Breaking Good Stereotypes (Yang & Outside Exampl

Essay Three

Breaking Good Stereotypes (Yang & Outside Example)


In his essay “Paper Tigers,” Wesley Yang presents readers with first and second-hand accounts of the impacts of racism, bias and stereotypes on Asian American people. Yang analyzes responses to Asian stereotypes, such as Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and programs offered by the organization LEAP, in order to consider the implications of stereotypes for people and communities, even stereotypes viewed as “positive.” Yang is centrally concerned with the ways in which stereotypes shape our realities. Though the focus of his essay is on Asian and Asian American people, Yang’s analysis of the impacts of stereotyping and identity is applicable to other examples of stereotyping based on identity categories of race, culture, gender, or sexuality. 


  • Write an essay in which you examine the impact of supposedly “good” stereotypes on individuals and groups. Locate a representation of a stereotype that is being viewed as positive and analyze how the stereotype impacts the individuals who are seen–or see themselves as–part of this group, as well as what this stereotype means for the broader place of this group in society. Apply Yang’s essay as a lens in order to consider the implications of stereotypes on individuals and groups. 
  • Your essay should depend primarily on specific details from your selected outside source as well as the assigned reading by Yang. Your selected example could be a video, song, television show, movie, article, blog, or something else. It needs to be a rich enough source (enough details to talk about) to support a sustained analysis. Closely analyze your source to determine what stereotype is being represented, how it’s being represented as positive, and why. Consider how this representation impacts or responds to people who are part of this group, including supposed positive implications of the stereotypes as well as its negative impacts. 
  • You will apply Yang’s reading as a “lens” to assist you in your analysis, making connections through the use of quotes that help you consider stereotypes and their implications. 

Questions you might consider as you think about your essay:

  • Is it possible for us to discard stereotypes altogether, especially in the face of continual evidence of their tendency toward misrepresentation? 
  • Can there be positive stereotypes? In what ways are stereotypes enabling?
  • Are there ways in which members of a group can empower themselves through the representation of a “good” stereotype? 

Formatting and Requirements:

Your essay should:

  • be 4-5 pages in length
  • include a Works Cited page (the 5th page can be your Works Cited page, with 4 full pages written)
  • be double-spaced
  • be typed in Times New Roman font
  • have 1-inch margins (on all sides)
  • include Your name, my name, class and date in the upper left corner of the 1st page
    • Format your essay according to MLA guidelines (see above).
    • You must use quotes from the reading to support your argument
  • For online writing information, visit the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Criteria for Evaluation:

  • Argument: Argument directly and fully answers the prompt; is clearly stated early in the paper; is original, compelling and logical, avoiding absolute claims
  • Evidence: Appropriate amount of relevant, accurate, and justifiably interpreted quotation. Quotations are thoroughly introduced, explained, analyzed, and connected to argument/other texts. Possible counter-arguments are considered.
  • Organization: Paragraphs maintain argumentative focus, exclude extraneous information, appear in a logical order, and transition smoothly. Introduction sets forth argument and goals of essay. Conclusion opens up avenues for future research.
  • Audience: Consistent, academic tone. Appropriate amount of contextual information, anticipating audience questions. Addresses significant issues and makes them important to audience.
  • Grammar and Format: Errors in grammar, spelling, and usage limited or non-existent. Correct MLA format, including proper quotation citation.

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