93 Personal Identity Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best personal identity topic ideas & essay examples, ⭐ interesting topics to write about personal identity, ✅ simple & easy personal identity essay titles, ❓ research questions about identity.

  • Personal Identity Under the Influence of Community In other words, how individuals are raised in society is essential in facilitating the ability to predict the conduct and even future roles within the group. The community values that are embraced and respected are […]
  • How Does Culture Affect the Self Identity Personal Essay The economic background, family relations and ethnic distinctions have contributed significantly to the personality trait of being a low profile person who is considerate of others. We will write a custom essay specifically for you by our professional experts 808 writers online Learn More
  • Music Role in Personal and Social Identities Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to answer the question ‘How does music contribute to personal and social identities?’ In answering this question, the paper will develop a comprehensive analysis of a number of […]
  • Personal Identity & Self-Reflection In the reflection, Ivan examined his past life and the values that he had lived by in all of his life.
  • Exploring a Personal Identity: What Defines Me as an Individual However, due to openness to new ideas and the ability to retain my cultural values, I have managed to shape my personal identity in a unique way that included both the core values of my […]
  • Bernard Williams The Self and the Future and Psychological Continuity Theory of Personal Identity The researches and ideas of Bernard Williams are focused on the necessity of personal awareness about the experiment; “they [Person A and Person B] may even have been impressed by philosophical arguments to the effect […]
  • Respect and Self-Respect: Impact on Interpersonal Relationships and Personal Identity It is fundamental to human nature to want to be heard and listened to.indicates that when you listen to what other people say, you show them respect at the basic level.
  • Recognizing Homosexuality as a Personal Identity According to Freud, all human beings are inherently bisexual, and homosexuality results from a malfunction in the process of sexual development.
  • Personal Identity and Teletransportation Moreover, according to his views, one soul can live in several bodies in different lives, which resembles the concept of reincarnation, but at the same time, a person is not the same.
  • Personal Identity Description The topic of personal identity has been presenting a matter of interest for numerous philosophers throughout the whole history of humanity.
  • Leisure and Consumption: Cell Phones and Personal Identity Foley, Holzman, and Wearing aim to confirm the improvement of the quality of human experiences in public spaces through the application of cell phones.
  • Personal Troubles: Deviance and Identity It is therefore a violation of social norms and failure to conform to these norms that are entrenched in the culture of the society.
  • The Trouble Distinguishing Personal Identity From Perception of Reality The play of Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman is a brilliant example of how perception of reality influences personal identity.
  • Sexuality and Personal Identity Deployment by Foucault Thesis Statement: Foucault suggests that the “deployment” of sexuality is closely connected with the deployment of integrity, which is the main principle of the social and political welfare of the state.
  • Cultural and Personal Identity: Mothers and Shadows Memory knots, as the term, have been employed to refer to sites of humanity, sites in time, and sites of physical matter or geography.
  • Importance of Personal Identity The first stated that the continuity of personality is reliant on the sameness of the body, while the opposing view proclaimed that only the sameness of the soul could signify the sameness of a person.
  • Personal Identity Change and Identification Acts It appears that, instead of being referred to as the agent of ‘identity change’, the act of ‘identification’ should be discussed as one among many strategies, deployed by people on the way of trying to […]
  • Personal Information Use and Identity Theft The study provided a national scale analysis of identity theft patterns in the United States between 2002 and 2006. The form of government documentation and benefits of fraud have contributed to the increase in identity […]
  • Influence of the Fashion Attributes on the Social Status and Personal Identity In the end, the primary goal of the paper is to propose the suitable methodology and analysis of the information to find the relevant answer to the research question.
  • Music and the Construction of Personal and Social Identities Despite the relative difference between the current and the past music experience, it is clear that music has increasingly been used in the construction of the youths’ identities.
  • A.A. Bronson’s Through the Looking Glass: His Personal Identity as a Canadian Artist Thus, his work Through the Looking Glass is the one of the best works that reflect the author’s vision of reality and the one that reflects the author’s sense of Canadian identity.
  • Locke and Hume’s Discussions of the Idea of Personal Identity He argues that, the identity of a soul alone in an embryo of man is one and same that is the identity of it in a fully grown up man.
  • Ship of Theseus and Personal Identity Regarding the Ship of Theseus, the ship changed a lot but it remained the same in terms of its properties. Equally, Y could be said to be the same as Z in terms of properties.
  • Human Freedom and Personal Identity In demonstrating a working knowledge of psychoanalysis theory of consciousness and personal identity it is clear that being conscious of my personal endowments, gifts and talents, in addition to the vast know how and skill […]
  • Psychological Foundations Behind Personal Identity
  • Behind the Scenes: The Effects of Acting on Personal Identity
  • Psychology: Personal Identity and Self Awareness
  • The Personal Identity and the Psychology for the Child Development
  • Defining Yourself and Personal Identity in Philosophy
  • Personal Identity Challenges and Survival
  • Cultural Diversity, Racial Intolerance, and Personal Identity
  • Identification Process: Personal Contiguity and Personal Identity
  • Personal Identity and Career Management
  • Habits: Bridging the Gap Between Personhood and Personal Identity
  • Personal Identity and Psychological Continuity
  • Gender Roles and Personal Identity
  • Personal Identity and Social Identity: What’s the Difference
  • Three Theories of Personal Identity: The Body Theory, Soul Theory, and the Conscious Theory
  • Personal Identity and the Definition of One’s Self
  • Creative Industries and Personal Identity
  • Psychological Continuity Theory of Personal Identity
  • Generation Gap: Family Stories and Personal Identity
  • How Antidepressants Affect Selfhood, Teenage Sexuality, and Personal Identity
  • Personal Identity, Ethics, Relation, and Rationality
  • Philosophical Views for Personal Identity, Inventory, and Reflection
  • The Role and Importance of Personal Identity in Philosophy
  • Personal Identity and Its Effect on Pre-procedural Anxiety
  • Self-Discovery, Social Identity, and Personal Identity
  • Psychological Continuity: Personal, Ethnic and Cultural Identity
  • Person and Immortality: Personal Identity and Afterlife
  • Cultural Norms, Language, and Personal Identity
  • Socialization, Personal Identity, Gender Identity, and Terrorism
  • Personal Identity: Bundle and Ego Theory
  • Society and the Importance of a Unique Personal Identity
  • Political Issues Through Personal Identity
  • Conflict Between Personal Identity and Public Image
  • Difference Between Personal Identity and Online Identity
  • Noninvasive Brain Stimulation and Personal Identity: Ethical Consideration
  • Personal Identity and Psychological Reductionism
  • Bodily, Psychological and Personal Identity
  • Memory Role in Personal Identity
  • Unique and Different Types of Personal Identity
  • Capabilities and Personal Identity: Using Sen to Explain Personal Identity in Folbre’s ‘Structures of Constraint’ Analysis
  • Genetic Memory and Personal Identity
  • Does Group Identity Prevent Inefficient Investment in Outside Options?
  • Does Student Exchange Program Involve a Nations Identity?
  • How America Hinders the Cultural Identity of Their Own Citizens?
  • Are Education Issues Identity Issues?
  • Are Persons With Dissociative Identity Disorder Responsible for Bad?
  • How Do Advertisers Shape the Identity, Values, and Beliefs of Any Culture?
  • What Factors Affect the Development of Ego Identity?
  • Can Social Identity Theory Address the Ethnocentric Tendencies of Consumers?
  • How Are Adolescents Responsible for Their Own Identity?
  • Did the Mongols Create a More Diverse Islamic Identity?
  • Why Corporate and White Collar Crimes Rarely Dealt in Criminal Courts Culture and Identity?
  • What’s the Relationship Between Communication and Identity?
  • Does Globalization Affect Our Culture Identity?
  • What Does Ethnicity Affect a Person’s Identity?
  • Does Trauma Shape Identity?
  • What Does Identity Tell Us About Someone?
  • How Beauty Standards Have Shaped Women’s Identity?
  • How Has Bisexuality Been an Ambiguous Sexual Identity?
  • What Does Identity Mean?
  • How and Why Does Ethnic Identity Affect the Idea of ‘Beauty’ Cross-Culturally?
  • Can Consumption and Branding Be Considered a Part of a Person’s Identity?
  • What Has Caused Britain to Lose Its Sense of Identity?
  • How Antidepressants Affect Selfhood, Teenage Sexuality, and Our Quest for Personal Identity?
  • Does Identity Affect Aspirations in Rural India?
  • Do Identity Contingencies Affect More Than Just One Race?
  • Does Identity Incompatibility Lead to Disidentification?
  • Does Social Inequality Affect a Person’s Identity?
  • Why Is Identity Important in Education?
  • Can People Choose Their Identity?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

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Creative Writing Prompts

Identity Writing Prompts: Explore Themes of Self-Discovery

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My name is Debbie, and I am passionate about developing a love for the written word and planting a seed that will grow into a powerful voice that can inspire many.

Identity Writing Prompts: Explore Themes of Self-Discovery

– Unveiling the Layers Within: Dive into Identity Writing Prompts to Uncover Your True Self

– a journey of reflection: write about your background and how it has shaped your identity, a journey of reflection: write about ‍your background and how it ⁤has shaped your ⁣identity, embracing the present: explore identity writing prompts to discover who you are now, – boundaries and beyond: delve into identity writing prompts to explore your limitations and potential, boundaries and beyond: delve into⁣ identity writing prompts to explore your limitations and potential, -​ unmasking your passions: use identity writing ⁤prompts to uncover your true desires, unmasking your passions: use identity writing prompts⁢ to uncover your true desires, – owning your narrative: express yourself freely with identity writing prompts, – embracing ‌authenticity: how identity writing prompts can ⁣help you live your truth, – navigating cultural identity: discovering who⁢ you are through writing‍ prompts, frequently asked questions, concluding remarks.

Identity writing prompts offer⁢ a transformative journey⁢ into the ‍depths of one’s being. With each layer that we uncover, we gain a ‍deeper understanding of ourselves, our values, and our true passions. These prompts act as mirrors, reflecting our innermost thoughts and emotions, enabling us​ to explore and express the multifaceted nature of our identities.

Embark on this introspective ‍adventure and prepare to explore uncharted territories within your own mind. Let the power of the written word guide you as ‌you peel back the layers and discover the essence ‍of your true ⁢self. Here are some thought-provoking ‌identity writing prompts to ignite‍ your creativity:

  • 1.‍ Embracing Diversity: Write about a time when​ you felt truly connected to someone from⁢ a different culture or background. How did this experience shape your understanding of ‌identity and ​broaden your perspective?
  • 2. Defining Moments: Describe a significant‌ event or encounter that ⁢changed your perception of yourself. How did this pivotal moment contribute to your growth and transformation?
  • 3. Masks and Authenticity: Explore the masks you⁢ wear in ‌different facets of your ​life. Reflect on how these masks influence the way you ⁢perceive yourself and how others perceive you. How does embracing authenticity impact your sense of identity?
  • 4.‍ Nature versus Nurture: Examine the interplay between nature and nurture ⁤in shaping your identity. How ⁣have your genetic makeup and life experiences ​molded you ⁢into the person you are today?
  • 5. Uncovering Passions: Delve into your ​passions and ‍interests that make ⁤you feel most alive. How do these activities or hobbies reflect your true self and contribute to your sense of identity?

Allow these prompts to guide your introspective writing. Through self-reflection and examination, you⁤ will navigate the intricate layers of your identity, gaining a profound understanding‍ of who you are and what drives you. Embrace this creative process and be open to ‍the revelations that lie within.

- A ⁢Journey of Reflection: Write about Your⁢ Background and How It Has Shaped Your Identity

As I reflect⁣ on my journey and explore the ⁤path that has led me to where I ​am today, I cannot help but ‌acknowledge the‍ immense impact my background has had on my identity. Born and raised in a ⁢small, close-knit ‌community ⁤nestled in the heart⁤ of the countryside, nature has become an integral part of my upbringing. The ‌vast green fields and towering mountains not only provided a breathtaking backdrop to my childhood ​but also instilled in‍ me a deep sense of appreciation and respect for⁣ the environment.‌ This connection to nature has⁤ significantly shaped my identity by fostering a love⁣ for ⁢outdoor activities and nurturing a strong desire‌ to protect our planet.

Moreover, growing up in a multicultural household has exposed me to a rich tapestry‌ of traditions, ‍languages, and belief systems. My parents, a vibrant fusion of ⁣two distinct cultures, have empowered me to embrace diversity, fostering an open-mindedness and acceptance of ‍others. ‍This exposure has fueled my desire to explore and understand different cultures, constantly seeking out new experiences and ‌perspectives. My background has shown me the​ beauty in embracing different viewpoints, allowing me to build bridges of⁤ understanding and empathy, ultimately shaping ⁤my‍ identity as someone who champions inclusivity.

- Embracing the Present: Explore Identity Writing Prompts to Discover Who You Are Now

– Embracing the‌ Present: Explore Identity Writing Prompts to Discover Who You Are⁤ Now

Writing has always been a powerful tool for ⁤self-reflection and self-discovery. As we grow and evolve,⁣ it’s ⁣important to take the time to explore our current identity and⁤ understand who we are in the present moment. This collection of identity writing prompts is designed to guide you on a journey of introspection and⁣ help ‌you uncover new aspects​ of ​yourself. So grab your pen and paper, and let’s ⁣dive in!

1. Reflect on your values: Take a moment to think about what truly matters to you. What are the core principles that guide your decisions ‍and actions? Write ⁣about how these values shape your identity and how they have influenced your choices in different areas of your life.

2. Explore your passions: What makes your heart sing? What activities or hobbies bring you ‌joy and fulfillment? Dive deep into⁤ the things that ignite your passion and⁤ write about how they contribute to your sense⁤ of self. Consider how these passions ‌have evolved over time and how​ they make you ⁢unique.

3. Examine your strengths and weaknesses: We all have strengths that‌ make us shine and weaknesses that challenge us. Reflect on what you excel ‍at and areas where⁣ you could use improvement. How ⁢do these strengths and weaknesses shape your identity? Write about how you navigate through these traits and how they contribute to your growth and personal development.

4. Consider⁣ your relationships: Our relationships play a significant role in shaping our‍ identity. Think about the⁤ people who are important to you – friends, family, mentors – and how they have ⁣influenced the person you are today. Write about the impact these relationships have had on your values, beliefs, and overall sense of self.

5. Embrace ⁤your quirks: We are⁣ all beautifully unique,⁣ with our own quirks and idiosyncrasies. Embrace these quirks and explore how they define who you are. Write about the aspects ​of your personality or behavior that make you stand out, and celebrate the characteristics ‌that make you wonderfully imperfect.

Using these identity writing prompts as a starting point, embark‍ on a journey of self-discovery. Embrace the present​ moment‌ and allow your pen to uncover the depths of⁢ who you are now. Happy writing!

-⁤ Boundaries and Beyond: Delve into Identity Writing Prompts ⁣to Explore Your⁤ Limitations and Potential

Ready to embark on‌ a thought-provoking journey of self-discovery? Our collection of identity writing prompts is here to challenge and inspire you to‍ push past your boundaries and ⁣unlock your true potential. Through introspective exercises, these prompts will guide you ⁢to explore ⁢the various facets of your identity, helping you‍ gain⁣ a deeper understanding of⁢ yourself and the limitations that may be holding you⁣ back.

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just ⁢starting out, consider these prompts​ as doorways into uncharted territories of the self. Use the power of words to delve into your past⁢ experiences, present aspirations, and future dreams, cultivating a stronger sense ​of your individuality. Embrace ‍this opportunity to reflect on your unique qualities, values, and beliefs, while shedding light on areas where personal growth is desired.

  • Imagine yourself living your ideal life without any limitations. What does it ⁤look like? How does it feel?
  • Write a letter to your younger self, offering advice and reassurance based on​ the person you are today.
  • Explore a time when you felt completely out of your comfort zone. How did it shape you?
  • Describe⁤ a person or event that ‍significantly influenced ‌your identity and explain why.

Allow these‍ writing prompts to kindle your creativity and ‌curiosity, ​embarking on​ a journey to surpass the limitations that may have held you back. Remember, the possibilities are endless, and your potential⁣ knows no bounds. Discover new perspectives, challenge preconceptions, ⁣and become the architect of your own narrative. Embrace the transformative power of introspection as you expand your horizons and discover the limitless⁢ depth of your identity.

- Unmasking Your Passions: Use Identity Writing Prompts to Uncover Your True Desires

Discovering one’s true⁢ passions can be both exhilarating and challenging. Often, we get so caught up in the expectations and demands of daily‍ life that we lose touch with our ‌authentic selves. ⁢However, with the help of identity writing prompts, a⁣ powerful tool for self-reflection,‌ you can embark on a journey of self-discovery and unmask the⁢ desires that lie hidden within.

Identity writing prompts encourage introspection​ and provide a safe space for exploration. ⁣They allow you to delve deep into your experiences,⁣ values,​ and aspirations, helping you uncover the underlying⁣ motivations that drive you. Embrace this opportunity to reconnect with your passions and gain⁣ a clearer understanding of what truly fulfills you. ⁢Here are a ⁣few ways identity writing prompts can ‍aid in ⁤unmasking your passions:

  • Reflection: Identity writing prompts encourage you to reflect upon your life experiences, both past, and present. This reflection can help you identify patterns, ⁢recurring themes, and ​pivotal moments that have shaped your desires and interests.
  • Exploration: ‌ Through writing prompts, you can explore various aspects of your identity, including your values, strengths, weaknesses, and unique qualities. This exploration opens ​doors to new possibilities and ‌sheds light on previously⁢ overlooked passions.
  • Clarity: By engaging in identity writing, you gain clarity about what truly excites and ⁤motivates you. ‍As you consistently explore and ⁢write, you’ll uncover patterns and themes that point you towards your authentic passions, providing a clearer roadmap to follow.
  • Growth: Writing prompts allow you to embrace ‍your growth journey and evolve as an individual. As you unmask your passions through writing,⁣ you’ll learn from experiences, refine your⁤ goals, and develop a stronger sense of self.

Unearthing your‌ passions and desires is a beautiful journey of self-discovery. Through the powerful medium ‍of identity writing prompts, you can peel away⁤ the layers and uncover your true essence.⁢ Allow yourself the space and time to engage in this introspective practice, and watch your passions ⁣come⁤ alive.

Owning Your Narrative: Express Yourself Freely with ‌Identity Writing Prompts

Writing is more than just ⁣putting words on paper; it’s a powerful means of self-expression. If you’re looking to explore and embrace your identity through writing, our collection of Identity Writing Prompts ⁣is the perfect tool for you. Designed to ⁢delve deep into ​the⁢ core of ​who you are, these prompts will ‍empower you to unleash your true self on the page.

With Identity Writing Prompts , you have the freedom to share your unique experiences, ⁣thoughts, and emotions, allowing ⁤you to connect ⁣with your inner self in a profound way. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting your writing journey, these prompts will challenge you to examine your identity from various perspectives, paving the way ⁤for personal growth,‌ self-discovery, and a stronger‍ sense of self.

  • Reflect on pivotal life experiences that shaped your identity
  • Explore the intersectionality of your various social identities
  • Examine the challenges you’ve faced and the lessons you’ve learned
  • Imagine alternate realities where your identity is different and reflect ⁤on the ⁤implications
  • Describe the people or communities that have influenced your sense of self

Our Identity Writing Prompts are not ​just about writing; they’re about‍ taking control of your narrative and expressing yourself freely. So, grab a pen and paper or open a blank document and let your genuine⁢ voice be heard. Dive deep into your thoughts, embrace‌ your identity, and let your unique story unfold.

