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Title: This I believe
Category: Student Writing
Description: An introduction to our personal essay-writing experience

As an introduction to writing your belief essay, I will provide you with some examples of the type of writing I want from you. Identify a title that interests you, click on the link, read the essay and complete the reading questions. Post your responses to the reading questions as a comment to this blog entry. Be sure to identify yourself by name so that I can give you credit. The reading questions follow the links below. I have also posted a copy of these questions as a document in resources section of my teacher site as well as in the resources link in your toolboxpro account. The document is titled "Belief Essay Reading Questions." Have fun!

Sample Essays:

Be Cool to the Pizza Dude

Always Go to the Funeral

A Grown-up Barbie

Choosing Passion: Life is exactly what you make it

There Is No God

Creating Our Own Happiness

The Freedom of Baseball

Or, you can browse "This I believe" essays by theme here.

Reading Questions:

1. Identify the title of the essay you read:

2. Identify specific experiences the author encounters that help shape his or her belief.  What experiences have shaped the lives of the author? How does s/he respond-physically or emotionally-to these experiences?

3. Without attempting to indicate your agreement or disagreement with the essay, write a 1-2 paragraph summary of the author's core belief and the way this belief has shaped life in the past or present. Each summary should be scrupulously accurate in recording the philosophy that guides the life and choices of each author.

4. Bring the essays and your summaries to class and be ready to discuss the original ways these writers responded to the assignment. How do they establish their own unique voice through each essay? Think tone. Think diction and connotation. What word choices did the author make that helped or hindered the essay.

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