1 Darisar

Cultural Identity Definition Essay Ideas

“Even though my family moved to the United States a decade ago, I feel my belonging to China and its traditions.”

It can be a line from another cultural identity essay. It is similar to the reflective paper. If you have never faced a need to write this type of academic assignment, a cultural identity essay example and some useful tips discussed in this article will help.

After reading this informative post, if you still feel like having no idea how to organize your homework assignment on a specific topic, contact professional online writers and editors to lend a helping hand.


Cultural Identity Essay: Definition & Goals

Define the term before writing the paper. A cultural identity essay is a type of creative or academic writing that expresses the feeling of belonging to a particular culture attributed to the growing up and becoming a separate person with its personality. It provides a human with the sense of identification with the certain nationality, customs, and traditions. An essay about cultural identity should focus on several elements:

  • Nationality
  • Language
  • Location
  • Gender
  • History
  • Religion

An essay of this type has a structure similar to other common types of academic essays. The difference is in the topic. Unlike the basic types of academic assignments such as argumentative or persuasive essays, a student should use the 1st person when writing. A teacher will not ask for any sources in most cases – the paper is about describing personal experience, feelings, emotions, skills, and knowledge of the student. No extra research is required unless a student lacks specific skills like writing or formatting.

The format is MLA in most cases because an essay about cultural identity is the part of English Language & Literature class, which follows the formatting guidelines offered by The Modern Language Association.

A student may include some in-text citations to illustrate his native land. A teacher will appreciate the usage of any sources of famous writers describing the culture & traditions of the discussed land. However, including any citations along with references is optional.

Cultural Essay: Example of Ideas to Discuss

The topic of assignment may seem narrow. In fact, there are 5 things a student can choose from when working on an essay on cultural identity:

  1. A real-life experience
  2. The product of author’s imagination
  3. A location connected to the author’s memories or specific object
  4. An influential figure
  5. A place that matters
  6. A most memorable tradition

A student can describe how he/she gained community appreciation after running some campaign aimed to protect the rights of rare local animals. Another good idea is to share experience after visiting a national holiday. You can describe a location where you have learned everything about the domestic dishes including the ways to cook them and lay the table. Talking about something a person used to fail is a good idea. The worst experience may turn out the most valuable life lesson if the writer presents it in a positive light. One more nice idea is to describe the important person from the native land who has shown the importance of obeying customs & traditions of the native land.

Minor facts such as outdoor activities a writer were involved in being little child matter in the cultural identity essay. The thought process behind developing a powerful paper of this type is called a cultural identity theory, which means identifying one with the group of humans he/she used to grow with.

After selecting the topic and creating an outline, come up with a title.


How to Start an Essay on Cultural Identity

To begin with, select a good topic for an essay. Experts recommend choosing a topic, which is conversant with to help with following the content and presenting the ideas in a clear manner. If the teacher tells to pretend a student is someone else and write the story based on the life of another person of a different nationality, the research will come in handy. In other situations, skip the research step.

Professional Advice:

“Organize the ideas after deciding on the topic. Start with the brainstorming with other students and parents – the aged people possess the widest knowledge of customs & traditions. Write down the most interesting ideas on a separate paper. After introducing the topic to the target audience, finish the introduction with the powerful thesis statement, which is the main argument of the whole writing.

A thesis statement can be broad in the cultural identity essay example. Example:

“Cultural identity determines every new aspect of an individual inwards and outwards.”
The body should focus on exploring the meaning of this thesis.”

Monica Brainy, an academic writer at WriteMyPaper4Me

Developing Body Paragraphs

Make it a standard 5-paragraph essay. While some of the paragraphs can be lengthy, others can be short – ensure switching between the sentences of different size to make it easier to read. The paragraphs should be of the near the same length. A planning stage which results in the essay outline will help to follow the logic and include every necessary thought retrieved during the process of brainstorming. Keep in mind the following:

  1. Start each body paragraph with a cohesive argument
  2. Provide some evidence based on real-life examples or sources
  3. Connect the ideas into one whole using transitions

Did you get stuck in the middle of the writing process? Learn what mistakes to avoid in essay writing here.

