Develop: This I Believe Essay Second Draft
Evaluation Title: This I Believe Essay
Remember, the purpose of this essay is to use personal writing to understand complex ideas and beliefs more clearly. In this essay, you will also focus on how to concisely communicate those ideas and beliefs with others.
Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 30 minutes
Revise the draft of your This I Believe Essay that was submitted to our discussion for this week.
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-wrenchingit can even be funnybut 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 between 350 and 500 words. Thats about three minutes when read aloud at your natural pace. The shorter length forces you to focus on the belief that is central to your life.
Name your belief: If you cant 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.
Be positive: Say what you do believe, not what you dont believe. Avoid statements of religious dogma, preaching, or editorializing.
Be personal: Make your essay about you; speak in the first person. Avoid speaking in the editorial we. 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. (A public dialogue about belief, n.d.)