English Essay | Get Quick Solution

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Paper 1

This I Believe

“Never has the need for personal philosophies of this kind been more urgent.”

–Edward R. Murrow, 1950s news anchor and founder of “This I Believe”

The first assignment for this class is a “This I Believe” essay. “This I Believe” essays are 500

word personal philosophies designed to be read on National Public Radio. They are not

statements about “who we are” or “how we should be”; they are essays that allow you to present

one of your own core beliefs and show how it has been formed by (or challenged and reshaped

by) your experience.

“This I Believe” was created and hosted by Edward R. Murrow in the 1950s, a decade marked

by the Cold War, McCarthyism, and heightening racial tension. In the midst of an era where

much trouble arose from fear and misunderstanding (e.g., where one lone senator managed to

create a monopoly on “the truth” in a way that caused lasting damage to many individuals),

Murrow recognized the need to help people appreciate what they had in common. By featuring

the personal philosophies of real people, he hoped to “point to the common meeting grounds of

beliefs, which is the essence of brotherhood and the floor of our civilization.”

When NPR started airing “This I Believe” again a few years ago, they too hoped to enhance our

ability to understand each other. They believed that “a vital democracy requires direct

communication,” but they recognized that the sound-bite nature of our information-delivery

systems and failure to appreciate others’ beliefs inhibit meaningful discussion. The producers

believe that simply sharing personal beliefs in a positive, non-judgmental way is an excellent

tool for creating genuine dialogue and understanding in our society. They say, “Our goal is not

to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs; our goal is to encourage Americans to

begin the much more difficult task of developing sensitivity to beliefs different from their own.”

To me, that seems like a task worth participating in.

For a complete history of “This I Believe” and to browse sample essays, visit the


Here are the things your essay should do:

• Make a clear, concise statement of belief.

• Use personal experience evidence and narrative techniques to demonstrate how your belief

was formed, tested, or changed.

• Maintain a personal tone suitable to radio. (Remember that your audience is intelligent and

well read.)

• Demonstrate readability. (The sentences should be crafted in such a way that they are easily

read aloud. Pay attention to length, clarity, and rhythm as well as grammar and mechanics.)

• Demonstrate effective choices about style—diction, balance, emphasis, transitions, etc.

Follow the guidelines on the This I Believe website. You will find these guidelines under the

“Write” option on the website. You are encouraged to submit this essay to the program after

your revision process. Good luck!


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