when choosing a topic for an essay in cultural and ethnic studies. These things include:

Length of the paper: an essay in cultural and ethnic studies should have a basis of writing the paper. The subject area is wide and entails various issues that are intertwined with tradition and the various practices that are undertaken by different ethnic groups. Having a wide variety of cultures, it is advisable for the scholar to first determine the length of the paper as a guide to what topic to write about. Given that most essays are supposed to be brief and precise, it is advisable that the paper should be between five hundred and six hundred words. Therefore, it essential to choose a topic area that is narrow so that the essay is not too long and ensure that it does not have gaps and uncoordinated ideas especially when one tries to squeeze a big topic to a small essay.

Topic complexity: it is good that you choose a topic that you can handle; in this case, the topic should be within your understanding. Topics in cultural and ethnic studies essays are complex depending on what level of study one is at; for example, there is a difference in the content that is covered in college, undergraduate or postgraduate studies. To reduce the stress level that can be induced by confusion caused by a given topic that you are not conversant with, chose a topic that you are conversant with; in this case, it should be one that you can write about with a lot of ease.

Resource availability: look for all the sources of information on the topic of cultural and ethnic issues. The sources can be primary, secondary, or tertiary sources as long as you obtain the required information on cultural and ethnic issues. This is a crucial area in choosing a topic to ensure that you do not choose a topic that has limited sources of information since it will strain you when searching for the information required to write the paper.

Prewriting tips you should consider: writing of an essay in cultural and ethnic studies and any other essay might prove to be a problem since most scholars face difficulty in translating ideas and thoughts into systematic words to write in the essay. Therefore, it is important that you clarify confusing and difficult issues before writing the essay. Planning, brainstorming, clustering, and outlining ideas are among the essential pre-writing cultural and ethnic studies essay tips that will ensure that you write an impressive essay in cultural and ethnic studies. These steps in writing of the essay will make it easy for you to arrange your ideas in a systematic way that will help you write a high-quality essay.

The topics for the cultural and ethnic studies essays may include:

  • Discuss the difference between xenocentrism and ethnocentrism.
  • Discuss the different symptoms that are associated with interaction with new cultures.
  • Explore the significance of racial identity.
  • What are the different privileges that the whites had in history and still continue to enjoy.
  • Examine the importance of mentoring the less privileged in the society.

Planning: this entails properly writing and clearly stating the various issues in the topic chosen for cultural and ethnic studies. Arguments should have a strong basis and offer correct and reliable reference points. Planning for this paper helps an individual to work fast and know what to work on and at what time to work on it.

Brainstorming: brainstorming on the topic chosen will help you to arrange your work in a coherent way and increase your understanding of the subject matter. In this way, you will be able to write the paper easily and connect one idea to another. There will be a good flow of ideas in your essay and this will make it easily understandable and enjoyable to any reader that will come across it.

Free writing: this entails converting thoughts and ideas into words on a piece of paper. At this point, punctuations and grammar should be considered. However, it is important to note that when free writing, you are supposed to write the work in a formal language that will only require referencing and editing.

Clustering: at this point, you gather your ideas together and arrange them in a way that there will be free flow of ideas. Clustering involves simple mind mapping and allows you to explore how ideas you have developed fit together. You can cluster your ideas through writing your cultural and ethnic studies topic at the center of a blank paper and drawing outer circles that you should complete with ideas on your chosen topic.

How to Formulate a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement summarizes the claim or main point of the essay. It should inform your intended audience the significance of your cultural and ethnic studies subject matter and provide a roadmap for the entire paper. If the essay is about ancient civilizations the thesis statement should provide an argument showing the impact of the ancient civilizations and offer a way to understand the concept. A thesis statement should:

  • make a disputable claim or interpretation,
  • be written as a single sentence at the end of the instruction segment of the introduction to present the writer’s argument,
  • tell the reader your opinion about the essay and what it will prove,
  • serve as the organizing principle of the essay,
  • direct your audience to the major pieces of evidence you will explore in the paper.

