How to Write a Cultural Identity Essay With Tips and Examples

Writing a cultural identity essay is an exciting academic exercise that allows students to develop and utilize critical thinking, reflective, and analytical skills. Unlike a standard essay, this type of paper requires learners to use the first-person language throughout. In essence, a cultural identity essay is about writers and what makes them identify with a particular cultural orientation. When writing a cultural identity essay, authors should choose a specific identity and focus on it throughout their texts. Moreover, they should reflect and brainstorm, use the “show, not tell” method, utilize transitions to create a natural flow, and proofread their papers to eliminate mistakes and errors. Hence, students need to learn how to write a cultural identity essay to provide high-quality papers to their readers.

Definition of a Cultural Identity Essay

Students undertake different writing exercises in the learning environment to develop their critical thinking, reflective, and analytical skills. Basically, one of these exercises is academic writing, and among different types of essays that students write is a cultural identity essay. In this case, it is a type of essay where authors write about their culture, which entails exploring and explaining the significance of their cultural identity. Moreover, there are numerous topics that instructors may require students to write about in a cultural identity essay. For example, some of these essay topics fall under different disciplines, such as religion, socio-economic status, family, education, ethnicity, and business. In essence, the defining features of a cultural identity essay are what aspects make authors know that they are writing in this type of essay. In turn, these features include language, nationality, gender, history, upbringing, and religion, among many others.

How to write a cultural identity essay

Differences Between a Cultural Identity Essay and Other Papers

Generally, a cultural identity essay is similar to a standard essay regarding an essay structure and an essay outline. However, the point of difference is a topic. While standard essays, such as argumentative, persuasive, and informative essays, require learners to use third-person language, such a paper requires them to use the first-person language. In this case, when writing a cultural identity essay, authors should use the word “I” throughout to show the audience that they are writing from their perspective. Indeed, this aspect is the primary objective of a cultural identity essay – to give the writer’s perspective concerning their culture. Besides, another point of difference between a cultural identity essay and other papers is that the former does not require writers to utilize external sources but to write from a personal viewpoint.

List of Possible Examples of Cultural Identity Essay Topics

1. Cultural Identity and Socialization in a Learning Environment

Here, a cultural identity essay prompt may require students to discuss the significance of culture in education, focusing on cultural identity and socialization. As such, this topic requires writers to reflect on how culture influences behavior in a learning environment.

2. The Impact of Culture Change on Family

Here, this prompt may require students to explore and discuss how culture impacts a family unit. Moreover, a theme is a family, and the students’ mission would be to explain how culture in all its dynamics affects families in diverse settings.

3. The Role of Language in Building a Cultural Identity

Here, instructions may require students to explore and explain the significance of language in cultural identity. Hence, writers should focus on explaining the place of culture in the sociology discipline, focusing on the connection between language and cultural identity.

4. The Significance of Culture in a Globalized Economy

Here, a cultural identity essay topic may require students to explore and discuss how culture affects individuals and businesses in today’s connected world. Also, the students’ task would be to explain how culture in all its dynamics, such as language, is essential in business for individuals and enterprises.

5. How Culture Influences Relations in the Workplace

Here, an essay prompt may require students to explore and explain how culture in all its dynamics effects or influences social relations at the workplace. In turn, the task of writers, for example, would be to focus on how Human Resource (HR) departments can use culture to enrich workplace relations.

6. The Place of Culture in Individuals’ Self-Concept

Here, an analysis of a theme may require students to reflect on how their cultural orientation has affected their self-concept. Moreover, the student’s task would be to discuss how culture and its dynamics enable individuals to build a strong or weak understanding of themselves.

7. The Importance of Cultural Orientation in a Multicultural Environment

Here, assignment instructions may require students to explore and discuss how their cultural orientation enables them to operate in a culturally diverse environment, such as school or workplace. In this case, the student’s task would be to explain how culturall characteristics, such as language and religion, facilitate or hampers social competency in a multicultural setting. 

