This i believe essay writing guidelines

The Five Paragraph Essay
Outline for This I Believe Essay

I was amazed at her strength. I filled a legal pad page!

What this handout is about

And at the top of the list was Cynthia! I thought, if that woman in Africa could forgive her neighbor, who was I to hold on to this childish wrong for all of these years? The book suggested going through my list and letting each wrong go, forgiving silently those who could no longer be contacted. I did that, imagining each unforgiven act to be a bright colored balloon that I let go of and watched as it lifted toward heaven.

One balloon would not fly. It was my absent father, who had left my mother with four girls to raise alone. The book suggested that for these difficult cases, a series of letters might work. I was to write the letters until I could let go and forgive my dad, who had been dead for years. The first letter was to be purely factual, outlining my history with my dad.

The next letter, or letters, were to be about the hurt and the anger I had been holding onto. I filled pages and pages with the venom I had bottled up. In the book, some people rid themselves of their anger at this point by chopping the letters with a hatchet, or nailing it to a tree with multiple nails, or burning it with trash.

Just writing it down was enough for me. The final letter, according to Matthew Linn, was to be a thank you letter, thanking my dad for the gifts he gave me. Are you kidding me, I thought?!

This I Believe essay guidelines and rubric

But, amazingly, I found there were gifts from this relationship, and that I felt some compassion for this man. Back then, when I let go of all the hurts and slights from the past, I felt lighter. I felt at peace. I felt healed. And I vowed that I would no longer save up my unforgivens like so much righteous treasure. If Jesus could forgive those who taunted him, reviled him, and crucified him, who did I think I was to withhold my forgiveness? People make mistakes. So do I. Usually the things I tend to take personally have absolutely nothing to do with me, I have learned.

As Christians, when someone wrongs us, we are asked to be compassionate, and to forgive. I will admit it has not been easy. Using meditative visualization, I imagine Jesus and I in a beautiful, quiet place. He listens as I tell Him what has hurt me and then wait to see what He will say.

Natural disasters understandably have lasting effects on people. Frankly, the sheer magnitude and force made everyone in its path feel quite helpless. It was in Grand Forks where I truly saw the best in humanity. Upon graduating from high school in Battle Creek, I had my eyes set on the sky. I wanted to be a commercial airline pilot. I wanted the best, most respected flight training program available and that pushed me to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Up until the summer before my classes started, I had never been to Grand Forks or either of the Dakotas for that matter.

I had seen the movie Fargo so I had a pretty good idea that the people talked funny and that the landscape was flat and treeless.

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When my parents pointed the car back to Battle Creek and left me at Smith Hall, the reality of my situation suddenly hit. In my mind, I was on my own. My situation quickly changed however, as I made new friends. As I began to familiarize myself with the community, I found the people of the area to be among the most welcoming and hospitable I had ever come across. Eventually, Grand Forks started to feel like home.

The winter of my freshman year was one for the record books. Blizzard after blizzard, eight in all bringing record snow yet the people of Grand Forks took it in stride. As news of the impending flood began to materialize, I initially shrugged it off.

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  5. The community had dealt with flooding before and had erected huge walls to protect us from the Red River of the North. River crest predictions varied and we never really had a sense that this flood would be all that worse than floods of the past. In April as the temperatures rose, so did the river levels. The community was visibly in emergency mode. Students would arrive to class only to find that there was no professor and one assignment written on the board.

    The Red Cross and home owners handed out water and sandwiches while the smart homeowners who wanted to insure help form college students provided kegs of beer. I had never seen anything like it. I had never seen so much good in people or felt so good to be part of an effort. And although the Army Corps of Engineers kept revising the crest forecast upward, we never gave up hope or gave up the fight.