The body of the essay should organize information and evidence that convince the reader of the logic of your claim in the thesis statement.

The following steps help in developing an appropriate thesis statement.

Read and compare sources. Gather and organize information found in books, journals, articles, and online sources on the chosen cultural and ethnic studies topic. Look for relationships between ideas and concepts that constitute the topic and analyze the significance of the established relationships.

Draft the thesis and consider the counter-arguments. Draft a statement that presents the basic argument of ideas that result from the analyzed sources, and which you are sure to support with scholarly evidence. Since you are likely to take a stand on one side of the chosen argument and ideas, consider the other side of the argument considering that the counterclaims help in refining the thesis statement. This strategy is more effective when writing an argumentative type of essay.

Cultural and Ethnic Studies Essay Outline

A cultural and ethnic studies essay may be persuasive, informative, or argumentative. Regardless of the type and purpose, the essay’s structure should be well organized, logical, and clear. The outline should entail:

Cover page: the cover page text contains name, course, date, and instructor’s name. Some lecturers prefer essays with a cover page while others insist on the omission of the cover title. The formatting style should also dictate whether or not you should include a cover page.

Abstract: the abstract in an essay should be brief but it should describe the essay, its content, and its significance. Similar to the cover page, tutor preferences will indicate whether to include an abstract or not.

Introduction: The introduction is the first main part of the essay and should begin with a hook and a statement about the essay’s topic. Elements that characterize the introduction include:

  • a short statement of the essay’s objective, thesis, and questions that the essay will answer,
  • a placement of specific cultural and ethnic studies topics in the broader context but in a way that represents the essay’s arguments,
  • a description of relevant and current literature on the subject of analysis,
  • if necessary, a clarification of terms specific to the cultural and ethnic studies discourse.

Body: The body of your essay should present a synthesis of the paper’s research and provide information about the paper’s topic to broaden the reader’s understanding of the issue you are exploring. The structure of the body segment depends on the goal of your essay. Consequently, no permanent conventions dictate aspects that need to be discussed or the manner in which they should be analyzed.

Important Elements of the Body Section

  • Divide the body text into segments and subsections that represent main ideas and supporting evidence. Each unique idea or argument should be in its own paragraph. Take note that a paragraph should have a minimum of four sentences.
  • Use the paragraphs and topic sentences to develop your paper’s argument comprehensively and without repetition.
  • Provide evidence for your arguments by quoting existing literature on selected cultural topics pertinent to the essay. If the paper is argumentative, quote certain claims and contrast them with your opinion or disapprove the claims. Do not forget to provide reasons for disapproving a claim.
  • Reference all the analogous and literal text and idea quotations. In cases where further clarification and comments are needed but their inclusion in the text would disrupt the paper’s fluidity, insert the content as footnotes. However, the presence of the footnotes will depend on the essay’s specified writing convention.
  • The composition of your text should be clear and logically comprehensible, and the structure will depend on aspects unique to the chosen cultural and ethnic studies topic.
  • Provide reasons for your idea and criticisms instead of summarizing existing literature and gathering quotations. Moreover, only provide information that is relevant to the understanding of your essay issue.

Conclusion: The conclusion should restate your thesis and summarize your main points of evidence for the reader. You should restate the topic briefly and explain why it is important and ensure that it is concise and clear. Restate the thesis statement, but not in the same words that were used in the introduction. Importantly, it should be narrowed and focused on your cultural and ethnic studies topic.

Post-Writing Tips

Proofread. The essay is not complete until you have proofread to correct grammar, sentence structure, and content errors. While all the errors can be corrected at a go during the first proofreading attempt, it is important to read through the paper twice or thrice to check for specific issues at each period. For instance, go through the paper to check grammatical errors and sentence structure mistakes. On the second reading attempt, read the paper aloud to point out incoherent contents and sentence structures. Furthermore, assess the term paper for content meaning, coherence, and logical flow of ideas and supporting evidence. Finally, ensure the paper is free of nested sentences, passive constructions, and unreferenced content.

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