The initial concept of the American Dream was introduced in 1931 by James Truslow Adams. Then he explored this idea and explained it. Since those times the concept grew bigger and became more complex. It remained its essence, but it added lots of senses. The American Dream is a “trademark name” which has exceeded the borders of the USA and entered the world culture.
Like it happens in such cases, the notion is so well-known, that one can hardly formulate what it means exactly. Or, everybody adds own understanding of the idea. No wonder that the American Dream is a common subject of school and college essays. Despite its short name, it applies to people on so many levels, that you can dedicate many thousands of pages to explore the idea.
But a student has only several hundreds of words to state own opinion on this subject. On another hand, you have a wide choice of possible aspects to research. Writing an essay about the American Dream can be fun.
Preliminary Preparations to Writing
Any essay demands that you research the subject, state your opinion and support it with evidence. But before you do that you need to define the exact topic of your essay. Like it is already mentioned, the concept is huge, and you can look at it from different angles.
Check which essay type you have to compose. One of the most popular form to write about the American Dream is a narrative essay. There you need to tell some story about yourself or your close people and explain its importance. You can also choose this type, but it is not the only one.
Most likely your teacher will clarify at once which type of essay you should perform. If not, you may choose the form yourself or consult the teacher to make sure that your choice is acceptable.
Your most important step at this preliminary stage is to select a topic for your American Dream essay. Often there is a list of topics to choose from. If not, then you can consider what you want to tell about yourself.
In all your academic papers you need to describe and support things which you know well. If you don’t possess the knowledge at the moment, you will need to get it. So, it is always better if you gather information about something you love sincerely.
List of possible essay topics to write about the American Dream
There are numerous things that you can pay attention to when you take the task to compose this essay. So, consider the theme which is close and interesting. Here we have some ideas for you:
- The essence of the American Dream.
- The American Dream and religion.
- Is the modern idea of the American Dream a complete fallacy?
- The meaning of the American Dream for immigrants.
- How did social prejudice affect the American Dream essence?
- The portrayal of the idea of the American Dream in classical American literature.
- Modern deconstruction of the American Dream concept in the mass culture.
- Is the American Dream all about the money?
- Which new aspects of the American Dream were added in the XXI century?
- Can we create a new American Dream now?
There are lots of other options for you to concentrate on when you choose the topic for your essay. The more specific you are in your work, the better.
The Structure of the Essay on the American Dream
There are requirements for the essay form, which do not depend on the type. You are encouraged to experiment with styles and tell stories, and still, your essay belongs to the academic writing category.
The paper must consist of three parts:
And you need to arrange the information you gathered and your thoughts concerning this topic to match the standards.
Rules of Writing the Introduction of the Essay
The Introduction part is where you need to attract the attention of the audience and make them interested. This opening part is relatively short, but it has to be very rich in senses and styles. As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression upon people. The Essay Introduction is that first impression.
- Use “hooks”. They should be catchy details related to emotional or informational aspects. Humor, “did you know that” facts, provocative questions or great citations are the best options to start your essay.
- Offer a brief description of the theme of your essay. You don’t need to go deep into the details at this stage, tell about the general meaning. The goal of this is to inform the audience of what you will talk about.
- Introduce the thesis. It will be a summary of your ideas about the subject, which you will prove further in the text. This part should be short, one thesis statement is one idea, and it is usually one sentence.
Tips on working on the Body part
The Body of your essay takes the main informational and argumentative parts. Here you demonstrate what you think and know about the topic.
- Be specific. Even if you choose a broad issue for your essay, you have a limited volume available for this essay. You should not tell about the general things and give obvious arguments, it won’t impress your teachers and fellow students. Much better if you analyze the topic and find the brightest example illustrating your main idea. Concentrate on it. Remember that this essay is research, and it has informational value.
- If you want to talk about the representation of the American Dream idea in literature, choose one or two examples. However, you need to read them to pick up the evidence in favor of your statements. If you choose to depict the American Dream understanding for immigrants, give real examples. You may use citations from the interviews or talk to people.
- Provide your statements and support them. Note that you can do this in different ways. Both a story from your life and statistical report data can be worthy arguments if they are appropriate.
Summarize your essay in the Conclusion part
To end an essay in style is very important too. This is the area where you underline your ideas and discoveries. Also, the Conclusion part serves for you to present your particular research in a bigger context.
- Re-read the Body part of the ready essay and mark your main ideas about the theme again. Put them down separately and unite together in a text fragment. But don’t combine them mechanically, and don’t use the same words which are already present in the text. In general, your task will be to compose a new short text which includes certain thoughts.
- Don’t include new ideas that could not result from your previous statements and evidence. However, you may widen the concepts you used in your work. For example, you dealt with the portrayal of the American Dream in some books. It would be useful if you mention that this author returned to the same theme in other books too. Or mention that this portrayal influenced other works – and name a couple of examples.
- Consider the ending line. You can end your essay with a new question to make the audience think about the information from your essay further. Or you can call to action if you dealt with some topic like “can we create a new American Dream”. It will be up to you.
Thus, you can compose a great and original essay about the American Dream concept. This is a theme which gives lots of food for thought, and you can find the aspect which appeals to you. Our recommendations will make it easier for you to do this job.