Embrace the power of authenticity and discover how identity writing ⁢prompts can truly help you live your truth. In a world where societal norms​ often​ dictate our behaviors and⁣ perceptions, it becomes crucial to delve deep⁣ within ourselves⁢ to reconnect with our authentic selves. Identity writing prompts serve as a‍ catalyst for this introspective journey, offering an‌ opportunity to reflect on our unique experiences, beliefs, and values.

Through identity writing prompts, we can tap into the core of our being, shedding societal expectations and embracing our true passions, desires, and aspirations. These prompts aim to unleash the authentic voice that often remains dormant within us, allowing us to express our thoughts ​and emotions freely without judgment⁢ or inhibition. By ⁣exploring various aspects of our identity,⁢ including cultural background, personal interests, dreams, and personal growth, ‌we gain⁣ a better understanding of ourselves and develop a stronger sense of ‍self-awareness.

Unleash⁣ the power of authenticity with​ these benefits of practicing identity⁢ writing prompts:

  • Self-Reflection: Engaging in identity writing prompts ‌promotes⁣ deep self-reflection, helping you‌ to decipher your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
  • Personal Growth: By exploring and embracing‌ your true identity through writing, you ⁣create space for‍ personal growth and development.
  • Empowerment: Authenticity empowers⁤ you to break⁣ free from societal constraints, enables you to stand tall in your ⁢values, and fosters self-confidence.
  • Uncovering Hidden Passions: Through identity writing prompts, you might ⁣uncover hidden passions or rediscover forgotten dreams, leading to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Unlocking your authentic self through identity writing prompts opens the door to living a life that ⁢is truly aligned​ with who you are. Embrace the transformational power of‌ authenticity and embark on a journey of self-discovery today!

- Navigating Cultural Identity: Discovering Who You Are Through Writing Prompts

Exploring⁣ cultural identity can be a deeply personal ⁣and⁢ enlightening experience. Writing prompts provide​ a powerful tool for delving into this journey of self-discovery. As‌ we navigate through the ​intricate tapestry of our cultural heritage, writing allows us to explore our thoughts, ​emotions, and experiences with vulnerability and authenticity.

Through writing prompts, you can unravel the complexities of your cultural identity, uncovering hidden layers and gaining⁣ a deeper understanding of who you truly are. These prompts serve as a guide, igniting introspection and encouraging you to reflect on various aspects of your heritage, traditions, and upbringing. They invite⁢ you to examine the influences that have shaped you and the‌ impact your cultural identity has on your life.

By engaging in this creative process, you can embark on‌ a journey of self-discovery and self-expression, gaining insights into your‍ values,‌ beliefs, and unique perspective. Writing prompts help you:

  • Connect with your roots: Reflect on the cultural practices, rituals, and traditions that define your identity.
  • Explore⁤ personal experiences: Dive into cherished memories, stories, ⁣and encounters‌ that have shaped your cultural identity.
  • Examine challenges and growth: Unveil ‍the obstacles you’ve faced and how they have influenced your sense of self.
  • Embrace diversity: Celebrate the ⁢richness of your cultural background and the diverse perspectives it offers.

Dive into the thought-provoking writing prompts provided in this section, and embark on a journey of self-discovery, ⁣unearthing the unique facets of your cultural identity.

Q: What are ⁢identity writing prompts? A: Identity writing prompts are specific ​topics or questions designed to get you thinking about and exploring different aspects of your identity and self-discovery through writing.

Q: How can ​identity writing prompts help in self-discovery? A: Identity writing prompts serve as a catalyst for self-reflection and exploration. By delving into these prompts, you can gain a deeper understanding of your values, beliefs, experiences, and the various aspects that make up your ⁤unique identity.

Q: How can I use these writing prompts effectively? A: To make the ​most of identity‌ writing prompts, find a quiet and ​comfortable space where you ⁢can freely express your thoughts. Set aside dedicated time for introspection and use the prompts as guides to delve into different aspects of yourself. Let your thoughts flow naturally and don’t hold ​back.

Q: Can anyone benefit from using these prompts? A: Absolutely! Identity writing prompts can⁤ be useful for everyone, regardless of age, background, or writing experience. Whether you’re embarking on‌ a journey of self-discovery or simply want to gain‌ a better understanding of yourself, these ⁢prompts can prove to be invaluable tools.

Q: What are some examples of identity writing prompts? A: Here are a few examples of identity writing​ prompts: 1. Reflect on a moment or an experience that shaped your ‌identity. 2. How do you define success and ⁢how does it relate to your identity? 3. Explore a personal belief or value that has evolved over time. 4. Write about a‌ role ‌model ‍or someone ⁢who has had a ​significant impact on your sense of⁢ self. 5. Describe a time when you were faced with a challenge⁣ that forced you to reassess or reevaluate your identity.

Q: Can identity writing prompts assist with⁢ self-growth? A: Yes,‍ identity writing prompts can aid in self-growth by promoting ⁤introspection, fostering self-awareness,⁤ and encouraging you to explore untapped dimensions of your identity. By engaging in this process regularly, you can gain a deeper understanding​ of yourself and subsequently make more informed decisions about personal ‍growth ⁣and development.

Q: Are identity writing prompts only for personal use or can they be used in a group‍ setting? A: While identity‍ writing prompts ​are often used for personal reflection, they can also be utilized effectively in group settings. Sharing ⁣and discussing your thoughts and experiences with others can provide unique perspectives‍ and further enrich your self-discovery​ process.

Q: How often should one engage in⁣ using ⁢identity writing prompts? A: The frequency of using identity writing prompts can vary depending on your personal preferences and goals. ‌Some individuals may find ⁣it beneficial to engage in this practice regularly, perhaps once⁣ a week or even daily, while others might prefer ​a more sporadic approach. Choose a frequency that feels comfortable for you and supports ‍your self-exploration journey.

Q: Can identity​ writing⁤ prompts be utilized for different forms of writing? A: Absolutely! Identity writing prompts can​ be adapted to various forms of writing, such as journaling, personal essays, poetry, ‌or even fiction. The prompts provide ‌a starting point to explore your identity, and the choice of‌ writing style is entirely up to you.

Q: ⁤Can ​identity writing prompts be used as a therapeutic tool? A: Yes, identity writing prompts can be a valuable therapeutic tool. Writing ‌about your identity and⁢ engaging in self-reflection can help uncover and process emotions, allowing for personal⁣ growth and healing. However, if you require professional support, it’s always advisable to consult a trained therapist or counselor.

In conclusion, identity writing prompts offer invaluable opportunities for self-exploration and ‌personal ⁣growth. By delving into these themes, we can better understand​ ourselves, our values, and our place in ‌the world.

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Recent posts, subscribe here, more expert advice, let's get existential: how to write a college essay about identity.

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When you’re a teenager, you’re probably too busy to sit down and think about your own identity. No one exactly assigns you “introspection time” as homework (though, if you’re my student, this has very likely happened). So when you start working on your college essays, it might be the first time you truly start thinking about how you can express who you are in a way that will help a group of strangers understand something about you. Let’s be honest—it feels like a lot of pressure to sum up your identity in 250 words or less. But we’re here to help.

There are many different types of application essays you’ll need to write, as my colleague Annie so perfectly laid out here . But we’re going to talk about one type in particular: the essays about identity and diversity. These are powerful college essays that give admissions officers an opportunity to glimpse into your daily life and understand your unique experiences. For some students, though, these essays can be daunting to think about and write.  

Ever wonder why colleges are asking these questions? Well, the simple answer is that they want to get to know you more. Aside from your academic interests, your activities, and your accomplishments in the classroom, there really isn’t that much space to talk about things like your ethnic background, religion, gender identity, or local community. And these are things colleges want to know about you, too!

How Do You Write a Good Identity and Diversity Essay?

Before you start writing, let’s define a few terms you might run into while drafting your college essays about identity and diversity.

Who are you? I know what you’re thinking—it’s way too early in the morning to get this existential. I hear you. But let’s break this down. Identity is made up of many qualities: personality, culture, ethnic or racial background, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability, and linguistic background, among others. Maybe you identify really strongly with the religion on Mom’s side of the family, but not Dad’s. Maybe you speak a language not typical of folks from your culture. Maybe you have recently come into your gender identity and finally feel like yourself. Why is that identity important to the way you define who you are? Think of it like this: If you’ve met someone new, and your goal is to help them get to know you in the shortest amount of time possible, how would you be able to accomplish this? What’s your tagline? That’s how you’ll want to tackle this type of college essay.


One individual person can’t be diverse. But when a college is referring to diversity, they’re usually looking to their student body and asking how you, as an individual with your own identity, can add to their diversity. What experiences have you had in your life that might help you make the student body more diverse? Have you dealt with dyslexia and come to terms with how best to learn, keeping your abilities in mind? If so, how can you contribute to other students who might learn differently? Did you grow up as the oldest of 10 siblings and have to take care of them on a daily basis? What kind of responsibilities did you have and how did that influence you? These don’t need to be visible qualities. The goal of the diversity college essay is to understand how these identifying factors can help you contribute to a school in a way they haven’t seen before.  

Let’s define community. You may associate it with the city or neighborhood you live in. But a community doesn’t have to be geographical. It doesn’t even have to be formal. Community can come from that sense of connection you have with like-minded people. It can be built with people you’ve shared experiences with. So, when we think of community in this sense, we could be thinking about the community that exists within your apartment complex. We could be thinking about the youth group at your mosque. We could be thinking about your little group of artists within your science and tech magnet school. Think about what communities you are a part of, and be prepared to talk about your place within them.

You might think that these questions are only being asked by small liberal arts schools—but that’s not true. Bigger schools and colleges also want to get to know all of the thousands of students they’re bringing to campus as part of their class.

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Big Name Colleges that Care About Diversity

To give you a glimpse of the variety, here are a few examples of college essays where these identity and diversity may come into play:

University of Michigan

“Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.”

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

“Expand on an aspect of your identity (for example, your religion, culture, race, sexual or gender identity, affinity group, etc.). How has this aspect of your identity shaped your life experiences thus far?”

Pomona College

“Tell us about an experience when you dealt with disagreement or conflict around different perspectives within a community.”

Sarah Lawrence College

“Sarah Lawrence College's community places strong value in inclusion and diversity. In 250-500 words, tell us about what you value in a community and how your perspective, lived experiences, or beliefs might contribute to your College community.”

Remember what these colleges are trying to understand: who you are and what has influenced you to become the person you are today (identity), where you come from (community), and how you might be able to add to the diversity of their college campus. Once you really get to the core and understand the intent of these types of college essays, you’ll absolutely be able to write in an earnest and genuine way. We say this frequently at Collegewise, but it’s worth repeating here, especially when it comes to essays about identity and diversity. Just be yourself.

About Us:  With more than twenty years of experience, Collegewise counselors and tutors are at the forefront of the ever-evolving admissions landscape. Our work has always centered on you: the student. And just like we’ve always done, we look for ways for you to be your best self - whether it’s in the classroom, in your applications or in the right-fit college environment. Our range of tools include  counseling ,  test prep ,  academic tutoring , and essay management, all with the support of our proprietary platform , leading to a 4x higher than average admissions rates. 

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106 Cultural Identity Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

Inside This Article

Cultural identity is a concept that refers to the sense of belonging and identification individuals have with a particular culture or ethnic group. It plays a significant role in shaping one's values, beliefs, traditions, and behaviors. Writing an essay on cultural identity allows individuals to explore and understand their own cultural backgrounds, as well as those of others. To help you get started, here are 106 cultural identity essay topic ideas and examples:

  • Exploring the concept of cultural identity.
  • How does cultural identity impact an individual's perspective on the world?
  • The role of language in cultural identity.
  • The influence of cultural identity on personal relationships.
  • The impact of globalization on cultural identity.
  • The challenges faced by individuals with a multicultural background.
  • How cultural identity shapes one's perception of beauty.
  • The connection between cultural identity and self-esteem.
  • The portrayal of cultural identity in literature and art.
  • The impact of cultural identity on educational achievements.
  • How cultural identity affects one's career choices.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping political opinions.
  • The influence of cultural identity on religious beliefs and practices.
  • The impact of cultural identity on gender roles and expectations.
  • The challenges of maintaining cultural identity in a foreign country.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping fashion trends.
  • The impact of cultural identity on food and cuisine.
  • The connection between cultural identity and music preferences.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping sports and athleticism.
  • The influence of cultural identity on parenting styles and values.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards health and wellness.
  • The impact of cultural identity on social media usage.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping travel preferences.
  • The connection between cultural identity and environmental attitudes.
  • The influence of cultural identity on communication styles.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards technology.
  • The impact of cultural identity on social justice and activism.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping concepts of time and punctuality.
  • The connection between cultural identity and storytelling traditions.
  • The influence of cultural identity on celebrations and holidays.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards marriage and family.
  • The impact of cultural identity on body image and beauty standards.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping leadership styles.
  • The connection between cultural identity and historical narratives.
  • The influence of cultural identity on funeral and mourning practices.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards disability and inclusion.
  • The impact of cultural identity on concepts of privacy and personal space.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards immigration.
  • The connection between cultural identity and social class.
  • The influence of cultural identity on leisure and recreational activities.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards mental health and therapy.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of justice and fairness.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping concepts of beauty and attractiveness.
  • The connection between cultural identity and social media activism.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards climate change.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards animal rights and conservation.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of technology and innovation.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards entrepreneurship.
  • The connection between cultural identity and political engagement.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards globalization.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards multiculturalism and diversity.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of patriotism and national identity.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards immigration policy.
  • The connection between cultural identity and attitudes towards cultural appropriation.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards cultural preservation.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards cultural assimilation.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of cultural imperialism.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards cultural exchange.
  • The connection between cultural identity and attitudes towards cultural relativism.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards cultural heritage.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards cultural diplomacy.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of cultural authenticity.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards cultural tourism.
  • The connection between cultural identity and attitudes towards cultural genocide.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards cultural nationalism.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards cultural diversity.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of cultural appropriation in fashion.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards cultural preservation in architecture.
  • The connection between cultural identity and attitudes towards cultural exchange in music.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards cultural assimilation in literature.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards cultural imperialism in media.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of cultural authenticity in food.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards cultural heritage in museums.
  • The connection between cultural identity and attitudes towards cultural relativism in philosophy.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards cultural diplomacy in politics.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards cultural diversity in education.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of cultural appropriation in art.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards cultural preservation in language.
  • The connection between cultural identity and attitudes towards cultural exchange in dance.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards cultural assimilation in film.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards cultural imperialism in literature.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of cultural authenticity in fashion.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards cultural heritage in music.
  • The connection between cultural identity and attitudes towards cultural relativism in history.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards cultural diplomacy in sports.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards cultural diversity in the workplace.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of cultural appropriation in music.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards cultural preservation in theater.
  • The connection between cultural identity and attitudes towards cultural exchange in visual arts.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards cultural assimilation in cuisine.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards cultural imperialism in architecture.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of cultural authenticity in literature.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards cultural heritage in film.
  • The connection between cultural identity and attitudes towards cultural relativism in music.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards cultural diplomacy in fashion.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards cultural diversity in media.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of cultural appropriation in theater.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards cultural preservation in film.
  • The connection between cultural identity and attitudes towards cultural exchange in literature.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards cultural assimilation in visual arts.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards cultural imperialism in music.
  • The impact of cultural identity on perceptions of cultural authenticity in theater.
  • The role of cultural identity in shaping attitudes towards cultural heritage in dance.
  • The connection between cultural identity and attitudes towards cultural relativism in fashion.
  • The influence of cultural identity on attitudes towards cultural diplomacy in literature.
  • How cultural identity affects attitudes towards cultural diversity in politics.

These cultural identity essay topic ideas and examples offer a wide range of options for exploring the intricate aspects of cultural identity. Remember to choose a topic that resonates with your personal experiences, interests, and perspectives. Good luck with your essay!

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identity topics for essays


simple essay writing tips

Great Identity Essay Writing Tips & 20 Topic Ideas

Among the essays encountered in your academic life, an identity essay proves the most challenging. Although many people can effortlessly write about their dog (Tommy), their family, and their best day, defining oneself often proves a challenge.

What defines me? Where do I start with my identity essay? If you were struggling with writing a self-identity essay, you are at the right place. This article will analyze the approach for writing a college essay about identity and offer some identity essay topics to guide your topic selection. 

What is an identity essay?

A self-identity essay is an essay geared toward explaining your beliefs, personality, and interests to a reader. This analytical narrative encapsulates your highlights in life and reactions to how various moments define you. 

Simply put, a self-identity essay is a narrative about yourself. 

How to write an identity essay

Often, students take the identity essay lightly seeing they are the subject of the narrative. Many often end up surprised at how hard it is to define oneself and confused as to where to start. Let’s look at the approach to writing an identity essay and some tips to start your paper.

Process of writing an identity essay

You are a product of your experiences from childhood up to this moment. Although each moment has led to the person you are, some experiences have provided much bearing to your life. 

Bearing this in mind, it is great to coalesce all the moments you find meaningful and organize your narrative before you put the pen on paper. The failure to do this may result in a paper lacking flow as you pursue the fond memories that spring in mind as you write your essay.

After jotting your key moments, organize them to achieve flow and lead towards the key idea on which you want to base your identity. Are you looking to define your empathy, persistence, or perseverance? Plan your experiences to highlight how this attribute was developed and how it currently defines you.

With your outline ready, you can proceed to write your work while adding the necessary information to make your narrative catchy. The draft allows you to gauge the gaps in your narrative, allowing you to fix your paper before submitting the final draft. 

An error-laden paper does little good in the way of your final score. After writing your paper, set aside time to proofread your work and fix any grammatical and structural errors. 

How to start a cultural identity essay

Often, students find themselves stuck with ‘I am, ‘I do’ openings in their essays and thus fail to hook a reader. Like other essays, the introduction for an essay on identity and culture should whet your reader’s appetite into knowing more about you. 

Some of the best methods to start an identity essay include:

  • A famous quote

e.g.  We are defined not by our birth name but rather by our actions and although our name is often used to refer to us, our personality is what makes an image in the minds of people we interact with. In my case, I have come to discover an innate fondness for making people feel better about themselves. A need to elevate one’s confidence for I have experienced the downward spiral of lacking self-esteem.  

  • Rhetorical questions

e.g.  In what way is an individual unique from a crowd? Are we not the product of our surroundings? Does our self-identity surpass our surname and fashion taste? Are we defined by our failures, achievements, interests, or actions? I believe that we are made unique by our actions and not by our failures. 

Tips for writing a self-identity essay

  • Select a narrow idea that can highlight the traits you want to define within the provided word count. 
  • Use definitive words to paint an image in your reader’s mind. 
  • Use transitions to achieve a sense of flow in your narrative
  • Proofread your paper to eliminate various errors

Essay topics on identity

Interesting identity essay topics.

  • Racial identity – identity development process 
  • Why do teenagers need to forge their unique identities? 
  • How does your favorite music shape your individuality? 
  • What traits, attitudes, and actions make up a man’s identity? 
  • Identity and art 
  • Personality development and the things that most impact it

Cultural identity essay topics

  • Who are you now, and where do you envision yourself in the next 15 years? 
  • The concept of your identity throughout your life
  • What part does your family have in the development of your personality? 
  • Cultural identification and socialization’s significance in learning 
  • Globalization’s effect on identity and culture 

Gender identity essay topics

  • What are by far the most vital elements of identity and culture?
  • How does culture influence identity? 
  • How childhood cultural experiences shape personality?
  • Why should you think about cultural identity when making commercials? 

