What makes cultural studies so interesting?
Culture is about who we are and establishes our identity in the milieu of the population around us. By studying the different cultures around the world, we learn about the way people behave and the reason they do so in this manner. For instance, if we take up the example of the wedding rites or burial habits of different groups of people around the world, we get an inside perspective of their evolution, their beliefs, and attitude that have made them what they are and given them their distinctive identity.
If you are interested in learning about the influence of different cultures on the lives of people, cultural studies would be up your road. It is a set of studies pertaining to the study of the influence of culture in the transformation of the individual and the group; power and everyday life as well as social relationships. As a student of cultural studies, critical assignments may be part and parcel of your academic experience. Writing and elaborating is a way of shaping your thoughts and building your thinking.
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This also requires careful thought over the choice of the topic which is going to be the subject under study. Academic assignments can range from essays to research papers at higher levels, which may require some investigation. So, because of the complexity of the subject, you need to be well-versed on many topics and able to interweave them.
In this regard, you may have to consult your supervisor about the topic/issue you may need to write on. Students may be provided with a list of recommended topics or reading, from which they can choose their topic of interest, or find something that intrigues them and instigates their imagination.
At the same time, it is very important to be very careful while selecting the topic: If it is too general and broad-based, there may not be a direction or focus in the essay and the amount of reading and research may far exceed the available time given by the university for submission.
On the other hand, a very new topic or one that is too specific, may not serve the purpose as there may not be much previous information to act as the basis for the hypothesis. Writing an essay on cultural studies may be a little challenging as it is a multidisciplinary field and is considered to be an amalgam of different disciplines. Cultural studies can include theories and concepts from sociology, philosophy, politics, anthropology, social sciences.
What makes a good cultural studies essay?
If it is a critical analysis of a topic that you are presenting in the essay, it would be good to organize your thoughts on it by listing out certain questions and arranging the answers methodically.
An essay is about presenting your own views on an issue, as examiners are looking for evidence of individual thinking and effort. However, it is important to credit any external source of information you may use in your work through the correct style of citation that is required by the university. Citations should be placed right after the information collected from the source and not at the end of the paragraph.
This would avoid any charges of plagiarism. Also, take care to only give the gist of the thought or idea and not use the same words or even paraphrasing. One or two sentences can be quoted directly as in the source, but with proper quotation marks and page numbers in the citation.
Important tips to remember
The essay needs to follow the prescribed academic format. It needs an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction is where you need to present the issue to be discussed. You will also need to bring in a little bit of background information from existing studies on the subject. This should lead to the finding of a gap in the information and how your essay is going to fill this gap and help in understanding more about the subject.
The body of the essay can be divided into neatly portioned paragraphs; sub-headings can be used to render it more organized if allowed by the guidelines of the university. These paragraphs must explore the topic more thoroughly by conducting an investigation through primary or secondary sources. Always remember to study the topic from the positive and the negative aspects and place your own arguments prominently based on what you have discovered during the research. This would accord a comprehensive dimension to the study.
The conclusion needs to encapsulate whatever has been covered in the whole of the essay: restating the thesis statement in the light of various evidence and providing insights on how it would affect future studies. The whole essay should display the flow of thought, consistency, and organization to create an impact on the reader.
Even though the essay may be considered to be more formal than other pieces of work, proper citation and referencing procedures must be followed. A scholarly piece of writing is one, in which all contributions, other than your own are cited and referenced properly.
Cultural studies may be a complex subject, given that it involves the contributions of knowledge from different subjects and it is related to the development and behavior of communities and societies. But with thorough reading and attention to proper writing methods, you can easily deliver an A+ essay.