Exploring identity through repurposing

The choice for a repurposing project for me was relatively much easier than I thought it would be. I have many pieces I would like to revisit, but one stuck out to me above the rest because the topic is always relevant yet constantly dynamic: my identity. Identity is something we explore a lot in this class- our identity as a writer, as a peer, as a student, as a person. Through our first essay I learned a surprising amount about myself as a writer by analyzing why I write. In this assignment I would like to explore an argumentative essay I wrote my freshman year for a sociology intro course about my ethnic and cultural identity. I come from a mixed background. I am half Trinidadian, half Indian, born in England and I grew up in New York. These different aspects of my upbringing have shaped me as a person in many ways, however, much of my argument in this essay was based upon many people’s urge to fit people into one type of background.

Many people want to make me just an Indian or just a New Yorker for example and I centered my point on the fact that multi-cultural background should be more readily approached. The exigence of this piece lies in the idea that as a global community we should be ready and willing to accept and integrate people of all background. The first step of this process is opening our minds to many different types of people and resisting the urge to stereotype individuals. There are constraints in this piece though because I do not want to offend or come across as offended. I want to inform and take a stance, but I do not want to come across as defensive. I relish in an opportunity to explain my upbringing to those interested and I want that to come across in this assignment.

I plan on revisiting this essay to explore a few things. Firstly, the prompt was much more rigid originally and asked us to form our thesis as a question. This was restrictive in some sense so I plan on changing my central point to a statement. The medium will still be a written piece but definitely one with more range. I want to write it as an op-ed piece that could appear as a personal statement for a publication such as The Michigan Daily. The Daily’s personal statement pieces are nuanced, well written and persuasive. Furthermore, since then I have had many more experiences the past two years that have helped me understand multicultural backgrounds, my own and others, in a much deeper sense. I hope to include these experiences to explore my identity further in this essay. I think the second version of this piece will be much more personal this time because I have more power over it. The persuasive power will lie more in my personal experience in this second revision. In this sense, it will probably read more like a personal narrative.

Anisha Nandi

I am a Communications and SAC double major pursuing a career in broadcast journalism. I am originally form New York but love being at U of M. I enjoy playing soccer, spending time with my family and being outdoors. I have always loved writing, especially creatively.

One thought to “Exploring identity through repurposing”

  1. Anisha,

    I’m so excited to read your repurposing project. I think the original topic sounds so interesting as is, so I’m sure the two years that have passed under your belt since you’ve written it will enhance the paper even more. A few questions came to mind when reading your post: Are you going to write your personal statement as more of a persuasive piece or a story with underlying messages? Also, how are you going to use not having a thesis to your advantage?

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