General Instructions for Organizing a Cultural Anthropology Essay Outline

The outline provides a diagram of ideas that you want to focus on in your paper. In the process of outlining, you will find opportunities of combining or eliminating some potential paragraphs. In most cases, the first draft will contain repetitive sections or ideas which have the effect of stalling instead of advancing the central argument of your paper.
In addition to the foregoing, for those who have difficulties revising their paper, by making simple outline of every paragraph and its topic sentence, they can easily identify the strengths of weaknesses of the research work.

  • Outline the context or Introduction:
    The introduction should provide context of the paper to the readers and prepare them for the purpose or argument of the paper. The introduction should start with discussion of the particular topic but not a broad overview of the background, and should additionally provide enough context such as definition of the vital terms and thus prepare the reader for the purpose statement.
  • Outline the purpose or thesis statement:
    The purpose statement should come after the introduction. It should state concisely and clearly the central or purpose argument of the paper. The introduction should prepare the readers for the purpose statement then the rest of your essay should support it.
  • Outline the background:
    After the introduction follows the background of your paper’s topic. This section or paragraph may include the literature review which should survey you present level of knowledge on your chosen anthropology topic. A background can simply provide an historical overview of the relevant information. However, the main purpose of the background section is to provide justification of your own paper or project by identifying the gaps in the existing research. It is these identified gaps which your paper seeks to address.
  • Outline the major and minor points:
    Major points form the crust of your work. They support on each other and help move forward the paper up to its conclusion. Every major point in your paper should lay clear claim which should relate to the paper’s central or main argument. The minor points can be described as subtopics within the major points. They develop ideas advanced by the major points by providing further explanation or illustration and may be in form of supporting ideas, example from trusted sources and statistics.
  • Outline the conclusion:
    The conclusion of your paper should create the major claim of your work and then tie that claim to the larger discussion. However, you should not restate every major and minor point in your conclusion. Instead, you should revisit the thesis statement then end your paper by jointing the statement to the findings and the future implications of your findings.