20 Response Essay Topics: Great Ideas Related to the Rite of Passage

Topics and ideas
Posted on October 11, 2016

If you have gone through our first guide, 10 facts on the rite of passage, you are right on track. In our second guide, we discuss 20 topics on the rite of passage so you don’t have to spend more time than necessary trying to find a relevant topic for your response essay. Furthermore, we have also included a sample response essay which you can utilize for your assignment.

Be sure to follow-up this guide with our third and last guide how to outline a response essay on the rite of passage which will help you evaluate the structure to use while writing a response essay.

Here are 20 topics on the rite of passage for a response essay:

  1. Rites of Passage in Ancient Greece
  2. Jewish Customs and Their Rites of Passage
  3. Common Rites of Passage in Indian Culture
  4. Rites of Passage and Their Significance
  5. Roles of Rites of Passage in a Human Society
  6. Correlation between Religion and Rites of Passage
  7. Personal Views on the Rites of Passage
  8. Effects of Rites of Passage on Social Statuses
  9. Four Stages of the Rites of Passage
  10. Rites of Passage on Birth and Pregnancy
  11. Common Rites of Passage to Perform before Marriage
  12. Role of Rites of Passage on Manhood and Adults
  13. The Rite of Baptism – a Highly Desirable Ceremony
  14. Initiation Rites of Passage in Different Cultures
  15. Rites of Marriage and Betrothal
  16. Role of Rites of Passage to Avoid Incest
  17. Common Mortuary Rites of Different Religions
  18. Correlation between Rites of Passage and Culture
  19. The Significance of Rites of Passage on Human Behavior
  20. What is “Coming of Age Day” All about?

Now you have 20 topic suggestions to choose from and start writing your response essay. To make the things easier, we have also provided you with a sample essay below. If you haven’t already, check out our first guide, 10 facts on the rite of passage for a response essay, which assists you throughout the writing process. Once you have gone through this (second) guide, be sure to read our third (and last) guide on how to outline a response essay on the subject. This will help you in writing a brilliant response essay for your professor and keeping the former smooth and professional.

Here is a sample of a response essay on the rite of passage:

Sample Response Essay Four Stages of Rites of Passage

Rites of passage are ceremonial events that exist in all kind of cultures and religions throughout the world. A rite of passage actually describes the significance of a person’s status and there are rituals and traditions that are performed to transcend the person’s status in front of the group (or tribe) he/she is part of. This essay will describe the importance and stages of rites of passage that are found throughout history.

The significance of rites of passage varies from one society to another, one religion to another; one culture to another and so on. But if we were to talk generally, a rite of passage plays a vital role in human behavior, society and culture. It shapes the life of a person if it’s importance is taken into consideration.

Most of the time, a rite of passage is actually considered a ceremony to celebrate the milestones that a person hits in order to pass on to the next stage. Speaking of stages, there are four primary stages found in the rite of passage.

First of these are birth rites. When it comes to birth rites, it is often a collection of distinct rituals that include the mother, father, relatives and members of society. The rites start taking place during the pregnancy period and continue till the child has been introduced to supernatural beings or an omnipotence entity commonly known as god(s).

Mostly, the rites concern both parents and the child who will be coming into the world. Depending on the religion, culture and society, the mother of an upcoming child will refrain from heavy or “back breaking” activities while the father will give more time to the mother and meet her needs and wants in any way possible. Once the child has been delivered successfully, he/she is baptized and introduced to the super-beings of religion, i.e. god(s) or other entities that play a significant role in that specific society.

Initiation rites are another group often considered as the rites of coming of age. It was considered that initiation rites were applied on people who reached had puberty level but according to an extensive historical research, this may not be true after all.

In many religions, cultures and society, the initiation rites take place when a person is considered to have attained maturity. These rites include rituals where supernatural beings are introduced to the person either by fasting, physical exertion or consumption of herbs that results in altering common sensibilities and inducing hallucinations.

However, in modern societies such as today, initiation rites are only sufficient when we are talking about breaking milestones such as getting a driving license, graduating, marrying etc. Ever since the era of technology took over, spiritualism is not considered a part of our lives and people have focused more on their social and financial rites instead.

Going further with our list – marriage rites are seen mostly in every religion, culture and society throughout the world. It’s what bonds two families together. However, the tradition and rituals vary. In some societies, exchange of goods and transfer is required whereas in some societies, a simple vow is what is needed.

The insignia of change in social status also varies; in modern societies, wedding rings are sufficient to show that the couple is married. In other cultures, one is required to have to wear tattoos, ornaments or other embellishments to show the significance of marriage.

The final group is death rites. This is one exception that does not change when it comes to the differentiation between societies, cultures and religions. All of these communities believe that there is an afterlife, not for our bodies, but for our souls (spirits) or consciousness. Every religion, culture and society holds a variety of rituals for their dead.

Religion and culture play a vital role in keeping the rites of passage alive in this modern era because societies have become ignorant for most rites of passage and only a few of them are actually considered of importance.

This should give you a fairly good idea on how to write on a rite of passage response essay. However, you should check out our final guide which tells you precisely how to shape up your response essay from start to finish.


  1. “Rites of Passage.” International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family. 2003: Encyclopedia. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3406900364.html
  2. Bobby C. Alexander (2009) “Rite of Passage” Encyclopedia Britannica https://www.britannica.com/topic/rite-of-passage/
  3. Samuel G.F. Brandon “Death Rite” Encyclopedia Britannica https://www.britannica.com/topic/death-rite
  4. Tabar, Margaret. “Rite of passage.” Knowledge Quest 30.4 (2002): 29.
  5. Lewis, Amy. “Rite of Passage.” Amaranthus 1994.1 (2013): 19.
  6. Van Gennep, Arnold. The rites of passage. University of Chicago Press, 2011.
  7. Stevenson, Kenneth W. Nuptial Blessing: A Study of Christian Marriage Rites. Alcuin Club/SPCK, 1982.
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