Hey, choose any topic but make it realistic, Thank you! Below you can find the instructions provided by the professor.

Essay 2

Due 11/27 by noon.

Ethnography: An exploration of, or deep-dive into, a culture.

Profile: A written portrait of a person.


Through the lens of some other person or people, you should explore a culture or subculture unfamiliar to you and report your findings in a narrative Essay.

Pre-Covid options for ethnographic assignments were almost unlimited. Students went to concerts or fish-bakes. They tried dumplings from various food trucks around town (I suppose this could still be done, given the proper protocols). They went to gun ranges, sat Shiva, interviewed survivors of all kinds and stripes…

The assignment might seem more difficult now. But it isn’t. Whereas before you might have explored a culture through a physical place, you might now explore a neighbor or ‘friend’ from a place or culture (or with a background) you are not yet familiar with.

This assignment is designed to provide you experience with interviewing, gathering information from primary sources, and establishing a framework for finding a story/theme (as opposed to beginning with one). In this sense, you must start early in order to discover what your writing will really be about!

Over the next weeks we’ll read plenty of examples of how to approach and execute your essays. But what’s important now is to start brainstorming.

Here’s an overview of ethnographic profiles I’ve seen in the past:

Stories of/relating to…

–rave/ jamband culture


–coming out

–food culture(s)


–dog trainers

–divorce/family struggles/ mental health

–war/PTSD/military service

–border-crossings/immigrant experience

–restaurant work

–cultural movements


–cult experiences

–emerging musical movements

DISCLAIMER: Do NOT put yourself or others in situations that are dangerous, whether on account of the COVID pandemic or anything else!

HOW TO PROCEED: Think about friends/family/acquaintances* who have had interesting experiences, or know folks who have. Reach out early to talk to them. See what they say and/or what you might be interested in asking/learning from them. Do some preliminary research into those early findings. Create questions (and follow-up questions) for them. And then interview them!

After that: find your story. You might need to interview again. And then, finally, Write/Revise/Write/Revise, etc. You’ll have a chance to revise this piece one more time after submitting with me.

*You need not necessarily go through a friend/family/loved-one; you might, rather, approach someone via social media, if they have a story to tell…


–4-5 pages (I will not read beyond 5.5 pages!), double-spaced, reasonable font, titled, numbered, named.

–Please use proper dialoguing (more on this in the coming weeks!)

–Please refer to the Purdue Owl and its MLA specifications for style guidelines–citations from outside ‘voices’ are mandatory*. Please do not include a title page. (We’ll take a look at this, but it’s on you!)

*You should include a Works Cited page that gives credit to your primary source and also to any other outside information you use. The Purdue Owl is the best place to look for formatting concerns

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