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The Influence of Cultural Background on Students’ Approach to Essay Writing in Literature Courses

Cultural Background of Students

Cultural background is a crucial factor in shaping perspectives, values, and approaches to various aspects of life, including education. In literature courses, students’ cultural backgrounds can significantly impact their approach to essay writing assignments.

This article delves into the complex relationship between cultural background and students’ approach to essay writing in literature courses. It explores the various ways in which cultural influences manifest in writing styles, interpretations of literature, and values related to essay writing.

Impact of Cultural Background on Writing Style

Different Writing Norms and Conventions in Diverse Cultures

Cultural background can influence students’ writing styles, as different cultures have varying norms and conventions regarding communication and expression.

For example, students from collectivist cultures may prioritize harmony and group cohesion in their writing, while those from individualistic cultures may focus more on assertiveness and personal opinion.

Influence of Language Proficiency on Essay Writing

Language proficiency is intricately connected to culture, and students’ linguistic abilities can impact their essay writing skills.

Students whose first language is different from the language of instruction may struggle with grammar, vocabulary, and syntax, which can affect the clarity and coherence of their essays.

Use of Storytelling and Oral Traditions in Some Cultures

In cultures with prevalent storytelling and oral traditions, students may incorporate narrative elements into their essays, making their writing more engaging and vivid.

However, this storytelling approach may not align with the academic writing conventions typically expected in literature courses, leading to potential misunderstandings or misinterpretations by instructors.

Influence of Cultural Background on Understanding Literature

Different Perspectives and Interpretations of Literary Works

Cultural background influences how people perceive and interpret literary works, leading to diverse perspectives and analyses.

Students from marginalized or underrepresented cultural backgrounds may offer unique insights into literature that challenge mainstream interpretations and broaden the understanding of literary texts.

Cultural Biases and Stereotypes Affecting Analysis

Students’ cultural biases and stereotypes can impact their analysis of literature, potentially shaping their interpretation of characters, themes, and plotlines.

Educators must be mindful of these biases and work to create an inclusive and culturally responsive learning environment that encourages critical thinking and reflection on cultural influences in literature.

Connection to Personal Experiences and Background Knowledge

Cultural background can provide students with a rich reservoir of personal experiences, traditions, and beliefs that they may draw upon when engaging with literary texts.

Encouraging students to connect their cultural background to the literature they are studying can deepen their understanding and appreciation of the material.

Cultural Values and Beliefs Affecting Essay Writing

Cultural values and beliefs can significantly impact how students approach essay writing in literature courses. Some cultures may place a strong emphasis on respectful and diplomatic language when presenting opinions and arguments, while others prioritize directness and assertiveness.

Educators can support students by providing guidance on essay structure, offering opportunities for creative expression, and creating a supportive learning environment that values diverse writing styles and approaches. For additional support, literature review generators can be utilized at

Attitudes Towards Authority and Critical Thinking

Cultural attitudes towards authority figures and academic institutions can shape students’ willingness to challenge existing ideas and engage in critical thinking.

Empowering students to question, analyze, and critique literature from diverse perspectives can foster a deeper understanding of the text and a more enriching academic experience.

Cultural Emphasis on Structure, Organization, and Creativity in Writing

Different cultures may place varying degrees of emphasis on the structure, organization, and creativity of written work.

Educators can support students by providing guidance on essay structure, offering opportunities for creative expression, and fostering a supportive learning environment that values diverse writing styles and approaches.

Strategies for Addressing Cultural Differences in Essay Writing Instruction

Providing Context and Background Information on Literary Works

Offering context and background information on the cultural, historical, and social context of literary works can help students from diverse backgrounds better understand and engage with the material.

This contextual information can enhance students’ comprehension of the themes, characters, and settings in the literature, enabling them to write more informed and insightful essays.

Encouraging Diverse Perspectives and Interpretations in Classroom Discussion

Creating space for diverse perspectives and interpretations in classroom discussions can foster a more inclusive and enriching learning environment.

By valuing and incorporating diverse viewpoints, educators can challenge students to think critically, explore alternative interpretations, and engage in meaningful dialogue about literature and culture.

Tailoring Feedback and Support to Individual Students’ Needs and Cultural Backgrounds

Recognizing and addressing students’ individual needs and cultural backgrounds in feedback and support can enhance their learning and academic growth.

Educators can provide personalized feedback that acknowledges and respects students’ cultural influences, offering guidance and resources to help them improve their essay writing skills and develop their academic voice.

Case Studies and Examples of Cultural Influences on Essay Writing in Literature Courses

Comparison of Essays from Students of Different Cultural Backgrounds

Analyzing and comparing essays by students of diverse cultural backgrounds can reveal how cultural influences manifest in writing.

By examining the language use, argumentation, and narrative style in students’ essays, educators can gain insights into the impact of culture on essay writing.

Interviews with Students About Their Writing Process and Cultural Influences

Interviewing students about their writing process and cultural influences can provide valuable firsthand perspectives on the connection between culture and essay writing.

Students’ reflections on how their cultural background shapes their approach to writing can offer important insights for educators seeking to support diverse learners in literature courses.

Analysis of Student Performance and Achievement Based on Cultural Background

Assessing student performance and achievement in literature courses through the lens of cultural background can uncover patterns and trends that inform instructional practices.

By examining how students from different cultural backgrounds experience and navigate essay writing assignments, educators can identify strategies for promoting student success and engagement.


Cultural background plays a significant role in shaping students’ approach to essay writing in literature courses. It influences writing style, interpretations of literature, and values related to essay writing.

By understanding and addressing cultural differences in essay writing instruction, educators can create a more inclusive and culturally responsive learning environment that supports students from diverse backgrounds.

Embracing diverse perspectives, encouraging critical thinking, and providing tailored support are key strategies for promoting academic success and fostering a deep appreciation for literature across cultures.

As educators continue to explore the intricate relationship between cultural background and essay writing in literature courses, they can enhance the learning experiences and outcomes of all students, empowering them to engage thoughtfully and meaningfully with literary texts and express their unique voices through writing.