Personal identity essay topics

  • Ethnic background serves as a prism through which people see other aspects of society
  • Social identity and self-identity: transgender community issues
  • Religion’s influence on self-identity 
  • The importance of cultural identity preservation 
  • Understanding personal identity’s importance

identity topics for essays

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Essays about Culture and Identity: 9 Examples And Prompts

Writing essays about culture and identity will help you explore your understanding of it. Here are examples that will give you inspiration for your next essay.

Culture can refer to customs, traditions, beliefs, lifestyles, laws, artistic expressions, and other elements that cultivate the collective identity. Different cultures are established across nations, regions, communities, and social groups. They are passed on from generation to generation while others evolve or are abolished to give way to modern beliefs and systems.

While our cultural identity begins at home, it changes as we involve ourselves with other groups (friends, educational institutions, social media communities, political groups, etc.) Culture is a very relatable subject as every person is part of a culture or at least can identify with one. Because it spans broad coverage, there are several interesting cultural subjects to write about.

Our culture and identity are dynamic. This is why you may find it challenging to write about it. To spark your inspiration, check out our picks of the best culture essays. 

1. Sweetness and Light by Matthew Arnolds

2. how auto-tune revolutionized the sound of popular music by simon reynolds, 3. how immigration changes language by john mcwhorter, 4. the comfort zone: growing up with charlie brown by jonathan franzen, 5. culture and identity definition by sandra graham, 6. how culture and surroundings influence identity by jeanette lucas, 7. how the food we eat reflects our culture and identity by sophia stephens, 8. identity and culture: my identity, culture, and identity by april casas, 9. how america hinders the cultural identity of their own citizens by seth luna, 1. answer the question, “who am i”, 2. causes of culture shock, 3. your thoughts on dystopia and utopia, 4. gender inequality from a global perspective, 5. the most interesting things you learned from other cultures, 6. the relationship between cultural identity and clothes, 7. describe your culture, 8. what is the importance of honoring your roots , 9. how can a person adapt to a new culture, 10. what artistic works best express your country’s culture, 11. how has social media influenced human interaction, 12. how do you protect the cultures of indigenous peoples, 13. are k-pop and k-drama sensations effectively promoting korea’s culture , 14. what is the importance of cultural diversity.

“… [A]nd when every man may say what he likes, our aspirations ought to be satisfied. But the aspirations of culture, which is the study of perfection, are not satisfied, unless what men say, when they may say what they like, is worth saying,—has good in it, and more good than bad.”

Arnolds compels a re-examination of values at a time when England is leading global industrialization and beginning to believe that greatness is founded on material progress. 

The author elaborates why culture, the strive for a standard of perfection, is not merely driven by scientific passions and, more so, by materialistic affluence. As he esteems religion as “that voice of the deepest human experience” to harmonize men in establishing that ideal society, Arnolds stresses that culture is the effort to “make reason and the will of God prevail” while humanizing gained knowledge to be society’s source of “sweetness and light.”

“Few innovations in sound production have been simultaneously so reviled and so revolutionary. Epoch-defining or epoch-defacing, Auto-Tune is indisputably the sound of the 21st century so far.”

Reynolds shows how Auto-Tune has shaped a pop music genre that has cut across cultures. The article maps out the music landscape Auto-Tune created and examines its impact on the culture of song productions and the modern taste for music. While the author debunks accusations that Auto-Tune destroyed the “natural” process of creating music, he also points out that the technology earned its reverence with big thanks to society’s current custom of using technology to hide blemishes and other imperfections.

Looking for more? Check out these essays about culture shock .

“… [T]he heavy immigration that countries like Italy are experiencing will almost certainly birth new kinds of Italian that are rich with slang, somewhat less elaborate than the standard, and… widely considered signs of linguistic deterioration, heralding a future where the “original” standard language no longer exists.”

American linguist McWhorter pacifies fears over the death of “standard” languages amid the wave of immigration to Europe. On the contrary, language is a vital expression of a culture, and for some, preserving is tantamount to upholding a cultural standard. 

However, instead of seeing the rise of new “multiethnolects” such as the Black English in America and Kiezdeutsch in Germany as threats to language and culture, McWhorter sees them as a new way to communicate and better understand the social groups that forayed these new languages.

“I wonder why “cartoonish” remains such a pejorative. It took me half my life to achieve seeing my parents as cartoons. And to become more perfectly a cartoon myself: what a victory that would be.”

This essay begins with a huge fight between Franzen’s brother and father to show how the cultural generation gap sweeping the 60s has hit closer to home. This generation gap, where young adults were rejecting the elders’ old ways in pursuit of a new and better culture, will also be the reason why his family ends up drifting apart. Throughout the essay, Franzen treads this difficult phase in his youth while narrating fondly how Peanuts, a pop culture icon at the time, was his source of escape. 

“…Culture is… your background… and Identity is formed where you belong to… Leopold Sedar Senghor and Shirley Geok-Lin Lim both talks about how culture and identity can impact… society…”

In this essay, Graham uses “To New York” by Senghor and “Learning To Love America” by Lim as two pieces of literature that effectively describe the role of culture and identity to traveling individuals. 

The author refers to Sengho’s reminder that people can adapt but must not forget their culture even if they go to a different place or country. On the other hand, Lim discusses immigrants’ struggle to have double identities.

“Culture is something that surrounds all of us and progress to shape our lives every day… Identity is illustrated as the state of mind in which someone or something distinguishes their own character traits that lead to determining who they really are, what they represent.”

Lucas is keen on giving examples of how his culture and surroundings influence an individual’s identity. She refers to Kothari’s “If you are what you eat, then what am I?” which discusses Kothari’s search for her identity depending on what food she eats. Food defines a person’s culture and identity, so Kothari believes that eating food from different countries will change his identity.

Lucas also refers to “Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas, which argues how different cultural and environmental factors affect us. Because of what we encounter, there is a possibility that we will become someone who we are not. 

“What we grow is who we are. What we buy is who we are. What we eat is who we are.”

Stephens’ essay teaches its readers that the food we grow and eat defines us as a person. She explains that growing a crop and harvesting it takes a lot of effort, dedication, and patience, which mirrors our identity. 

Another metaphor she used is planting rice: it takes skills and knowledge to make it grow. Cooking rice is more accessible than cultivating it – you can quickly cook rice by boiling it in water. This reflects people rich in culture and tradition but who lives simpler life. 

“Every single one has their own unique identity and culture. Culture plays a big role in shaping your identity. Culture is what made me the person I am today and determines who or what I choose to associate myself with.”

Casas starts her piece by questioning who she is. In trying to learn and define who she is, she writes down and describes herself and her personality throughout the essay. Finally, she concludes that her culture is a big part of her identity, and she must understand it to understand herself.

“When it comes to these stereotypes we place on each other, a lot of the time, we succumb to the stereotypes given to us. And our cultural identity is shaped by these expectations and labels others give us. That is why negative stereotypes sometimes become true for a whole group or community.”

In this essay, Luna talks about how negative stereotyping in the United States led to moral distortion. For example, Americans are assumed to be ignorant of other countries’ cultures, making it difficult to understand other people’s cultures and lifestyles. 

She believes that stereotyping can significantly affect an individual or group’s identity. She suggests Americans should improve their intellectual competence by being sensitive to other people’s cultures.

14 Prompts on Essays about Culture and Identity

You can discuss many things on the subject of culture and identity. To give you a starting point, here are some prompts to help you write an exciting essay about culture. 

If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips and our round-up of the best essay checkers .

Understanding your personality is vital since continuous interaction with others can affect your personality. Write about your culture and identity; what is your personality? How do you define yourself? Everyone is unique, so by writing an essay about who you are, you’ll be able to understand why you act a certain way and connect with readers who have the same values. 

Here’s a guide on writing a descriptive essay to effectively relay your experience to your readers.

Sometimes, people need to get out of their comfort zone and interact with other individuals with different cultures, beliefs, or traditions. This is to broaden one’s perspective about the world. Aside from discussing what you’ve learned in that journey, you can also focus on the bits that shocked you. 

You can talk about a tradition or value that you found so bizarre because it differs from your culture. Then add how you processed it and finally adapted to it.

Essays about Culture and Identity: Your Thoughts on Dystopia and Utopia

Dystopia and Utopia are both imagined worlds. Dystopia is a world where people live in the worst or most unfavorable conditions, while Utopia is the opposite. 

You can write an essay about what you think a Dystopian or Utopian world may look like, how these societies will affect their citizens, etc. Then, consider what personality citizens of each world may have to depend on the two worlds’ cultures.

Today, more and more people are fighting for others to accept or at least respect the LGBTQ+ community. However, countries, territories, and religions still question their rights.

In your essay, you can talk about why these institutions react the way they do and how culture dictates someone’s identity in the wrong way. Before creating your own, feel free to read other essays and articles to learn more about the global gender inequality issue. 

The world has diverse cultures, traditions, and values. When you travel to a new place, learning and writing about your firsthand experiences with unique cultures and rituals will always be an interesting read.

In this prompt, you’ll research other cultures and how they shaped their group’s identity. Then, write about the most exciting aspects you’ve learned, why you found them fascinating, and how they differ from your culture.

Those proud of their culture will wear clothes inspired by them. Some wear the same clothes even if they aren’t from the same culture. The debate over cultural appropriation and culture appreciation is still a hot topic. 

In this essay, you may start with the traditions of your community or observances your family celebrates and gathers for. Then, elaborate on their origins and describe how your community or family is preserving these practices. 

Learning about your roots, ancestors, and family cultures can help strengthen your understanding of your identity and foster respect for other cultures. Explore this topic and offer examples of what others have learned. Has the journey always been a positive experience? Delve into this question for an engaging and interesting essay.

When a person moves country, it can be challenging to adapt to a new culture. If there are new people at work or school, you can interview them and ask how they are coping with their new environment. How different is this from what they have been used to, and what unique traditions do they find interesting?

Focus on an art piece that is a source of pride and identity to your country’s culture, much like the Tinikling of the Philippines or the Matryoshka dolls of Russia. Explore its origins and evolution up to its current manifestation and highlight efforts that are striving to protect and promote these artistic works.

The older generation did not have computers in their teen years. Ask about how they dated in their younger years and how they made friends. Contrast how the younger generation is building their social networks today. Write what culture of socialization works better for you and explain why.

Take in-depth navigation of existing policies that protect indigenous peoples. Are they sufficient to serve these communities needs, and are they being implemented effectively? There is also the challenge of balancing the protection of these traditions against the need to protect the environment, as some indigenous practices add to the carbon footprint. How is your government dealing with this challenge?

A large population is now riding the Hallyu or the Korean pop culture, with many falling in love with the artists and Korea’s food, language, and traditional events. Research how certain Korean films, TV series, or music have effectively attracted fans to experience Korea’s culture. Write about what countries can learn from Korea in promoting their own cultures.

Environments that embrace cultural diversity are productive and innovative. To start your essay, assess how diverse your workplace or school is. Then, write your personal experiences where working with co-workers or classmates from different cultures led to new and innovative ideas and projects. Combine this with the personal experiences of your boss or the principal to see how your environment benefits from hosting a melting pot of cultures.

If you aim for your article to effectively change readers’ perspectives and align with your opinion, read our guide to achieving persuasive writing . 

identity topics for essays

Aisling is an Irish journalist and content creator with a BA in Journalism & New Media. She has bylines in OK! Magazine, Metro, The Inquistr, and the Irish Examiner. She loves to read horror and YA. Find Aisling on LinkedIn .

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Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, how do i write a college essay about my identity.

My identity has played a big role in my life, and I want to write about it in my college essay. How can I approach this topic in a way that showcases who I am without sounding cliché or overly dramatic? Thanks for any suggestions!

Hello! I'm glad to see that you're considering writing about your identity, as it's an important part of who you are. To avoid sounding cliché or overly dramatic, there are a few tips I'd like to share with you.

First, focus on specific experiences or moments that have shaped your identity. Instead of making general statements, think about the events in your life that have had a significant impact on you and what you learned from them. This will help you tell a unique story that only you can tell.

Second, don't be afraid to be vulnerable. Sharing your personal thoughts and feelings can make your essay more engaging and relatable. For example, my child wrote about their experience as an immigrant, discussing the challenges they faced in adapting to a new culture and how it shaped their perspective on life.

Third, use vivid language and descriptive details to paint a picture for your reader. This will make your essay more memorable and allow your reader to connect with your story on a deeper level. For example, instead of just saying 'I felt out of place,' describe the physical and emotional sensations you experienced in that moment.

Finally, make sure to tie your identity back to your goals, values, or aspirations. Show how your identity has influenced your choices and what you hope to accomplish in the future. This will give your essay a sense of purpose and demonstrate your growth as an individual.

I hope these tips help you craft a compelling essay that showcases your unique identity. Best of luck with your college applications!

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Cultural Identity Essay

27 August, 2020

12 minutes read

Author:  Elizabeth Brown

No matter where you study, composing essays of any type and complexity is a critical component in any studying program. Most likely, you have already been assigned the task to write a cultural identity essay, which is an essay that has to do a lot with your personality and cultural background. In essence, writing a cultural identity essay is fundamental for providing the reader with an understanding of who you are and which outlook you have. This may include the topics of religion, traditions, ethnicity, race, and so on. So, what shall you do to compose a winning cultural identity essay?

Cultural Identity

Cultural Identity Paper: Definitions, Goals & Topics 

cultural identity essay example

Before starting off with a cultural identity essay, it is fundamental to uncover what is particular about this type of paper. First and foremost, it will be rather logical to begin with giving a general and straightforward definition of a cultural identity essay. In essence, cultural identity essay implies outlining the role of the culture in defining your outlook, shaping your personality, points of view regarding a multitude of matters, and forming your qualities and beliefs. Given a simpler definition, a cultural identity essay requires you to write about how culture has influenced your personality and yourself in general. So in this kind of essay you as a narrator need to give an understanding of who you are, which strengths you have, and what your solid life position is.

Yet, the goal of a cultural identity essay is not strictly limited to describing who you are and merely outlining your biography. Instead, this type of essay pursues specific objectives, achieving which is a perfect indicator of how high-quality your essay is. Initially, the primary goal implies outlining your cultural focus and why it makes you peculiar. For instance, if you are a french adolescent living in Canada, you may describe what is so special about it: traditions of the community, beliefs, opinions, approaches. Basically, you may talk about the principles of the society as well as its beliefs that made you become the person you are today.

So far, cultural identity is a rather broad topic, so you will likely have a multitude of fascinating ideas for your paper. For instance, some of the most attention-grabbing topics for a personal cultural identity essay are:

  • Memorable traditions of your community
  • A cultural event that has influenced your personality 
  • Influential people in your community
  • Locations and places that tell a lot about your culture and identity

Cultural Identity Essay Structure

As you might have already guessed, composing an essay on cultural identity might turn out to be fascinating but somewhat challenging. Even though the spectrum of topics is rather broad, the question of how to create the most appropriate and appealing structure remains open.

Like any other kind of an academic essay, a cultural identity essay must compose of three parts: introduction, body, and concluding remarks. Let’s take a more detailed look at each of the components:


Starting to write an essay is most likely one of the most time-consuming and mind-challenging procedures. Therefore, you can postpone writing your introduction and approach it right after you finish body paragraphs. Nevertheless, you should think of a suitable topic as well as come up with an explicit thesis. At the beginning of the introduction section, give some hints regarding the matter you are going to discuss. You have to mention your thesis statement after you have briefly guided the reader through the topic. You can also think of indicating some vital information about yourself, which is, of course, relevant to the topic you selected.

Your main body should reveal your ideas and arguments. Most likely, it will consist of 3-5 paragraphs that are more or less equal in size. What you have to keep in mind to compose a sound ‘my cultural identity essay’ is the argumentation. In particular, always remember to reveal an argument and back it up with evidence in each body paragraph. And, of course, try to stick to the topic and make sure that you answer the overall question that you stated in your topic. Besides, always keep your thesis statement in mind: make sure that none of its components is left without your attention and argumentation.


Finally, after you are all finished with body paragraphs and introduction, briefly summarize all the points in your final remarks section. Paraphrase what you have already revealed in the main body, and make sure you logically lead the reader to the overall argument. Indicate your cultural identity once again and draw a bottom line regarding how your culture has influenced your personality.

Best Tips For Writing Cultural Identity Essay

Writing a ‘cultural identity essay about myself’ might be somewhat challenging at first. However, you will no longer struggle if you take a couple of plain tips into consideration. Following the tips below will give you some sound and reasonable cultural identity essay ideas as well as make the writing process much more pleasant:

  • Start off by creating an outline. The reason why most students struggle with creating a cultural identity essay lies behind a weak structure. The best way to organize your ideas and let them flow logically is to come up with a helpful outline. Having a reference to build on is incredibly useful, and it allows your essay to look polished.
  • Remember to write about yourself. The task of a cultural identity essay implies not focusing on your culture per se, but to talk about how it shaped your personality. So, switch your focus to describing who you are and what your attitudes and positions are. 
  • Think of the most fundamental cultural aspects. Needless to say, you first need to come up with a couple of ideas to be based upon in your paper. So, brainstorm all the possible ideas and try to decide which of them deserve the most attention. In essence, try to determine which of the aspects affected your personality the most.
  • Edit and proofread before submitting your paper. Of course, the content and the coherence of your essay’s structure play a crucial role. But the grammatical correctness matters a lot too. Even if you are a native speaker, you may still make accidental errors in the text. To avoid the situation when unintentional mistakes spoil the impression from your essay, always double check your cultural identity essay. 

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identity topics for essays

How to Write an Essay about Your Identity

identity topics for essays

If you’re looking for a simple way to write an essay about your identity, then you’ve found the perfect tutorial!

Writing an essay about your identity can be a great way to highlight who you are as a person and explore your values, experiences, and characteristics. So, in this tutorial, I will show you how to write such an essay in five simple steps effectively. We’ll also work on a sample essay so you can see how to put these steps into practice.

Let’s get started!

Step 1. Plan the word count for your essay’s paragraphs.

Doing this first step is important if you want to make things simpler for you while writing an essay. You’ll get to know exactly how many words each paragraph will have, which makes the process quicker.

Note that essays have three parts you must include:

  • The introductory paragraph
  • Three body paragraphs
  • The concluding paragraph

For example, suppose you need a 300-word paragraph. How would you distribute 300 words across five paragraphs? Here’s a simple way to do that:

identity topics for essays

That’s all you need for your essay — short introductory and concluding paragraphs and three concise body paragraphs.

Step 2. Select your main idea and supporting points.

You need to come up with a central idea that will give you a frame of reference for the rest of your essay. To do this, you can first consider what your identity is. Then, determine what shapes this identity. 

For example, are you an artist? Maybe you’re imaginative and creative! Do you have a unique perspective on things? Do you like expressing yourself visually?

Or maybe, you’re a doctor? Do you have extensive knowledge and expertise in the field of medicine? Do you possess strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills?

Whatever they are, you will use them as your basis — your essay’s thesis .

For our sample essay, we can use this as our main idea: “My identity as an educator has been shaped by my faith, parenthood, and my inborn creativity.”

Next, we will use the Power of Three to divide this main idea into three supporting points. 

identity topics for essays

The Power of Three is a three-part structure that helps you produce your body paragraphs.

Let’s see how it works for our sample essay. In this case, we will use three things that could shape someone’s identity as an educator:

  • My faith is an integral part of my identity.
  • Parenthood has had a significant impact on my identity.
  • Creativity has been a part of my identity for as long as I can remember.

Now we have what we need to start writing our essay. Let’s go to the next step!

Step 3. Write the introductory paragraph.

