You are required to write an essay. For this essay, I would like you to make a statement of your personal beliefs about any topic related to sociology covered in your textbook. You can choose to write on your beliefs about the intersection of society with culture, stigma, social class, poverty, gender roles, politics, religion, etc. Remember: your topic MUST focus on a belief related to sociology concept in your textbook!


Tell a story about you: Be specific. Take your belief out of the key events of your life. Consider moments when belief was formed or tested or changed. Tell not only what you believe, but how you reached your beliefs, and, if they have grown, what made them grow. 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-wrenchingbut 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 must be between 1000 and 1200 words, excluding title page and references.

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, focus on one core belief that is explicitly stated in the first paragraph.

Be positive: Please avoid preaching or editorializing. Say 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. I 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.

Tips on Selecting a Topic:

Selecting a topic for this essay can be challenging for some. The idea is to take a concept and really personalize it. Remember, it doesn’t need to be a deep dark secret or even a life changing event. It doesn’t need to be heart-warming or gut wrenching. It does, however, need to be real. It can be observations from your life as you grew up or from you experiences as a student or in a certain job you had. It can be how your thoughts or perspectives on something changed over time and why you believe they changed. It should reflect your philosophy on life and your thoughts on how you got there. I get that the exercise is more challenging than it initially sounds. It involves self-reflection. You can do this though; I have confidence in you!


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