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What Does It Mean to Be an American: Essay Guide

If you are a true American college student, you will probably be assigned to write a Bob Dylan essay or baseball essay during your school days. Why? Well, just because you are an American! Who else can be a better national hero for the USA than Bob Dylan and which game is more American than the baseball? That’s a rhetorical question as all of us know the answer to it. 

First of all, by assigning you to write an essay, they want you to develop your writing skills. We all know that writing essays helps us to express our thoughts easily. Secondly, they want to make you feel proud of your country.

Concerning the first aim of your teacher – to develop your writing skills- it seems it can be achieved without any problems. It’s not really difficult to write a simple essay. All you have to do is to structure your essay (introduction, body paragraphs and conclusions) and present your thoughts on these two topics. There’s little doubt you know what to write about Bob Dylan or baseball, so we see no need to mention here the information you have already know. What we do care about is whether you can write the essays in the way that your teachers’ second goal could be achieved.

Are you able to include some patriotic feeling in the essays while writing them? If your answer is “no,” or you have some doubts, our custom writing service can help you to solve this problem. We can assist you with any essay topic. Even better, we can write them for you from scratch if you have no time to do it yourself.

Of course, you can decide to write the essays yourself. In this case, we would recommend that you do the following: write an essay on the topic “What does it mean to be an American?” It will definitely make you use arguments in your body paragraphs which can be included later in your Bob Dylan or baseball essay.

What Does It Mean to Be an American Essay: Possible Arguments

  • Being an American means appreciating democracy, personal freedom and private capital more than does any other nation.
  • Being an American means watching American football instead of the usual one.
  • Being an American means playing baseball and considering this game as a national one (this argument you is for your essay on baseball, isn’t it?).
  • Being an American means listening to jazz, country, rock’n’roll music and be a great fan of Bob Dylan.

Being an American Essay Example

What Does It Mean to Be an American: The American Dream

The American Dream is an indispensable part of American cultural heritage and society. It is glorified in Hollywood movies, pop songs, and comics books. The American Dream is frequently the first concept that comes to mind when people think of the USA. Thus, it is believed that keeping the American Dream close at heart is necessary for anyone who calls themselves American.

The American Dream cannot be considered dead. People from all around the world study, craft, and fortuitously land themselves in what is often considered the greatest country on Earth for the opportunity to be successful. However, we must realize that what was once considered to be the American Dream is no more. Accessibility to affordable housing and well-paying jobs are considered luxuries of the upper classes, depending on where a person lives. While thought to be achievable for the average person, the American Dream has been diluted in a sense. No longer are people coming to America for grandiose living, but rather to flee the perils of their home countries, with America being the land of the most opportunity.

The term “American Dream” is not new. James Trustlow Adams penned the term in his book The Epic of America, originally published in 1931, stating: “The American dream that life should be made richer and fuller for everyone and opportunity remain open to all, had been kept alive by constant waves of thought and emotion flooding back from our successive frontiers.” Despite this book being written almost a century ago, Adams was correct; the idea of the American Dream has been subtly pushed upon new generations, making it so we believe that we have the same, if not more, opportunities than generations before us.

The American Dream promises a white picket fence home, a loving family, and a well-paying job that will give you the resources to provide for your family. This idea is becoming more abstract to the average American. According to the United States Census, currently over 45 million Americans live below the poverty line, or 14.5 percent of the US population (US Census Bureau, 2014). In 2013, 20 percent of all American children lived in poverty, according to the PEW Research Center (Patten & Krogstad, 2015). Hence, we must ask this question: If so many of Americans live in poverty, then why do we still believe in the American Dream? This could be attributed to what is called Vroom’s expectancy theory. Fred Lunenburg, of Sam Houston State University, stated in his journal that “expectancy theory is a cognitive process theory of motivation that is based on the idea that people believe there are relationships between the effort they put forth at work, the performance they achieve from that effort … In other words, people will be motivated if they believe that strong effort will lead to good performance and good performance will lead to desired rewards.” The American Dream has been pushed by media, family, friends, and co-workers, all in an effort to subconsciously keep the average worker motivated. The average person would therefore believe, that in America, if they work hard and stay out of trouble, they will be successful. People begin to expect that one day, because of their efforts, they will become rich or affluent. This is despite the fact that several of our children’s peers are living in poverty, and our workforce is riddled with people living paycheck to paycheck.

In conclusion, I believe that the American Dream once existed, and still does, but in a 21st-century capitalistic fashion. No longer are people expected to have a house with a picket fence within a few years of coming to America, or after obtaining a corporate job, but rather people are expected to work hard, and therefore, the potential for people to achieve the American Dream is always there, but never culminates for the average person.


Adams, J. T. (2017). The Epic of America. Milton: Taylor and Francis.
Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S.: 2013. The United States Census Bureau, 16 Sept. 2014,
Lunenburg, Fred C. Expectancy theory of motivation: Motivating by altering expectations. International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration, vol. 15, no. 1, 2011.
Patten, Eileen, and Jens Manuel Krogstad. (2015, July 14). Black child poverty rate holds steady, even as other groups see declines. Retrieved from steady-even-as-other-groups-see-declines/

What Does It Mean to Be an American Essay: Help

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