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Essays on Stereotypes: Writing Clues

The notion of stereotype merges a number of concepts and can be classified under different criteria. Therefore, a range of various types of essays can be written if your topic is “stereotype”. For example, you can consider completing a definition essay to provide your personal definition of the term. Also, it is a good idea to develop the criteria for stereotype separation and write a classification essay that will explain each type. Find more tips and ideas for essays on stereotypes in our blog post.

Ideas for Definition Essay About Stereotypes

  • If you decide to write a definition essay, you should consider starting with etymology of the notion. The historical insight usually provides better understanding of the concept.
  • The fact that the word “stereotype” origins from printing terminology can interest the reader and draw their attention. So, you can use it as an attention grabber in your essay’s introductory part.
  • Remember that each feature with which you characterise the notion must be precise as well as the definition itself has to be brief and accurate.
  • Every attribute that you add to your definition must be explained with arguments and supported by facts or examples.

Hints for Classification Essay on Stereotypes

  • First of all, you should keep in mind that stereotype is a phenomenon that can be interpreted in sociological and psychological ways. Do not mix those focuses as they are completely different. Select a trend which is suitable for your task and develop a classification within its bounds.
  • Secondly, you have to clarify the criteria for classification. This will allow you to make your writing clear and logical.
  • Consider dividing the notion of stereotypes into different categories (national, decorative, descriptive, restrictive) and redefining each of them. Remember to clarify each of the types as well.

Psychological Essay on Stereotypes

  • If you decide to limit your writing scope with psychology only, you should consider reviewing following points:
  • The definition of stereotype and stereotyping process from the psychological point of view;
  • Cognitive functions of stereotypes;
  • How stereotyping helps to categorize information about the world;
  • The process of stereotype formation and its main stages;
  • How stereotypes are activated;
  • The advantages and disadvantages of stereotypes for human mind;
  • The process of “self-stereotyping”;
  • How stereotypes help people to fulfill themselves;
  • Threats brought by stereotyping.

Essay About National Stereotypes

  • In case your topic deals with national stereotypes you will likely touch upon the sociological aspect of the issue, which is why you will have to use the appropriate terminology on this matter.
  • You can complete an expository or argumentative paper about a certain nationality or compare and contrast the stereotypes of 2 or more nationalities. Remember that different tools are used in those types of papers.
  • Expository and argumentative papers presuppose that you develop a certain claim which is supported by arguments proved with the help of evidence.
  • The comparative paper uses argumentation as well, but the difference lies in having at least 2 subjects of writing and a slightly changed structure. This allows the writer to juxtapose the subjects compared.

Some Examples of Interesting Stereotypes for Your Essay

Regardless of whether you have a particular assigned topic for the essay or you are going to choose one of those that are mentioned above, you will need to provide a few bright examples of stereotypes and stereotypical thinking. They will help you to illustrate your ideas more clearly becoming good basis and evidence for them, as well as to make your paper more informative and interesting.

A Few Prior Remarks

Before you start, let’s have a look at some essential things you should take into account in order not to make any factual mistakes and not to spoil your writing with them.

  • Check whether the stereotype you choose to use as an example in your essay is scientifically proved or not. If some research has been conducted to prove that a particular generally accepted opinion is true and scientists have succeeded, then such stereotype can be treated as a valid scientific fact and not as a prejudice.
  • In order not to face complex ethical issues concerning various kinds of stereotypes, focus on the so-called positive stereotypes or, again, on those which have been proved by real scientific research. Hence you can avoid dealing with controversies around this or that stereotypical idea and be sure that your personal opinion is impartial and inoffensive to others.

Examples of Social Stereotypes

  • Most of college/university students who come from other cities study well.
  • Those children who have younger siblings are never selfish.
  • Sportsmen stick to healthy lifestyle.
  • Doctors rarely get ill.
  • Those people who can play musical instruments can sing beautifully as well.

Examples of Gender Stereotypes

  • Women are very caring.
  • Women can stand severe pain.
  • Men are good at telling jokes.
  • Men can be good chefs and designers.
  • Men can control their emotions.

Examples of National Stereotypes

  • The Japanese and Germans are disciplined and punctual.
  • Most of the Chinese know kung-fu and other martial arts.
  • The British love tea.
  • The French are very exquisite cookers.
  • Americans are very open-minded.

More Ideas for Your A+ Essays on Stereotyping

You can see that stereotypes as fixed ideas or concepts and stereotyping as the process of creating and accepting these ideas and concepts are very broad issues for your research. It is actually a good approach to narrow the topic if you are assigned to write papers on stereotypes.

An essay isn’t a lengthy piece of writing. So, your professor definitely doesn’t require you to stuff everything you know about the topic into two-three pages. If you choose one specific aspect and don’t try to cover the whole phenomenon, you’ll be able to write quite an exhaustive essay about stereotypes.

In any case, you won’t go without the definition and some general remarks. But let them make only one or two short paragraphs of your paper on stereotypes.

What should make the rest of it then? Let’s check out now!

