50 I Believe Essay Topics

To better train students on how to present their personal opinions on subjective matters, teachers will assign what is known as an “I Believe” or “This I Believe” essay writing assignment.

Designed to provide the reader with insight into the writer’s character, these essays are typically written in first-person point of view. The writer shares their beliefs on a particular topic – ranging from religion and politics to more personal subjects such as love and happiness – and offers supporting arguments for why they hold these beliefs.

The Challenges of Writing “I Believe” Essays

This type of essay prompt is a welcome break from more detail-oriented or researched-based writing assignments for many students. However, “I believe” essay writing assignments aren’t always easy.

It can be challenging for students to articulate their beliefs in a clear and concise way that isn’t argumentative or offensive to the reader. Students may also struggle to explain their reasoning behind these beliefs in a thorough and not overly simplistic way.

Despite these challenges, “I believe” essays can be an excellent opportunity for students to share their thoughts and feelings on important topics and learn more about themselves in the process.

Tips for Writing “I Believe” Essays

If you’re given an “I believe” essay assignment, here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Start by defining what it is that you believe. This may seem like a simple task, but it can be challenging to identify your core beliefs. If you’re struggling, start by jotting down a list of topics that are important to you – from politics and religion to family and friendship.
  • Reflect on why each topic is important to you. Think about the reasoning behind your choices and how these reasons evolved over time. After all, your core beliefs are likely to have changed or grown since you reached adolescence.
  • Determine which of your beliefs are the most important. Focusing on developing thought processes that support your beliefs. For extra help, consider sharing these thoughts with a trusted friend or family member for advice.

By reflecting upon your core beliefs and developing clear arguments to support them, you can craft a powerful “I believe” essay that will truly reflect your thoughts and feelings.

How to Write an “I Believe” Essay

To craft a well-written “I Believe” essay, students must forgo the typical essay structure of introduction, body, and conclusion.

Instead, the essay should be organized around a series of specific beliefs that the writer wishes to share. Each thought should be introduced with a clear thesis statement, followed by supporting arguments and examples.

The conclusion of the essay should wrap up the main points that have been made and leave the reader with a final thought to ponder.

Here is an example of how an “I Believe” essay might be structured:

Thesis: I believe that everyone has the right to love and be loved.

Argument: Everyone deserves to find love and experience happiness in their lives. This should not be limited by race, religion, socioeconomic status, or any other factor.

Example: I saw a video of a man proposing to his girlfriend at Fenway Park. She said yes and the crowd went wild! Now that is love. If they can find it, then so can we all!

Conclusion: Society should not stand in the way of love. Love is the most powerful force in the world, and we should all embrace it.

As you can see, the “I Believe” essay structure allows for a great deal of flexibility. Students can choose to focus on a variety of topics and can organize their essays in different ways. An “I Believe” essay can be an excellent opportunity for students to present their thoughts on important issues under a few simple guidelines. With a bit of planning and organization, this type of essay writing assignment can be a breeze!

What You Shouldn’t Do When Writing an “I Believe” Essay

To ensure that you are writing an “I Believe” essay and not another form of an argumentative or persuasive essay, avoid doing the following:

  • Don’t provide evidence or use statistics to support your position – this is not an essay that calls for research.
  • Don’t attack or criticize the beliefs of others – your goal is to share your own opinions, not to tear down those of others.
  • Don’t go off on tangents – stay focused on the main points you want to make.
  • Don’t speak objectively or in the third person – for example, don’t say “people believe that” or “studies show.”
  • Don’t use filler words and phrases such as “I think,” “I feel,” and “it seems like.”

Use any of these 50 “I Believe” essay topics to help you brainstorm ideas for your essay!

I Believe Essay Topics About Life

  • I believe that life is too short to spend time with people who bring you down.
  • I believe that laughter is the best medicine
  • I believe that we should make time for quiet reflection every day.
  • I believe that the only thing that matters in life is love.
  • I believe that we are all capable of change.
  • I believe that it is never too late to learn and grow.
  • I believe in the power of positive thinking.
  • I believe that we should always be kind, even when it is difficult.
  • I believe that there is no such thing as a coincidence.
  • I believe in the saying “what goes around, comes around.”
  • I believe that we are all responsible for our own happiness.
  • I believe that the best things in life are free.
  • I believe that it is essential to be grateful for what we have.
  • I believe that it is never too late to achieve our dreams.
  • I believe that we should surround ourselves with people who make us better.
  • I believe that you can either love or hate something; there is no in-between.

I Believe Essay Topics About Education & School

  • I believe that education is the key to a bright future
  • I believe that children are our future and should be treasured as such.
  • I believe that there is no such thing as a dumb question.
  • I believe that schools should do more to celebrate diversity.
  • I believe that homework is essential, but it should not be excessive.
  • I believe in the importance of having a strong support system while attending school.
  • I believe that standardized tests are not an accurate measure of a student’s knowledge.
  • I believe that it is vital to find a balance between work and play while in school.
  • I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn how to swim.
  • I believe in the importance of recess and physical activity in students’ lives.
  • I believe that there is no such thing as a bad grade.
  • I believe that teachers deserve more respect and better pay.
  • I believe that it is never too early to learn a foreign language.
  • I believe that education should be free for everyone.

I Believe Essay Topics About Friends & Family

  • I believe that family is the most important thing in life.
  • I believe that friends are the family we choose for ourselves.
  • I believe that it is essential to maintain close relationships with friends and family.
  • I believe that there is no substitute for quality time spent with loved ones.
  • I believe that family is not defined by blood but by love and commitment.
  • I believe that we should spend more time with the people we care about and less time worrying about material things.
  • I believe that it is better to have a few close friends than many superficial ones.
  • I believe that it is healthy for friends to grow apart.
  • I believe that competition between friends is healthy.

I Believe Essay Topics About Money

  • I believe that money cannot buy happiness.
  • I believe that it is essential to be happy with what you have, not what you want.
  • I believe that people are more important than things.
  • I believe that it is okay to splurge on something even if it means going into debt.
  • I believe that it is better to give than to receive.
  • I believe that money can’t buy everything.
  • I believe that the love of money is the root of all evil.
  • I believe in saving for a rainy day.
  • I believe in investing in oneself.
  • I believe in the saying, “money doesn’t grow on trees.”
  • I believe that rich people should be forced to pay more taxes.

These 50 I Believe essay topics are sure to inspire your own original beliefs and help you create a powerful and unique essay. When writing your I Believe essay, be sure to focus on the beliefs that are most important to you and that you feel passionate about discussing. The best I Believe essays are the ones that are personal and reflective, so don’t be afraid to share your own thoughts and experiences.

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  • This I Believe Essay Showcase

'This I Believe' Essay Showcase

  We asked GEL students and GEL alumni to share a belief in the form of an essay. The GEL program has long been one that helps students take stock of themselves and find their way through social and moral landscapes. Instructors in this program often assign  This I Believe  essays, sometimes as entry points into these landscapes and sometimes as souvenirs. Out of many, seven  This I Believe  essays stood out to a reading committee made up of students, faculty, and staff.

This I Believe   is a popular essay genre that allows the writer to share a personal belief and, through a narrative, explain that belief’s origin or a time that belief was put into action. The essay genre started in the 1950s on a radio show with Edward R. Murrow and was continued by NPR in 2004. Many have enjoyed writing and reading these essays ever since. You can read or listen to tens of thousands of   This I Believe   essays at   This I Believe.org .

To submit your essay for the 2019-2020 academic year, please use the link below:

This I Believe Showcase Essay Submission

The Writing Center is proud to present CSUSM’s This I Believe Showcase winners and their essays from the 2018-2019 Academic Year!

“I Am Enough” by Adrianna Adame

“the power of potstickers” by lauren brown, “i believe in healing” by yahaira cazares, “patience and perseverance” by erica gershom, “faith, hope, and love” by karen siguenza, “i believe in loving myself” by samantha sparkenbach, “infatuation” by reignmarc vincent labuguen.

Throughout my life, I have always thought of myself as a failure. I was a failure for not being smart enough, friendly enough, or pretty enough. Always, I criticized myself for not putting in enough effort in order to work up to my full potential. Though, this wasn’t about working up to my full potential, but for not fulfilling the unrealistic expectations that I had burdened upon myself and by the people closest to me. The burdens that I carried weighed me down like how an anchor holds down a boat. Only, it was attached to my mind, instead of my ankle or a ship. The weight of the self-hatred and low self-esteem that I had made me feel like I was drowning. There wasn’t a bright horizon that could be seen in the distance, but instead more black and gray clouds that would bring another storm my way.

Day after day, I would look at myself in the mirror, tearing myself down. I would tell myself every night that I was never enough. I believed that I was a weak and worthless individual, a waste of time. This kind of hateful thinking made it a struggle to stay afloat. Before I knew it, I was weighed down by anxiety and an eating disorder. Each morning I would wake up to only to prepare to endeavor the difficulties of my illnesses.