    Unfortunately, after weeks of hard work, On Friday, April 18, , the Red River poured over the dikes and by the end of Saturday, floodwaters had spread over large areas of the community. Again I witnessed the best in people as surrounding communities opened up their homes to complete strangers. The Grand Forks Flood was one of the most impactful events of my 38 years. I still get a little choked up reflecting on it. Others who have been in similar situation have told me similar stories of people helping one another. I guess that is why I believe the most challenging situations really do bring out the best in humanity.

    The closest thing I came to metal at my birth was a pair of rigid delivery forceps around my head, easing me out of my unwed mother. Howard and Dorothy Rose Perrin, were waiting for that next call, the call that could bring me to join an older sister, in a new family, a new life. It was the frigid winter of After the call, Howard bought round trip tickets on the train, but the warmth of the coach and the clack, clack, clack of the metal rails did little to sooth me.

    My sister and maternal grandmother stood on the sidewalk and waved as the train crossed Silver Avenue, S. We always went to church. As a young man, my father had served as an acolyte. He was proud to have carried first cross and willingly complied with the rules: clean, short hair, starched white gloves. This was serious business for him, and my mother served on the Altar Guild until she married my father. I liked going to church. There was something calming about the dark, still interior of this place and confirmation was just one more step in my Christian journey.

    I felt confident, respected and renewed at the communion rail. I still do. When they were dismissed, and he found me in the crowd, I could not have been more proud. My hero, my pen pal, friend and now my roommate was home, home from Viet Nam, and San Francisco was our new address. I am ashamed to say there was no time for church. Paul, along with 10, other people, heard Robert Kennedy speak just before he and Ethel left for Los Angeles. Newly pregnant and fearful of the crowd and oppressive heat, I watched it all from our Mission district windows.

    But civilian life, marriage, work and the prospect of a baby was too much for Paul and I flew back to Grand Rapids before the airlines could refuse me.

    The plan was to give him a little time to straighten out what he wanted to do, and once he came back to Grand Rapids, decide how this little family was going to survive before the baby came. All he did was focus on leaving me and our daughter, Sara, without paying support. After selling our brand new car, a wedding present from his parents, he bought a truck.

    My name had never been on the title. Paul drove away to Alaska. I drove back to church where the Reverend Chuck Howell welcomed Sara and me with open arms. My marriage failed, I had severe challenges raising my daughter and I was orphaned at Even losing my job in the recent recession did not shake me to the core. My faith has always been bigger than my fear. Now I begin and end each day with prayer, read, more often than not, books that Mother Nurya and Father Mike have suggested, and take communion every week.

    Often I fail at this. Every day is. Boy, would I love to have a beer with Tom Purdy!

    Academic Essay Writing: Some Guidelines

    Some of my best memories as a child were that of my grandma. I remember her playing solitaire, me sitting on her lap and listening to her stories and her standing by the stove filling her home with wonderfully delicious smells of whatever she was cooking. I remember her dresses covered with an apron and later in life the polyester pantsuits. You could always tell when she was concentrating on something intensely because she would stick the tip of her tongue out between the front of her lips and how as a child I always thought it was silly looking, and occasionally embarrassing.

    Maybe because she remembers the Great Depression and was raising two rambunctious boys and a daughter that would eventually grow up to be my mom. I barely remember her ever sitting down and just relaxing. But now, I realize how much deeper meaning it holds. When my day is already busy and hectic between work and kids, but a friend or loved one desperately needs me to do something for them or take them somewhere, I find the time to do it. If someone known or unknown is having a hard or rough day, I take the time to listen, really listen to them.

    Because they reached out to me and it might make all the difference in the world to them to know that someone cares and that their life matters. We have never owned a brand new car or gone on a lavish vacation, or even a small one for that matter. Brand name clothes are something that we buy at garage sales or at second hand stores. Helping each other and not questioning if this is something I want to do or wondering why this person is struggling and needing help?

    How is it that still, I am not making an impact for mankind, our present, our future, our planet. How can I possibly find whatever strength which got me through yesterday, to do it all over today. Grace is unearned and undeserved. Grace is unpredictable. Grace is too good to be true.

