Have you ever had to write a personal essay? Such tasks are extremely common across all colleges and universities, from smallest to biggest ones. More importantly, students are very likely to write one when making application statement because the board is interested in knowing who you are first and foremost. Cultural identity essay is one of most popular topics in this sphere. What does it mean, exactly?
Cultural identity is a group you identify yourself with as according to some crucial factor, such as race, religion, generation, etc. But it’s not only a sense of belonging, it’s a set of a variety of factors that you and other group members have in common based on it. This might include similar beliefs, traditions, and habits. So, how to write an essay on cultural identity?
Cultural Identity Paper: Definitions, Goals, Structure
The most interesting element about writing personal essays is that they reveal what kind of person you are, meaning that they are always exclusively unique. Have you ever heard about Costco essay? It’s a perfect example of how an alluring personal cultural essay must look like, demonstrating author’s strengths and academic potential. Cultural identity essay is based on a similar principle. It entails writing about a crucial cultural influence that has made you who you are today, forming your beliefs, ideas, as well as philosophies.
A goal of such essay lies in proving to audience what makes you unique and describing your chosen cultural focus. For instance, write about being an African American, traditions your community follows, and the way it has shaped personality. Similarly, write about belonging to American conservatives as well as everything it entails, discussing principles and beliefs that have been instilled and shared.
Basic Essay Structure Explained
Structure of cultural identity essay will be the same in all instances, varying only in terms of size. For example, in college, you’re likely to write a typical five paragraph essay. In uni such as Yale, paragraph number might reach ten. Still, major elements remain the same.
- Introduction. This is a vital part of any cultural identity essay because here’s where you tell audience who you are and what made you this person. In other words, you provide personal background. Note that its length depends on general essay size. All in all, introduction shouldn’t be longer than about 10% of the whole cultural identity essay. Also, don’t tell everything here, no matter how tempting it might seem. Wait until the body. Introduction is meant to tease, hint, and interest, not reveal everything right away.
- Thesis. Technically, it’s last introduction sentence, but considering its importance, it should be emphasized separately in this structure breakdown. Thesis means an argumentative, powerful claim that has to be proven. It reflects a purpose of your work. Is your focus placed on being a Chinese American? Mention it in thesis, point out how exactly it affected you. Check specific thesis types in cultural identity essay examples.
- Body. This is where size differences might start. For lengthier cultural identity essays, such as those taking more than 5 pages (1500 words), there will be more paragraphs present. For shorter essays, one minimum body paragraph is required. For body, you’re proving your thesis. Present analysis here, building logical connections between ideas and their consequences. Don’t just mention, “We celebrated Hanukkah.” Show how it has shaped your cultural identity in particular. Use appropriate opening/closing sentences for better readability.
- Conclusion. You should restate whatever major points you’ve made. Emphasize thesis again, repeating what cultural identity you relate to and how it has affected you.
Best Tips For Writing Cultural Identity Essay
Check the following list of tips that you should use when composing your identity essay. They will be extremely helpful regardless of what specific topic you select.
- Choose focus. Think, “What is my cultural identity?” Treat topic selection thoughtfully because everything is going to depend on it. You might consider yourself as having several cultural identities at once, so the most important thing is picking the one that resonates with you most. Remember, the more passionate you feel about subject, the more obvious it’s going to be. Cultural identity essay quality is directly related to it.
- Brainstorm. Contrary to what you might believe, figuring out what specifically turned you into a person you are today isn’t an easy task. Don’t skip this step, it’s important. Think about all relevant aspects related to your cultural identity. Determine which ones are most influential and which take a secondary role.
- Make an outline before completing essay. Writing down ideas is useful for many students, especially for cases where cultural identity essay is long. If you’re confident with your writing abilities, feel free to dismiss this step. If you aren’t, though, then outline is essential. It will help you stick to your direction in case you lose track of it.
- Describe. Use vivid personal examples. They will be helpful in proving what affected you and why. If you’ve chosen ethnic identity, don’t just state it — show it. Prove it by using as many details as you can recall.
- Use linking words. This should be done in opening as well as closing sentences in particular. Such words include “therefore”, “thus”, “ additionally”, “furthermore”, etc. They help build bridges between ideas, logical and semantic both. Don’t jump between different facts, present them in sequence. For example, first paragraph should revolve around one element. Second paragraph should focus on another one, and so on. Link them with linking words — this will make all ideas flow smoothly.
- Stay personal. Unless task requires describing cultural identity concept in general, remember that all focus must lie on yourself. Even if you use outside sources, don’t overly on them. Write about personal experiences.
- Proofread essay. Don’t assume that there are no mistakes, no matter how solid your English knowledge is. Check everything thoroughly as you’re very likely to find typos, missing words, time inconsistency, as well as awkward phrasing instances.
Common Points of Focus of Cultural Identity Essays
There are many identity aspects you can cover in cultural identity essay. Still wondering what they are? Consider writing about gender. You’ve definitely faced some gender-specific roles/traditions, in one way or another. Ethnicity is also a good choice. Language can play an important role in cultural identity, especially if you’re bilingual. Religion and family history are equally powerful, so if this is what affected you, use it as a topic for cultural identity essay.
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