At one point, I was fully consumed by the storm of my dark thoughts. I had trouble getting through each day. It was a struggle to pretend that everything was okay. I couldn’t even fake a smile anymore. During this time, I began to wonder what it would be like if I no longer existed. When I was staring at the cold and harsh waves of Monterey Bay one night, I realized that I didn’t want to drown. All of a sudden, I remembered all of the people in my life who helped me throughout the different stages of my life. I didn’t want to let them down. I thought about how I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life struggling to get through a single day. I didn’t want to go through life isolated, because of my anxiety. I wanted to live a life where I could be happy and be surrounded by people I admire. That moment of staring at the waves of Monterey Bay was when my determination to not only to just live came back, but my will to enjoy life came back.

I had to first learn from myself to begin to let go of the dark and anxious thoughts that had plagued me. Once I accepted that I would never be able to fulfill those unrealistic expectations that I had, I acknowledged that I needed to seek help by talking to mental health professionals. I couldn’t remain alone in the open sea forever, but needed to climb onto the lifeboat and communicate with people in my life.

Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t a failure. I actually was successful in many ways: for making it to CSUSM; being able to be there to those close to me; and having the beautiful gift of having the freedom to be the person that I am today.

I believe that I am enough. I am good enough for society. I am good enough to be myself without the burden of negative thoughts and unrealistic expectations. I am good enough to get the help that I need from others. I am good enough to live a happy life.

I believe in my mother’s cooking.

Ever since my mother realized I would have to cook for myself in college, she dedicated her summer to teaching me the ways of the kitchen. Whether it was educating me on how to operate a pressure cooker, showing me the best ways to peel of the skin of garlic, or demonstrating the right way to steam potstickers in a wok, the resilience my mother had in passing down as much as she knew was admirable. She insisted that the exact measurements or the exact ingredients weren’t necessary and cooking was more of an art than a hard science, but I still felt I would undoubtedly obliterate any flavor or texture with a single misplaced grain of salt; no compromise would yield perfection. Still, she persisted I pour rice into the cooker without a measuring cup and my heart sank with disappointment as I watched the watery, soupy mess fall heavily into the trash can.

“Sometimes, things won’t be perfect,” is what she told me, “and you just have to roll up your sleeves and realize that finding a different solution is the only way to save the dish.”

From then I started to see the compromises and solutions my mother would speak of, not just in the kitchen, but in her life around her.

My mother wanted to make us a traditional Taiwanese dinner, one her mother would make for her before she left for America. However, the pallet of my younger brother, only appreciating the complexities of chicken nuggets and pizza slices, refused to eat our cultural family infused feast. Next time my mother wanted to recreate the dishes, she opted for the frozen potstickers from Trader Joe’s with beef and American broccoli instead of cabbage and bok choy. Although this satisfied the tastes and likings of my sibling, I couldn’t help but despair over the changes to the recipes that I held so dear, despair over the compromise of our culture.

When I went away to college, my mother dutifully packed a freezer bag full of our pre-prepped food from home, and sitting on top of the frozen dishes were the Trader Joe’s potstickers.

Having roommates in college was a large enough compromise in itself, but food proved especially difficult. Caught off guard by roommates asking for tastes of my meals, I found myself naturally flowing into compromise the way my mother did, cooking for everyone and incorporating their preferences and restrictions. Egg noodles instead of rice. Less sesame oil and more soy sauce. Even though I didn’t welcome these changes to my dinners at first and feared the substitutes would produce a subpar dinner, I slowly found myself liking the alternatives more than the recipes. I continued, adding fried eggs, bean sprouts, spinach and spam to the prepackaged ramen noodles that only called for powdered flavor packets, and even my roommates began to show interest towards the unorthodox combination.

Although I find the exact measurements of recipes comforting, I do my best to add a pinch of this and a dash of that in my meals every so often. It’s how I get to go outside my comfort zone every day. And I see in myself a newfound wisdom: it's ok to go off the beaten path, you can experiment, compromise can lead to something new and beautiful. My mother’s cooking taught me that and I expect to bring that with me wherever I may go.

I believe in healing. I believe in the enduring process of healing. September of 2017 I had an experience that has made the last year very difficult for my family and I. I long to heal and at times I feel like those steps towards healing are possible because I believe in hope, and that hope is part of healing. The idea that if I am not okay or not happy in this moment but have the capacity to become happy and become okay in the future is a motivating force for healing. I am in a place where I welcome the hurt and the pain because I understand that it is part of the healing process. I also welcome laughter and new opportunities because I believe allowing myself to be paralyzed in unhappiness will paralyze my healing.

I believe that as a person I am capable of allowing love to heal me. I believe that when my dog lays on my chest, she is healing me; when I tuck my younger brother in, he is healing me; when I hug my parents, they are healing me; when I watch “While you were Sleeping” for the fifteenth time, it is healing me. I am in the process of growth, and what I mean by that is I am “Filling my cup until my cup runneth over” I am choosing to fill my cup with understanding. The process of healing is like filling my cup with one drop per day, desperately agonizing, but desperately necessary to appreciate a full cup.

I have been visiting Mexico almost every other weekend, I see a lot of poverty, mothers are seated on the ground in the hottest and coldest of temperatures, with their babies and toddlers on their laps, trying to sell gum for any spare change. I had never been exposed to that level of poverty, and yet the babies and the toddlers were playing, laughing using rocks or a single action figure they had to share to create a fantasy, a game. That is when I realized that they were healing. Kids heal because they believe that good outweighs evil. They so willingly hope and neglect the possibility of failure. As adults, that diminishes. Experience takes it away, trauma takes it away, insecurity takes it away. Healing is taking it back. Taking back hope, taking back the unwavering belief that things will not always be bad. That there is always room for growth, always room for healing. To understand why things happen and appreciate the things that cannot be understood. There is strength in that, strength I hope one day to possess. I believe in change, I believe in growth, I believe in healing.

I believe that nothing in this world is unattainable if an individual works hard to achieve his or her goals. I have witnessed first-hand how much power perseverance has and how it can completely alter a person’s lifestyle and mindset. As an aspiring surgeon, I realize that it will take more than just good grades and volunteer experience to become someone who saves lives. Dedicating my life to helping patients will require a tremendous amount of sacrifice, self-control, and determination. In 2016, my father had a stroke, which permanently disabled his ability to walk and speak. At that time, I was enrolled in four A.P. classes, two dual enrollments classes, A.V.I.D., and I participated in three clubs on campus. I was also volunteering at Loma Linda Hospital on the weekends and singing at church on Sundays. The sole reason I was able to maintain a balance between all of my academic and extracurricular activities is because I believed in myself. I believed that I was capable of working harder than usual to juggle my school life and my family life together. I stayed up late to study for exams and woke up early to take my younger brothers to school since my mother had no other option but to work two jobs after my dad had become physically disabled. I do not know who I would be today if I had not pulled through these rough circumstances and persisted through high school regardless of the tragic events that occurred in my life. I wanted nothing but to wallow in my self-pity and feel horrible for all the setbacks that were persisting in my life. However, I made the decision to keep moving forward, and it was the best decision of my life.

I slowly began to see that my mindset played a huge role in determining how much work I could get done and where I would be in two years. I told myself to have a positive mindset and be patient, since I had seen the direct results of how well that played out in my life. Even today, I am faced with both internal and external struggles that would have normally held me back and prevented me from following my dreams, but a small voice of motivation in my head tells me to keep pushing through. As a 19-year-old female, I am proud to say that I have reached many milestones in my life that were on my to-do list, and it makes my passion for becoming a doctor intensify even higher, all thanks to diligence and patience.

Now, whenever someone asks me if I am really willing to undergo 14 more years of school—including residency and training—to become a surgeon, I say “absolutely, without a doubt.” Hard work has not only been a tool for success, but it has also given me a sense of purpose for my life. It has taught me how to have good work ethic and to always aim higher in everything I do.  It has also shown me that I have the power to change my own life and determine who I could be in this vast world. Success is not measured by the position a person is in, but rather how much hard work a person put in and how many challenges had to be overcome. With this in mind, I am willing to put forth as much effort as it takes to achieve my goal of becoming a great doctor and an even greater person.

When I was six years old, my father, an undocumented immigrant was deported. I never knew that that was the reason why he moved to Mexico. I always thought that he just grabbed his stuff and left. Three years later, my mother was also deported. I remember when the ICE came into our room at 6 am in the morning. We were sleeping, then all of a sudden one of the ICE agents gets my sister and I dressed up and sends us to my aunt's house. I didn't understand anything that was going on. I mean I was nine, and my family would never speak the subject to me until a year later.

Every night I would pray to God to make sure my Mom was healthy. It was my faith in God that made me strong these past years. My mom would send me letters but she would never call because she was in a detention center. In those letters, there were prayers inside. Prayers of us seeing each other soon, and for us to be safe and healthy. I had all my faith in God, I would pray that I could see my mom. Having hoped to see mom again gave me strength. I tried my best in school and I always stayed focused. I wanted there to be a purpose for me being a first generation in the United States of America. I never let any opportunity go by.

