Impact of Cultural Legacy

English 1A/95 Essay #3: Impact of Cultural Legacy

“No one who can rise before dawn three hundred sixty days a year faults to make his family rich.”

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Inquiry Question: How do you think a cultural legacy can impact the degree of a person’s success?


Proverbs are popular sayings which contain advice or state a generally accepted truth. Proverbs function as “folk wisdom,” general advice about how to act and live. And because they are folk wisdom, they often strongly reflect the cultural values and physical environment from which they arise. For instance, island cultures such as Hawaii have proverbs about the sea; Eastern cultures have proverbs about elephants, and American proverbs, many collected and published by Benjamin Franklin, are about hard work bringing success. Proverbs are used to support arguments, to provide lessons and instruction, and to stress shared values.

In chapter 9 nine of Outliers, “Rice Paddies and Math Tests”, Gladwell provides some examples of proverbs that Chinese rice farmers would often recite such as “Farmers are busy; farmers are busy; if farmers weren’t busy, where would grain to get through winter come from?” and “In winter, the lazy man freezes to death” (238).


Gladwell uses these examples of proverbs from Chapter 9 to help explain the concept of cultural legacy. In Chapters 6, 7, and 8 Gladwell argues that understanding cultural legacy can impact a person’s success. Write a well-developed essay in which you define the term ‘cultural legacy’, discuss its impact, and discuss the role that proverbs play in keeping a cultural legacy alive. In this essay, you can either support Gladwell’s notion that cultural legacy has a profound impact on success or argue against itIn the essay’s introduction, give some background to Outliers. Then come to terms with Gladwell by explaining what he means by ‘cultural legacy.’ In your thesis, answer this question: What kind of impact does cultural legacy have on a person’s life? Can the impact be positive, negative, or both?


4-6 pages (MLA Format)

Strong hook/attention grabber
Introduce topic/necessary background information (define cultural legacy, etc)
Thesis that addresses the prompt: What kind of impact does cultural legacy have on a person’s life? Can the impact be positive, negative, or both?
Multiple body paragraphs that are
guided by topic sentences that explain the main idea of paragraph
follow an organizational strategy
use examples from the reading in the form of quotes (use quote sandwiches)

Conclusion (Use one of the strategies I shared earlier in the semester)
One Academic Article from Databases
Reputable Website (One that passes CRAAP Test)
Appositve phrases
Participle phrases
Paragraph hooks

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