8. How Global Conflicts Disturb Cultural Identity for Refugees

Here, this example of a cultural identity topic may require students to explore and explain how conflicts in today’s world, such as civil unrest, affect the cultural identity of those who flee to foreign countries. Also, the student’s task would be to explain how one’s culture is affected in a new environment with a totally different cultural dynamics.

9. The Challenges of Acculturation

Here, a cultural identity essay prompt may require students to explore and explain the challenges that individuals face in identifying with the dominant culture. In particular, the student’s task would be to explain the significance of the dominant culture and what those from other cultures that try to identify with must confront.

10. Host Country Culture and Multinational Enterprises

Here, this prompt sample may require students to explore and explain how a host country’s culture affects expatriates working for multinational corporations. Besides, the students’ task would be to show how one’s culture defines their behaviors and how that can be affected in a new environment with new cultural characteristics.

11. Compare and Contrast Native Culture and Dominant Culture in the United States

Here, such instructions require students to explain specific areas of similarity and difference between the Native culture and the dominant culture. In turn, the students’ task would be to define the Native culture and the dominant culture and help the audience to understand whether they mean the same thing. Hence, whether they do or do not, students should elaborate.

12. The Objective of Acculturation

Here, this example of a cultural identity essay topic requires students to explore and explain why people prefer to identify with the dominant culture. Moreover, the students’ task would be to note the advantages of the dominant culture over others and the opportunities that one may access to identify with this dominant culture.

13. The Challenges That the LGBTQ Community Faces in the Modern World

Here, essay prompt instructions require students to explore and discuss the challenges that lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people face in their normal day-to-day activities. In this case, the students’ task would be to explain the uniqueness of the LGBTQ community and how stereotyping makes their lives miserable in an environment where people are intolerant to different personalities and viewpoints.

14. Dangers of Cultural Intolerance in the Health Care System

Here, instructions may require students to explore and discuss how nurses that are intolerant to cultural differences may jeopardize patients’ lives.

15. Advantages and Disadvantages of Acculturation

Here, a cultural identity essay prompt requires students to discuss the pros and cons of identifying with the dominant culture.

How Students Know if They Write a Cultural Identity Essay

The defining features of a cultural identity essay give students the indication that they need to write this kind of essay. Basically, when learners read instructions regarding their essay topics they need to write about, they should identify one or several defining elements. In turn, these elements include language, nationality, religion, ethnicity, and gender.

Structure of a Cultural Identity Essay

As stated previously, the primary point of similarity between a cultural identity essay and standard papers is an essay structure and an essay outline. Basically, this structure and outline comprise of three main sections: introduction, body, and conclusion. Like in all other essays, writing a cultural identity essay requires students to address specific issues, which are, in essence, the defining characteristics of the essay’s structure and outline.

I. Introduction and Its Defining Characteristics

The introduction is the first paragraph of a cultural identity essay. Here, students introduce themselves to the audience, giving a brief background of their cultural identity. Moreover, rules of academic writing dictate that this part should not exceed 10 percent of the entire paper. In this case, writers should be brief and concise. Then, the most prominent component of this section is a thesis, a statement that appears at the end of an introduction paragraph and whose objective is to indicate the writer’s mission. In summary, the introduction part’s defining features are the writer’s background and thesis statement. In turn, the former gives a hint about a writer, and the latter provides the audience with insight into the writer’s objective in writing a cultural identity essay.

II. Body

The body of a cultural identity essay is the most significant section of a paper and takes the largest part. Generally, writers use several paragraphs to advance different arguments to explain specific concepts. In a cultural identity essay, writers can use different paragraphs to explain important aspects of their cultural identity. Nonetheless, what determines the number of paragraphs and the content of each is a paper topic. Also, the most prominent defining features of a cultural identity essay’s body are paragraphs with each advancing a unique concept about the writer’s cultural identity. In turn, paragraphs are where writers provide real-life experiences and other personal anecdotes that help the audience to develop a deeper understanding of authors from a cultural perspective.