I wanted to make my parents proud, and I still do. Even though they weren’t here physically with me throughout the years, I still received support from my mom. I had a few rough times in life that almost made me get off track. Through them I had my mom help me get through the difficult times, she would always give me love and support. You see, the most important thing a person can have is love. Having faith gives you a chance of having hope. Because of my faith, I never gave up on working hard in school.

I believe that faith and hope are a beautiful thing. When someone tells you, "I hope you do good." or "I hope everything will be ok for you." , that in my opinion, is the best feeling. I feel cared for and motivated because of it. It is true what they say, "it's the little things in life". Having hope makes me motivated in achieving success. In the Bible, the verse Corinthians 13:13, states: " And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love". I had faith in God, which gave me hope. Faith and hope motivated me to succeed in my education. Without it, I wouldn't be where I am today, at California State University, San Marcos. I am here to receive an education and to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in order for me to have a stable job that I will love doing. But without my mother's love, I wouldn't be who I am today, a first-generation college student. I believe in faith, hope, and love. I believe that by giving or receiving these three things, it can make a better you.

I believe in loving myself. As a millennial, I am part of the majority of people who use social media. I was convinced that it was necessary to have platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. I thought nothing harmful could come from an app, but I was wrong. From scrolling through pictures of girls who were living lavish lives that I would never have to compare my body to models photos that were most likely photoshopped, I was destroying my confidence slowly.

I grew up loving myself like any other kid would with so much innocence and happiness when I would sink my teeth into my favorite foods. What I would do to go back to a time where I could care less about what I was eating because it could affect the way my body looks. As I got older, I started to get more interested in fashion and makeup, I was more inclined to go on social media to get ideas and inspiration from online influencers. I thought there was no wrong in doing this because everyone my age was doing the same thing. People were posting all the adventurous trips they were going on as well as the most thrilling parts of their day. I was starting to notice how unsatisfying my life seemed compared to everyone else. I started questioning why I wasn’t living nearly the same exciting way they were. Not only was social media making my life feel dull but it was making me judge my body a certain way.  The more I found myself spending time standing in the mirror looking at myself and obsessing over the fact that my body wasn’t skinny enough was making me lose my self-worth. The mirror was starting to become a daily chore where I would point out every little detail I hated. I was viewing myself completely different than I really was, and just causing destruction inside of me. I no longer wanted to go out or hang out with people because I thought people would see what I was perceiving and not enjoy me anymore.

I remember one morning when I woke up and saw a stretch mark on the inside of my leg and I fell apart. All I could think about was how models don’t have stretch marks, so why do I? I was a mess about this and just wanted total isolation. I knew I could not keep filling my head with unhealthy acquisitions about myself.  I decided that it would be beneficial to remove all my social media accounts to see if I would feel more valuable.

As time would pass that I wouldn’t be checking my phone and wouldn’t be comparing my body to others, I was loving myself more. I started to wear clothes that I felt truly beautiful in and adapted my own style, not the style social media told me I should wear to feel sexy. I had completely created an ideal body in my head of what was perfect and no one can achieve that realistically. My body is unique and no one else has the same one as I do. Through the process of loving myself, I have been able to help so many of my friends to do the same, and the glow I started to see within them made me feel so content. Through loving myself I have learned inner peace and what it means to not rely on anyone else but myself. I believe in loving myself because my body is constantly working to keep me alive and healthy. I believe in loving myself because I deserve to think in a positive way instead of negative. I believe in loving myself.

I believe infatuations are necessary to strengthen desire, passion, and happiness in life. It’s a word that describes admiration for a short period of time. Infatuations is a viral emotion that can occur without notice. Whether it’s a job you’ve seen on television, following the footsteps of your idol, or getting your crush’s phone number. The word does not have to be involved romantically. Infatuations may end in disappointment. Sometimes it may become an excuse to never attempt a dream again. Time flies by, I have somehow made it this far. Thanks to these admirations.

I believe infatuations are all a part of a process that makes me an open book to opportunities. It’s hard to see it as a positive outcome, but the illusion of being disappointed begins to fade when a new opportunity is presented.

I can recall experiences that consist of undesirable outcome and disappointment. But I choose not to because who would like to hear me complain about my past. I am nowhere qualified for a podcasting career. But I do want to share you my past experience because I do believe it’s the reason why I hold my passions to live a successful life. My infatuations have always been a time when I do something uncharacteristic. It is usually my mother that notice my actions first, more than anyone.

In ninth-grade, I tried out for the varsity basketball team. My mom called me out and said, “why bother, your physically and mentally unathletic.” Boy, I wanted to prove her wrong. This would’ve been the best underdog story you’ve ever heard. I was cut from the team after the third day of try-outs. I was out of my comfort zone, literally and physically. Yes, it ended my dream following Kobe Bryant’s legacy. But I couldn’t imagine myself getting out of my comfort zone again without being in this position. Rejection is my greatest fear, but without it, I’ll never know how to cope with failure ever again.

In eleventh grade, I finally came at peace that basketball will never be a reality, and I accept it. So, I came back to my passion for public service. I ran for a position in ASB, not once but twice. When I told my mom that I wanted to return to public service, she told me, “you got to be kidding me, you’re not going through this and lose it all again.” She called me out for not being mainstream to win in a high school setting. But of course, my infatuation got the best of me and submitted my campaign to run for president. It is a huge commitment to run for public service. The front-runner was no other than the popular girl on campus. I was committed to winning, but the high school population was too overwhelming. I can certainly tell you my mom is a fortune teller, I lost the election by a landslide. Cheers to democracy.

My obsession achieving a dream influence actions outside my comfort zone. I accept that infatuation gets the most of me. The short-term desires reveal uncharacteristic actions. It is a bittersweet process, but I am thankful for it. While most outcomes result in heartbreak, it also reveals new characteristics of me. I take advantage of it, so when the next desire come, achievement might actually be a possibility.

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32 “This I Believe” Essay

The history of ‘this i believe’.

by Tanya Matthews

This I Believe is an exciting media project that invites individuals from all walks of life to write about and discuss the core beliefs that guide their daily lives. They share these statements in weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered .

The series is based on the 1950’s radio program This I Believe , hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. Each day, some 39-million Americans gathered by their radios to hear compelling essays from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists and secretaries — anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived. Their words brought comfort and inspiration to a country worried about the Cold War, McCarthyism and racial division.

Eventually, the radio series became a cultural phenomenon. Eighty-five leading newspapers printed a weekly column based on This I Believe . A collection of essays published in 1952 sold 300,000 copies — second only to the Bible that year. The series was translated and broadcast around the globe on the Voice of America. A book of essays translated into Arabic sold 30,000 copies in just three days.

[The NPR series This I Believe can be read and heard here . In addition, the website and organization This I Believe houses thousands of essays written by famous people, such as the ones mentioned above, and everyday people like you and me.]

As a college student in 2020, you are faced with turbulent politics, socioeconomic issues, and ethical dilemmas that will challenge you to take a stand and contribute to the local, national, and global conversation around you. The purpose of this writing task is not to persuade you to agree on the same beliefs. Rather, it is to encourage you to begin the much more difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from your own. Fifty years ago, Edward R. Murrow’s project struck such a chord with millions of Americans. It can do so again today…with you.

Video Resources for Generating Ideas

Dan gediman on writing a “this i believe essay”.

Read Cecelia Munoz’s essay “Getting Angry Can Be a Good Thing” referred to in the previous video here .

“This I Believe” Essay with Animation

“This I Believe” Essay Ideas

Prewriting Activity

1) analyze others’ statements.

Consider the following statements, written in response to the question What Have You Learned About Life? Highlight any sentences that resonate with you. Talk about them with a partner or group, explaining why. 1. I’ve learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back. – Age 9 2. I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up. – Age 14 3. I’ve learned that although it’s hard to admit it, I’m secretly glad my parents are strict with me. – Age 15 4. I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it. – Age 39 5. I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don’t know how to show it. – Age 42 6. I’ve learned that you can make someone’s day by simply sending them a little note. – Age 44 7. I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his or her need to cast blame on others. – Age 46 8. I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. – Age 48 9. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die. – Age 53 10. I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. – Age 58 11. I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. – Age 62 12. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision. – Age 66 13. I’ve learned that it pays to believe in miracles. And to tell the truth, I’ve seen several. – Age 75 14. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. – Age 82 15. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch—holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. – Age 85 16. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. – Age 92

2) Compose Your Own Statement

Write down a sentence that expresses what YOU have learned about life. Maybe it is similar to one of the statements above; maybe it’s completely different. Whatever it is, write it down.

3) Freewrit e

Now free-write about your sentence. Include at least two examples / experiences that you have had that support why you think this way.

Personal Statement/Philosophy: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Why do you believe in this statement? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name two experiences that you had that would support the statement: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ What does this say about yourself or your personality? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ After your life experience, how have you come to the conclusion that this should be your statement? How have your beliefs changed, if at all? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ How has the event effected your relationship with a person, place, or object? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ How does your statement apply to you today? (How you view yourself & society) ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Sample #1: america’s beauty is in its diversity.

written by Alaa El-Saad,  high school student,  as heard on NPR’s Tell Me More (2009)

America is built on the idea of freedom, and there is no exception for Muslim women. I believe in the freedom of religion and speech. But mostly, I believe it’s OK to be different, and to stand up for who and what you are. So I believe in wearing the hijab.

