Cultural Identity: General Understanding.

People who live in different parts of the world sometimes have much more in common than we can even imagine. Due to specific social or natural conditions, they move to different countries and settle down there. However, no matter how long they live in those countries, national distinctness and cultural identity remain an integral part of their nature.  

In other words, cultural identity is a link, which unites a group of people based on their historical past, religion, thinking, traditions, cuisine, music, etc. This implies that to write a cultural identity essay; a student should tell a story of his/her family and roots. 

Which Tone to Use for a Cultural Identity Essay?

Unlike in an expository essay, your tone shouldn’t be neutral or objective. You don’t have to provide some official proof or arguments, like in a persuasive essay. 

A cultural identity essay should convey your feelings, subjective vision, and emotions about being a part of an ethnic group. From this perspective, it resembles a reflective essay or a personal narrative. 

The main distinctive feature of a cultural identity essay lies in the need to reflect on your ethnicity, national heritage, and the way it shapes you as a person. That is why you can write the essay in the 1st person, like in the example below: 

“Although I’ve lived in Canada since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I was born in Serbia. My parents wanted to ensure a stable environment for my growth and give me a good quality education. My dad was a skilled programmer, and my mum spoke three languages, so they leaped at the chance to move to a country with numerous opportunities. I love the place where I live and the people around me. Still, I often feel like some part of me is missing, as I don’t know much about my motherland… “ 

You can use this extract as a pattern for your own essay about cultural identity. By substituting some words, you can make it sound more personal. 

“How to compose a complete essay according to all rules of writing?” – you may ask. Discover more information in the subsequent chapters. And don’t forget that you can always order an essay on our website if you feel any difficulty with the topic or run short on time. 

Structure Tips

The main thing you have to remember – no matter what type of essay you deal with, its basic structure is always similar. All paperwork, including cultural identity essays, has three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.

Keep in mind, though; three parts don’t mean three paragraphs! Most commonly, cultural identity essays have five paragraphs or more. 

The length of the essay parts may differ depending on the task. However, the proportion is always the same: 

  • The introduction is about 10% of the whole text. It is the opening part of your story, and it defines whether a reader will be interested in reading it further. To make your essay gripping from the very beginning, try to use a “hook” in the introduction. Simply said, use a sentence, which will whet people’s appetite for the following paragraphs. 
  • The body covers the largest piece. There you have to tell your story and develop your “hook sentence.” To better explore the topic, provide examples from your own experience, and organize the thoughts. Divide the main body of your essay into some paragraphs. Each paragraph of the body serves as a subtopic for your narrative, developing a specific thought. 
  • The conclusion has roughly 3-5 sentences. It is the last but not the least part of your essay. And here, you have to summarize the thoughts and ideas, which are described in your cultural identity essay.

Also, it may be a good idea to refer to a citation or a statement of a famous person about your native country or ethnic group. An extract from a national song or poem may also show your fondness and connection to the birthplace. Even though such attributes are not compulsory in cultural identity essays, they can be evaluated by your teacher as a creative approach to writing.

Where Do I Start?

Before writing a cultural identity essay, it is extremely important to understand your own attitude to your background and national history. If you lack information, it would be a good idea to do a little research: lookup on the internet, go to the library or just talk to your relatives about your nationality. 

In order to understand the impact of cultural identity on your personality, try to ask yourself such questions:

  • Do I feel like a duck to water in the society I live in?
  • Do I share the values and traditions of people who surround me?
  • Am I proud of my cultural identity?
  • Would I prefer to live in another country? Where exactly and why?
  • How does my living environment influence my behavior and mindset?
  • What is special about my cultural identity?

These or other questions may outline a rough plan for you before writing a cultural identity essay. And thus, your text will be more personal and sincere than those where standard subtopics are described.

Building Your Narrative

As soon as you have defined your position towards your origin, try to think of the title for your essay. Be aware that all your plan points, as well as the title, should complement each other. It means there shouldn’t be a conflict between the paragraphs – you have to decide whether you admit your cultural identity in the essay or deny it. 

For that, you should include a “thesis sentence” into your introduction part, which will show what message you want to convey to the reader. Compare the following essay introduction to the previous example: 

“Fifteen years ago, my husband and I began a new life far from our birthplace. Our new home in Germany. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to live in this country. I’ve been passionate about German traditions, language, and their way of thinking since a young age. In the meantime, the country where I was born always seemed a hostile place full of strangers, who don’t understand me and vice versa…”

As you can see, ideas for cultural identity essays may vary depending on the author’s attitude and feelings. 

Essential Language Rules 

If you want your cultural identity essay to be not only interesting and insightful but also properly built, make sure you follow the rules of sentence building. Here are several handy tips:

  • Short sentences of up to 20 words make an essay more readable and comprehensive. 
  • Make certain that every written sentence contributes to the plot and is not just empty talk.  
  • Use linking words and phrases, such as, however, although, in addition to that, moreover, in spite of and others. It will make your cultural identity essay a united body, but not a set of separate statements. 
  • Use different figures of speech, such as epithets, comparisons, simile, etc. to enrich your essay and make it vivid. 
  • Don’t forget to double-check your essay after you finish writing. Even if you consider yourself a master of grammar, and you rarely make mistakes, nobody is insured against misprints. 

Professional Essays with a Distinctive Voice

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