Writing a personal identity essay is something that scares most students because they think they may not get it right. However, the truth is there is no need to get scared at all. In fact, an essay on identity is one of the easiest and most interesting essays to write. In this article, you will find out what an identity essay is and get some identity essay examples.
What Is an Identity Essay?
An identity essay is one that talks about the factors that come together to give the writer a sense of self. This self identity essay could be about the writer’s birthplace, culture, religion, language, skin colour, or even their name. The best thing about identity is that it is dynamic as people can choose to be one thing today and another thing tomorrow. This is because human beings show different behaviour and characters are different points in time. For example, you may have been a huge fan of rock music when you were in high school. However, when you had graduated college, you preferred to listen to country music instead. This shows a change in behaviour and by extension, in your personal identity.
You can write an essay on identity whether you’re in high school or even as a freshman. Now, this article will be giving you some identity essay examples.
Self Identity Essay Examples / Personal Identity Essay Example
Here are some short self identity essay examples:
Topic: My Identity Essay
While some of my friends and classmates knew what they were going to do in college, I felt lost and without a sense of direction. I wanted to be many things and nothing at the same time.
In the beginning, I wasn’t very much bothered — “It will take care of itself,” I always said. Until the time came for me to make applications to the university, and I was still at a loss for what to study. So, I decided to study Real Estate Management only because I heard you could make plenty of money. Coincidences are a funny little thing because studying Real Estate Management helped give me a sense of identity.
Topic: The Journey to Self-Esteem
I didn’t realize that I had self-esteem problems early enough because I was one of the intelligent and most popular students in school. However, despite my intelligence, something as normal as a B grade could send me into a fit of sadness for days. During this period, I may skip lunch or dinner to go cry in my room. Then, I met someone: she was a new student who had transferred to our school. So, there was this difficult paper we had to write. While I was graded A, she was graded C. But how happy she was! She kept talking about how she was glad she didn’t get a D or an F. Her actions opened my eyes and in there I learned a valuable lesson: To be thankful at all times.
This identity essay example talks about identifying with two different cultures.
Topic: Self Identity Essay
I’ve always felt incredibly lucky to be identifying with two different cultures. My mom is Haitian and my father is Taiwanese. I am surrounded by tens of Aunties and Uncles who teach me the cultures of both worlds. I couldn’t be luckier!
Topic: How I Found My Identity
I believe that one can find their identity in different things whether they be huge or little. For me, despite coming from a rich Samoan culture, I still felt lost. My turning point came when my uncle took me for a walk in his garden. There, I found beautiful colorful butterflies, green caterpillars, red-and-black ladybugs, among others. Simple as this may be, seeing and touching these insects suddenly gave me the pride to identify as a human. Because, pray tell, how else would I have been able to appreciate such beauty if I were anything else?
This identity essay example talks about identifying with a name.
Topic: An Essay About Identity
When people talk about identity, I already know what mine is. My name is Queen, an odd name in this part, yet a name that feels me with so much power. My name is a constant reminder for me on how to act, speak, and even think. Both my parents did a good job drumming it into my ears that I was a Queen and should always act like one. So, when strangers tell me I act with so much “poise and grace”, I respond with thanks but am never surprised. While this may seem a bit arrogant to some, for me, it is simply living out my identity.
Long Identity Essay Example
One more identity essay example about cultural identity and patriotism.
Topic: National Identity of New Latin American Countries
From 1920 to 1970, new countries started springing up across Latin America, and with this a new sense of cultural identity and patriotism. This time period shaped how the region looks today and the values and identities that are seen in the 21st century.
One thing that changed the culture was literature and stories. Instead of taking on the more European style literature, authors started writing and honoring the landscape and attitude of Latin America. Miguel Angel Asturias turned to surrealism to portray the Latin American culture. From his time in Paris, he was able to write articulately and draw on the key differences between democratic France and dictatorship in Central America (Echevarria 99). In his work, Hombres de maiz, Asturias writes about the legendary Maya and writes how the west has overrun the culture of the ancient Mayans. The Peruvian Jose Maria Arguedas writes about the split in Peruvian society and inequality. Writers like these two helped shape the ideas and politics of the area their works presided in. In Carlos Fuente’s La region mas transparente, he focuses on several social trends such as different social classes, multiculturalism, and criticizes Mexico (Echevarria 101). In the 1960s, the Latin American novel changed in style as it adopted techniques from Spain. Cuban Guillermo Cabrera Infante’s work Tres tristes tigres was written in local city slang, and it helped define popular culture in forms such as films, soaps, radio, gossip, and songs (Echevarria 102). Latin American literature has also separated itself from European works because of its translatability. The problems of this translatability mean that the writer needs to take into account of how foreigners will interpret their works (Echevarria 103).
Another way literature shaped Latin America was through fiction to “wake up the Latin American reader from false daydreams and alienations followed developments in Europe and the United States” (Echevarria 87). Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario “absorbed” foreign literatures and created their version of it to native readers. This inadvertently created a tradition of appropriation that some call transculturation (Echevarria 87). Fiction in the classic Latin American novel is much more serious than other fictions in countries such as North America and Europe. These fiction writings enabled Latin American natives to discover themselves. Realist novels were easily read while it transitioned into a more patriotic message into the coming years. For example, Peruvian novelist Ciro Alegria wrote about slaves in a region, and this was a more partisan and realist novel version of the time (Echevarria 89).
The main turning point in Latin American literature was probably the realization that readers were mostly urbanized citizens, and they were very much in touch with the rest of the world. Writers had to learn how to play to their sense of patriotism while not exactly closing off other parts of the world (Echevarria 99). In the 1950s, R.H. Moreno-Duran attacked critics who saw Latin America as rural, and many novelists followed (Echevarria 100). For instance, Roberto Arlt wrote about a “burgeoning megalopolis” and set his fiction in settings of the cities and focused on themes such as “anarchism and immigration” (Echevarria 100). Leopoldo Marechal wrote a novel, Adan Buenosayres, where the suburb of Villa Crespo houses rabble-rousers and troublemakers. The novel depicted Buenos Aires and characterized it as a chaotic cultural center (Echevarria 101).
Literature has evolved in Latin America and has shaped what the world looks like today. It has shaped the way people think and the way governments work. Writers have had to not only write for audiences in touch with local news but also writers in touch with the global, worldwide news. Writers have had to adapt to the increase in a globalized world as well as an increase in national identity.
As you’ve seen from the examples above, writing an essay about identity can come from any angle. All you need to do is find yours and write.