The hijab is a religious head covering, like a scarf. I am Muslim and keeping my head covered is a sign of maturity and respect toward my religion and to Allah’s will. To be honest, I also like to wear it to be different. I don’t usually like to do what everyone else is doing. I want to be an individual, not just part of the crowd. But when I first wore it, I was also afraid of the reaction that I’d get at school.

I decided on my own that sixth grade was the time I should start wearing the hijab. I was scared about what the kids would say or even do to me. I thought they might make fun of me, or even be scared of me and pull off my headscarf. Kids at that age usually like to be all the same, and there’s little or no acceptance for being different.

On the first day of school, I put all those negative thoughts behind my back and walked in with my head held high. I was holding my breath a little, but inside I was also proud to be a Muslim, proud to be wearing the hijab, proud to be different.

I was wrong about everything I thought the kids would say or even do to me. I actually met a lot of people because of wearing my head covering. Most of the kids would come and ask me questions—respectfully—about the hijab, and why I wore it.

I did hear some kid was making fun of me, but there was one girl—she wasn’t even in my class, we never really talked much—and she stood up for me, and I wasn’t even there! I made a lot of new friends that year, friends that I still have until this very day, five years later.

Yes, I’m different, but everyone is different here, in one way or another. This is the beauty of America. I believe in what America is built on: all different religions, races and beliefs. Different everything.

Sample #2: The Essentials to Happiness

written by Alexxandra Schuman, high school student, as heard on The Bob Edwards Show (2013)

As a child, I was generally happy; singing and dancing to my favorite songs; smiling and laughing with my friends and family. But as far back as second grade, I noticed a “darkness,” about me. I didn’t enjoy engaging in many things. I didn’t relate to my peers in elementary school because they appeared so happy, and I didn’t have that ability to achieve happiness so easily.

In middle school things in my life began to get even worse. I began withdrawing from everything I once enjoyed; swimming, tennis, family. I hated going to sleep knowing I had to wake up to another day. I was always tired. Everything was horrible. Finally, midway through eighth grade, I was told I had a chemical imbalance; diagnosed with clinical depression and put on medication. It took months for me to feel the effects of the medication.

When I began to feel happy again, is when I realized that I had to take the responsibility for getting better myself, rather than relying on medication and therapy alone. Aristotle said, “To live happily is an inward power of the soul,” and I believe that this quote describes what I had to do to achieve happiness. Happiness is a journey. Everyone seems to need different things to be happy. But I believe people are blinded from what truly makes one happy.

Growing up, we’re encouraged to be successful in life; but how is success defined? Success and happiness are imagined now as having a lot of money. It is so untrue. Recently I went to Costa Rica and visited the small town of El Roble. I spent the day with a nine-year old girl named Marilyn. She took me to her house to meet her parents. It was obvious that they were not rich; living in a small house with seven children. The house was cluttered but full of life. Those who have decided that success and happiness comes from having money and a big house would be appalled at how utterly happy this family from El Roble is. People say that seeing things like that make you appreciate what you have, but for me, it made me envy them for being so happy without all the things I have.

“The essentials to happiness are something to love, something to do, and something to hope for,” a quote from William Blake sums up what I believe people need to realize to be truly happy in life. People need love; I feel they need their family and their friends more than anything in the world. People need work to do, something to make them feel they are making a difference in the world. People need to know that more good is to come in the future, so they continue to live for “now” instead of constantly worrying about the bad that could come. And most importantly people need to know that happiness is not something that happens overnight. Love and hope is happiness.

Sample #3: Find a Good Frog

written by Delia Motavalli, high school student, as heard on The Bob Edwards Show (2013)

I believe in finding a good frog. It seems that all throughout childhood, we are taught to look for a happily ever after. “And they all lived happily ever after”; isn’t that the conclusion to many children’s films? When I was a kid I always thought of that as magical; but now really it just seems unrealistic. And it teaches us that what we want is a fairytale like they have in the storybooks. We all want to be Cinderella who gets swept off her feet by the hot prince; we want to live in the royal castle, right? But I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing for us to seek. Now I’m not saying I believe in being pessimistic, but I do believe in being realistic; it’s something I got from my mom.

My mother and I always have our best conversations in the rain. We sit in the car, neither of us wanting to brave the rain to get to the house. So we sit. We watch droplets race down the windshield, listen to the rain strike the roof of her little blue Honda, and feel the heater on full-blast rushing at our feet (just the way we like it). I don’t know why, but sitting in the car, we always talk more than normal. There was one rainy day when my mom told me something that is going to stick with me forever. Earlier that day she and my dad had been arguing about something; I can’t remember what. So she said, “Don’t spend your life looking for Prince Charming. Instead, find yourself a really good frog.”

At the time, I found this thought really disheartening. Who wants to think that you’ll never find Prince Charming? You’ll never get to be Cinderella? Another thought that struck my mind: if my mom says there’s no Prince Charming, then what’s my dad? A frog? I asked her, and she replied with, “Of course! If he were Prince Charming, he wouldn’t snore, would be able to cook, and we would never argue. But you know what? He’s a damn good frog.” Of course, being young, I didn’t think of the meaning behind what she was saying. I was too busy thinking of it literally, visualizing my mom as a princess and my dad in frog form.

But a few years later, I understand the value of my mom’s words. You can’t expect everything to be perfect. Let’s be completely honest; if you wait your whole life for your prince with flowing hair, statuesque features, and a white horse, you’re going to be lonely. I think that the point of finding a good frog is you accept something that’s great, flaws and all. It’s so easy to be picky. You can find the one tiny thing that’s wrong, and that one tiny thing is what you can’t get your mind off of. But in life, we can’t afford to wait years in vain for perfection. So I think that a good frog, an amazing frog, the best frog you can find is what we’re really looking for in this world. Don’t laze through life waiting for a happily ever after, because I don’t think you’ll be very happy with the outcome.

Examples from the ‘This I Believe’ Website

Be Cool to the Pizza Dude by Sarah Adams

They Lived Their Faith by Charles Henry Parrish

Returning to What’s Natural by Amelia Baxter-Stoltzfus

The Birthright of Human Dignity by Will Thomas

Remembering All The Boys by Elvia Bautista

I Am Still The Greatest by Muhammad Ali

A Goal Of Service To Humankind by Anthony Fauci

My Life Is Better by Abraham

Give Me a Waffle by Brenda

The Little Things by Sophie Crossley

You can also browse thousands more This I Believe essays by theme .

Prefer to Listen to Get Inspiration?

Check out This I Believe’s Podcast Series

4) Drafting

Assignment guidelines + suggestions and tips for drafting.

1. While the examples you’ve been given can serve as a model, it is essential that each of you write about a personal belief or philosophy that you feel strongly about. 2. Tell a story. Personal experiences are the corner stone of a good essay. Your story doesn’t have to be a heart breaker or even a major event, but it must be something that has affected how you think, feel, and act. List your personal experiences that you intend to use as evidence below: 3. Be concise. Avoid repetition. This essay should be between 500 – 650 words. When read aloud, it should take roughly four minutes. 4. Name your belief. It is essential that you can name your belief in a sentence or two. Focus on one belief only. This is your thesis. Write it here: 5. Be positive. Avoid preaching or persuading. You aren’t trying to change the way others think or act. Write about what you believe, not what you don’t believe. 6. Use the first person. Speak for yourself. Avoid using we or you. 7. Let your voice shine. Use language that sounds like you. Read it aloud as your revise. Keep making changes until your essay sounds like you and captures the essence of your belief.

