Directions: Choose one of the following essay topics.

  1. Use whatever planning strategy (brainstorming, freewriting, clustering) works best for you.
  2. Organize your essay so that your reader can follow your ideas.
  3. Save time to check for errors and make corrections.

  1. The anecdote about the early humans around the fire that begins the article implies that having language is an important part of our identity as human beings. Many other writers have examined relationships between one's native language and aspects of identity. Write an essay about your experiences with language and its connection to your identity. Some suggestions:

    1. You might write about the process of learning a language or about how it feels to be bilingual. How does the language you speak affect your feelings or your sense of identity?
    2. You might write about the differences between the way you speak with friends and family and the more formal language you might use in school or on the job. What effect does this switching have on your feelings or your sense of identity?

  2. Think of a time when you had difficulty communicating because of language or cultural difference. What did you do? Describe the difficulty and your attempts to resolve it. Did you succeed or not? Discuss why or why not.

  3. We all use gestures to signal and communicate at times, but a smile, a wink, or a hand wave can mean different things at different times. Describe ways in which we use gestures and explain why gestures are an important type of communication.

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