How to Write a Culture Essay

A culture essay is an essay that explores the concept of culture in a creative, personal or academic way. It can reflect on what it is like to belong to a certain culture, what it means in our modern era. In the humanities, the topic of nature versus nurture is particularly relevant and contested.

Culture is what provides human beings with a sense of belonging and is used to categorize groups of people. Nationality, language, location, religion, history, are central to the concept of culture, but you will find that media, music, literature, and art also play an important role. In this article, we will discuss the best way to write a culture essay.

What is a culture essay?

Any piece that deals with the topic of culture could be considered such an essay. This type of paper has a similar structure to any other. However, style and topic are very different. Usually, you will not need to argue or persuade your reader. Often, the professor will want you to explore your own cultural situation. The essay will usually discuss your personal experiences, feelings, emotions, skills, and knowledge.

You will be asked about what your culture means to you, and how it relates to other people you interact with. Usually, you will not need to research the topic, as you can base the essay on your personal experience. Of course, you should make sure to use the right format and stick to any other instructions included in your assignment.

Culture essay format

Most culture essays use MLA. That is because the Modern Language Association format is most often associated with languages and literature. It is the most commonly used format for humanities and social sciences. It offers guidelines for formatting, especially when using citations and references. While you may not need to include references, we recommend using a few, just to make your essay seem a bit more academic. Perhaps you can include a quote by a famous writer or another character in your essay. Professors will often appreciate sources that illustrate the culture or traditions of a particular region.

Culture essay topics

The topic of culture could potentially be very broad. We should not forget that nearly every aspect of human behavior is culturally defined. Even basic things, such as the way we eat and walk may differ between cultures. However, there are usually just a few topics a student needs to choose from. Here are six of the most common topics for a culture essay:

  • Something you experienced in real life
  • A product of your fantasy
  • A location or object that forms an important memory
  • An influential figure in your development
  • A place that matters to your culture
  • An important tradition in your family

For example, you could describe a campaign you successfully ran. You could share your experiences on a national holiday. You could describe the significance of your culture dishes and why they are served in a certain way. You could talk about a cultural hero and how and why that hero is still revered. You can discuss how you learned from experiences and how that has shaped you as a person. When writing, feel free to use a personal, anecdotal style. While most academic papers require objectivity, a culture essay has a more subjective focus.

How to write your culture essay

Once you know what your assignment is, you can try to come up with a good topic. Try to something that genuinely means something to you. This will make writing much easier. Make sure it is something you can write about in a clear way, and do not try to be too controversial. Sometimes you will be asked to write not from someone else’s point of view instead of your own. In that case, you will have to do a bit of research, as well as using your imagination.

Thesis statement

Your essay should include a thesis statement. This could be a quote from a famous individual or a textbook definition. For example:

  • “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”
  • “Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.”
  • “Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?”

Your essay should focus on how these broad statements relate to your personal situation.

Brainstorming

Before you choose the topic, you should first explore various options. Get together with other students and ask them for advice. Do not be afraid to consult your parents, grandparents and other relatives. They lived in a world that was much more defined by culture than the modern, technological world. Write down your ideas in a cloud form and link every idea with additional concepts in a concept map.

Once you have a topic, discuss with your fellow students or professor to see if it is suitable. That way, you will not be wasting time writing about the wrong topic. It is best to have several suggestions for topics, just in case your first idea is rejected.

Title

Once you have your topic, it is time to choose a title. Choose a good working title to begin with. You can always change the title later.

Outline

One thing that separates good writers from beginners is an outline. Make an outline of what you want to write and do not start writing before you have one. This will make writing much easier and will help you stay focused on your assignment. 

Paragraphs

The most common way to structure any type of writing is by using paragraphs. They make it easier for you to write and easier for the reader to read. The length of paragraphs can vary, however, it is advised to make them of a similar length. Do not be afraid to break your larger paragraphs into smaller ones. You can dedicate one paragraph to each heading in your outline. Here are some tips on how to structure your paragraphs:

  • Start each paragraph with a clear argument.
  • Provide evidence from real-life examples or external sources.
  • Link the ideas together and show the connection between different facts.
  • If you are stuck on one paragraph, simply write the next one.

We hope we have given you enough tips on how to write a culture essay. Leave a comment below to let us know if this article was helpful.