5) Peer Review

Once you have written your first draft, arrange for your essay to be edited by a peer, using the following Peer-Editing Checklist: Writer’s Name: ________________________________________________ Peer Editor’s Name: ________________________________________________ Use your PENCIL or PEN (NOT red or green) to make corrections. Remember, this essay is a work in progress. You are not done writing! Look for ways to improve what you’ve already written. Tick each step if it has been completed. _____ 1. Read the paper backwards, one sentence at a time. Check for spelling errors. Use a dictionary, a friend, or a spell checker to find the correct spelling. _____ 2. Check for capitalized proper nouns and the first word of each sentence. _____ 3. Skip a line between each paragraph. _____ 4. Every sentence should have end punctuation. _____ 5. Check commas. Are they only used for compound sentences, a list of items, an introductory word or phrase, direct address, setting off interruptions, separating adjectives, or in dates? Do you need to add commas? Make sure you do not have commas separating complete sentences (i.e. comma splice errors that create run-on sentences). _____ 6. Apostrophes are used only for contractions and to show ownership. _____ 7. The use of more complex punctuation (dashes, hyphens, semi-colons, parentheses, etc.) is done correctly. _____ 8. Have you used commonly mixed pairs of words correctly? Check these: they’re/their/there, your/you’re, it’s/its, a/an, to/too/two, are/our/hour, and others. _____ 9. Read the paper backwards one sentence at a time. Check for sentence fragments and run-ons and correct them. _____ 10. Did you stay in present tense (such as is, am, do, take, know, etc.) or past tense (such as was, were, did, took, knew, etc.) throughout the entire essay? _____ 11. Did you stay in first person (I, me, my, we, us, our) or third person (he, him, she, her, they, them, their) throughout the entire essay? _____ 12. Was there adequate use of specific details and sensory details? Were the details clear and relevant to the statement? _____ 13. Is the overall purpose/philosophy clear? _____ 14. Does the conclusion make you go, “Wow!” “Cool!” “I never thought about it that way,” or any other similar reaction? Other suggestions for the overall content of the piece: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

possible grading rubric for This I Believe essay

This I Believe by Tanya Matthews is licensed by CC-BY-SA

“This I Believe” Essay Copyright © 2020 by Liza Long; Amy Minervini; and Joel Gladd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Power Lesson: “This I Believe” Essays

December 4, 2016

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“Doing homework”  by Predi is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

In this power lesson shared by high school English teacher Cynthia Ruiz , students write their own personal statements of belief. The essay pushes students to write about something that matters to them and helps them get to know each other on a deeper level.

I used to assign a “Letter to the Teacher” at the beginning of every year  to get a snapshot of how a student writes while simultaneously learning background information. Being completely honest, this assignment is also an easy way to get the first few back-to-school days started when a 90-minute class period feels like 900 minutes, because everyone is typically on their best behavior and not talking much. Although I enjoy reading the letters, the assignment doesn’t lend itself to revising and is written only for a specific, one-person audience.

I know building relationships with students is important and a way to get to know them is through their writing, so I did some research to see what other teachers were trying. I came across the “This I Believe” site  and immediately liked the concept better than an introduction letter for a teacher.

Assignment Guidelines

The first time I assigned a “This I Believe” essay was in the fall of 2014, during the second week of school. I planned it as a year-long endeavor, something we could work on as a distraction from other essays required to prepare for state testing. This past year, I did not assign it until late April; it would be our last major writing task. I wanted to give everyone plenty of time to write but held them to a firm deadline of having four weeks to work.

This time, I crafted my writing guidelines according to  those posted on the NPR site that hosts hundreds of This I Believe essays from around the world. My rubric still has some typical writing conventions, but overall I think it focuses more on student voice than structure. I made it clear that students had a lot of choice regarding both content and format. The biggest restriction came directly from the This I Believe site: a 500-600 word limit. I know a lot of writing teachers are divided when it comes to word count, but I figured it was still better than giving a specific number of required paragraphs and sentences.

One other requirement was that students use at least three “vocabulary devices.” This may seem like a restriction, but it actually supported student voice. Over the spring semester, we spent a lot of time reviewing both rhetorical and literary devices (anaphora, hypothetical questions, simile) and I told students to focus on the devices they genuinely felt comfortable using.

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. I wanted them to see that this wasn’t just another run-of-the-mill assignment, that what they believe is important and writing is just one way to share those beliefs. I also made it a point to tell them our end goal was to share this essay with their entire class by way of a gallery walk.

After giving students time to explore the site, I had them “rush write” in their notebooks to see what immediate ideas they captured to help start the brainstorming process. Here’s the prompt I used:

This I Believe For 2 minutes: List words or ideas that you think about when you think of YOUR LIFE. (Can be feelings, symbols, names, events, etc.)

After students generated this list, I asked them to consider what they wanted to write about and share with others. I wanted them to imagine a larger audience and think outside of meeting my expectations.

For some, deciding what to write about was easy and they began drafting immediately. However, the majority of students struggled not so much with what they believe, but how to write about it. Even though they appreciated having so much choice, they still needed some direction to get started.

We continued the listing strategy by focusing on “most memorables”: most memorable events in life so far, most memorable stuffed animal, most memorable friends, family experiences, life lessons learned, and so on. I asked them to focus on why they remember what they remember, and whether or not it impacts any of their beliefs. One student remembered a saying his grandmother always told him that still provides comfort as he’s gotten older. Another focused on her family not having a big house when they first moved to America and how she’s learned to be satisfied with opportunities instead of possessions. While this strategy helped a lot of light bulbs go off, it didn’t work for everyone.

Another strategy I tried was using involved sentence stems: I know I am the way I am today because______. I know I think about things the way I do because _______. I think most people would describe me as ______. I emphasized that these phrases did not have to be included in their final products, but should help generate ideas. I talked with a few frustrated students about this strategy and they told me it made them realize they’ve never really had to think about themselves in this way, but ultimately, it gave them direction for their essays.

Drafting and Revising

Because of block scheduling, I gave students about a week and a half to complete a working draft, which required having at least two paragraphs of their essay done. I only gave a portion of two to three class periods to actually write in class; students were expected to write on their own time.

On the day drafts were due, I set aside class time for revision. I asked students to refer to the rubric and focus on voice and vocabulary strategies. Questions I told them to consider were: Does this sound like me? Do I talk like this to my friends or family? I gave students the option of reviewing their own essays or partnering up with someone to peer edit. Again, this was the end of the year, so we had already established a pretty firm community of trust in class. I don’t know if peer editing would have been as easy had I done the assignment early in the year.

Overall, draft day didn’t feel like the usual “revising and editing” days we’ve had with other essays. Students were very concerned with whether or not they were making sense, if they should add more, or if they were being too repetitive, rather than only being concerned about capitalization, spelling, and grammatical errors.

Sharing the Finished Essays

The culmination of this assignment was when the essays were shared in a gallery walk . The gallery walk is my answer to having students write for a larger audience, and it really helps this essay become about what students have to say instead of just another grade. I can’t count how many times I have returned tediously graded essays only to have a kid immediately walk over to the recycling bin and trash it! Sure he read the comments and suggestions I made, or saw the cute smiley face I left by an excellent word choice, but it didn’t mean much to him because the paper is graded and finished, and he is now done thinking about it. With a gallery walk, not only are students thinking about what they wrote, but they have the opportunity to think about what their classmates wrote as well.

I printed each essay without any names, and made sure any identifying statements were revised. However, there were quite a few students who said they were proud of what they wrote and had no problem if others knew which essay belonged to them. Because not every student turned in a final copy, I printed additional copies of some completed essays to ensure every student had something to read during our gallery walk, instead of drawing attention to the two or three students who did not finish the assignment.

I placed the essays on different tables throughout the room and allowed students to move around as needed; some chose to stand and read an essay, others opted to sit, while others sprawled out on the floor to read. I played soft music and asked that the room volume stay quiet enough to be able to hear the music at all times. I didn’t mind if students were sharing and discussing, and I really wish I recorded the various conversations and comments I overheard that day: “Wow! Did you read this one yet?” “Man. Who wrote this? I might cry. Good tears, though.” “This one is life, Ms. Ruiz.”

I provided a pad of post-its near each essay and told students to leave POSITIVE feedback for each other. I provided sentence stems to help:

Something I liked…

Something I can relate to/agree with…

Something that surprised me…

Something I want to know more about…

I really think…

I periodically checked to make sure no one was being inappropriately critical or just leaving cute hearts or check marks. I wanted students to think about what they were reading, and understand that feedback is a crucial part of the writing process

After about 40 minutes, each essay had received multiple written comments, looking similar to the picture below:

Overall, the feedback was uplifting and actually created a sense of belonging in each class. Students told me they learned so much about each other that day and were shocked by their classmates’ writing. A few said they wished they had written this essay sooner.

Sample Student Work

I was floored by some of the essays I received. Some made me laugh, some made me gasp, some made me cry. Compared to the typical papers I usually assign, this essay allowed my students to not just think about what they were writing but to care about their writing and to be intentional in the language they were using, both in word choice and rhetorical strategies, because it was about what they believe. It is some of the strongest student writing I have ever received as an English teacher.

Here are some sample paragraphs from students who gave me permission to share their work:

From a student who told me he hates school and hates writing.

From a student who by all outward appearances, comes from a traditional family.

From a student battling depression and anxiety.

From a student who missed almost a whole semester but is trying to stay in school.

Although this essay helped end the year with a strong sense of community, I think teachers could easily have students write it at the beginning of the school year or even in January at the start of a new year. I’d love to hear how other teachers have used an essay like this in their classes. ♦

Have you taught a lesson or designed a learning experience we should feature in Power Lessons? Send a full description of your lesson through our contact  form and we’ll check it out!

What to Read Next

this i believe essay starters

Categories: Instruction

Tags: English language arts , lesson planning , power lessons


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Cynthia and Jennifer, Thank you for sharing this Power Lesson; it’s one I plan on “borrowing” for sure in January. I love the connection built during the gallery walk. I can imagine this being truly powerful for all students. Well done!

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I LOVE this!! I will use this in the Spring with my students. The excerpts in the blog post were so personal. I hope the students realize what a gift they shared.