III. Conclusion

The conclusion part is the last section of a cultural identity essay. In particular, writers restate a thesis statement and summarize the main points from body paragraphs. Moreover, authors provide concluding remarks about a topic, which is mostly an objective personal opinion. In summary, the conclusion part’s defining features are a restatement of a thesis, a summary of the main points, and the writer’s final thought about a topic.

Outline Template for a Cultural Identity Essay

I. Introduction

A. Hook statement/sentence.
B. Background information.
C. A thesis statement that covers the main ideas from 1 to X in one sentence.

II. Body Paragraphs

A. Idea 1
B. Idea 2

X. Idea X

III. Conclusion

A. Restating a thesis statement.
B. Summary of the main points from A to X.
C. Final thoughts.

An Example of a Cultural Identity Essay

Topic: Identifying as a Naturalist

I. Introduction Sample in a Cultural Identity Essay

The period of birth marks the beginning of one’s identity, with culture playing a significant role. However, from the stage of adolescence going froward, individuals begin to recognize and understand their cultural makeup. In my case, I have come to discover my love for nature, an aspect that I believe has made me a naturalist both in belief and action.

II. Examples of Body Paragraphs in a Cultural Identity Essay

A. Idea 1: Parents

Parents play a critical role in shaping the cultural and personal identity of their children. In my case, it is my mother who has instilled in me the love for nature. Although I may not say exactly when this love started, I can only reason that sincxe it was ingrained in me since childhood, it has developed gradually.

B. Idea 2: Naturalism

Today, naturalism defines my interactions with people and the environment. In short, I can say it shapes my worldview. As a lover of nature herself, my mother had this habit of taking me outdoors when I was a toddler. I have seen family photographs of my mother walking through parks and forests holding my hand. What is noticeable in these pictures besides my mother and me is the tree cover that gives the setting such a lovely sight. Moreover, I can now understand why I seem more conversant with the names and species of flowers, trees, and birds than my siblings- my mother was the influence. In turn, my siblings and friends make a joke that I have developed a strong love for nature to the point of identifying myself with the environment. Hence, the basis for this argument is my love for the green color, where even my clothes and toys are mostly green.

III. Conclusion Sample of a Cultural Identity Essay

Naturally, human beings behave in line with their cultural background and orientation. Basically, this behavior is what determines or reflects their cultural identity. In turn, my intense love for nature underscores my naturalist identity. While I may not tell the stage in life when I assumed this identity, I know my mother has played a significant role in shaping, and this is since childhood.

Summing Up on How to Write a Good Cultural Identity Essay

Like any standard paper, writing a cultural identity essay allows students to build essential skills, such as critical thinking, reflective, and analytical skills. In this case, the essence of a paper is to provide the writer’s cultural identity, background, or orientation. Therefore, in order to learn how to write a good cultural identity essay, students should master the following tips:

  1. Decide where to focus. Culture is a broad topic, and deciding what to focus on is essential in producing a cultural identity essay. For example, one may have several cultural identities, and addressing all may lead to inconclusive explanations.
  2. Reflect and brainstorm. Given the close link between one’s cultural identity and personal experiences, learners need to reflect on experiences that would provide the audience with an accurate picture of their cultural identity.
  3. Adopt the “Show, not tell” approach by providing vivid details about one’s experiences. Using personal anecdotes may be effective in accomplishing this objective.
  4. Use transitions, such as “therefore,” “thus,” ” additionally,” and “furthermore” to enhance a natural and logical flow throughout the essay.
  5. Stay personal by using the first-person language to describe one’s background and experiences.
  6. Proofread a cultural identity essay to eliminate spelling and grammatical mistakes and other notable errors, such as an inconsistent life storyline.