To write an introductory paragraph , you can follow the diagram below:

identity topics for essays

First, you need an introduction — an opening sentence that briefly sets the essay’s context. Next, you will include your thesis and three supporting points.

Here’s an example:

Introductory Paragraph

“Different factors, including beliefs, experiences, and innate qualities, shape our identities. For me, my identity as an educator has been shaped by my faith, parenthood, and my inborn creativity. My faith guides my values and principles in teaching. My experiences as a parent have also helped me develop empathy and understanding toward my students. And my inborn creativity allows me to come up with innovative ways to present lessons, engage my students, and foster a positive learning environment.”

As you can tell, the introductory paragraph proceeds from general to specific , starting from the introduction, followed by the thesis and three supporting points.

Step 4. Write the body paragraphs.

Our essay will contain three body paragraphs that expound our supporting points. Here’s how to structure a body paragraph in any essay:

identity topics for essays

Body paragraphs start with a topic sentence that briefly summarizes the entire paragraph. Next, you will explain and illustrate your point using example/s .

Paragraph 1

“My faith is an integral part of my identity. My faith guides me in creating a safe and positive learning environment for my students. I strive to make my classroom a safe space where my students feel welcomed and valued. I model kindness and compassion, which I hope inspires and encourages my students to treat each other with the same level of respect and understanding.”

Note that the topic sentence gives context to the entire body paragraph. The following sentences explain the supporting point, and the rest illustrates it with an example.

Paragraph 2

“Parenthood has had a significant impact on my identity as an educator. It has taught me to approach teaching with compassion and empathy. As a parent, I learned that everyone has unique needs and struggles that require understanding and, if possible, a personalized approach to teaching. I apply this principle in my classroom by taking the time to get to know my students and understand their personal learning styles and circumstances. I schedule one-on-one meetings with students and offer them encouragement and resources to help those struggling to catch up.”

Paragraph 3

“Creativity has always been a part of my identity, especially as an educator. It is essential in creating engaging learning experiences for my students. I constantly look for fun and innovative ways to present lessons that will help them foster a love for learning. I incorporate hands-on activities and projects in my lessons to challenge my students creatively and critically about the material. For example, when I taught animal classification last academic year, I organized a field trip to a local zoo where the students observed and learned firsthand about the animals and ecosystems they were studying.”

Like paragraph 1, body paragraphs 2 and 3 follow the exact same structure outlined in the diagram above. It proceeds from the topic sentence to the explanation and example.

Excellent! Now we’re ready for the final step.

Step 5. Write the concluding paragraph.

The most time-proven way to write a concluding paragraph for any essay is to simply paraphrase all the points you’ve already mentioned in the introductory paragraph. Don’t copy and paste it! Instead, you can check your introductory paragraph and write the concluding paragraph based on it.

Let’s try this method to write the concluding paragraph in our sample essay:

“A combination of our beliefs, experiences, and characteristics shape our identities. As an educator, my identity has been shaped by my faith, parenthood, and creativity. My faith guides me in modeling important values in my classroom. Parenthood has taught me to approach teaching with empathy. And my creativity enables me to present material in innovative and engaging ways, which helps foster a love for learning in my students.”

We only restated the points in the introductory paragraph but used different words. Doing so makes writing the concluding paragraph pretty quick and simple.

And now we’re done! I hope you find this tutorial helpful.

Now it’s time for you to write your essay about your identity!

Tutor Phil is an e-learning professional who helps adult learners finish their degrees by teaching them academic writing skills.

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Identity Essays (Examples)

1000+ documents containing “identity” .


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Identity development is a topic that has.

Identity development is a topic that has been studied for some time. There are two main ways to address it: as young children who are just developing an identity and as adults who are changing or developing an identity they never created or did not like as a child. Each person, as he or she grows, develops a distinct and separate identity from other people (Willemsen & Waterman, 1991). While an individual may change over time, there is a part of that person's identity that generally remains the same as it was when it was first developed. The creation of an identity helps to define a person to others, but it also works to define an individual to himself or herself. Everyone has likely heard people say that they need to "find themselves," and that is part of the development and exploration of identity. The identity of a person can….

Grotevant, H.D. (1997). Family processes, identity development, and behavioral outcomes for adopted adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 12(1), 139.

Goossens, L. (2008). Dynamics of perceived parenting and identity formation in late adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 31(2), 165-184.

Steinberg, L. (2008). Adolescence. Boston: McGraw Hill.

Willemsen, E., & Waterman, K. (1991). Dynamics of perceived parenting and identity formation in late adolescence. Psychological Reports, 66, 1203-1212.

Identity Williams on Identity in a Series

Identity Williams on Identity In a series of relatively simple though complexly-worded (out of necessity) thought experiments regarding body-swapping and changes to memory and the mind, Bernard Williams attempts to demonstrate that identity should be identified with the body rather than with the mind when identity is extended into the future (and by extension during the present). Whether or not Williams is successful in this attempt is a matter of much debate, with this author finding some fundamental flaws in the very premise of the comparisons and thus the conclusions, however the argument is fairly elegant and persuasive and certainly worth of closer inspection. A careful reading of the argument might lead one to a conclusion opposite to that which was intended, but is no less rewarding for this unusual quirk. Williams begins by dispensing with several considerations that are not germane to his argument, and while some could find room to quibble….

Identity and Access Controls

Identity and Access Controls IAM infrastructures are currently available and can help manage services while resolving numerous user authentication, applications, and authorization challenges that companies face. With the adoption of cloud computing solutions, companies are discovering that they can easily respond to evolving business needs while simultaneously controlling the costs of managing and deploying their applications. Identity and access control management An identity and access control is a crucial technology for proper management of resources. With a properly implemented IAM system, a business scan achieves solid management control of its identity resources, improved tools to meet aggressive compliance reporting, record retention, logging, and mechanisms to achieve network access. Most of the companies under Fortune 1000 enterprises implement IAM tools for enhancing boosting their productivity, enhancing their IT operational efficiency, mitigating security threats and improving access and authentication (Strandburg & aicu, 2013). Company X must control who can access to its technology and systems within….

Strandburg, K.J. & Raicu, D.S. (2013). Privacy and technologies of identity: A cross-disciplinary conversation. New York: Springer Science+Business Media.

Identity Management and Security Awareness

However, the security awareness training plan highlights the prominence of auditing and security maintenance of the classified information, since data integrity is the key ingredient of existence for any organization. The questions like who, what, when and where with respect to the changes made in the operating system is essential when auditing the operating system. These questions ensure that the employees are accountable to the changes they make, as a part of auditing so that data security can be maintained. Furthermore, the audits and security maintenance keeps a check and balance on the internal controls so that the risks of costly security breaches and data robbery can be curtailed. Security maintenance and audit trail helps the organization in maintaining the record of system activity and application processes. In this manner, the audit trails and security maintenance can easily detect security violations, performance related issues, and bugs in applications by means of….

Identity Losing and Finding a

The book is not attempting to explain the details of a biographical life in the way it is traditionally perceived in either the East or the est, but rather is an emotive rather than an intellectual rendering of identity fragmented by a meeting of multiple cultures. This paces it firmly in the postcolonial tradition, where identity is almost entirely based on a negotiation of traditional ethnic identities with esternized stereotypes and perceptions of these identities. At the same time, the construction of the text itself -- its multiple voices and times without any solid reference points, the fragmented sentences, and perhaps most of all the inconsistent yet regular use of the second person which demands a knowledge or understanding of the reader that the reader simply doesn't possess -- all mark the book as a work shaped largely by postmodern tendencies and attitudes (Spahr). In this context, the very concept….

Works Cited

Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung. Dictee. Berkeley: The University of California Press, 2001.

Cheng, Annie. "Memory and Anti-Documentary Desire in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dictee." MELUS, Vol. 23, No. 4, (Winter, 1998), pp. 119-133. Accessed via JSTOR: http://www.jstor.org/stable/467831

Fachinger, Petra. "Cultural and Culinary Ambivalence in Sara Chin, Evelina Galang, and Yoko Tawada." Modern Language Studies, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Spring, 2005), pp. 38-48. Accessed via JSTOR: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30039806

Spahr, Juliana. "Postmodernism, Readers, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dictee." College Literature, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Oct., 1996), pp. 23-43. Accessed via JSTOR: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25112272

Identity Conflict Based on Social

In other words, the question that needs to be answered is, how did psycho-social identity differences create such deep rifts in a society that was in fact closely related by intermarriage and years of living closely together. This leads to the conclusion that there are other social and political factors that need to be taken into account in order to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the events, as well as how they impacted on the meaning of identity. . Social Dominance and other theories As noted above, the discussion and analysis of the causative features of this conflict and the concomitant effect of this analysis on possible resolution scenarios is largely dependent of the ability of the particular theoretical model to take into account the many variables of this conflict. In order to achieve a more holistic view of the conflict one has to take into account the fact that….

Bigagaza J. et al. Land Scarcity, Distribution and Conflict in Rwanda. Retrieved from  http://www.iss.co.za/PUBS/BOOKS/Scarcity+Surfeit/Chapter2.pdf .

Bird C. ( 2004) Status, Identity, and Respect. Political Theory, 32 ( 2).

Huddy L. ( 2001) From Social to Political Identity: A Critical Examination of Social Identity Theory. Political Psychology, 22 ( 1).

Identification. Retrieved from http://www.thefederationonline.org/events/Briefings/2006_SPSP_DHS/SPSP_Moreland_Sum.pdf

Identity & Medical Theft Identity Theft and

Identity & Medical Theft Identity Theft and Medical Theft Identity theft occurs when a victim's name, social security number, or other personal identifying information gets used to commit fraud or other crimes (Lafferty, 2007). Fraudsters use the information to set up loan accounts, draw from the victim's bank accounts, or set up other charge accounts in the victim's name. Identity theft is governed by the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act as well as state statutes, such as Florida Statutes section 817.568, to criminalize identity theft. Other laws that govern identity theft are Identity Theft Victims Assistance Act of 2002, Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2001 (Identity Theft Laws) as well as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) (Identity Theft Regulations). Identity theft can occur in any setting, including a medical setting, without being medical identity theft. Penalties for identity theft can be brought to organizations for not adequately….


Hoffman, S. & . (2007). SECURING THE HIPAA SECURITY RULE. Journal of Internet Law, 10(8), 1-16.

Identity Theft Laws. (n.d.). Retrieved from Fight Identity Theft:  http://fightidentitytheft.com/identity-theft-laws.html 

Identity Theft Regulations. (n.d.). Retrieved from MONEY-ZINE.COM:  http://money-zine.com/Financial-Planning/Debt-Consolidation/Identity-Theft-Regulations 

Lafferty, L. (2007). Medical Identity Theft: The Future Threat of Health Care Fraud is Now. Journal of Health Care Compliance, 9(1), 11-20.

Identity the Symbolic Interactionist Goffman 1959 Views

Identity The symbolic interactionist Goffman (1959) views identity in much the same way as behavioral psychologists viewed personality: personal identity is dependent on: (1) the audience (environment), and (2) the basic motives of the "performer." Goffman uses a metaphor for how one presents himself in everyday life as a sort of an actor who can be "sincere" in that they believe in the impressions their performances elicit, or "cynical" in that they're not concerned with these impressions. So Goffman uses terms like the "setting," the "front," the "manner," etc. To describe how one's identity is more or less molded by one's surroundings and one's intent (to a lesser extent as this itself is molded by the surroundings). Thus, intentions can sometimes result in a difference between presentation and setting, self-presentations may not always appear fixed, and we learn to be actors at a young age. For Marcuse (1964) autonomy of the self….

Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Doubleday

Hall, S. (1996). New ethnicities. In D. Morley & K.-H.Chen (eds.) Critical dialogues in cultural studies (pp. 441-449). London: Routledge.

Marcuse, H. (1964). One-dimensional man: Studies in the ideology of advanced industrial society. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd.

Identity in America Child of

The poet explains that it is very difficult for a multicultural individual to find his or her place in the world, as they are constantly attracted by cultural values present in a variety of civilizations. All of these cultures are present in her mind and she accepts them by becoming a part of a unique community encompassing a wide variety of ideas. Because she does not feel comfortable looking in the past for a cultural identity, she wants to live in the present. This makes it possible for her to identify with a single culture that recognizes her character and that promotes the belief that it is perfectly normal for an individual to live in accordance with customs present in a series of cultures. Morales considers that culture is more important than race when it comes to the factors that influence a particular individual. A multicultural individual behaves different from….

Identity and Belonging the Amish

We all have a need to be loved and to feel we belong somewhere. I think that this need is basic in all humans. I was unconsciously trying to force John to live in my world and I know realize I shouldn't have done that. I was being selfish and I am thankful that he was mature enough to have the commons sense for both of us to know a relationship between us could never work. I now know that just because someone stirs up a desire in me that it doesn't necessarily mean that I am supposed to be with that person. Change is good, but only for the right reasons. Sometimes it is best to stick with what you know. I am comfortable being an Amish. Yes, there are things about this lifestyle that I would like to change but overall, I am happy and my son is….

 http://pittsburgh.about.com/cs/pennsylvania/a/amish_2.htm  (Accessed on June 29, 2010).

Witness. Dir. Peter Weir. 1999. Paramount Pictures. DVD.

Identity Dialogue Cinemacrates Bob Why

I think I could definitely say that if one's personality were completely changed, then one would cease to function as the same identity and would instead be someone new, even in the same body. And -- to head you off before you ask -- yes, I believe the reverse is also true: the same personality (that is, the same mind) transferred over to a new body would retain the same identity that had previously occupied the original body. BOB: Now you've complicated things -- is identity of the personality or the mind? Or is the mind the seat of the personality, and also identity? In our first supposition of one who suffers a trauma and undergoes a personality change, suppose also that the memory is unaffected. Would identity have changed here, even though the two personalities share a consistent history? CIN: Yes, I think that would be a fair assessment --….

Identity in Europa Europa

Identity and racial politics in Europa (1990) Europa Europa (1990) is the tale of a young German-Jewish boy named Solek who undergoes a series of identity transformations in his efforts to escape the Holocaust. At the beginning of the film, Solek and his family live in Nazi Germany. They decide to flee, first to Poland, and then as it becomes increasingly clear that not even Poland is a safe place, the boys' parents send their sons to the Soviet Union. The U.S.S.R. is ironically a 'safe' place for their children because at least they will not be persecuted as Jews. Solek is separated from his brother and when found by the Nazis in a Soviet orphanage he pretends that he is a German Latvian named Josef Peters. The Nazis adopt him and find him useful, thanks to his fluent German and Russian. Thus, during the period of identity definition of most….

Europa Europa. Directed by Agnieska Holland, 1990

Identity in Shakespeare Clearly One

Most Elizabethans believed their self-identity was wrapped up in a cosmic paradigm of fate and destiny, and were somehow controlled by the stars and planets and had a power over the baser side of man -- tools of God, but with certain amounts of free will. Thus, a very central idea in Shakespeare is this central view that an individual's identity is set by God, the Planets, the Universe, the Gods, and Nature. But in contrast, the idea of free will for the individual -- or even a single utterance or decision, can change forever the destiny of the individual. A superb example of this is in Romeo and Juliet. Fate and chance surround the identities of the major and minor characters in RJ almost from the opening scene. Because the audience already believed that their destiny was predetermined, they saw the characters as having very little choice in their situation.….

Identity Theft First of All

The system that Networks Update critiques is IMAG ("Identity Managed Access Gateway") by Apere, Inc. The way it works is by an innovative way of permitting or denying access to applications that are critical to a business; the IMAG systems knows who should and who should not have access to those critical files and applications because it has "auto discovery capabilities" that immediately click into place when any attempt is made to enter into privileged files. But what makes this system unique - in an IT world that already has firewalls and other seemingly effective preventative measures - is that, according to the Mark Rhodes-Ousley, author of the book Network Security, The Complete Reference, IMAG automatically creates and manages "...access policies based on all sources of identity information in the network," and avoids wasteful use of IT resources "for manual network access provisioning and policy management." hile the future success of innovations….

Congress Daily. (2006). Reid Becomes Victim Of Identity Theft. Retrieved 29 August, 2006 from http://www.congressdaily.com.

Foust, Dean; & Ryst, Sonja. (2006). ID Theft: More Hype Than Harm. Business Week, Issue

3991, p. 34-36.

Kiernan, Vincent. (2006). New Center at Utica College will Study Identity Theft. Chronicle of Higher Education, 52(45).

Identity Investigation

Identity Investigation According to David Scott (2009) traditionally, White men, as well as other men, are socialized to equate self-worth with economic terms. They are taught to function at all costs and to be in control. These power issues are linked to the salience of their race and gender. In American culture people are ranked on their proximity to the normal referents of society: White, male, middle-class, Christian, heterosexual, and able-bodied persons. The current economic conditions, along with the constant pressure to live up to the masculine stereotype, such as no emotions and family provider continue to be ripe for ongoing oppression and racism by White men in the work place. As unemployment rises, White men are losing jobs and finding it harder to secure employment. These conditions can lead to frustration and anger by White men who are becoming disillusioned by the American dream. This paper will be an examination….

Howard, J.A. (2000). Social psychology of identities. Annual review of sociology, Vol. 26, Issue 1, 367- 393. Retrieved September 5, 2011, from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=9d41e83e-4e0b-4b27-8fe3-a0aa7ed2dc5c%40sessionmgr111&vid=4&hid=127

Newman, D.M. (2005) Identities and inequalities: Exploring the intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality, 7th ed. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Scott, D.A. (2009) White male identity development and the world of work: Using the key model. In G.R. Walz, J.C. Bleuer, & R.K. Yep (Eds.), Compelling counseling interventions. VISTAS 2009. 21-29. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association. Retrieved September 5, 2011, from http://counselingoutfitters.com/vistas/vistas09/Article_3_Scott.pdf

Need help with my assignment, which is to write a reaction paper on the following movies: Never Hear and A Twist of Faith addressing pastoral care and counseling implications and appropriate intervention.

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Both of the movies focus on crimes, specifically on the crime of murder.  In one movie, the main character is accused of murder, though he claims....

Can you assist me with a thesis and analysis on The Handmaids Tale thought the lens of Marxism-Feminism Theories?

Before you can tackle any type of analysis through a specific lens, it is important to make sure that you thoroughly understand that lens.  Marxism-Feminism attempts to tackle some of the underlying weaknesses in both Marxist theory and feminist theory , because Marxism fails to address some of the gender issues that impact class and feminist theory fails to address some of the class issues that impact gender.  Because of how class and gender intersect in The Handmaid’s Tale, it is a perfect piece for analysis through this particular lens,

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 53 stellar college essay topics to inspire you.

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College Essays


Most colleges and universities in the United States require applicants to submit at least one essay as part of their application. But trying to figure out what college essay topics you should choose is a tricky process. There are so many potential things you could write about!

In this guide, we go over the essential qualities that make for a great college essay topic and give you 50+ college essay topics you can use for your own statement . In addition, we provide you with helpful tips for turning your college essay topic into a stellar college essay.

What Qualities Make for a Good College Essay Topic?

Regardless of what you write about in your personal statement for college , there are key features that will always make for a stand-out college essay topic.

#1: It’s Specific

First off, good college essay topics are extremely specific : you should know all the pertinent facts that have to do with the topic and be able to see how the entire essay comes together.

Specificity is essential because it’ll not only make your essay stand out from other statements, but it'll also recreate the experience for admissions officers through its realism, detail, and raw power. You want to tell a story after all, and specificity is the way to do so. Nobody wants to read a vague, bland, or boring story — not even admissions officers!