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Tonya, I agree. I’m always so grateful when students are willing to let us see their work here!

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I love this assignment. I use it every semester with Public Speaking students, following a similar brainstorm and drafting process. Since the assignment comes from a radio program, my students audio record themselves, and our celebration of the work happens through hearing each student read the essay. Very powerful hearing their voices!

Ruth, thanks so much for taking the time to share this idea. I’m sure lots of teachers will love how audio enriches this assignment.

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Thank you for sharing the students’ samples. Writing is such a great way to express oneself and when you make it personal students are engaged. ❤️ it! I am thinking about adding it as my last assignment for my 3rd graders!

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Thank you for sharing, especially the students’ work samples.This will help inspire my students to share important details about their lives. Might I also recommend an excellent book I purchased used recently: Reading, Writing and Rising Up (by Linda Christensen)

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I like this writing strategy. Last week I started something similar with my Arabic students. In groups of 3 to 4 students, they wrote stories (Brainstorm, first draft…) They started writing their final draft(with illustrations and drawings) on the butcher paper. On Monday, they will hang it on the wall and they will give each other feed back wile walking and reading each other’s essays. The problem with the foreign languages students writing is that they have brilliant ideas in English, but they cannot express them in Arabic or French… My questions is the following: Is there a way to adapt this writing strategy to World Languages students with taking into consideration the limited students’ language levels.

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I love this assignment. I use at the end of the year with my seniors. 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.

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I love this, especially as a way to “re-enter” in January! I hope that I can use it effectively with my middle schoolers. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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YES!! 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. Bravo to this I believe essays & sharing lessons like this with other educators.

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Did you find that you had to add in any scaffolds/support for students? I want to try this with my 7th graders who really struggle with writing and getting started with ideas.

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This looks like a fabulous project and one I am keen to try out next semester.

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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. We sit in a circle and listen to each student share his/her belief. 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.

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This looks great for January. I noticed that the This I Believe website has a high school curriculum for sale for $20. Has anyone used it? Is it worth it? Necessary?

This reminds me of an assignment I had in high school. It was called our “Capstone,” and was a year-long process (12th grade). 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.

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Do you happen to have an example of this still? It sounds AWESOME and I would love to do it with my 8th graders!

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Your students’ essays are beautiful, authentic and inspiring, as I am sure your teaching is. Thank you for sharing.

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Thanks for the lesson. I like this idea for journaling too!

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A brilliant idea! Thanks!

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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!

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Thank you for sharing this. Inspirational and heartfelt writing from young people.

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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. Can’t wait to try it!! Thank you again!!

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I know this might be simplistic, but could you share more about the vocabulary devices?

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Hi, April! For the vocabulary devices, I’m referring to adding similes, metaphors, hyperboles, imagery, etc. We usually practice devices like anaphora and asyndeton in my advanced classes, so those can also be used. One of my favorite lines this year was: “I mean, I thought a step stool would do the job but instead it was like climbing a 20 foot ladder just to finish my goal…” We talked about how using a vocab device is more powerful than “I worked really hard.” Hope that helps! Cheers!

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This is sooooo great!! I love it!!!!!

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I love this. Has anyone tried it at the start if the year? Are students willing to write about such personal experiences and beliefs with a teacher and classmates that they don’t know well?

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Hi Lizzie! I work for Cult of Pedagogy, but I’m replying as a teacher. I teach college level freshman comp and I started my previous semester with this essay. Because it was the beginning of the year, I didn’t do a gallery walk; it was more of a practice assignment to get used to the flow of papers and feedback. 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. For extra credit, I offered them the chance to record their paper as a “podcast” and post it on YouTube. I was blown away by how in-depth most of them went! In fact, I’m starting my fall semester with it again.

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I love this assignment in the spring for senior English. Generally, kids are appreciative that we’re doing the final writing assignment about something that is ‘real world legit’. I’ve always been impressed by their level of attention (and attendance),as our gallery walk happens on the last day of their English class in June.

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Hi! 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

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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. If so, we’ll get that updated on the post as soon as we can. Thanks again!

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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!

Hi Karen & Kelsey! I wanted to follow up on your request for the guidelines to let you know that Jenn no longer has access to them. If you haven’t already done so, Jenn recommends to check out the writing guidelines posted on NPR. I hope this helps!

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I teach a course called Theory of Knowledge. One of the concepts we study is ‘faith’ as a way of knowing or gaining knowledge. I remember the “This I believe” series on the radio and then NPR. I have my students read several of the essays from the website and a few I copy from one of the books published. Then, they brainstorm and write their own essays. This spring, right before the Covid shutdown, one of my students committed suicide. I had returned his essay to him only days before; he’d written about the importance of love and relationships in life. Being able to share his essay with his mother and brother (who I had also taught) was a gift for all of us. I think the inspiration to have students write these essays was somehow a preparation for this sad experience. I like the suggestions here and may use the sentence stems to help those who struggle to get started.

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Hello! I want to say that I had some difficulties in writing essays and statements. When I entered college, the first thing I encountered was writing a quality application.

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thanks for sharing, this is really useful information for me!

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thanks for sharing informative!

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This looks like an amazing lesson plan and although it is late in the year I will try to use it. could you please send the grading rubric you used?

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Hi, there! Because this post was written so long ago,we have unfortunately lost touch with the author, Cynthia Ruiz. From what we understand, she is no longer in the classroom. However, you may be able to connect with her on Twitter by clicking on the Twitter icon at the top of the post underneath Cynthia’s name.

If you are looking to create your own rubric, the section of this post called Assignment Guidelines links to the NPR website where Cynthia found the writing guidelines that she used as a basis for her own. In addition, there is another Cult of Pedagogy post on the single-point rubric , which you might find useful. I hope this helps!

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This I Believe

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Celebrating Four Years Of 'This I Believe'

April 27, 2009 • During its four-year run on NPR, This I Believe engaged listeners in a discussion of the core beliefs that guide their daily lives. We heard from people of all walks of life — the very young and the very old, the famous and the previously unknown.

Saying Thanks To My Ghosts

April 26, 2009 • Novelist Amy Tan hasn't always believed in ghosts, but as a writer she's had too many inspirations that she can't fully explain. Now, Tan embraces her belief in ghosts and the messages of joy, love and peace they bring her.

Life Is An Act Of Literary Creation

April 23, 2009 • Mexican-American novelist Luis Urrea used to think that simply being a good observer would make his writing better. But over time, he's come to believe that being a good writer and a good person comes from paying attention to the world around him.

The Art Of Being A Neighbor

April 12, 2009 • A few years ago, Eve Birch was broke and living alone in a dilapidated mountain shack. But a community of people befriended her, shared what little they had with her and showed Birch the value of neighbors uniting to help one another.

I Am Still The Greatest

Muhammad Ali John Lair/Muhammad Ali Center hide caption

I Am Still The Greatest

April 6, 2009 • To be the "Greatest of All Time," boxing legend Muhammad Ali says you have to believe in yourself. It's a lesson his parents taught him and it has helped him in fighting Parkinson's disease.

Dancing To Connect To A Global Tribe

March 29, 2009 • Matt Harding has been to 70 countries to dance — badly — in front of a camera, and videos of his travels have become an Internet sensation. Harding believes interacting with so many different people challenges him to understand what unites humanity.

My Father Deserves Spectacular Results

March 26, 2009 • Environmental activist Van Jones is a special adviser to the Obama administration. He says his dad, who died last year, would have gotten a kick out of seeing Obama become president. But his dad had high standards, and there is much more work to be done.

The Beatles Live On

March 15, 2009 • Macklin Levine was born more than 25 years after the Fab Four broke up, but at 12, she has a deep appreciation for Beatles music. "As old as the songs are, you can learn a lot about yourself from the lyrics," she says. And the Beatles help her remember her Dad, too.

Finding Freedom In Forgiveness

March 5, 2009 • Jennifer Thompson-Cannino was certain that Ronald Cotton was the man who raped her in 1984. But she was wrong. After Cotton spent 11 years in jail, DNA evidence proved his innocence. Now, the two have a friendship based on their belief in forgiveness.

Work Is A Blessing

March 1, 2009 • When he was 12, Russel Honore got his first job helping a neighbor milk 65 dairy cows twice a day. Fifty years later, the retired Army lieutenant general believes hard work helps build character, strengthen communities and promote freedom.

Seeing Beyond Our Differences

February 26, 2009 • Scientist Sheri White says that despite differences in size, shape and color, all humans are 99.9 percent biologically identical. White believes we should embrace our similarities and honor the differences that make each of us unique.

Historical Archives

Reflections on race: essays from the archives.

February 23, 2009 • Dan Gediman, executive producer of NPR's This I Believe, explores the archives of the original series hosted by Edward R. Murrow in the 1950s. He says the essays shed light on the realities of segregation at the dawn of the civil rights movement.

Gediman explores the 'This I Believe' archives.

The magic of letters.

February 15, 2009 • Chameli Waiba was raised in a village in Nepal and didn't attend school as a child. When she finally learned to read as an adult, Waiba discovered the power words could have to change her life, as well as the lives of others in her rural community.

