Unanswered [2] | Urgent [0]

Home / Writing Feedback   % width Posts: 9

Cultural psychology short paper

carlychan 2 / 7  
Jun 13, 2009   #1
Hi, for my cultural psychology paper I had to interview someone about their family meal and it asks to describe that person's meal, describe my own family meal and in conclusion compare and contrast the two meals, family roles, cultural values, food consumption and family relation. I hope that you guys can help me to proof read this. Maybe you guys can give me some suggestions to improve this paper. Thanks!!

There is the paper:

Lenore's family meal only happens every Friday. Grandparents, cousins and other extended family members all participate in this regularly scheduled meal, if no other plans keep them away. Her family is fairly religious; therefore family dinner usually starts before 7:00pm, which is before Sabbath enters. Lenore and her sister set up the table for dinner and welcome other family members as they slowly gather at her house for this weekly feast. Also, when dinner is ready, no one has a special privilege to start eating before anyone else; therefore, everyone consume this one course meal altogether. As for the food consumption, Lenore's father prepares and cooks fish and vegetables for dinner. With Lenore's help, her father is able to serve their big feast on time. In addition, if anything is needed, Lenore, her sister or her father would get it in the kitchen. However, Lenore emphasized that the food is the not the most important thing for this family meal, the many conversations that take place during dinner is the most important aspect for the meal. Everyone have the equal opportunity to speak; however the conversations that take place should be polite conversations. Furthermore, they casually chat about memorable things that have happened last week, any spectacular events that are going to happen, and jokes. Lenore emigrated from Israel with her family five years ago; it is obvious that her family is trying to keep up the tradition that they usually kept in Israel, even though they moved to another country. Although Lenore only spends one meal per week with her family, this meal allows them to bond with each other. Family gathering once a week has a great influence to the close relationship that they want to develop within their family.

However, for me, my family meal happens every day at dinner. During that time, all family members are expected to be present. Yet dinner is not regularly scheduled; it may start any time between 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Our family dinner is a small gathering which includes my parents, my brother and I. If anyone is not available to be present for dinner, my parents usually save up some food in case that person has not eaten anything on their own. Everyone sit down at the dinner table and eat together. Anyone can leave the table when they are finish eating; however, everyone is responsible for taking their dishes and eating utensils to the sink when they finish their dinner. As for preparation, my mother prepares cooks and serves everyone at the same time. In addition, my brother and I are responsible to clean up the table and put away extra food in the refrigerator. Also, if anything is needed during dinner, my brother and I are responsible to get it. The foods that we eat during dinner are usually Chinese food, which consist of meat, fish, vegetables and rice. Sometimes there may be soup that is served with the dishes and rice. My parents are quite traditional; therefore, we do not talk that much during dinner. If we talk, we generally talk about school, friends or our day at work. No one has a special privilege in the right to talk first, everyone have the equal opportunity to talk. Also, everyone engage in the same conversation together. My family dinner is a small daily gathering to spend time and bond with each other. Although we do not engage in much conversation, it is still an opportunity to show care and build stronger relationship within the family.

It is obvious that there are many differences comparing Lenore's family dinner to my family dinner. For instance, Lenore's family dinner only happens once a week, but my family dinner happens every day. Moreover, Lenore highlighted that the food that they consume during dinner is not the most important thing for the family meal. They look forward to the many conversations that happen during dinner. They consider that building strong connections and knowing how each other are doing is the most significant thing for family gatherings. Unlike my family dinner, conversations rarely take place. Lenore's family starts their dinner before Sabbath enters, which means that her family is religious. In contrast, my family dinner happens at a random time and there is nothing religious about the meal.

On the other hand, there may seem to be many differences between Lenore's family dinner and my family dinner, there are few similarities between our family meals. Such as, the children of the family usually help prepare the family dinner and everyone help clean up after the meal is finished. Also, there are no special privileges for who speaks or eats first in both of our families. Moreover, Lenore's family dinner and my family dinner is only a one course meal. There is no appetizer or dessert before and after the meal.

Moreover, interviewing someone that has a different ancestry than I am has provided me with information in how families bond with each other and which cultural values they are willing to hold on to. From Lenore's descriptions of her weekly family meal, it gives the feeling that people in Israel treasure the quality time that they spend with their family members. Moreover, they are keeping their ritual to serve and eat dinner before Sabbath enters. This also shows that Israel people view that religion is also an important aspect in life. As for food consumption, it is unmistakable that Lenore's family likes to keep their diet healthy with low carbohydrates, because their meal only consists of fish and vegetables. Furthermore, the major emphasis about Lenore's family dinner is how they love to chat with every family member during the meal. This weekly family gathering improves and maintains a good relationship within the family. Seeing that there are similarities and differences between the two family meals, the mood of Lenore's family meal is the most unlike when comparing with my family meal.

EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jun 13, 2009   #2
Prefer the active to the passive voice. So, instead of

"Lenore is the person whom I have interviewed in describing her family meal."


"I interviewed Lenore to find out how she would describe her family meal."

Also, try to be concise and to use strong verbs. So, instead of

"This family dinner is regularly scheduled which most of the family members are present. However, it is not a big deal if some of the family members are not able to join. Moreover, her grandparents, cousins and other relatives also join this family gathering on Friday night."


"Grandparents, cousins and other extended family members all participate in this regularly scheduled meal, if no other plans keep them away."

For more on using stronger verbs, read this:
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jun 13, 2009   #3
I'd go even further than Sean suggested, and skip the introduction to Lenore altogether. I'd start with a vivid description of the meal and then backtrack to provide the background information about immigration from Israel, etc.
OP carlychan 2 / 7  
Jun 14, 2009   #4
Thank you Sean and Simone, I'm going to take you guys' advices and try to incorporate it in the paper. Thank you so much :)
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jun 14, 2009   #5
That would indeed be an even better approach. I would suggest you revise the essay, saying everything you say now in about 2/3 the word count, and organizing it according to Simone's suggestion. Then post the new draft for more feedback.
OP carlychan 2 / 7  
Jun 15, 2009   #6
I've revised my paper and included the suggestions that Simone and Sean suggested. I wonder you guys can proof read it for me... like grammar and punctuations. Thanks.
OP carlychan 2 / 7  
Jun 15, 2009   #7
I couldn't reduce the words in my paper because the requirement asks for approximately 4-5 pages... and this is barely 4 pages
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jun 16, 2009   #8
Yes, but you want 4-5 pages of material that will get you a high mark, I assume, since you have posted your essay here in an effort to improve it. So, go through and do the ruthless cutting. Then, you can start thinking about what else you could add to the essay to make it stronger. You might even just cut it down to something really good, then post here asking for ways to expand on that solid core that would make the essay even stronger.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jun 16, 2009   #9
When Sean asks you to say the same thing in fewer words, he is asking you to write more concisely and, therefore, with more power. The way to fill out the pages is by saying more things of substance rather than by using lots of words to say only a few things.

Home / Writing Feedback / Cultural psychology short paper