The purpose of This I Believe
This I Believe is an international project, that is based on a celebrated radio program with the analogical name, presented by prominent journalist Edward R. Murrow in the 1950s. In 2004 This I Believe got the status of an independent organization, that prompts different people to share their thoughts and beliefs about the most valuable and contradictory things and moments in their daily life in the form of an essay. This program has become very popular for the short period of time as more than 125,000 of these essays have been posted on the Internet, on radio and presented in weekly broadcasts.
According to executive producer the aim of this project is not to persuade American people to agree with somebody`s beliefs but to motivate them to accept and respect the points of view and ideas of others. The project is aimed at exploring and designation of our own beliefs.
So, thinking about beliefs, we can talk on different interesting for us topics, values that manage our daily routine or situations where we got some experience. The list of well-known This I Believe topics include the following: love, family, friendship, morality, creativity, religion, work, good and evil, law and order, tolerance and acceptance, environment, about kindness, about music, equality, etc. These are topics, where we can think at the highest level of generalization, using some philosophical facets.
It should be mentioned, that nowadays teachers all over the world use This I Believe as a persuasive and high-powered tool in the educational process at school and for college students. Because the essay in this format prompts students to be independent and use common sense, stimulates the development of mental abilities and forms the necessary skills. It helps teachers to guide students by investigating their beliefs and then writing personal essays about it.
It’s not surprising, that not all students at school or college students like such kind of activity. But the realities of modern life require the ability to adapt quickly, develop the intellect, correctly express thoughts and argue them. Thus, writing the essay and practicing your speech during it is the best alternative in this case.
Besides, inviting students to participate in This I Believe community dialogue, to present their inner world and experience at school gives teachers an opportunity to learn more about the personality of every one of them.
In order to write a good This I Believe essay some stages should be followed:
Step 1 Choose a topic and create the thesis statement
First of all, you need to choose and decide on a topic. It means that the topic should be interesting and contentious, it can be something from your life experience, your hobbies, activities or something that matters to you the most. It can be any reason, the author’s attitude to some events, reflection on the problem. The author of an assignment, as a rule, talks about his personal experiences, impressions or talks on a certain occasion figuratively, emotionally and frankly.
To decide on a topic, try to answer these questions:
- What are your values in everyday life?
- The most terrible problems I`ve ever had…
- A person I have unwavering faith in is…
- An object I have unwavering faith in is…
- Why do I have unwavering faith in…
- What makes me angry?
Then you need to brainstorm and write an argumentative thesis statement, that should be connected to a personal story. It should clearly show the purpose of the essay.
Step 2 Draft your speech
Make a plan that you will follow when writing an assignment. It will help to structure your thoughts. After formulating the argumentative thesis statement, you need to think about a variety of supporting ideas, counter-arguments and ways to disprove these views. To do this, you need to base your argument on strong evidence.
Consider the following recommendations:
- Your speech should consist of 500-700 words. Do not forget that it does not pretend to be an exhaustive interpretation of the topic.
- You should begin your speech with a clear and agreeable thesis (I believe that I am convinced that, etc..). Identify your impressions on a particular issue. Focus on one aspect of your life, represent the subject in depth and in detail.
- You should organize your speech in a hasty manner and avoid preaching or editorializing. Post your thoughts logically according to the structure.
- Your speech should tell the story that becomes the reason for your beliefs. Avoid using a cliche belief or philosophy. You need to clearly understand what the purpose of your essay is, why it will be interesting to listen, and what to draw attention to.
- Stay in the first person in your speech. Every person has his own style of writing, his interests, his strengths, his own personality. Make your uniqueness in your speech. Avoid using “you” or “we.” Express your subjective opinion. Avoid using absolute terms such as “everything,” “everyone,” “always,” etc. Avoid using obscure terms such as “things” and “something.”
Step 3 Editing and revision
Check the essay for grammatical, spelling and stylistic mistakes. It is good if your work will be re-read by someone else. Be sure to go back to adjusting the assignment in 2—3 days, you will clearly notice a lot of inaccuracies, there will be a desire to add and correct something else. Go back to it until you are completely satisfied with everything. But no more than 3 times. After that, you can attach the text to your Bulb.
Step 4 Sharing the essay
When your work is finished, you need to record the audio or video of your essay to Bulb. In order to do it in the right way you can look at This I Believe example. In this case, it is recommended to use Adobe Spark Video program. The next step is publishing the video on your page and making the post “This I Believe”.
More tips for writing This I Believe essay
- If we are talking about This I Believe essay example, it has some peculiarities, which you need to consider while working on your task.
- The objective of the essay is not telling a story about the living situation, but informing about its ideas, explanations, unobtrusive attempt to persuade the recipient of speech. This is “free” writing on a suggested topic, where independence, argumentation, originality of the solution of the problem, discussion are the most valuable.
- Remember that the essay should be dynamic. Your speech cannot be monotonous or predictable. Use unexpected story moves and original grips. Let the conclusions you make during the presentation of your thoughts be logical and predictable only for you.
- To make your essay interesting and original try to combine your serious thoughts with humor and irony if it is appropriate. Remember that your essay is a reflection of your personal thoughts and views. Think about what you would like to say with your work, with what thoughts and observations are you ready to share?
- Paradoxical and aphoristic are the main distinctive features of This I Believe style. For the transfer of personal perception, mastering the world, the author of the essay should select analogies, give numerous examples, carry parallels and use all sorts of associations.