Cultural Identity Essay Example Extract

“I was born in rural California, but my family moved to New York City before I reached the age of 10. My mother is 100% Albanian and comes from a Mormon family that identifies powerfully with the culture and traditions of Albania – a land, which is full of mystery and secrets to the US citizens. My dad is a British guy, who was adopted by the poor American family. Our family lived in a nice middle-sized private house in a suburb of Los Angeles. I am the single child in a family, but I wish I had some brothers or sisters as I used to feel lonely until the age of 7. While my dad is atheist despite most of the British people obey Orthodox religion, my mother is 100% Mormon, and she raised me following the strict rules and mal principles.”

Thanks to the essay example, a student may realize how to handle a paper of this type. From one side, every student can describe his childhood. Form the other side; it is not that easy to focus on the main problem. If you wish someone to write a brilliant essay about cultural identity, reach a professional academic writing service offered by the people of different nations who know everything about writing a good reflection paper for your English Composition class.

   Disproving oneself is a part of the life experience. Self-discovery and an answer to the question "Where do I belong in life?" are things we seek until the day we die. Until recently, my search for self-discovery was composed of an effort to find out where I belonged in life. I also sought an answer to the question: "To what culture do I belong?" At first I was not able to answer this question. Following a discussion in English class that concerned cultural assimilation in America I asked myself whether America, as it is claimed, does truly promote individualism.

My bi-cultural experience began when my family immigrated to the United States from India. Nine years later I shared my struggle of being caught between two cultures with my eleventh-grade English class. We had been discussing an essay, "Does America Still Exist?" by Richard Rodriguez who believes that cultural assimilation exists in the United States. It saddens me that this process occurs without any celebration, as Rodriguez points out. Not celebrating assimilation creates the impression that America is allowing immigration solely because the economy needs it. While economic factors are the driving force behind any society, it must be acknowledged and celebrated that cultural diversity augments economic growth.

What bothers me is that Rodriguez seems to be overemphasizing the effects of cultural background in defining individuality. And because I live in America I feel as if I am being defined solely in cultural contexts. With this in mind, I began to wonder whether America is truly a place where individuality is valued. If cultural diversity is accepted, why are Americans still defined in relation to one another? Why are people being defined as diverse ... different ... from one another? This did not seem very individualistic to me. Surely, I concluded, if "Americans" are placed under a banner "People of Cultural Diversity," it is not very individualistic. Since it is widely accepted that America is a place where individualism is encouraged, I could not understand why "American" was defined as anything at all, much less as people who were different from one another. I mulled this over for some time and came to the temporary conclusion that America does not foster individuality.

Then I had a seemingly sudden change of heart. It was more like a revelation, really. I was selecting pictures from India to show my English class that gave examples of different aspects of Maharastrian Indian culture, such as marriage. I asked my mother to explain the pictures and how they exemplified Maharastrian customs. I was shocked how much I really had not known about my native culture and thrilled that I had immediate connections to learn more. For the first time in nine years I was able to see my cultural duality as a blessing, not a burden. I realized that if I was not in America I would not be able to share my heritage. I am able to pick and choose from different aspects of both cultures. Because of this, my individuality is more clearly defined. Hence, to me, America is a place where I can be an individual.

To what culture do I belong? I am not one hundred percent American and I am not one hundred percent Indian, so I cannot say I belong completely to one culture or the other. I can't say that I'm half and half because I don't know whether I am or not. Such a thing is impossible to quantify. I do not belong to any culture. I am of Indian heritage but I am much more than Indian. I am much more than a nationality. I am an individual who is willing to learn about all cultures and to incorporate from them the aspects that I wish. I am not American. I am not Indian. I am neither, yet both. I am an individual. I am me. ?

This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *