How to write a Cultural Studies Research Paper
The first and most important thing when writing a Cultural Studies research paper is to examine the question carefully. Because Cultural Studies comprehend such a wide and diverse range of subjects, it is crucial to focalize on what the question asks so to avoid off topic elaborations which would only detract from the final success of the piece. At the same time, you must remember that the inter-disciplinary nature of Cultural Studies is a favourable aspect to take into consideration, as it allows you to draw on a variety of subjects and disciplines that could enrich your argument.
Cultural Studies Theories
A satisfactory Cultural Studies research paper requires a generally good level of theoretical knowledge: it is important that your research is embedded in a theoretical framework that supports your findings and ideas. For this reason, it is vital that you identify your sources and supplement your research paper by presenting an overview of the pertinent ongoing debates in the field. For example, if your research questions is about ‘Construction of Identity’, you need to analyse notions around ‘structuralism’ and ‘post-structuralism’ and take into account the work of some of the relevant key theorists; in this case: Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Darrida. This will make your research theoretically grounded and will provide the reader with a more complete insight on the subject you are analysing. Most students tend to skip this part and underestimate the importance of sources, which results in weak papers that lack empirical evidence and academic validity.
Style of your Cultural Studies Research Paper
As far as the style of your Cultural Studies research paper is concerned, there are some hints that are worth keeping in mind: always use a linear and simple writing style and do not overload your words with extra meaning. Elaborate a concept in every paragraph and make sure that every sentence is relevant and adds to your argument. Always go for an impersonal style instead of first person statements such as ‘ I think, I believe, In my opinion…’ and remember that whenever you express your personal opinion, this must always be supported by evidence, that is, past and present studies, empirical findings, work of other researchers. Every respectable Cultural Studies research paper contains therefore quotes and references, make sure that yours are accurate and always relevant. Do not quote just to help the word counter! This is always regarded as a bad move and poorly judged by your examiners. Keep the structure simple and develop your discussion organically. Remember, if elaborated correctly and supported by a solid theoretical background, almost any argument can potentially constitute an A class academic research debate.
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