For example, an OK topic would be your experience volunteering at a cat shelter over the summer. But a better, more specific college essay topic would be how you deeply connected with an elderly cat there named Marty, and how your bond with him made you realize that you want to work with animals in the future.

Remember that specificity in your topic is what will make your essay unique and memorable . It truly is the key to making a strong statement (pun intended)!

#2: It Shows Who You Are

In addition to being specific, good college essay topics reveal to admissions officers who you are: your passions and interests, what is important to you, your best (or possibly even worst) qualities, what drives you, and so on.

The personal statement is critical because it gives schools more insight into who you are as a person and not just who you are as a student in terms of grades and classes.

By coming up with a real, honest topic, you’ll leave an unforgettable mark on admissions officers.

#3: It’s Meaningful to You

The very best college essay topics are those that hold deep meaning to their writers and have truly influenced them in some significant way.

For instance, maybe you plan to write about the first time you played Skyrim to explain how this video game revealed to you the potentially limitless worlds you could create, thereby furthering your interest in game design.

Even if the topic seems trivial, it’s OK to use it — just as long as you can effectively go into detail about why this experience or idea had such an impact on you .

Don’t give in to the temptation to choose a topic that sounds impressive but doesn’t actually hold any deep meaning for you. Admissions officers will see right through this!

Similarly, don’t try to exaggerate some event or experience from your life if it’s not all that important to you or didn’t have a substantial influence on your sense of self.

#4: It’s Unique

College essay topics that are unique are also typically the most memorable, and if there’s anything you want to be during the college application process, it’s that! Admissions officers have to sift through thousands of applications, and the essay is one of the only parts that allows them to really get a sense of who you are and what you value in life.

If your essay is trite or boring, it won’t leave much of an impression , and your application will likely get immediately tossed to the side with little chance of seeing admission.

But if your essay topic is very original and different, you’re more likely to earn that coveted second glance at your application.

What does being unique mean exactly, though? Many students assume that they must choose an extremely rare or crazy experience to talk about in their essays —but that's not necessarily what I mean by "unique." Good college essay topics can be unusual and different, yes, but they can also be unique takes on more mundane or common activities and experiences .

For instance, say you want to write an essay about the first time you went snowboarding. Instead of just describing the details of the experience and how you felt during it, you could juxtapose your emotions with a creative and humorous perspective from the snowboard itself. Or you could compare your first attempt at snowboarding with your most recent experience in a snowboarding competition. The possibilities are endless!

#5: It Clearly Answers the Question

Finally, good college essay topics will clearly and fully answer the question(s) in the prompt.

You might fail to directly answer a prompt by misinterpreting what it’s asking you to do, or by answering only part of it (e.g., answering just one out of three questions).

Therefore, make sure you take the time to come up with an essay topic that is in direct response to every question in the prompt .

Take this Coalition Application prompt as an example:

What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What's the best part? What advice would you give a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?

For this prompt, you’d need to answer all three questions (though it’s totally fine to focus more on one or two of them) to write a compelling and appropriate essay.

This is why we recommend reading and rereading the essay prompt ; you should know exactly what it’s asking you to do, well before you start brainstorming possible college application essay topics.


53 College Essay Topics to Get Your Brain Moving

In this section, we give you a list of 53 examples of college essay topics. Use these as jumping-off points to help you get started on your college essay and to ensure that you’re on track to coming up with a relevant and effective topic.

All college application essay topics below are categorized by essay prompt type. We’ve identified six general types of college essay prompts:

Why This College?

Change and personal growth, passions, interests, and goals, overcoming a challenge, diversity and community, solving a problem.

Note that these prompt types could overlap with one another, so you’re not necessarily limited to just one college essay topic in a single personal statement.

  • How a particular major or program will help you achieve your academic or professional goals
  • A memorable and positive interaction you had with a professor or student at the school
  • Something good that happened to you while visiting the campus or while on a campus tour
  • A certain class you want to take or a certain professor you’re excited to work with
  • Some piece of on-campus equipment or facility that you’re looking forward to using
  • Your plans to start a club at the school, possibly to raise awareness of a major issue
  • A study abroad or other unique program that you can’t wait to participate in
  • How and where you plan to volunteer in the community around the school
  • An incredible teacher you studied under and the positive impact they had on you
  • How you went from really liking something, such as a particular movie star or TV show, to not liking it at all (or vice versa)
  • How yours or someone else’s (change in) socioeconomic status made you more aware of poverty
  • A time someone said something to you that made you realize you were wrong
  • How your opinion on a controversial topic, such as gay marriage or DACA, has shifted over time
  • A documentary that made you aware of a particular social, economic, or political issue going on in the country or world
  • Advice you would give to your younger self about friendship, motivation, school, etc.
  • The steps you took in order to kick a bad or self-sabotaging habit
  • A juxtaposition of the first and most recent time you did something, such as dance onstage
  • A book you read that you credit with sparking your love of literature and/or writing
  • A school assignment or project that introduced you to your chosen major
  • A glimpse of your everyday routine and how your biggest hobby or interest fits into it
  • The career and (positive) impact you envision yourself having as a college graduate
  • A teacher or mentor who encouraged you to pursue a specific interest you had
  • How moving around a lot helped you develop a love of international exchange or learning languages
  • A special skill or talent you’ve had since you were young and that relates to your chosen major in some way, such as designing buildings with LEGO bricks
  • Where you see yourself in 10 or 20 years
  • Your biggest accomplishment so far relating to your passion (e.g., winning a gold medal for your invention at a national science competition)
  • A time you lost a game or competition that was really important to you
  • How you dealt with the loss or death of someone close to you
  • A time you did poorly in a class that you expected to do well in
  • How moving to a new school impacted your self-esteem and social life
  • A chronic illness you battled or are still battling
  • Your healing process after having your heart broken for the first time
  • A time you caved under peer pressure and the steps you took so that it won't happen again
  • How you almost gave up on learning a foreign language but stuck with it
  • Why you decided to become a vegetarian or vegan, and how you navigate living with a meat-eating family
  • What you did to overcome a particular anxiety or phobia you had (e.g., stage fright)
  • A history of a failed experiment you did over and over, and how you finally found a way to make it work successfully
  • Someone within your community whom you aspire to emulate
  • A family tradition you used to be embarrassed about but are now proud of
  • Your experience with learning English upon moving to the United States
  • A close friend in the LGBTQ+ community who supported you when you came out
  • A time you were discriminated against, how you reacted, and what you would do differently if faced with the same situation again
  • How you navigate your identity as a multiracial, multiethnic, and/or multilingual person
  • A project or volunteer effort you led to help or improve your community
  • A particular celebrity or role model who inspired you to come out as LGBTQ+
  • Your biggest challenge (and how you plan to tackle it) as a female in a male-dominated field
  • How you used to discriminate against your own community, and what made you change your mind and eventually take pride in who you are and/or where you come from
  • A program you implemented at your school in response to a known problem, such as a lack of recycling cans in the cafeteria
  • A time you stepped in to mediate an argument or fight between two people
  • An app or other tool you developed to make people’s lives easier in some way
  • A time you proposed a solution that worked to an ongoing problem at school, an internship, or a part-time job
  • The steps you took to identify and fix an error in coding for a website or program
  • An important social or political issue that you would fix if you had the means


How to Build a College Essay in 6 Easy Steps

Once you’ve decided on a college essay topic you want to use, it’s time to buckle down and start fleshing out your essay. These six steps will help you transform a simple college essay topic into a full-fledged personal statement.

Step 1: Write Down All the Details

Once you’ve chosen a general topic to write about, get out a piece of paper and get to work on creating a list of all the key details you could include in your essay . These could be things such as the following:

  • Emotions you felt at the time
  • Names, places, and/or numbers
  • Dialogue, or what you or someone else said
  • A specific anecdote, example, or experience
  • Descriptions of how things looked, felt, or seemed

If you can only come up with a few details, then it’s probably best to revisit the list of college essay topics above and choose a different one that you can write more extensively on.

Good college essay topics are typically those that:

  • You remember well (so nothing that happened when you were really young)
  • You're excited to write about
  • You're not embarrassed or uncomfortable to share with others
  • You believe will make you positively stand out from other applicants

Step 2: Figure Out Your Focus and Approach

Once you have all your major details laid out, start to figure out how you could arrange them in a way that makes sense and will be most effective.

It’s important here to really narrow your focus: you don’t need to (and shouldn’t!) discuss every single aspect of your trip to visit family in Indonesia when you were 16. Rather, zero in on a particular anecdote or experience and explain why and how it impacted you.

Alternatively, you could write about multiple experiences while weaving them together with a clear, meaningful theme or concept , such as how your math teacher helped you overcome your struggle with geometry over the course of an entire school year. In this case, you could mention a few specific times she tutored you and most strongly supported you in your studies.

There’s no one right way to approach your college essay, so play around to see what approaches might work well for the topic you’ve chosen.

If you’re really unsure about how to approach your essay, think about what part of your topic was or is most meaningful and memorable to you, and go from there.

Step 3: Structure Your Narrative

  • Beginning: Don’t just spout off a ton of background information here—you want to hook your reader, so try to start in the middle of the action , such as with a meaningful conversation you had or a strong emotion you felt. It could also be a single anecdote if you plan to center your essay around a specific theme or idea.
  • Middle: Here’s where you start to flesh out what you’ve established in the opening. Provide more details about the experience (if a single anecdote) or delve into the various times your theme or idea became most important to you. Use imagery and sensory details to put the reader in your shoes.
  • End: It’s time to bring it all together. Finish describing the anecdote or theme your essay centers around and explain how it relates to you now , what you’ve learned or gained from it, and how it has influenced your goals.


Step 4: Write a Rough Draft

By now you should have all your major details and an outline for your essay written down; these two things will make it easy for you to convert your notes into a rough draft.

At this stage of the writing process, don’t worry too much about vocabulary or grammar and just focus on getting out all your ideas so that they form the general shape of an essay . It’s OK if you’re a little over the essay's word limit — as you edit, you’ll most likely make some cuts to irrelevant and ineffective parts anyway.

If at any point you get stuck and have no idea what to write, revisit steps 1-3 to see whether there are any important details or ideas you might be omitting or not elaborating on enough to get your overall point across to admissions officers.

Step 5: Edit, Revise, and Proofread

  • Sections that are too wordy and don’t say anything important
  • Irrelevant details that don’t enhance your essay or the point you're trying to make
  • Parts that seem to drag or that feel incredibly boring or redundant
  • Areas that are vague and unclear and would benefit from more detail
  • Phrases or sections that are awkwardly placed and should be moved around
  • Areas that feel unconvincing, inauthentic, or exaggerated

Start paying closer attention to your word choice/vocabulary and grammar at this time, too. It’s perfectly normal to edit and revise your college essay several times before asking for feedback, so keep working with it until you feel it’s pretty close to its final iteration.

This step will likely take the longest amount of time — at least several weeks, if not months — so really put effort into fixing up your essay. Once you’re satisfied, do a final proofread to ensure that it’s technically correct.

Step 6: Get Feedback and Tweak as Needed

After you’ve overhauled your rough draft and made it into a near-final draft, give your essay to somebody you trust , such as a teacher or parent, and have them look it over for technical errors and offer you feedback on its content and overall structure.

Use this feedback to make any last-minute changes or edits. If necessary, repeat steps 5 and 6. You want to be extra sure that your essay is perfect before you submit it to colleges!

Recap: From College Essay Topics to Great College Essays

Many different kinds of college application essay topics can get you into a great college. But this doesn’t make it any easier to choose the best topic for you .

In general, the best college essay topics have the following qualities :

  • They’re specific
  • They show who you are
  • They’re meaningful to you
  • They’re unique
  • They clearly answer the question

If you ever need help coming up with an idea of what to write for your essay, just refer to the list of 53 examples of college essay topics above to get your brain juices flowing.

Once you’ve got an essay topic picked out, follow these six steps for turning your topic into an unforgettable personal statement :

  • Write down all the details
  • Figure out your focus and approach
  • Structure your narrative
  • Write a rough draft
  • Edit, revise, and proofread
  • Get feedback and tweak as needed

And with that, I wish you the best of luck on your college essays!

What’s Next?

Writing a college essay is no simple task. Get expert college essay tips with our guides on how to come up with great college essay ideas and how to write a college essay, step by step .

You can also check out this huge list of college essay prompts  to get a feel for what types of questions you'll be expected to answer on your applications.

Want to see examples of college essays that absolutely rocked? You're in luck because we've got a collection of 100+ real college essay examples right here on our blog!

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

Hannah received her MA in Japanese Studies from the University of Michigan and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California. From 2013 to 2015, she taught English in Japan via the JET Program. She is passionate about education, writing, and travel.

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130 New Prompts for Argumentative Writing

Questions on everything from mental health and sports to video games and dating. Which ones inspire you to take a stand?

identity topics for essays

By The Learning Network

Note: We have an updated version of this list, with 300 new argumentative writing prompts .

What issues do you care most about? What topics do you find yourself discussing passionately, whether online, at the dinner table, in the classroom or with your friends?

In Unit 5 of our free yearlong writing curriculum and related Student Editorial Contest , we invite students to research and write about the issues that matter to them, whether that’s Shakespeare , health care , standardized testing or being messy .

But with so many possibilities, where does one even begin? Try our student writing prompts.

In 2017, we compiled a list of 401 argumentative writing prompts , all drawn from our daily Student Opinion column . Now, we’re rounding up 130 more we’ve published since then ( available here as a PDF ). Each prompt links to a free Times article as well as additional subquestions that can help you think more deeply about it.

You might use this list to inspire your own writing and to find links to reliable resources about the issues that intrigue you. But even if you’re not participating in our contest, you can use these prompts to practice the kind of low-stakes writing that can help you hone your argumentation skills.

So scroll through the list below with questions on everything from sports and mental health to dating and video games and see which ones inspire you to take a stand.

Please note: Many of these prompts are still open to comment by students 13 and up.

Technology & Social Media

1. Do Memes Make the Internet a Better Place? 2. Does Online Public Shaming Prevent Us From Being Able to Grow and Change? 3. How Young Is Too Young to Use Social Media? 4. Should the Adults in Your Life Be Worried by How Much You Use Your Phone? 5. Is Your Phone Love Hurting Your Relationships? 6. Should Kids Be Social Media Influencers? 7. Does Grammar Still Matter in the Age of Twitter? 8. Should Texting While Driving Be Treated Like Drunken Driving? 9. How Do You Think Technology Affects Dating?

10. Are Straight A’s Always a Good Thing? 11. Should Schools Teach You How to Be Happy? 12. How Do You Think American Education Could Be Improved? 13. Should Schools Test Their Students for Nicotine and Drug Use? 14. Can Social Media Be a Tool for Learning and Growth in Schools? 15. Should Facial Recognition Technology Be Used in Schools? 16. Should Your School Day Start Later? 17. How Should Senior Year in High School Be Spent? 18. Should Teachers Be Armed With Guns? 19. Is School a Place for Self-Expression? 20. Should Students Be Punished for Not Having Lunch Money? 21. Is Live-Streaming Classrooms a Good Idea? 22. Should Gifted and Talented Education Be Eliminated? 23. What Are the Most Important Things Students Should Learn in School? 24. Should Schools Be Allowed to Censor Student Newspapers? 25. Do You Feel Your School and Teachers Welcome Both Conservative and Liberal Points of View? 26. Should Teachers and Professors Ban Student Use of Laptops in Class? 27. Should Schools Teach About Climate Change? 28. Should All Schools Offer Music Programs? 29. Does Your School Need More Money? 30. Should All Schools Teach Cursive? 31. What Role Should Textbooks Play in Education? 32. Do Kids Need Recess?

College & Career

33. What Is Your Reaction to the College Admissions Cheating Scandal? 34. Is the College Admissions Process Fair? 35. Should Everyone Go to College? 36. Should College Be Free? 37. Are Lavish Amenities on College Campuses Useful or Frivolous? 38. Should ‘Despised Dissenters’ Be Allowed to Speak on College Campuses? 39. How Should the Problem of Sexual Assault on Campuses Be Addressed? 40. Should Fraternities Be Abolished? 41. Is Student Debt Worth It?

Mental & Physical Health

42. Should Students Get Mental Health Days Off From School? 43. Is Struggle Essential to Happiness? 44. Does Every Country Need a ‘Loneliness Minister’? 45. Should Schools Teach Mindfulness? 46. Should All Children Be Vaccinated? 47. What Do You Think About Vegetarianism? 48. Do We Worry Too Much About Germs? 49. What Advice Should Parents and Counselors Give Teenagers About Sexting? 50. Do You Think Porn Influences the Way Teenagers Think About Sex?

Race & Gender

51. How Should Parents Teach Their Children About Race and Racism? 52. Is America ‘Backsliding’ on Race? 53. Should All Americans Receive Anti-Bias Education? 54. Should All Companies Require Anti-Bias Training for Employees? 55. Should Columbus Day Be Replaced With Indigenous Peoples Day? 56. Is Fear of ‘The Other’ Poisoning Public Life? 57. Should the Boy Scouts Be Coed? 58. What Is Hard About Being a Boy?

59. Can You Separate Art From the Artist? 60. Are There Subjects That Should Be Off-Limits to Artists, or to Certain Artists in Particular? 61. Should Art Come With Trigger Warnings? 62. Should Graffiti Be Protected? 63. Is the Digital Era Improving or Ruining the Experience of Art? 64. Are Museums Still Important in the Digital Age? 65. In the Age of Digital Streaming, Are Movie Theaters Still Relevant? 66. Is Hollywood Becoming More Diverse? 67. What Stereotypical Characters Make You Cringe? 68. Do We Need More Female Superheroes? 69. Do Video Games Deserve the Bad Rap They Often Get? 70. Should Musicians Be Allowed to Copy or Borrow From Other Artists? 71. Is Listening to a Book Just as Good as Reading It? 72. Is There Any Benefit to Reading Books You Hate?

73. Should Girls and Boys Sports Teams Compete in the Same League? 74. Should College Athletes Be Paid? 75. Are Youth Sports Too Competitive? 76. Is It Selfish to Pursue Risky Sports Like Extreme Mountain Climbing? 77. How Should We Punish Sports Cheaters? 78. Should Technology in Sports Be Limited? 79. Should Blowouts Be Allowed in Youth Sports? 80. Is It Offensive for Sports Teams and Their Fans to Use Native American Names, Imagery and Gestures?

81. Is It Wrong to Focus on Animal Welfare When Humans Are Suffering? 82. Should Extinct Animals Be Resurrected? If So, Which Ones? 83. Are Emotional-Support Animals a Scam? 84. Is Animal Testing Ever Justified? 85. Should We Be Concerned With Where We Get Our Pets? 86. Is This Exhibit Animal Cruelty or Art?

Parenting & Childhood

87. Who Should Decide Whether a Teenager Can Get a Tattoo or Piercing? 88. Is It Harder to Grow Up in the 21st Century Than It Was in the Past? 89. Should Parents Track Their Teenager’s Location? 90. Is Childhood Today Over-Supervised? 91. How Should Parents Talk to Their Children About Drugs? 92. What Should We Call Your Generation? 93. Do Other People Care Too Much About Your Post-High School Plans? 94. Do Parents Ever Cross a Line by Helping Too Much With Schoolwork? 95. What’s the Best Way to Discipline Children? 96. What Are Your Thoughts on ‘Snowplow Parents’? 97. Should Stay-at-Home Parents Be Paid? 98. When Do You Become an Adult?