How To Survive Life's Tests

February 9, 2009 • Kendra Jones assigned her students to write This I Believe essays and decided that she owed it to them to write one of her own. Jones believes toughness, steeliness and even meanness have helped her throughout her life.

Our Awareness Controls Human Destiny

February 8, 2009 • In an essay from 1951 for the original This I Believe series, Margaret Mead says she can't separate the beliefs she has as a person from the beliefs she has as an anthropologist. She says that humans have a responsibility for the entire planet.

A Hope For Bettering Humanity

February 1, 2009 • In an essay from 1953 for the original This I Believe series, Sir Charles Galton Darwin, the grandson of naturalist Charles Darwin, drew on his study of science to say he believed the future of humanity depended on the practice of eugenics.

Listening Is Powerful Medicine

February 1, 2009 • It took a scolding from an elderly patient to get Dr. Alicia Conill to look up from her charts and stop to listen. Conill came to understand the value of listening in the treatment process — especially when she herself became the patient.

America's Beauty Is In Its Diversity

January 29, 2009 • In sixth grade, Alaa El-Saad decided to start wearing the hijab , a religious head covering for Muslim women. Despite some trepidation, she found her classmates supported her choice. Now El-Saad believes being different is part of being American.

Thirty Things I Believe

January 18, 2009 • When Tarak McLain's kindergarten group celebrated their 100th day of class, some kids brought 100 nuts or cotton balls. Tarak brought a list of 100 things he believes. Now a first-grader, Tarak shares his top beliefs about God, life, nature and war.

Inviting The World To Dinner

January 12, 2009 • Every Sunday for 30 years, Jim Haynes has welcomed complete strangers into his Paris home for dinner. By introducing people to each other and encouraging them to make personal connections, Haynes believes he can foster greater tolerance in the world.

Pathways Of Desire

January 4, 2009 • Gina Parosa believes in letting her kids, pets and livestock make their own paths in life. But she also realizes that as a farmer and parent, she sometimes has to step in and set good boundaries — while still being flexible enough to change them.

This Is Home

January 1, 2009 • Majora Carter believes you don't have to move out of your old neighborhood to live in a better one. Carter was raised in the South Bronx and spent years trying to leave. But when the city proposed a waste facility there, she was inspired to fight for her community.

Health Is A Human Right

December 21, 2008 • As an infectious disease specialist, Dr. Paul Farmer has traveled the planet to organize and provide medical treatment for people living in poverty. He believes good health care is vital but just the first step in creating a world free of all human suffering.

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How to Write A ‘This I Believe’ Essay

Table of Contents

How to Write the Essay on ‘I Believe’

The ‘I believe’ is an essay that expects an individual to write about the particular beliefs that a person has. This topic does not necessarily need to be a religion as thought by many students. It is what can carry someone’s interests. Anything that comes to mind is applicable as long as it is a belief to you and in society like an essay on love and proof that love exists either personally or generally. Besides, it applies to writing about something which people do not believe in its existence. Similarly, the essay can be personal or based on research. In research, one is expected to support their ideas with references to the provided source. The written story should be accurate and have the ability to carry the readers easily. If possible, the writing should be able to bring the reader into believing the particular theme used despite their beliefs. The idea provided should have the emotional status of the user depending on the trait presented. If it is a funny story, the reader should be able to be carried in the capacity where they find themselves laughing without expecting it. In this case, the story will be real. Moreover, consider the particular moments for the creation, testing, or changing of your principles and ensure the story surrounds the essence of a person’s daily life values to the shaping of their beliefs. Besides, this essay should be a reflection of the life of an individual. One has to explain their faith critically in this article and after that relate to life including the personal beliefs one has experienced. A statement or the body in the explanation of this essay should be as brief as possible. The shorter the length, the greater the focus on the central belief in an individual’s life.

How to Start this I Believe Essay

Before beginning to write the essay construct a structure that guides the writing of the entire article. At the beginning of the piece, to be able to explain one’s belief quickly, the writers have to talk about the main idea just like in introduction of other essays where you state and explain your objectives in the article. It is always best when a writer quickly explains the core belief focused on in the piece. The introduction should only comprise the ‘I believe’ statement and a phrase to attract the reader.

How to Write Body Paragraphs for this I believe essay

The body structure which entails all the events in the paragraphs provides a detailed explanation using figurative language which should always have the letters ‘a’ and ‘e’ to enable the reader quickly see the story and provide a smooth flow in writing. Also under the body, one should create a paragraph about what they have learned from the belief and the effect this view on their lives into them growing into well-rounded people. Through identifying the picture, explain the application of this idea in one’s personal life in the future . The writer always has to remind the reader of the core belief they stated in the introduction and their hope to share this knowledge with the reader. Also, an explanation of why the reader should care about their personal beliefs and their teaching lesson to the reader entailing what the reader learns. When writing a “this I believe” assignment despite allowing a writer to write either the positivity or negativity in their beliefs this is what they believe in or what they do not believe in, it is always best to focus on one’s beliefs to compose an excellent essay.

How to conclude the Essay

It is not advisable to include religious belief statements, preaching, or editorializing when constructing the article. Also, always make the article about one’s yourself. Writing in the first person is allowed in this type of composition to bring out the personal belief perspective apparently.

Tips for Final Revision

Upon completion of describing one’s opinion, edit the piece to ensure the right word tone used lacks the editorial ‘we’ and provides an echo of one’s beliefs and original manner of speech towards people. The essay composed should be a personal story; not an opinion piece about social ideals. Review the written piece and compare it with the provided instructions to make ensure the correct answering of the questions. Remove any mistakes or spelling problems and ensure there is a flow in the writing of the essay. Also, ensure that the structure of the paragraphs has supporting detail and an explanation of the detail as per the stated point. In the writing of this section, the approach employed should not be direct. The sentences constructed should be simple. The essay after every sentence should leave the reader with suspense and an urge to know what comes next. They should not be able to predict the events because if they do the ‘I believe essay’ will be very annoying. Finally, the most important thing is to stay on topic. A person’s core belief in an article is the subject of the composition. For example, writing on a core belief as ‘love’ should be the only idea covered in the essay. Also, ensure that the formats used are per the required forms. In doing all this an excellent ‘this I believe composition’ will be poised.

Outline Example for this I Believe Essay

Introduction – Introduce the aim of writing the paper.

Thesis statement

  • Paragraph one – Introduce your first point on the “this I believe” paper.
  • Paragraph two – One should create a paragraph about what they have learned from the belief
  • Paragraph three – Explain the application of the specific idea in one’s personal life in the future.

Closing paragraph – Restate the purpose of the essay (What has the text shown us?).

this i believe essay starters

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high school this i believe essay

Step 1: Choose Your Core Belief

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How To Write A Winning This I Believe Essay

this i believe essay

One of the common types of academic writing you are likely to encounter is this I believe essay. In this type of essay, you are required to write about something you believe in. Note that unlike many students think, the topic does not have to be related to religion. For example, you can write about something you love or interested in.

Although writing this I believe essay might sound simple; many students find it one of the complex types of academic writing. To help make the process simpler, we created this guide to help you understand how to write the best this I believe essay. We have also highlighted the 22 hot essay ideas that you can use.

How To Write This I Believe Essays

Here’s a brief guideline on how to write a good belief essay:

  • Get a good essay topic When you are faced with the task of writing a this I believe essay, the first step is selecting a good topic. At this point, you should look for something that you have learned about through various experiences, life struggles, or humanity. Because it is a piece of academic writing, it is advisable to go for a topic that has some resources that you can use to back personal arguments. This will make the essay weighty and earn you more marks.

In the body of the essay, you should dig into more details about your beliefs. Make sure to discuss each point in a separate paragraph and provide examples to support it. If the narrative is long, break it down into several sections and use subtopics.

  • Write and proofread your essay After developing the essay structure, it is time to start writing it. Pool together the main points and write a draft. Then work on the final copy and proofread it carefully to remove all mistakes. You could even ask an unbiased friend to help proofread the essay.

Special Tips for Writing this I Believe Essay

Once your teacher asks you to write an assignment on this I believe essay; the secret is ensuring to understand a concept that you are passionate about. To make it simpler for you, try to be truthful. Here are some more tips to help you craft a winning this I believe essay:

Follow the guidelines provided by your teacher or department. Make sure to focus on the item of interest and support it with personal examples. If possible, support the essay with secondary resources. Make sure to stay positive about the topic of interest. Because you are working on something personal, make sure to write in the first person. Try to be as concise as possible. The focus should be selecting points that explain your belief and restricting the essay within the recommended number of words. Read other this I believe essay examples to understand how to craft a winning paper. Most samples can help you to understand how to structure the essay and discuss different topics.

Top This I Believe Essay Topics

The most critical thing about writing a this I believe essay is selecting a topic idea because it determines what to focus on and points to discuss. To help you get started, we are going to list 22 hot this I believe essay ideas for you. Go ahead and pick the one you prefer or tweak them to suit your preference.

