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Researching Identity for English 11/12: Home

Language and Identity

Any way we consider identity, we use words to do so, to name the deep concepts, the surface elements, the conflicts, and we use language to describe and define the identities of both ourselves and those around us.

In what multitude of ways do we define our identity?

Identity

The Problem:

Identity can be slippery ­ maybe you know who you are, 100%. Do others see you clearly, 100% of the time? Maybe you have questions about the nature of your  identity. Maybe your identity is complex. Any way we consider identity, we use words to do so, to name the deep concepts, the surface elements, the conflicts, and we use language to describe and define the identities of both ourselves and those around us. What is the relationship between language and identity?

IB Language and Literature Unit on Identity

Identity

 

For your English 11/12 Research Paper Assignment you will explore a complex concept that is continually evolving: the concept of identity. This libguide curates information from a wide variety of sources on both identity and also advice on writing an effective research paper, specifically a position paper with a strong research question or thesis statement. The skill of crafting an effective research question will serve you well in post secondary education. Therefore, the paper which you choose to write though connected in some way to identity, will be open-ended. After browsing and doing background reading in this libguide it is up to you to craft a research question that will be approved by Ms Glass prior to writing your paper.

 

Assignment: Choose a topic which is related to your reading on identity and write a well-organized, well-supported essay in response to the research question of your own devising.  Do not simply scan for other essays on a well worn topic.  Rather, through extensive background reading on identity craft a thought-provoking question to explore a topic of interest to you.

 

Guidelines and Expectations:

  • 1,500 word essay

  • MLA style and formatting

  • Include a cover page

  • An accurate Works Cited page that includes at least five sources.  You will be partially assessed on the quality of your sources and your ability to synthesize the information found in those sources.

Example Research Questions

Example research questions: these are examples only and are intended to point you in the direction of how you can apply your reading.  If you want to write you essay on a similar topic, please ensure that you craft an original research question.
 
  • Do Third Culture Kids ever really have a home?
  • Will Beyonce's homage to the Black Panthers  prove to be a further division between the police forces across the United States and the black population?
  • How does MTV and other media outlets manipulate young males' sense of self and are they becoming increasingly misogynistic? 
  • Does the current immigration crisis threaten our national identity?
  • How does our relationship with others define who we are?
 

Identity and Words

“A life spent writing has taught me to be wary of words. Those that seem clearest are often the most treacherous.” 
― Amin MaaloufIn the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong

Created by

This guide was created by the ZIS US English Curriculum Area in Fall 2015 together with the assistance of Kevin Browning US Librarian. It was modified for the English 11/12 class in February 2016 for Ms Glass' class.  Please report any problems or missing links directly to Ms. Glass or Kevin Browning at kbrowning@zis.ch. 

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