Ethics & Morality

99. Why Do Bystanders Sometimes Fail to Help When They See Someone in Danger? 100. Is It Ethical to Create Genetically Edited Humans? 101. Should Reporters Ever Help the People They Are Covering? 102. Is It O.K. to Use Family Connections to Get a Job? 103. Is $1 Billion Too Much Money for Any One Person to Have? 104. Are We Being Bad Citizens If We Don’t Keep Up With the News? 105. Should Prisons Offer Incarcerated People Education Opportunities? 106. Should Law Enforcement Be Able to Use DNA Data From Genealogy Websites for Criminal Investigations? 107. Should We Treat Robots Like People?

Government & Politics

108. Does the United States Owe Reparations to the Descendants of Enslaved People? 109. Do You Think It Is Important for Teenagers to Participate in Political Activism? 110. Should the Voting Age Be Lowered to 16? 111. What Should Lawmakers Do About Guns and Gun Violence? 112. Should Confederate Statues Be Removed or Remain in Place? 113. Does the U.S. Constitution Need an Equal Rights Amendment? 114. Should National Monuments Be Protected by the Government? 115. Should Free Speech Protections Include Self Expression That Discriminates? 116. How Important Is Freedom of the Press? 117. Should Ex-Felons Have the Right to Vote? 118. Should Marijuana Be Legal? 119. Should the United States Abolish Daylight Saving Time? 120. Should We Abolish the Death Penalty? 121. Should the U.S. Ban Military-Style Semiautomatic Weapons? 122. Should the U.S. Get Rid of the Electoral College? 123. What Do You Think of President Trump’s Use of Twitter? 124. Should Celebrities Weigh In on Politics? 125. Why Is It Important for People With Different Political Beliefs to Talk to Each Other?

Other Questions

126. Should the Week Be Four Days Instead of Five? 127. Should Public Transit Be Free? 128. How Important Is Knowing a Foreign Language? 129. Is There a ‘Right Way’ to Be a Tourist? 130. Should Your Significant Other Be Your Best Friend?

The Theme of Identity in ‘Mean Girls’ by Cady Heron

This essay about the theme of identity in “Mean Girls” analyzes Cady Heron’s transformative experience in high school. Starting as an outsider due to her upbringing in Africa, Cady is initially oblivious to the school’s social hierarchies. Her involvement with the Plastics, a popular clique, marks her gradual immersion into these social dynamics. The essay explores how Cady’s identity evolves as she conforms to the group’s norms, highlighting the impact of peer pressure and the desire for acceptance. It discusses her pivotal role in breaking down these social barriers during the Spring Fling, where she symbolically shares her crown, rejecting the superficial values of the Plastics. Ultimately, Cady’s return to her genuine interests and reconciliation with her real friends completes her arc of self-discovery and underscores the film’s critique of performative social identities. Through Cady’s experiences, “Mean Girls” presents a nuanced look at how adolescents navigate and shape their identities in response to their social environment.

How it works

“Mean Girls,” a film penned by Tina Fey and directed by Mark Waters, has transcended its status as a popular teen comedy to become a pointed social commentary on the intricacies of high school social hierarchies and personal identity. Central to this narrative is Cady Heron, a character whose journey illuminates the complex dynamics of identity formation in the crucible of adolescence.

Cady’s story begins as a blank slate; having been homeschooled by her zoologist parents in Africa, she enters North Shore High School without any preconceived notions about high school culture and its unwritten social rules.

Her initial outsider status provides a fresh lens through which the audience can explore the social fabric of an American high school. Cady’s unique perspective is an essential tool in the film, as it exposes the arbitrary and often cruel nature of the social structures that dominate teenage life.

As Cady integrates into the school’s social life, she encounters the Plastics, the school’s reigning clique led by the charismatic yet ruthless Regina George. Initially, Cady’s foray into this group is part of a calculated plan to dismantle their hierarchy from within, a scheme she concocts with her new friends Janis and Damian. However, as she ascends within the ranks of the Plastics, Cady finds herself drawn into the very behaviors and attitudes she initially despised. This transformation is depicted through her changing fashion, mannerisms, and, crucially, her treatment of others.

Cady’s journey into the heart of the Plastics illuminates the theme of identity as a malleable construct, influenced heavily by context and peer pressure. Her metamorphosis highlights how identity can be compromised by the desire for social acceptance, a powerful force during the teenage years. This is particularly evident when Cady betrays her true friends and adopts behaviors that align with the Plastics’ values rather than her own. The film cleverly uses humor and satire to critique this aspect of high school life, revealing the performative nature of social identities.

The climax of “Mean Girls” serves as a turning point for Cady, as the consequences of her actions culminate in personal and public reckonings. After being crowned Spring Fling Queen, a symbol of her complete absorption into the high school’s elite, Cady uses her acceptance speech to reflect on the true meaning of self-worth and the superficiality of the high school social scene. Her decision to break her crown and share it with her classmates is a symbolic gesture of her rejection of the hierarchical social system that the Plastics epitomized.

Ultimately, Cady’s journey comes full circle as she finds a balance between her initial naiveté and her experiences as part of the in-crowd. By the film’s conclusion, she returns to her true passions, joining the Mathletes and reconciling with her real friends. This resolution reinforces the film’s message about the importance of staying true to oneself despite external pressures.

In conclusion, “Mean Girls” uses Cady Heron’s story to explore themes of identity and conformity, providing a critical look at how individuals navigate their sense of self in challenging social environments. Through its comedic yet insightful examination of high school social dynamics, the film highlights the pressures of conformity and the journey toward authentic self-expression. Cady Heron’s evolution from an outsider to a reluctant insider and back to her genuine self offers a powerful narrative about the resilience of personal identity amidst the tumult of adolescence.


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identity topics for essays

What It Means To Be Asian in America

The lived experiences and perspectives of asian americans in their own words.

Asians are the fastest growing racial and ethnic group in the United States. More than 24 million Americans in the U.S. trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

The majority of Asian Americans are immigrants, coming to understand what they left behind and building their lives in the United States. At the same time, there is a fast growing, U.S.-born generation of Asian Americans who are navigating their own connections to familial heritage and their own experiences growing up in the U.S.

In a new Pew Research Center analysis based on dozens of focus groups, Asian American participants described the challenges of navigating their own identity in a nation where the label “Asian” brings expectations about their origins, behavior and physical self. Read on to see, in their own words, what it means to be Asian in America.

  • Introduction

Table of Contents

This is how i view my identity, this is how others see and treat me, this is what it means to be home in america, about this project, methodological note, acknowledgments.

No single experience defines what it means to be Asian in the United States today. Instead, Asian Americans’ lived experiences are in part shaped by where they were born, how connected they are to their family’s ethnic origins, and how others – both Asians and non-Asians – see and engage with them in their daily lives. Yet despite diverse experiences, backgrounds and origins, shared experiences and common themes emerged when we asked: “What does it mean to be Asian in America?”

In the fall of 2021, Pew Research Center undertook the largest focus group study it had ever conducted – 66 focus groups with 264 total participants – to hear Asian Americans talk about their lived experiences in America. The focus groups were organized into 18 distinct Asian ethnic origin groups, fielded in 18 languages and moderated by members of their own ethnic groups. Because of the pandemic, the focus groups were conducted virtually, allowing us to recruit participants from all parts of the United States. This approach allowed us to hear a diverse set of voices – especially from less populous Asian ethnic groups whose views, attitudes and opinions are seldom presented in traditional polling. The approach also allowed us to explore the reasons behind people’s opinions and choices about what it means to belong in America, beyond the preset response options of a traditional survey.

The terms “Asian,” “Asians living in the United States” and “Asian American” are used interchangeably throughout this essay to refer to U.S. adults who self-identify as Asian, either alone or in combination with other races or Hispanic identity.

“The United States” and “the U.S.” are used interchangeably with “America” for variations in the writing.

Multiracial participants are those who indicate they are of two or more racial backgrounds (one of which is Asian). Multiethnic participants are those who indicate they are of two or more ethnicities, including those identified as Asian with Hispanic background.

U.S. born refers to people born in the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or other U.S. territories.

Immigrant refers to people who were not U.S. citizens at birth – in other words, those born outside the U.S., Puerto Rico or other U.S. territories to parents who were not U.S. citizens. The terms “immigrant,” “first generation” and “foreign born” are used interchangeably in this report.  

Second generation refers to people born in the 50 states or the District of Columbia with at least one first-generation, or immigrant, parent.

The pan-ethnic term “Asian American” describes the population of about 22 million people living in the United States who trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The term was popularized by U.S. student activists in the 1960s and was eventually adopted by the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the “Asian” label masks the diverse demographics and wide economic disparities across the largest national origin groups (such as Chinese, Indian, Filipino) and the less populous ones (such as Bhutanese, Hmong and Nepalese) living in America. It also hides the varied circumstances of groups immigrated to the U.S. and how they started their lives there. The population’s diversity often presents challenges . Conventional survey methods typically reflect the voices of larger groups without fully capturing the broad range of views, attitudes, life starting points and perspectives experienced by Asian Americans. They can also limit understanding of the shared experiences across this diverse population.

A chart listing the 18 ethnic origins included in Pew Research Center's 66 focus groups, and the composition of the focus groups by income and birth place.

Across all focus groups, some common findings emerged. Participants highlighted how the pan-ethnic “Asian” label used in the U.S. represented only one part of how they think of themselves. For example, recently arrived Asian immigrant participants told us they are drawn more to their ethnic identity than to the more general, U.S.-created pan-ethnic Asian American identity. Meanwhile, U.S.-born Asian participants shared how they identified, at times, as Asian but also, at other times, by their ethnic origin and as Americans.

Another common finding among focus group participants is the disconnect they noted between how they see themselves and how others view them. Sometimes this led to maltreatment of them or their families, especially at heightened moments in American history such as during Japanese incarceration during World War II, the aftermath of 9/11 and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond these specific moments, many in the focus groups offered their own experiences that had revealed other people’s assumptions or misconceptions about their identity.

Another shared finding is the multiple ways in which participants take and express pride in their cultural and ethnic backgrounds while also feeling at home in America, celebrating and blending their unique cultural traditions and practices with those of other Americans.

This focus group project is part of a broader research agenda about Asians living in the United States. The findings presented here offer a small glimpse of what participants told us, in their own words, about how they identify themselves, how others see and treat them, and more generally, what it means to be Asian in America.

Illustrations by Jing Li

Publications from the Being Asian in America project

  • Read the data essay: What It Means to Be Asian in America
  • Watch the documentary: Being Asian in America
  • Explore the interactive: In Their Own Words: The Diverse Perspectives of Being Asian in America
  • View expanded interviews: Extended Interviews: Being Asian in America
  • About this research project: More on the Being Asian in America project
  • Q&A: Why and how Pew Research Center conducted 66 focus groups with Asian Americans

identity topics for essays

One of the topics covered in each focus group was how participants viewed their own racial or ethnic identity. Moderators asked them how they viewed themselves, and what experiences informed their views about their identity. These discussions not only highlighted differences in how participants thought about their own racial or ethnic background, but they also revealed how different settings can influence how they would choose to identify themselves. Across all focus groups, the general theme emerged that being Asian was only one part of how participants viewed themselves.

The pan-ethnic label ‘Asian’ is often used more in formal settings

identity topics for essays

“I think when I think of the Asian Americans, I think that we’re all unique and different. We come from different cultures and backgrounds. We come from unique stories, not just as a group, but just as individual humans.” Mali , documentary participant

Many participants described a complicated relationship with the pan-ethnic labels “Asian” or “Asian American.” For some, using the term was less of an active choice and more of an imposed one, with participants discussing the disconnect between how they would like to identify themselves and the available choices often found in formal settings. For example, an immigrant Pakistani woman remarked how she typically sees “Asian American” on forms, but not more specific options. Similarly, an immigrant Burmese woman described her experience of applying for jobs and having to identify as “Asian,” as opposed to identifying by her ethnic background, because no other options were available. These experiences highlight the challenges organizations like government agencies and employers have in developing surveys or forms that ask respondents about their identity. A common sentiment is one like this:

“I guess … I feel like I just kind of check off ‘Asian’ [for] an application or the test forms. That’s the only time I would identify as Asian. But Asian is too broad. Asia is a big continent. Yeah, I feel like it’s just too broad. To specify things, you’re Taiwanese American, that’s exactly where you came from.”

–U.S.-born woman of Taiwanese origin in early 20s

Smaller ethnic groups default to ‘Asian’ since their groups are less recognizable

Other participants shared how their experiences in explaining the geographic location and culture of their origin country led them to prefer “Asian” when talking about themselves with others. This theme was especially prominent among those belonging to smaller origin groups such as Bangladeshis and Bhutanese. A Lao participant remarked she would initially say “Asian American” because people might not be familiar with “Lao.”

“​​[When I fill out] forms, I select ‘Asian American,’ and that’s why I consider myself as an Asian American. [It is difficult to identify as] Nepali American [since] there are no such options in forms. That’s why, Asian American is fine to me.”

–Immigrant woman of Nepalese origin in late 20s

“Coming to a big country like [the United States], when people ask where we are from … there are some people who have no idea about Bhutan, so we end up introducing ourselves as being Asian.”

–Immigrant woman of Bhutanese origin in late 40s

But for many, ‘Asian’ as a label or identity just doesn’t fit

Many participants felt that neither “Asian” nor “Asian American” truly captures how they view themselves and their identity. They argue that these labels are too broad or too ambiguous, as there are so many different groups included within these labels. For example, a U.S.-born Pakistani man remarked on how “Asian” lumps many groups together – that the term is not limited to South Asian groups such as Indian and Pakistani, but also includes East Asian groups. Similarly, an immigrant Nepalese man described how “Asian” often means Chinese for many Americans. A Filipino woman summed it up this way:

“Now I consider myself to be both Filipino and Asian American, but growing up in [Southern California] … I didn’t start to identify as Asian American until college because in [the Los Angeles suburb where I lived], it’s a big mix of everything – Black, Latino, Pacific Islander and Asian … when I would go into spaces where there were a lot of other Asians, especially East Asians, I didn’t feel like I belonged. … In media, right, like people still associate Asian with being East Asian.”

–U.S.-born woman of Filipino origin in mid-20s

Participants also noted they have encountered confusion or the tendency for others to view Asian Americans as people from mostly East Asian countries, such as China, Japan and Korea. For some, this confusion even extends to interactions with other Asian American groups. A Pakistani man remarked on how he rarely finds Pakistani or Indian brands when he visits Asian stores. Instead, he recalled mostly finding Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese items.

Among participants of South Asian descent, some identified with the label “South Asian” more than just “Asian.” There were other nuances, too, when it comes to the labels people choose. Some Indian participants, for example, said people sometimes group them with Native Americans who are also referred to as Indians in the United States. This Indian woman shared her experience at school:

“I love South Asian or ‘Desi’ only because up until recently … it’s fairly new to say South Asian. I’ve always said ‘Desi’ because growing up … I’ve had to say I’m the red dot Indian, not the feather Indian. So annoying, you know? … Always a distinction that I’ve had to make.”

–U.S.-born woman of Indian origin in late 20s

Participants with multiethnic or multiracial backgrounds described their own unique experiences with their identity. Rather than choosing one racial or ethnic group over the other, some participants described identifying with both groups, since this more accurately describes how they see themselves. In some cases, this choice reflected the history of the Asian diaspora. For example, an immigrant Cambodian man described being both Khmer/Cambodian and Chinese, since his grandparents came from China. Some other participants recalled going through an “identity crisis” as they navigated between multiple identities. As one woman explained:

“I would say I went through an identity crisis. … It’s because of being multicultural. … There’s also French in the mix within my family, too. Because I don’t identify, speak or understand the language, I really can’t connect to the French roots … I’m in between like Cambodian and Thai, and then Chinese and then French … I finally lumped it up. I’m just an Asian American and proud of all my roots.”

–U.S.-born woman of Cambodian origin in mid-30s

In other cases, the choice reflected U.S. patterns of intermarriage. Asian newlyweds have the highest intermarriage rate of any racial or ethnic group in the country. One Japanese-origin man with Hispanic roots noted:

“So I would like to see myself as a Hispanic Asian American. I want to say Hispanic first because I have more of my mom’s culture in me than my dad’s culture. In fact, I actually have more American culture than my dad’s culture for what I do normally. So I guess, Hispanic American Asian.”

–U.S.-born man of Hispanic and Japanese origin in early 40s

Other identities beyond race or ethnicity are also important

Focus group participants also talked about their identity beyond the racial or ethnic dimension. For example, one Chinese woman noted that the best term to describe her would be “immigrant.” Faith and religious ties were also important to some. One immigrant participant talked about his love of Pakistani values and how religion is intermingled into Pakistani culture. Another woman explained:

“[Japanese language and culture] are very important to me and ingrained in me because they were always part of my life, and I felt them when I was growing up. Even the word itadakimasu reflects Japanese culture or the tradition. Shinto religion is a part of the culture. They are part of my identity, and they are very important to me.”

–Immigrant woman of Japanese origin in mid-30s

For some, gender is another important aspect of identity. One Korean participant emphasized that being a woman is an important part of her identity. For others, sexual orientation is an essential part of their overall identity. One U.S.-born Filipino participant described herself as “queer Asian American.” Another participant put it this way:

“I belong to the [LGBTQ] community … before, what we only know is gay and lesbian. We don’t know about being queer, nonbinary. [Here], my horizon of knowing what genders and gender roles is also expanded … in the Philippines, if you’ll be with same sex, you’re considered gay or lesbian. But here … what’s happening is so broad, on how you identify yourself.”

–Immigrant woman of Filipino origin in early 20s

Immigrant identity is tied to their ethnic heritage

A chart showing how participants in the focus groups described the differences between race-centered and ethnicity-centered identities.

Participants born outside the United States tended to link their identity with their ethnic heritage. Some felt strongly connected with their ethnic ties due to their citizenship status. For others, the lack of permanent residency or citizenship meant they have stronger ties to their ethnicity and birthplace. And in some cases, participants said they held on to their ethnic identity even after they became U.S. citizens. One woman emphasized that she will always be Taiwanese because she was born there, despite now living in the U.S.

For other participants, family origin played a central role in their identity, regardless of their status in the U.S. According to some of them, this attitude was heavily influenced by their memories and experiences in early childhood when they were still living in their countries of origin. These influences are so profound that even after decades of living in the U.S., some still feel the strong connection to their ethnic roots. And those with U.S.-born children talked about sending their kids to special educational programs in the U.S. to learn about their ethnic heritage.

“Yes, as for me, I hold that I am Khmer because our nationality cannot be deleted, our identity is Khmer as I hold that I am Khmer … so I try, even [with] my children today, I try to learn Khmer through Zoom through the so-called Khmer Parent Association.”

–Immigrant man of Cambodian origin in late 50s

Navigating life in America is an adjustment

Many participants pointed to cultural differences they have noticed between their ethnic culture and U.S. culture. One of the most distinct differences is in food. For some participants, their strong attachment to the unique dishes of their families and their countries of origin helps them maintain strong ties to their ethnic identity. One Sri Lankan participant shared that her roots are still in Sri Lanka, since she still follows Sri Lankan traditions in the U.S. such as preparing kiribath (rice with coconut milk) and celebrating Ramadan.

For other participants, interactions in social settings with those outside their own ethnic group circles highlighted cultural differences. One Bangladeshi woman talked about how Bengalis share personal stories and challenges with each other, while others in the U.S. like to have “small talk” about TV series or clothes.