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    Grace is always better than my own planning. Grace is beyond the horizons of my dreams — yet in front of me every day. Grace is deliverance and invitation. Grace was present over 40 years later when I met my biological maternal grandmother who has loved me all the days of my life. Grace was present in my ambulance on a cold, gray Tuesday morning last spring as I pondered whether I would survive till dinnertime. Steve Arrowsmith — I became a missionary because of an inane strategy that I came up with all my own that said if you wanted intense spiritual experience, you had to live intensely.

    And in Christian circles, the most intense path was this thing called missions. I tell them to focus on a belief that they have formed over their past years of school and that will guide them as they make steps on their next journey — college, military, work, etc. Every year I am awed by the thought and pride they take in it. Their voices shine through the papers. The emotions, ranging from joy to sadness or humor to regret, overtake their essay making each both personal and universal.

    I also always write one that I individualize for each class and how they have shaped or firmed one of my own beliefs. I hope that I can use it effectively with my middle schoolers. Thank you so much for sharing this! This was my first lesson in my first year of teaching and it completely set the tone for the rest of the year. The work I received from eleven year olds blew my mind, and I even submitted with their permission a few pieces to be published because they were that deep. I want to try this with my 7th graders who really struggle with writing and getting started with ideas.

    I, too, have been doing this assignment for a few years now. It is my favorite assignment of the year. I teach 8th grade English and I have my students share their essays aloud. It is powerful. We laugh. We cry. We learn. Having students write for an audience of their peers is challenging for them, but so rewarding in the end.

    This looks great for January. Has anyone used it? Is it worth it? This reminds me of an assignment I had in high school. We first chose three things that were important to our lives: a person, a place, and an event. Over the first semester we wrote about these in three separate papers. Then come second semester we had to connect them with a metaphor, and put together a 20 minute presentation that connected everything. It really allowed students to get creative while expressing what was most important to us. Do you happen to have an example of this still?

    Thank you for sharing. Thanks for sharing and including student work examples. Essays like this are a great way to get to know students at a deeper level and could also make a good college entrance essay! This is so inspiring and beautiful. Thank you so much, both of you for sharing this power lesson. I was lookibng for a writing task muy ss could include in their e-Portafolio. Thank you again!! Hi, April! We usually practice devices like anaphora and asyndeton in my advanced classes, so those can also be used.

    I love this. Has anyone tried it at the start if the year? Hi Lizzie! I teach college level freshman comp and I started my previous semester with this essay. They had to bring in a rough draft for in-class workshops, so I made sure they knew a few of their classmates would be reading what they wrote. I was blown away by how in-depth most of them went! I love this assignment in the spring for senior English. This looks like a fantastic lesson and I would love to try it with one of my English classes.

    I noticed that your writing guidelines link is no longer available. Is there anyway I could get this information? Thanks Kelsey. Hi Kelsey! Thanks for letting us know about the link. This was a guest post and we will be happy to reach out to Cynthia to see if she has a current link to the writing guidelines. Thanks again! I was wondering about the guidelines as well. I teach in China and we are out of school right now for Chinese New Year, so I would love to have this when we return in February. Thanks for your help! I wanted to follow up on your request for the guidelines to let you know that Jenn no longer has access to them.

    I hope this helps! Close Can't find what you are looking for? Helping Students Choose a Topic Because the rubric leaves room for a lot of choice, I encouraged students to visit the featured essays site and not only read, but listen to real examples. For students under the age of 18, parents or guardians must be involved in the actual submission process online. Summarize his belief in one sentence. Describe his background experience that led him to realize this belief in one sentence.

    Use the Cornell Note-taking method. Second Listening: Take NotesWrite key phrases. Draft should be written in advance of lab day. Lab day is for typing only. Presentation Creator Create stunning presentation online in just 3 steps. Collect Leads Convert targeted audience into quality business leads. PRO Get powerful tools for managing your contents.

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