Often we try to express our thoughts, ideas and beliefs by stating what we think and believe. This is a way of expressing what we believe—what we see as good/bad, right/wrong, beauty/ugliness, etc. But in order to support our beliefs and our claims we need to be able to support our ideas with reasons and experiences. So for this essay you will express a belief and instead of just explaining why you believe it abstractly, you will tell a story to narrate your belief—to SHOW why you believe it.
For this assignment you will write your own “This I Believe Essay,” following the instructions given on the website. See below:
“We invite you to contribute to this project by writing and submitting your own statement of personal belief. We understand how challenging this is— it requires such intimacy that no one else can do it for you. To guide you through this process, we offer these suggestions:
Tell a story: Be specific. Take your belief out of the ether and ground it in the events of your life. Consider moments when belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your own experience, work, and family, and tell of the things you know that no one else does. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your daily life philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs.
Be brief: Your statement should be approx.. 500 words. That’s about 5 minutes when read aloud at your natural pace.
Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about belief. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one core belief, because three minutes is a very short time.
Be positive: Please avoid preaching or editorializing. Tell us what you do believe, not what you don’t believe. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Make your essay about you; speak in the first person.
Be personal: Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly echo your belief and the way you speak.
Paper requirement length: 500 words (2-3 pages) double spaced
Font: Times New Roman, 12 pt
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