Many immigrants in the focus groups have found it is easier to socialize when they are around others belonging to their ethnicity. When interacting with others who don’t share the same ethnicity, participants noted they must be more self-aware about cultural differences to avoid making mistakes in social interactions. Here, participants described the importance of learning to “fit in,” to avoid feeling left out or excluded. One Korean woman said:

“Every time I go to a party, I feel unwelcome. … In Korea, when I invite guests to my house and one person sits without talking, I come over and talk and treat them as a host. But in the United States, I have to go and mingle. I hate mingling so much. I have to talk and keep going through unimportant stories. In Korea, I am assigned to a dinner or gathering. I have a party with a sense of security. In America, I have nowhere to sit, and I don’t know where to go and who to talk to.”

–Immigrant woman of Korean origin in mid-40s

And a Bhutanese immigrant explained:

“In my case, I am not an American. I consider myself a Bhutanese. … I am a Bhutanese because I do not know American culture to consider myself as an American. It is very difficult to understand the sense of humor in America. So, we are pure Bhutanese in America.”

–Immigrant man of Bhutanese origin in early 40s

Language was also a key aspect of identity for the participants. Many immigrants in the focus groups said they speak a language other than English at home and in their daily lives. One Vietnamese man considered himself Vietnamese since his Vietnamese is better than his English. Others emphasized their English skills. A Bangladeshi participant felt that she was more accepted in the workplace when she does more “American” things and speaks fluent English, rather than sharing things from Bangladeshi culture. She felt that others in her workplace correlate her English fluency with her ability to do her job. For others born in the U.S., the language they speak at home influences their connection to their ethnic roots.

“Now if I go to my work and do show my Bengali culture and Asian culture, they are not going to take anything out of it. So, basically, I have to show something that they are interested in. I have to show that I am American, [that] I can speak English fluently. I can do whatever you give me as a responsibility. So, in those cases I can’t show anything about my culture.”

–Immigrant woman of Bangladeshi origin in late 20s

“Being bi-ethnic and tri-cultural creates so many unique dynamics, and … one of the dynamics has to do with … what it is to be Americanized. … One of the things that played a role into how I associate the identity is language. Now, my father never spoke Spanish to me … because he wanted me to develop a fluency in English, because for him, he struggled with English. What happened was three out of the four people that raised me were Khmer … they spoke to me in Khmer. We’d eat breakfast, lunch and dinner speaking Khmer. We’d go to the temple in Khmer with the language and we’d also watch videos and movies in Khmer. … Looking into why I strongly identify with the heritage, one of the reasons is [that] speaking that language connects to the home I used to have [as my families have passed away].”

–U.S.-born man of Cambodian origin in early 30s

Balancing between individualistic and collective thinking

For some immigrant participants, the main differences between themselves and others who are seen as “truly American” were less about cultural differences, or how people behave, and more about differences in “mindset,” or how people think . Those who identified strongly with their ethnicity discussed how their way of thinking is different from a “typical American.” To some, the “American mentality” is more individualistic, with less judgment on what one should do or how they should act . One immigrant Japanese man, for example, talked about how other Japanese-origin co-workers in the U.S. would work without taking breaks because it’s culturally inconsiderate to take a break while others continued working. However, he would speak up for himself and other workers when they are not taking any work breaks. He attributed this to his “American” way of thinking, which encourages people to stand up for themselves.

Some U.S.-born participants who grew up in an immigrant family described the cultural clashes that happened between themselves and their immigrant parents. Participants talked about how the second generation (children of immigrant parents) struggles to pursue their own dreams while still living up to the traditional expectations of their immigrant parents.

“I feel like one of the biggest things I’ve seen, just like [my] Asian American friends overall, is the kind of family-individualistic clash … like wanting to do your own thing is like, is kind of instilled in you as an American, like go and … follow your dream. But then you just grow up with such a sense of like also wanting to be there for your family and to live up to those expectations, and I feel like that’s something that’s very pronounced in Asian cultures.”

–U.S.-born man of Indian origin in mid-20s

Discussions also highlighted differences about gender roles between growing up in America compared with elsewhere.

“As a woman or being a girl, because of your gender, you have to keep your mouth shut [and] wait so that they call on you for you to speak up. … I do respect our elders and I do respect hearing their guidance but I also want them to learn to hear from the younger person … because we have things to share that they might not know and that [are] important … so I like to challenge gender roles or traditional roles because it is something that [because] I was born and raised here [in America], I learn that we all have the equal rights to be able to speak and share our thoughts and ideas.”

U.S. born have mixed ties to their family’s heritage

identity topics for essays

“I think being Hmong is somewhat of being free, but being free of others’ perceptions of you or of others’ attempts to assimilate you or attempts to put pressure on you. I feel like being Hmong is to resist, really.” Pa Houa , documentary participant

How U.S.-born participants identify themselves depends on their familiarity with their own heritage, whom they are talking with, where they are when asked about their identity and what the answer is used for. Some mentioned that they have stronger ethnic ties because they are very familiar with their family’s ethnic heritage. Others talked about how their eating habits and preferred dishes made them feel closer to their ethnic identity. For example, one Korean participant shared his journey of getting closer to his Korean heritage because of Korean food and customs. When some participants shared their reasons for feeling closer to their ethnic identity, they also expressed a strong sense of pride with their unique cultural and ethnic heritage.

“I definitely consider myself Japanese American. I mean I’m Japanese and American. Really, ever since I’ve grown up, I’ve really admired Japanese culture. I grew up watching a lot of anime and Japanese black and white films. Just learning about [it], I would hear about Japanese stuff from my grandparents … myself, and my family having blended Japanese culture and American culture together.”

–U.S.-born man of Japanese origin in late 20s

Meanwhile, participants who were not familiar with their family’s heritage showed less connection with their ethnic ties. One U.S.-born woman said she has a hard time calling herself Cambodian, as she is “not close to the Cambodian community.” Participants with stronger ethnic ties talked about relating to their specific ethnic group more than the broader Asian group. Another woman noted that being Vietnamese is “more specific and unique than just being Asian” and said that she didn’t feel she belonged with other Asians. Some participants also disliked being seen as or called “Asian,” in part because they want to distinguish themselves from other Asian groups. For example, one Taiwanese woman introduces herself as Taiwanese when she can, because she had frequently been seen as Chinese.

Some in the focus groups described how their views of their own identities shifted as they grew older. For example, some U.S.-born and immigrant participants who came to the U.S. at younger ages described how their experiences in high school and the need to “fit in” were important in shaping their own identities. A Chinese woman put it this way:

“So basically, all I know is that I was born in the United States. Again, when I came back, I didn’t feel any barrier with my other friends who are White or Black. … Then I got a little confused in high school when I had trouble self-identifying if I am Asian, Chinese American, like who am I. … Should I completely immerse myself in the American culture? Should I also keep my Chinese identity and stuff like that? So yeah, that was like the middle of that mist. Now, I’m pretty clear about myself. I think I am Chinese American, Asian American, whatever people want.”

–U.S.-born woman of Chinese origin in early 20s

Identity is influenced by birthplace

identity topics for essays

“I identified myself first and foremost as American. Even on the forms that you fill out that says, you know, ‘Asian’ or ‘Chinese’ or ‘other,’ I would check the ‘other’ box, and I would put ‘American Chinese’ instead of ‘Chinese American.’” Brent , documentary participant

When talking about what it means to be “American,” participants offered their own definitions. For some, “American” is associated with acquiring a distinct identity alongside their ethnic or racial backgrounds, rather than replacing them. One Indian participant put it this way:

“I would also say [that I am] Indian American just because I find myself always bouncing between the two … it’s not even like dual identity, it just is one whole identity for me, like there’s not this separation. … I’m doing [both] Indian things [and] American things. … They use that term like ABCD … ‘American Born Confused Desi’ … I don’t feel that way anymore, although there are those moments … but I would say [that I am] Indian American for sure.”

–U.S.-born woman of Indian origin in early 30s

Meanwhile, some U.S.-born participants view being American as central to their identity while also valuing the culture of their family’s heritage.

Many immigrant participants associated the term “American” with immigration status or citizenship. One Taiwanese woman said she can’t call herself American since she doesn’t have a U.S. passport. Notably, U.S. citizenship is an important milestone for many immigrant participants, giving them a stronger sense of belonging and ultimately calling themselves American. A Bangladeshi participant shared that she hasn’t received U.S. citizenship yet, and she would call herself American after she receives her U.S. passport.

Other participants gave an even narrower definition, saying only those born and raised in the United States are truly American. One Taiwanese woman mentioned that her son would be American since he was born, raised and educated in the U.S. She added that while she has U.S. citizenship, she didn’t consider herself American since she didn’t grow up in the U.S. This narrower definition has implications for belonging. Some immigrants in the groups said they could never become truly American since the way they express themselves is so different from those who were born and raised in the U.S. A Japanese woman pointed out that Japanese people “are still very intimidated by authorities,” while those born and raised in America give their opinions without hesitation.

“As soon as I arrived, I called myself a Burmese immigrant. I had a green card, but I still wasn’t an American citizen. … Now I have become a U.S. citizen, so now I am a Burmese American.”

–Immigrant man of Burmese origin in mid-30s

“Since I was born … and raised here, I kind of always view myself as American first who just happened to be Asian or Chinese. So I actually don’t like the term Chinese American or Asian American. I’m American Asian or American Chinese. I view myself as American first.”

–U.S.-born man of Chinese origin in early 60s

“[I used to think of myself as] Filipino, but recently I started saying ‘Filipino American’ because I got [U.S.] citizenship. And it just sounds weird to say Filipino American, but I’m trying to … I want to accept it. I feel like it’s now marry-able to my identity.”

–Immigrant woman of Filipino origin in early 30s

For others, American identity is about the process of ‘becoming’ culturally American

A Venn diagram showing how participants in the focus group study described their racial or ethnic identity overlaps with their American identity

Immigrant participants also emphasized how their experiences and time living in America inform their views of being an “American.” As a result, some started to see themselves as Americans after spending more than a decade in the U.S. One Taiwanese man considered himself an American since he knows more about the U.S. than Taiwan after living in the U.S. for over 52 years.

But for other immigrant participants, the process of “becoming” American is not about how long they have lived in the U.S., but rather how familiar they are with American culture and their ability to speak English with little to no accent. This is especially true for those whose first language is not English, as learning and speaking it without an accent can be a big challenge for some. One Bangladeshi participant shared that his pronunciation of “hot water” was very different from American English, resulting in confusions in communication. By contrast, those who were more confident in their English skills felt they can better understand American culture and values as a result, leading them to a stronger connection with an American identity.

“[My friends and family tease me for being Americanized when I go back to Japan.] I think I seem a little different to people who live in Japan. I don’t think they mean anything bad, and they [were] just joking, because I already know that I seem a little different to people who live in Japan.”

–Immigrant man of Japanese origin in mid-40s

“I value my Hmong culture, and language, and ethnicity, but I also do acknowledge, again, that I was born here in America and I’m grateful that I was born here, and I was given opportunities that my parents weren’t given opportunities for.”

–U.S.-born woman of Hmong origin in early 30s

identity topics for essays

During the focus group discussions about identity, a recurring theme emerged about the difference between how participants saw themselves and how others see them. When asked to elaborate on their experiences and their points of view, some participants shared experiences they had with people misidentifying their race or ethnicity. Others talked about their frustration with being labeled the “model minority.” In all these discussions, participants shed light on the negative impacts that mistaken assumptions and labels had on their lives.

All people see is ‘Asian’

For many, interactions with others (non-Asians and Asians alike) often required explaining their backgrounds, reacting to stereotypes, and for those from smaller origin groups in particular, correcting the misconception that being “Asian” means you come from one of the larger Asian ethnic groups. Several participants remarked that in their own experiences, when others think about Asians, they tend to think of someone who is Chinese. As one immigrant Filipino woman put it, “Interacting with [non-Asians in the U.S.], it’s hard. … Well, first, I look Spanish. I mean, I don’t look Asian, so would you guess – it’s like they have a vision of what an Asian [should] look like.” Similarly, an immigrant Indonesian man remarked how Americans tended to see Asians primarily through their physical features, which not all Asian groups share.

Several participants also described how the tendency to view Asians as a monolithic group can be even more common in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The first [thing people think of me as] is just Chinese. ‘You guys are just Chinese.’ I’m not the only one who felt [this] after the COVID-19 outbreak. ‘Whether you’re Japanese, Korean, or Southeast Asian, you’re just Chinese [to Americans]. I should avoid you.’ I’ve felt this way before, but I think I’ve felt it a bit more after the COVID-19 outbreak.”

–Immigrant woman of Korean origin in early 30s

At the same time, other participants described their own experiences trying to convince others that they are Asian or Asian American. This was a common experience among Southeast Asian participants.

“I have to convince people I’m Asian, not Middle Eastern. … If you type in Asian or you say Asian, most people associate it with Chinese food, Japanese food, karate, and like all these things but then they don’t associate it with you.”

–U.S.-born man of Pakistani origin in early 30s

The model minority myth and its impact

identity topics for essays

“I’ve never really done the best academically, compared to all my other Asian peers too. I never really excelled. I wasn’t in honors. … Those stereotypes, I think really [have] taken a toll on my self-esteem.” Diane , documentary participant

Across focus groups, immigrant and U.S.-born participants described the challenges of the seemingly positive stereotypes of Asians as intelligent, gifted in technical roles and hardworking. Participants often referred to this as the “model minority myth.”

The label “model minority” was coined in the 1960s and has been used to characterize Asian Americans as financially and educationally successful and hardworking when compared with other groups. However, for many Asians living in the United States, these characterizations do not align with their lived experiences or reflect their socioeconomic backgrounds. Indeed, among Asian origin groups in the U.S., there are wide differences in economic and social experiences. 

Academic research on the model minority myth has pointed to its impact beyond Asian Americans and towards other racial and ethnic groups, especially Black Americans, in the U.S. Some argue that the model minority myth has been used to justify policies that overlook the historical circumstances and impacts of colonialism, slavery, discrimination and segregation on other non-White racial and ethnic groups.

Many participants noted ways in which the model minority myth has been harmful. For some, expectations based on the myth didn’t match their own experiences of coming from impoverished communities. Some also recalled experiences at school when they struggled to meet their teachers’ expectations in math and science.

“As an Asian person, I feel like there’s that stereotype that Asian students are high achievers academically. They’re good at math and science. … I was a pretty mediocre student, and math and science were actually my weakest subjects, so I feel like it’s either way you lose. Teachers expect you to fit a certain stereotype and if you’re not, then you’re a disappointment, but at the same time, even if you are good at math and science, that just means that you’re fitting a stereotype. It’s [actually] your own achievement, but your teachers might think, ‘Oh, it’s because they’re Asian,’ and that diminishes your achievement.”

–U.S.-born woman of Korean origin in late 20s

Some participants felt that even when being Asian worked in their favor in the job market, they encountered stereotypes that “Asians can do quality work with less compensation” or that “Asians would not complain about anything at work.”

“There is a joke from foreigners and even Asian Americans that says, ‘No matter what you do, Asians always do the best.’ You need to get A, not just B-plus. Otherwise, you’ll be a disgrace to the family. … Even Silicon Valley hires Asian because [an] Asian’s wage is cheaper but [they] can work better. When [work] visa overflow happens, they hire Asians like Chinese and Indian to work in IT fields because we are good at this and do not complain about anything.”

–Immigrant man of Thai origin in early 40s

Others expressed frustration that people were placing them in the model minority box. One Indian woman put it this way:

“Indian people and Asian people, like … our parents or grandparents are the ones who immigrated here … against all odds. … A lot of Indian and Asian people have succeeded and have done really well for themselves because they’ve worked themselves to the bone. So now the expectations [of] the newer generations who were born here are incredibly unrealistic and high. And you get that not only from your family and the Indian community, but you’re also getting it from all of the American people around you, expecting you to be … insanely good at math, play an instrument, you know how to do this, you know how to do that, but it’s not true. And it’s just living with those expectations, it’s difficult.”

–U.S.-born woman of Indian origin in early 20s

Whether U.S. born or immigrants, Asians are often seen by others as foreigners

identity topics for essays

“Being only not quite 10 years old, it was kind of exciting to ride on a bus to go someplace. But when we went to Pomona, the assembly center, we were stuck in one of the stalls they used for the animals.” Tokiko , documentary participant

Across all focus groups, participants highlighted a common question they are asked in America when meeting people for the first time: “Where are you really from?” For participants, this question implied that people think they are “foreigners,” even though they may be longtime residents or citizens of the United States or were born in the country. One man of Vietnamese origin shared his experience with strangers who assumed that he and his friends are North Korean. Perhaps even more hurtful, participants mentioned that this meant people had a preconceived notion of what an “American” is supposed to look like, sound like or act like. One Chinese woman said that White Americans treated people like herself as outsiders based on her skin color and appearance, even though she was raised in the U.S.

Many focus group participants also acknowledged the common stereotype of treating Asians as “forever foreigners.” Some immigrant participants said they felt exhausted from constantly being asked this question by people even when they speak perfect English with no accent. During the discussion, a Korean immigrant man recalled that someone had said to him, “You speak English well, but where are you from?” One Filipino participant shared her experience during the first six months in the U.S.:

“You know, I spoke English fine. But there were certain things that, you know, people constantly questioning you like, oh, where are you from? When did you come here? You know, just asking about your experience to the point where … you become fed up with it after a while.”

–Immigrant woman of Filipino origin in mid-30s

U.S.-born participants also talked about experiences when others asked where they are from. Many shared that they would not talk about their ethnic origin right away when answering such a question because it often led to misunderstandings and assumptions that they are immigrants.

“I always get that question of, you know, ‘Where are you from?’ and I’m like, ‘I’m from America.’ And then they’re like, ‘No. Where are you from-from ?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, my family is from Pakistan,’ so it’s like I always had like that dual identity even though it’s never attached to me because I am like, of Pakistani descent.”

–U.S.-born man of Pakistani origin in early 20s

One Korean woman born in the U.S. said that once people know she is Korean, they ask even more offensive questions such as “Are you from North or South Korea?” or “Do you still eat dogs?”

In a similar situation, this U.S.-born Indian woman shared her responses:

“I find that there’s a, ‘So but where are you from?’ Like even in professional settings when they feel comfortable enough to ask you. ‘So – so where are you from?’ ‘Oh, I was born in [names city], Colorado. Like at [the hospital], down the street.’ ‘No, but like where are you from?’ ‘My mother’s womb?’”

–U.S.-born woman of Indian origin in early 40s

Ignorance and misinformation about Asian identity can lead to contentious encounters

identity topics for essays

“I have dealt with kids who just gave up on their Sikh identity, cut their hair and groomed their beard and everything. They just wanted to fit in and not have to deal with it, especially [those] who are victim or bullied in any incident.” Surinder , documentary participant

In some cases, ignorance and misinformation about Asians in the U.S. lead to inappropriate comments or questions and uncomfortable or dangerous situations. Participants shared their frustration when others asked about their country of origin, and they then had to explain their identity or correct misunderstandings or stereotypes about their background. At other times, some participants faced ignorant comments about their ethnicity, which sometimes led to more contentious encounters. For example, some Indian or Pakistani participants talked about the attacks or verbal abuse they experienced from others blaming them for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Others discussed the racial slurs directed toward them since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Some Japanese participants recalled their families losing everything and being incarcerated during World War II and the long-term effect it had on their lives.

“I think like right now with the coronavirus, I think we’re just Chinese, Chinese American, well, just Asian American or Asians in general, you’re just going through the same struggles right now. Like everyone is just blaming whoever looks Asian about the virus. You don’t feel safe.”

–U.S.-born man of Chinese origin in early 30s

“At the beginning of the pandemic, a friend and I went to celebrate her birthday at a club and like these guys just kept calling us COVID.”