Essay on Stereotypes and Their Positive Impact on Our Lives

Don’t you agree that we somehow got used to the idea that stereotyping is something negative, discriminating and hidebound? Well, it really is when it forces us to act in a cruel, inhuman way towards people of a different nationality, gender, political convictions, etc.

On the other hand, the generalisations about the surrounding reality, which are stored in our brains, make our lives easier. How can that be? Consider these ideas in your essay on stereotypes:

Essay idea #1: They help us classify our knowledge and experience

The natural ability of our brain to cluster information about similar concepts and store it separately from any other information creates a reliable basis for our memory and even gives us hints on how to use it. Actually, such a cluster or group of certain data can be considered a stereotype. Essays on such topic may require a more formal explanation. But if you can rewrite a definition from a dictionary in simple words, you are only welcome to do it.

So, by generalising and stereotyping certain things, phenomena, processes, your brain tries to code the info that comes into it every second. At the same time, fixed generalisations are what you use when you need to solve a problem, make a decision or state an opinion.

Essay idea #2: They help us learn and understand new things

Mention this fact when you write an essay about stereotypes. Although most often you don’t and can’t realise it, but you do use a particular generalization stored in your brain to perceive something new, unfamiliar to you. What helps you define, classify and remember it is stereotyping. Essay body part should shed more light on this idea, so think about some notable examples. You can take them even from everyday routine.

Essay idea #3: They help us set particular patterns for our behaviour

Let me start from an example at once. By the way, you can use it in your own essay on stereotypes. Just make sure you paraphrase my words.

If you’re waiting for your professor in his or her room and sitting on the chair, you’ll definitely stand up to say hello when he or she comes in. This is how the stereotype works: you know that you can’t remain seated when an older person is standing beside you. Especially if you are this person’s student.

This isn’t just a matter of politeness. This is a complex social and cultural pattern, which not just helps but makes you behave in a generally accepted and, hence, right way. Even if you meet that professor for the first time.  

Essay About Stereotyping and Its Dark Sides

Despite the fact that stereotypes do help us survive, especially when we face absolutely new situation or strange environment, we still should be very careful with allowing them to define our way of thinking and behaviour. You should remember that a great many of such generalisations have no rational explanations. Not to mention any scientific proofs.

Develop this thought in your papers on stereotypes. Also, muse over what may happen or is currently happening if we are guided by them. Let me throw out some ideas to you:

Essay idea #4: They may lead us to intolerance or discrimination

Our history can provide us with numerous examples of absolutely absurd persecutions and discriminations. I don’t want to list them all here in order not to write anything that would contradict with your own views. Still, that’s a good moment to remind you that your essays about stereotyping should be as unbiased as possible.

Unfortunately, we can’t know what really stands behind segregation or antisemitism, for instance. What we can suspect is that these two phenomena were based on probably man-made stereotypes. But what’s more important, they appeared to have caused a new range of stereotypes, which we can’t eliminate until nowadays.

Essay idea #5: They may narrow our worldview and hamper our self-development

That is why I encourage you to do thorough, many-sided research before writing a paper. Search for reputable scientific evidence, read articles published by renown experts, find out more facets of stereotyping. Essay writing at college requires you to explore and analyse different opinions, so you could make well-grounded, reasonable judgements about such complex issues.

Essay idea #6: They may erase the boundaries between the good and the bad

You can find some really smart scholarly papers on stereotypes which support and prove this opinion. We’ve already agreed on the fact that generalisations of such kind can set patterns for our behaviour in different situations. So, imagine yourself acting according to one of these patterns but therefore infringing rights of another person, offending or bullying her.

Ouch! That does hurt, right? So, be careful with arguments and examples for essays on stereotyping. Remember that you certainly shouldn’t become its victim when you write about it.

Are Humans Predisposed to Stereotyping? Essay with a Pinch of Research

Pay attention to the notes below. You can use them as evidence in your essay about stereotypes.

Hugo Spiers managed to prove that the human brain turns out to be more responsive to negative generalisations about the surrounding reality than to positive ones. This proves why we like stereotyping so much and why it’s usually associated with negative experience.

The researcher offered twenty-two participants to characterise two fictitious groups – intentionally stereotyped as “good” and “bad”. Two thirds of the information about each provided to the participants related to the given stereotype directly, while one third of the info was opposite to it.

So, what was the result of the experiment? Remember that you should always describe them in essays about stereotyping or whatever. Brain scans revealed that it was more difficult for the participants to perceive that the “bad” group did something good. Besides, the more negative information about the “bad” group was added, the worse the participants treated it.

Can We Fight the Stereotype? Essays with Solutions

This is also a good and fruitful idea for essays on stereotyping and its consequences. Think about common generalisations which have neither rational basis nor logical proofs and come up with the ways to eliminate them.

Don’t forget to list a few reasons why we should do something about the chosen stereotype. Essays of such type can be built according to the problem-solution principle. Describe a challenge, clarify why it’s worth attention and provide a resolution or compromise.

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