Contents of an anthropology essay:
Anthropology essays are argumentative in nature:
The main feature of undergraduate essay writing is that they are argumentative; it is quite different from high school essays where you just have to summarize the ideas. It is not necessary that your undergraduate essay is original; you can use different quotes and statements of various well known writers or the authorities that is presented both logically and coherently to support your arguments in your anthropological essays.
So what should be your main argument? Your main argument is totally linked with the essay topic, for example your essay topic is:
“Is advertising manipulative?” then your main argument should be something like this “Advertising is manipulative in many ways…..” Or you have to decide here if you want to go against the argument or in favor of.
Evidences given to support the arguments:
You need not to afraid of voicing your opinion, whether your arguments are original or taken from somewhere else you have to support them with the evidences. Readers have got matured so they expect proves of what they read, for example, if you are arguing about advertising being manipulative than you can illustrate your evidence by,
”Cigarette advertisers portrays the smokers as cool and the best way to impress girls in the cigarette advertising, this is how they manipulate young boys to smoke”
Construction of the theoretical discussions:
Arguments are building up in essay in relation to theoretical discussions which are then supported with relevant evidences. For example:
Discuss Van Gennep’s rite of passage in order to get a clear picture of the origin of rituals.
Here, you need to discuss a particular area of literature and the theories about it. A good essay will built an argument on the Van Gennep’s rite of passage and other people who have written on the subject.
Employing ethnographic case studies:
Ethnography is a qualitative research often used in anthropology and social sciences. An essay bringing both theory and ethnographic case studies as an evidence to support the argument is considered to be a very effective. For example, for the above topic, while developing an argument around the Van Gennep’s rite of passage, then using the ethnographic case studies to support that argument.
Structuring of an essay is more than an introduction, body and the conclusion; this might go for the high school essay but for undergraduate level, basic structure of an essay would require a bit different approach.
Is your essay answering the question in particular?
So what is the question? It is related with the title of your essay. Your essay must address the topic of your essay by giving theories and the relevant ethnographic case studies to support your argument. Moreover, your argument should form an answer to the essay topic.