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Published: Tuesday 29th of October 2013
There is a particular kind of essay commonly asked as a home assignment from many students around the world in which they are expected to write about a particular belief they hold true for themselves. This is commonly if informally, called the “I believe essay.” Let’s get something out of the way right now: this essay does not necessarily have to be about religion at all, which is the most frequent misconception about this kind of essay. Do you believe Pink Floyd to be the greatest band of all time? Bach the greatest composer? That’s it! It’s about what conveys the interests closer to your heart. Anything goes as long as you can convey to your readers the deep love your heart has for that particular belief and you manage to show some proof of it. Yes, you can also write about something other people don’t believe exists.
By the same token, it can be profoundly personal or based on thorough and objective research and data. If you choose the research path, you will be expected to provide sources and references. You should be accurate, flexible, and logical so you can carry your readers along with you with ease. Persuasion is your friend and your means here. If at all possible, aim to bring the reader to your camp, make him or she believe what you believe despite his previously held views. You can make this happen by achieving emotional communion among you and them. If a funny anecdote is how you chose to connect with them, that’s especially effective, provided they will find themselves laughing out loud by surprise, they should feel the hit without ever seeing it coming. This will make your story real to them, unmistakably, laughter will make them open up to your reality. Go a little bit further. Consider the principles you are stating. Ensure you can provide a story about those principles that can fit around somebody else’s daily life’s values and happenings because that’s how you can shape their beliefs. Your beliefs go to your own humanity’s essence so use your text to reach other people’s essence as well. Also, this text should manifest something of an individual’s life. Your faith in whatever it is you will write must come across critically and, after you make your point, you must try to create a link between your beliefs, your life, and your reader. A declaration of your belief should be evident in your text and it should be short, precise, and to the point. The shorter it is, the more increased focus you will have to make it a central belief in your life within your essay. In this, less is more.
When you write an essay, a structure is your friend. Don’t start writing without having an outline for what you will be writing, and this kind of essay, unique and personal as it is, is no exception. Your essay’s subject will be a particular belief. State it and explain it at the beginning very shortly and clearly. This is how every essay starts, by stating the goals of your argument. Also, try and write in a way that you can allure and hook your readers because what you want from them is to keep reading the whole text and understand your argument.
The body paragraphs are the place for you to develop the ideas. They come between the introduction and the conclusions. They should flow smoothly and be rich in two letters: “a” and “e” so that you allow your readers to grasp everything quickly. This section should also include a paragraph explaining what you have learned from this particular belief that has enhanced your life and made you a better person. If this belief made your life better, it could do the same for your readers and you need to let them know and persuade them. Paint a picture in which the reader can see himself or herself and then proceed to tell them how this same idea will improve their future soon. It’s your job, as the author, to always keep the readers reminded of the core belief you stated from the introduction and to share this belief’s power and your knowledge about it with them. Try and explain to your readers why they also should care about what their personal beliefs entail, the lessons they can learn from them. While you are completing this task, you will always have two options along the way. To explain why you believe in what you do or to explain why you don’t believe in the opposite. Stay on the positive path. Explain why you do what you do and stay away from explaining why you don’t do what you don’t. That will make for a superior piece that can be a lot more persuasive than focusing on negatives.
Always keep this in mind, the essay is about you, and about your ability to connect with your readers. This means you would do well to keep away from religious statements, preaching, editorializing. This is about a human reaching towards other humans and artifice gets in the way of that. If you want to enhance that effect, write in the first person, you are allowed because this is that kind of essay, you’re supposed to share a personal belief and explain it.
Once your first draft is ready, revise it. Always revise. Make sure you have achieved the right tone and that you are reaching authentically towards people. Your text is a personal confession not a philosophical critique of a social issue. Review and revise, try and ensure you’re following our main suggestions, so you’re reaching your audience correctly. Correct any spelling issues so that your text flows smoothly. Make sure your paragraphs do include all the detail and explanations they need as suggested by your initial stated point. Your sentences should have a simple and straightforward construction. Every sentence must leave your readers eager to find out what’s in the next sentence, the next paragraph. They should not be able to predict it, – it would be boring in this kind of topic. Above all, there’s this: stay on topic. If your core belief is compassion then compassion should, indeed, be the only idea treated in depth in your essay, you can use other ideas as support but compassion must be at the core always. If you keep all this in mind your “I believe” essay will be profound and reaching for your readers and teachers.