Cultural Context Essay

Writing A Brilliant Cultural Context Comparative Essay


For writing a comparative essay it is important to have strong analytical skills as in this type of writing you would be required to compare and contrast between two subjects and decide your own stand on it. The topic can be anything and thus whatever topic you choose, you must ensure you have vast knowledge on both the subjects.

Taking a stand is also not an easy task, as you have to justify why you hold such an opinion in order to convince you readers of your point of view. It can be two types. You would either be required to support one side and explain why you have chosen to support it or will have to simply draw comparisons between the two ideas or subjects, focusing on both similarities and dissimilarities.

Comparative essays on cultural contexts can be written in a very interesting way and it also provides you with ample scopes to delve into the brilliance of different cultures that existed from time to time and still do. Culture is a topic which in itself has a wide connotation and can fit in concepts, ideas and practises of varying types.

To make the essay look more organised and comprehensible you can include your points or arguments in separate paragraphs. You can talk about one of the subjects in one paragraph and about the other in the next.

Tips On Writing Comparative Essay On Cultural Context

If you are asked to compare and contrast between two distinct cultures belonging to two different civilisations, the first thing you are supposed to do is learn about the backgrounds in details, before you even begin to write about it.

  • Learning about its background, the people who espoused it or the different practises that were considered the part of the culture, would allow you to understand the commonalities between the two as well as the places at which they differed.

  • Finding all the similarities and the differences would enable you to take a stand. You can discuss about the drawbacks as well as the pioneering aspects of both.

  • You can point out the changes that took place in the forms of the cultural practises in both the cases over the period of time.

  • Once you have sorted out all the necessary aspects of both the cultures, you can then go ahead with the comparison part and put forward your arguments in favour of one or the other.

Cultural Context

  • Cultural context looks at the society the characters live in and at how their culture can affect their behaviour and their opportunities.

  • Think about where and when each text is set.

  • Think about the values and attitudes that matter to these characters and about how they formed these beliefs – did their culture influence them?

  • The most powerful forces in a society include religion, gender roles, attitudes towards sex and marriage, social status/class, job opportunities/emigration, (wealth/poverty), politics, authority figures, stereotypes/ethnic identity.

Sample questions – 70 marks

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“In any cultural context, deeply embedded values and attitudes can be difficult to change”

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“A reader can feel uncomfortable with the values and attitudes presented in texts”

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“The main characters in texts are often in conflict with the world or culture they inhabit”

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“The cultural context can have a significant influence on the behaviour of the central character/characters in a text”

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“Understanding the cultural context of a text adds to our enjoyment of a good narrative”

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Write an essay in which you compare the texts you have studied in your comparative course in the light of your understanding of the term the cultural context.

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“A narrative text creates its own unique world in which the reader can share”

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In simple English you need to be able to talk about

  • how their culture affects their behaviour (or do they rebel) AND

  • what you liked/learned from exploring these different cultures.

Sample questions – 30 + 40 marks

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“The issue of social class is important in shaping our understanding of the cultural context of a text”

(a) Discuss the importance of social class in shaping your understanding of the cultural context of one text you have studied

(b) Compare the importance of social class in shaping your understanding of the cultural context of two other texts you have studied.

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“The roles and status allocated to males or females can be central to understanding the cultural context of a text”

(a) Show how this statement might apply to one text on your comparative course. In your answer you may refer to the roles and status allocated to either males or females or both. (30)

(b) Compare how the roles and status allocated to males or females, or both, aided your understanding of the cultural context in two other texts on your comparative course. (40)

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“Understanding the cultural context of a text allows you to see how values and attitudes are shaped”

(a) Discuss in relation to one text you have studied (30 marks)

(b)Compare the way the values and attitudes are shaped in two other texts you have studied. (40 marks)

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Imagine that you are a journalist sent to investigate the cultural context of the worlds of the three texts from your comparative course.

(a) Write an article on the cultural context you found most interesting. (30)

(b) In a second article compare the cultural contexts of the other two

worlds with each other. (40)

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“The cultural context of a narrative usually determines how the story will unfold”

(a) Compare the way in which the cultural context influenced the storyline in two of the texts you have studied (40 marks)

(b) Show how the cultural context influenced the storyline in a third text you have studied (30 marks)

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(a) With reference to one of the texts you have studied in your comparative course, write a note on the ways in which the cultural context is established by the author.

(b) Compare the ways in which the cultural context is established by the authors of two other texts on your comparative course.

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