–U.S.-born woman of Korean origin in early 20s

“There [were] a lot of instances after 9/11. One day, somebody put a poster about 9/11 [in front of] my business. He was wearing a gun. … On the poster, it was written ‘you Arabs, go back to your country.’ And then someone came inside. He pointed his gun at me and said ‘Go back to your country.’”

–Immigrant man of Pakistani origin in mid-60s

“[My parents went through the] internment camps during World War II. And my dad, he was in high school, so he was – they were building the camps and then he was put into the Santa Anita horse track place, the stables there. And then they were sent – all the Japanese Americans were sent to different camps, right, during World War II and – in California. Yeah, and they lost everything, yeah.”

–U.S.-born woman of Japanese origin in mid-60s

identity topics for essays

As focus group participants contemplated their identity during the discussions, many talked about their sense of belonging in America. Although some felt frustrated with people misunderstanding their ethnic heritage, they didn’t take a negative view of life in America. Instead, many participants – both immigrant and U.S. born – took pride in their unique cultural and ethnic backgrounds. In these discussions, people gave their own definitions of America as a place with a diverse set of cultures, with their ethnic heritage being a part of it.

Taking pride in their unique cultures

identity topics for essays

“Being a Pakistani American, I’m proud. … Because I work hard, and I make true my dreams from here.” Shahid , documentary participant

Despite the challenges of adapting to life in America for immigrant participants or of navigating their dual cultural identity for U.S.-born ones, focus group participants called America their home. And while participants talked about their identities in different ways – ethnic identity, racial (Asian) identity, and being American – they take pride in their unique cultures. Many also expressed a strong sense of responsibility to give back or support their community, sharing their cultural heritage with others on their own terms.

“Right now it has been a little difficult. I think it has been for all Asians because of the COVID issue … but I’m glad that we’re all here [in America]. I think we should be proud to be here. I’m glad that our families have traveled here, and we can help make life better for communities, our families and ourselves. I think that’s really a wonderful thing. We can be those role models for a lot of the future, the younger folks. I hope that something I did in the last years will have impacted either my family, friends or students that I taught in other community things that I’ve done. So you hope that it helps someplace along the line.”

“I am very proud of my culture. … There is not a single Bengali at my workplace, but people know the name of my country. Maybe many years [later] – educated people know all about the country. So, I don’t have to explain that there is a small country next to India and Nepal. It’s beyond saying. People after all know Bangladesh. And there are so many Bengali present here as well. So, I am very proud to be a Bangladeshi.”

Where home is

When asked about the definition of home, some immigrant participants said home is where their families are located. Immigrants in the focus groups came to the United States by various paths, whether through work opportunities, reuniting with family or seeking a safe haven as refugees. Along their journey, some received support from family members, their local community or other individuals, while others overcame challenges by themselves. Either way, they take pride in establishing their home in America and can feel hurt when someone tells them to “go back to your country.” In response, one Laotian woman in her mid-40s said, “This is my home. My country. Go away.”

“If you ask me personally, I view my home as my house … then I would say my house is with my family because wherever I go, I cannot marry if I do not have my family so that is how I would answer.”

–Immigrant man of Hmong origin in late 30s

“[If somebody yelled at me ‘go back to your country’] I’d feel angry because this is my country! I live here. America is my country. I grew up here and worked here … I’d say, ‘This is my country! You go back to your country! … I will not go anywhere. This is my home. I will live here.’ That’s what I’d say.”

–Immigrant woman of Laotian origin in early 50s

‘American’ means to blend their unique cultural and ethnic heritage with that in the U.S.

identity topics for essays

“I want to teach my children two traditions – one American and one Vietnamese – so they can compare and choose for themselves the best route in life.” Helen , documentary participant (translated from Vietnamese)

Both U.S.-born and immigrant participants in the focus groups shared their experiences of navigating a dual cultural environment between their ethnic heritage and American culture. A common thread that emerged was that being Asian in America is a process of blending two or more identities as one.

“Yeah, I want to say that’s how I feel – because like thinking about it, I would call my dad Lao but I would call myself Laotian American because I think I’m a little more integrated in the American society and I’ve also been a little more Americanized, compared to my dad. So that’s how I would see it.”

–U.S.-born man of Laotian origin in late 20s

“I mean, Bangladeshi Americans who are here, we are carrying Bangladeshi culture, religion, food. I am also trying to be Americanized like the Americans. Regarding language, eating habits.”

–Immigrant man of Bangladeshi origin in mid-50s

“Just like there is Chinese American, Mexican American, Japanese American, Italian American, so there is Indian American. I don’t want to give up Indianness. I am American by nationality, but I am Indian by birth. So whenever I talk, I try to show both the flags as well, both Indian and American flags. Just because you make new relatives but don’t forget the old relatives.”

–Immigrant man of Indian origin in late 40s

identity topics for essays

Pew Research Center designed these focus groups to better understand how members of an ethnically diverse Asian population think about their place in America and life here. By including participants of different languages, immigration or refugee experiences, educational backgrounds, and income levels, this focus group study aimed to capture in people’s own words what it means to be Asian in America. The discussions in these groups may or may not resonate with all Asians living in the United States. Browse excerpts from our focus groups with the interactive quote sorter below, view a video documentary focused on the topics discussed in the focus groups, or tell us your story of belonging in America via social media. The focus group project is part of a broader research project studying the diverse experiences of Asians living in the U.S.

Read sortable quotes from our focus groups

Browse excerpts in the interactive quote sorter from focus group participants in response to the question “What does it mean to be [Vietnamese, Thai, Sri Lankan, Hmong, etc.] like yourself in America?” This interactive allows you to sort quotes from focus group participants by ethnic origin, nativity (U.S. born or born in another country), gender and age.

Video documentary

Videos throughout the data essay illustrate what focus group participants discussed. Those recorded in these videos did not participate in the focus groups but were sampled to have similar demographic characteristics and thematically relevant stories.

Watch the full video documentary and watch additional shorter video clips related to the themes of this data essay.

Share the story of your family and your identity

Did the voices in this data essay resonate? Share your story of what it means to be Asian in America with @pewresearch. Tell us your story by using the hashtag #BeingAsianInAmerica and @pewidentity on Twitter, as well as #BeingAsianInAmerica and @pewresearch on Instagram.

This cross-ethnic, comparative qualitative research project explores the identity, economic mobility, representation, and experiences of immigration and discrimination among the Asian population in the United States. The analysis is based on 66 focus groups we conducted virtually in the fall of 2021 and included 264 participants from across the U.S. More information about the groups and analysis can be found in this appendix .

Pew Research Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. This data essay was funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, with generous support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative DAF, an advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the Henry Luce Foundation; The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation; The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation; The Long Family Foundation; Lu-Hebert Fund; Gee Family Foundation; Joseph Cotchett; the Julian Abdey and Sabrina Moyle Charitable Fund; and Nanci Nishimura.

The accompanying video clips and video documentary were made possible by The Pew Charitable Trusts, with generous support from The Sobrato Family Foundation and The Long Family Foundation.

We would also like to thank the Leaders Forum for its thought leadership and valuable assistance in helping make this study possible. This is a collaborative effort based on the input and analysis of a number of individuals and experts at Pew Research Center and outside experts.

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identity topics for essays

Can you trust 2024 election polls on Donald Trump and Joe Biden? Here's how to cut through the noise.

identity topics for essays

Love them or hate them, political polls aren’t going anywhere. As the 2024 presidential election kicks into high gear, the internet will be flooded with surveys tracking the horserace between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Keeping track of the numbers can be daunting: Who's ahead in national polls? Who's ahead in state-level surveys? Figuring out which numbers to pay attention to – and whether any of it actually matters – can be even more challenging.  

Luckily, the USA TODAY Network has got you covered. Here’s a refresher on why polls matter, whether you can trust them and what to look out for this year.  

What do polls tell us about the election?  

Think of polls as quick snapshots rather than crystal ball readings.  

Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide

They don’t necessarily predict the results of an election. Rather, they’re used to gauge how people feel about a race during a specific period. Pollsters may ask questions about the future, but surveys have more to say about the voters' current temperature.

Polls also tend to have a short shelf life. Public opinion can shift quickly, meaning that the results of polls are often only a reliable measure of the state of a race during the time they were taken. 

A survey taken two months ago won’t reflect the state of a race today, and a poll fielded tomorrow won’t tell us who is going to win the presidential election in November.

However, that doesn't mean polls captured at the beginning of a campaign cycle don't matter. The insights from early polls tease out the major issues voters are thinking about that could shape the race.  They also help trace the trendlines of how a candidate is performing – whether they’re gaining traction, stagnating or losing support. 

Pollster John Zogby likened the importance of looking at early polling to checking benchmarks while trying to reach an exercise goal.  

“Am I going to get on the scale the day before to see how I did?” said Zogby. “No, I get on the scale every so often to say what am I doing? How am I doing? What am I doing right?” 

Conducting polls early in a race and often throughout the course of an election allows political scientists, journalists and the public to track trends and spot major inflection points in campaigns.  

Beware of two-candidate polls  

Not all polls are built the same. The way a survey is designed, from how questions are worded to the demographics of the participants chosen, can influence the accuracy of its results.  

David Paleologos , director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said political polls are most accurate when they replicate as closely as possible the questions and options voters will see on their ballot.

For instance, he said that polls on the 2024 presidential election should include choices beyond the two major party candidates – Trump and Biden – because most ballots will contain third-party and independent candidates who will garner some support.  

“If the polls only show a binary choice, between Trump or Biden, you're not getting the full picture,” Paleologos said.

He pointed to close margins in critical swing states, including Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia, during the 2020 election as an example. Trump lost in those states by fewer votes than Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen received.  

If Jorgensen had not been in the race, the results in those battlegrounds, and possibly the outcome of the election nationally, could have looked markedly different, Paleologos said.

The Libertarian Party hasn’t yet chosen its candidate for the 2024 election. But early polls that include the party and other independent candidates as options are likely to more accurately show how disaffected voters are looking at their options, he explained.

Suffolk University and USA TODAY have a partnership collecting polling data and insights.

Who's being polled?

Another factor that can impact a poll’s accuracy is the sample population surveyed. Polls randomly select a small sample of people designed to represent the broader views and attitudes of a larger population. But every organization uses different methodologies to create their samples.  

For instance, some election polls take the temperature of the general population, while others only include active voters or likely voters. They also may weigh demographic information, such as the ratio of Democrats to Republicans, differently.  

In the 2024 race, Zogby, author of the forthcoming book "Beyond the Horse Race: How to Read Polls and Why We Should," suggested that the most accurate polls include only likely voters, the pool of people already planning to cast a ballot in November.

“A likely voter today may not be a likely voter on October 31,” Zogby said, but capturing these voters allows political scientists to better understand the Americans who will choose the next president.

Should I pay attention to national polls or state surveys?

Pollsters were lambasted in 2016 for projecting that then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would win the election over Trump.

But national polls , which are supposed to reflect the popular vote across all states, were technically right. Overall, Clinton won nearly 2.9 million more votes than Trump.  

So, what went wrong? Many analysts overstated Clinton’s lead in national polls, and few organizations conducted state-specific polls in former Democratic strongholds, such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, that Trump was able to capture. His wins in those states ultimately landed him the electoral college victory.  

That’s not to say that national polls are inferior to state polls, but you should think of them differently.

“National polls are more valuable to understand what the issues are impacting likely voters,” Paleologos said, while state polls better represent the horserace.

He and other polling experts told USA TODAY that Biden needs to lead Trump by three to four percentage points in a national poll to be tied with the Republican in the electoral college . That's because large liberal-leaning states like California and New York tend to tilt the results of national polls in Democrats’ favor, whereas the "electoral college these days skews Republican," Zogby said.

In other words, a national poll showing Biden and Trump tied would tell a similar story to a swing state poll that shows Trump leading Biden by a few points.  But generally, experts warn against comparing national and state surveys, which are built off of different methodologies, against one another.

Can you trust the polls?  

Mostly. Because polls are analyzing a myriad of shifting factors, they'll always have some level of uncertainty baked in, regardless of the specific election. Organizations also don’t collaborate on what states they plan to poll, or when, which means there’s always potential for blind spots, like in 2016. 

Some political observers rely on poll averages, such as a tally from Real Clear Politics. These are generally reliable, but they can miss trends.

But when interpreted properly, polls often provide an accurate portrait of the state of an election. 

“There are folks that will say, ‘Oh, you missed the election by two points,’” Zogby said. "Well, two points – that showed the ballpark of what was going to happen.” 

And the more polls there are, the easier it is to evaluate the race.  


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  2. 124 Personal Identity Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

    Personal Identity Essay Topic Ideas & Examples. Personal identity is a complex and multi-faceted concept that encompasses how individuals perceive themselves and how they are perceived by others. Exploring personal identity can lead to a deeper understanding of oneself and one's place in the world. In this article, we will provide you with 124 ...

  3. Essays About Identity: 18 Writing Prompts for Students

    There is quite a bit to talk about with this topic. 5. My Likes and Dislikes. Because you have many things that you like or do not like, this can be a lengthy essay topic idea. Your likes and dislikes are what make you who you are. If you are focused on personal essay writing, this can be a good place to start.

  4. Over 170 Prompts to Inspire Writing and Discussion

    During the 2020-21 school year, we asked 176 questions, and you can find them all below or here as a PDF. The questions are divided into two categories — those that provide opportunities for ...

  5. Identity Writing Prompts: Explore Themes of Self-Discovery

    A: Identity writing prompts are specific topics or questions designed to get you thinking about and exploring different aspects of your identity and self-discovery through writing. Q: How can identity writing prompts help in self-discovery? A: Identity writing prompts serve as a catalyst for self-reflection and exploration.

  6. Essays on Personal Identity

    Essays on this topic can contribute to critical discussions about the role of external factors, such as social media and globalization, in shaping personal identity. They offer a platform for discussing pressing issues related to identity, such as gender identity and the impact of mental health, in a nuanced and informed manner.

  7. How to Write a Diversity Essay

    Diversity essays ask students to highlight an important aspect of their identity, background, culture, experience, viewpoints, beliefs, skills, passions, goals, etc. Diversity essays can come in many forms. Some scholarships are offered specifically for students who come from an underrepresented background or identity in higher education. At ...

  8. Essays on Identity. Examples of Paper Topics on Personal Identity

    Identity is an essential and complex characteristic of human beings - it describes who we are as individuals. There are multiple essay topics about identity being considered: cultural (including national, linguistic), intellectual, emotional, etc. Identity is defined by worldviews, beliefs, understandings, character or intellectual traits, manners, habits, preferences and dislikes,...

  9. Let's Get Existential: How to Write a College Essay about Identity

    Identity is made up of many qualities: personality, culture, ethnic or racial background, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability, and linguistic background, among others. Maybe you identify really strongly with the religion on Mom's side of the family, but not Dad's. Maybe you speak a language not typical of folks from your culture.

  10. 106 Cultural Identity Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

    Inside This Article. 106 Cultural Identity Essay Topic Ideas & Examples. Cultural identity is a concept that refers to the sense of belonging and identification individuals have with a particular culture or ethnic group. It plays a significant role in shaping one's values, beliefs, traditions, and behaviors.

  11. How to Write an Identity Essay: Inspiring Topic Ideas

    Tips for writing a self-identity essay. Select a narrow idea that can highlight the traits you want to define within the provided word count. Use definitive words to paint an image in your reader's mind. Use transitions to achieve a sense of flow in your narrative. Proofread your paper to eliminate various errors.

  12. Essays about Culture and Identity: 9 Examples And Prompts

    Cooking rice is more accessible than cultivating it - you can quickly cook rice by boiling it in water. This reflects people rich in culture and tradition but who lives simpler life. 8. Identity And Culture: My Identity, Culture, And Identity by April Casas. "Every single one has their own unique identity and culture.

  13. How do I write a college essay about my identity?

    I'm glad to see that you're considering writing about your identity, as it's an important part of who you are. To avoid sounding cliché or overly dramatic, there are a few tips I'd like to share with you. First, focus on specific experiences or moments that have shaped your identity. Instead of making general statements, think about the events ...

  14. Cultural Identity Essay Writing Guide with Examples

    Сultural Identity Essay Examples. First and foremost, a cultural identity essay is the one where you share your vision of the world and personality. Below is an example that you might consider when writing your next cultural identity essay. I was born in Italy to a German family. My mother comes from the capital of Germany - Berlin, while my ...

  15. How to Write an Essay about Your Identity

    That's all you need for your essay — short introductory and concluding paragraphs and three concise body paragraphs. Step 2. Select your main idea and supporting points. You need to come up with a central idea that will give you a frame of reference for the rest of your essay.

  16. Identity Free Essay Examples And Topic Ideas

    76 essay samples found. Identity is a complex interplay of individual, social, and cultural factors. Essays could explore personal identity development, the impact of societal expectations, or how identity intersects with other social categories. A substantial compilation of free essay instances related to Identity you can find at PapersOwl ...

  17. Choosing Your College Essay Topic

    A strong essay topic sets you up to write a unique, memorable college application essay. Your topic should be personal, original, and specific. Take time to brainstorm the right topic for you. Some topics are easier to make work than others, but it's possible to write an exceptional essay from a common topic.

  18. Identity Essays: Examples, Topics, & Outlines

    PAGES 3 WORDS 1037. Identity and racial politics in Europa (1990) Europa Europa (1990) is the tale of a young German-Jewish boy named Solek who undergoes a series of identity transformations in his efforts to escape the Holocaust. At the beginning of the film, Solek and his family live in Nazi Germany. They decide to flee, first to Poland, and ...

  19. 53 Stellar College Essay Topics to Inspire You

    Once you've chosen a general topic to write about, get out a piece of paper and get to work on creating a list of all the key details you could include in your essay. These could be things such as the following: Emotions you felt at the time. Names, places, and/or numbers. Dialogue, or what you or someone else said.

  20. My Culture, Identity, and Cultural Identity

    This essay about cultural identity explores how culture deeply influences personal identity through traditions, language, art, and cuisine. It examines the integral role culture plays in shaping individual perspectives and how it evolves over time through interactions within a global community.

  21. 130 New Prompts for Argumentative Writing

    Explore diverse topics for argumentative writing, from mental health and sports to video games and dating, and take a stand on the issues that matter to you.

  22. The Theme of Identity in 'Mean Girls' by Cady Heron

    The essay explores how Cady's identity evolves as she conforms to the group's norms, highlighting the impact of peer pressure and the desire for acceptance. It discusses her pivotal role in breaking down these social barriers during the Spring Fling, where she symbolically shares her crown, rejecting the superficial values of the Plastics.

  23. What It Means To Be Asian in America

    The terms "Asian," "Asians living in the United States" and "Asian American" are used interchangeably throughout this essay to refer to U.S. adults who self-identify as Asian, either alone or in combination with other races or Hispanic identity. "The United States" and "the U.S." are used interchangeably with "America" for variations in the writing.

  24. About Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

    In 2015, the Census Bureau participated in the OMB's Federal Interagency Working Group on Measuring Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Federal Surveys. The group published reports on current measures of sex, gender and sexuality ; evaluations of these measures ; and a research agenda to address the lack of information on the sexual and ...

  25. Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity (SOGI)

    Sexual orientation and gender identity - often abbreviated as SOGI - are topics of growing interest to the public, data users, and policymakers. U.S. Census Bureau data on these topics can help measure the diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) populations.

  26. Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Related Sites

    The Williams Institute conducts independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. UNECE: Measurement of gender identity The Bureau of the Conference of European Statisticians carried out an in-depth review of measuring gender identity in February 2019.

  27. Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden: What to know about 2024 election polls

    For instance, he said that polls on the 2024 presidential election should include choices beyond the two major party candidates - Trump and Biden - because most ballots will contain third ...