  • I believe in having a lot of fun in and out of school.
  • I believe in using a mentor to build a career.
  • I believe in using advanced technology for learning.
  • I believe I am unique.
  • I believe in dreaming big and going out of my way to succeed.
  • I believe in hard work to succeed in life.
  • I believe in my facility.
  • I believe in our justice system to build a harmonious society.
  • I believe in repentance and hope.
  • I believe that time is the best way to cure pain.
  • I believe in the support of my family.
  • I believe in our culture.
  • I believe in love.
  • I believe in the power of God to heal the sick.
  • I believe in life after death.
  • I believe in doctors’ ability to help pregnant mothers safely deliver their babies.
  • I believe I can make my county better.
  • I believe in my basketball team.
  • I believe in always trusting my guts.
  • I believe in the nature top address the problem of global warming.
  • I believe in dedication to my duties at work.
  • I believe that everyone’s life is predetermined.

This I Believe Essay Topics

Are you looking for the best this I believe essay topics? You can start with these. They are all dynamic and don’t point to just one subject. They are based on different realities of life.

  • Everyone has a positive outlook on life
  • Success requires self-determination
  • Life and creativity and interlinked.
  • A good life provides a positive outlook on my life
  • There are stipulated fundamental factors to success.
  • There are many modes of achieving success.
  • Sure shortcut to reading fast
  • There isn’t any accurate journey to success.
  • Determination leads to better time management
  • Collaboration is the start of a beautiful career journey.
  • Immigrants also have beautiful lives.
  • Making the most of the available time in a day leads to more goal achievement.
  • A good life is the result of hard work and determination.
  • Many factors lead to stigmatization
  • The right implementation can help improve the health care setting.
  • Proper conservation can lead to a cleaner ecosystem and environment.
  • Well-built bonds can lead to an increase in better human relations.
  • The industrial revolution will make an impact on the world.

This I Believe Essay Topic Ideas

What do you conform to? Do you think your beliefs are similar to your neighbors? Then you can consider challenging yourself using this I believe essay topic.

  • I believe that the world can be a better place when justice is implemented
  • I believe that love can help to sustain many family bonds
  • I believe positivity is a major factor that leads to success.
  • I believe that people should have a positive outlook on life.
  • I believe that leaders are both born and made.
  • I believe that friendship is important when it comes to socialization
  • I believe that strong family bonds lead to the prosperity of different people in certain capacities.
  • I believe that the solar system needs to be done more research.
  • I believe that all dreams are valid
  • I believe that many ideas can be implemented.
  • I believe in kindness, honesty, and faith.
  • I believe that every person has a role to play to make an impact in the world.
  • I believe that college plays a big role in making students think out of the box.
  • I believe that robots will play a huge role in the future.
  • I believe that artificial intelligence will boost the business world.
  • I believe that everyone has a right to a good life.
  • I believe that life is much simpler when people help each other.
  • I believe that all ideas are valid, regardless of how crazy they seem.

This I Believe Essay Topic List

We all have different beliefs that make us who we are. However, you don’t need to be too rigid, you need to be flexible enough to accept any new perceptions. The world is ever-changing.

  • People can get visions that later become reality.
  • Animals have a brain of their own.
  • Every person on earth has a mission.
  • Sports are essential for boosting flexibility.
  • Technical ideas can help make the world easier to live in.
  • People have different callings in their professions.
  • Everyone has a good heart.
  • The world can be a better place without any violence.
  • Dead people can listen to us.
  • Ancestors still exist within us.
  • All the different professions have a purpose.
  • Augmented reality will change the world.
  • Industry 4.0 will help to revolutionize the world.
  • Everyone was assigned a purpose at birth.
  • A good mindset leads to more happiness.
  • Patience and perseverance are important in life situations.
  • Faith, love, and hope are important.
  • Everyone has virtues they follow.

Best Belief Essay Ideas

People have different beliefs that make them who they are. However, you need to make a point of having a firm stand on what seems like the reality of life.

  • I believe everything happens for a reason.
  • I believe that miracles do happen.
  • I believe that healing happens to those who have faith.
  • I believe in the power of prayer
  • I believe in the existence of aliens
  • I believe that anger can at times be a good thing.
  • I believe that people need to accept themselves as they are
  • I believe that people connect better by giving
  • I believe that ordinary people can change the world.
  • I believe it is more important to focus on the bigger picture.
  • I believe that the environment one lives in plays a role in how one grows up
  • I believe in workplace ethics.
  • I believe that families are the greatest support system
  • I believe that family support escalates how fast one heals when sick.
  • I believe that people start socializing better when young
  • I believe that information technology is a game-changer
  • I believe that equality of people can make the world a better place.
  • I believe that everyone needs to have goals in life.

Interesting This I Believe Research Essays

When doing an essay, you need to do proper research to ensure that you capture all that is needed. Here are some interesting “this I believe” essay topics from our essay writers for hire that you can start with.

  • You should worry about being judged by others.
  • Without education, you can’t succeed in life.
  • Creativity is both inborn and made.
  • Anger can spoil many things.
  • Change comes from within.
  • Being kind to others is important.
  • Knowledge can help you succeed in life.
  • Reading helps to increase your creativity.
  • Having two jobs can help you prosper in life.
  • Everyone has a right to true happiness.
  • Good parenting is good for moral adults.
  • Ordinary people can change the world.
  • Humanity is vital for everyone.
  • We all have different realities.
  • Nations can simply be led by laws without men.
  • Without rules, the world can be dangerous.
  • Injustices can be reduced.
  • Small acts of kindness go a long way.

What’s Next?

Now that we have provided you with great essay topics demonstrated how to start a this I believe essay and close it, it is time to get down to writing your paper. However, if you still find it hard to write your college essay or the deadline is tight, consider seeking writing help or buy homework .

Writing assistance is provided by experts who understand what is the best this I believe essay format and can craft it even within short deadlines. Also, they are cheap and provide their services with a guarantee for high marks. Therefore, why settle for average marks when you have an opportunity to get A-quality papers?

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Most Interesting This I Believe Topics to Write about

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This I Believe Questions

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  • What Experience Can Be Gained From the This I Believe Program?
  • What Is the This I Believe Project?
  • Can People From Other Countries Write to the Program This I Believe ?
  • How Much It Costs to Participate in the Program This I Believe ?
  • Is It Possible to Describe Bad Life Experiences in This I Believe ?
  • How Many Years Has the Program This I Believe Been in Existence?
  • Were There Cases When People Described Crimes in the Program This I Believe?
  • Does This I Believe Have Any Connections With National Suicide Prevention Lifeline?
  • Has the Program This I Believe Ever Featured Stories About War or Refugees?
  • How Does the Program This I Believe Help to Change Lives?
  • What Is This I Believe Purpose?
  • What Are the Most Popular Essay Topics for the Program This I Believe ?

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Matthew Lynch

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53 This I Believe Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best this i believe topic ideas & essay examples, 📌 most interesting this i believe topics to write about, ❓ this i believe questions, 💯 free this i believe essay topic generator.

  • This I Believe: What Goes Around Comes Around – Essay I never did my homework and it became so hard for me to catch up with the rest in class. This was the time when I remembered the words of my grandmother “only fools rush […]
  • Art and Creativity to Solve Problems I believe that art is the deepest expression of the society and the beliefs it underscores. I believe in the unity of the human race and bringing an end to racism and human trafficking.
  • This I Believe: Happiness Is a Choice I know that I can choose to be happy. I was ashamed and worried that he would know I took it.
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  • What Are the Most Popular Essay Topics for the Program This I Believe?
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This I Believe Essay Examples 2021 Tips to Write this I Believe Essay

This I Believe Essay Examples: If you’re to write an essay that starts with the phrase “this I believe”, note. It means you need to write about something that you believe in. In other words, you can write about anything you’re interested in.

This I Believe Essay Examples

Also, the topic does not need to be related to religion , as many students mistakenly assume. Furthermore. you can write about anything that comes to your mind. However, this could be a challenging project, but that’s why this article is here.

To guide you through this process, note. This article shall provide you with some tips on to write this essay . Also, you shall be a privilege to read about some ‘this I believe essay examples. However, let’s begin by knowing what is ‘this i believe essay’.

What is This I Believe Essay?

Before moving to some of the ‘ this I believe essay examples , please note. ‘This I believe essay ‘ is an essay that deals with writing about something that you believe in. In other words, you can write about anything you’re interested in.

Also, the ‘this i believe essay’ deals with topics that does not need to be related to religion. However, this is where many students make mistake. Furthermore. you can write about anything that comes to your mind.

Basic Guidelines for Writing This I Believe Essay

Before moving to some of the ‘this i believe essay examples, please note. Below are some of the guidelines for writing ‘this i believe essay:

  • Your speech should be 450-700 words. This will keep it within 4-6 minutes.
  • Also, your speech must start with a clear and engaging thesis. Like: “I believe that.
  • Furthermore, your speech must tell the story or stories that brought you to your belief.
  • Additionally, your speech should be positive in nature. Like: We should think x  instead of  we should not think x .
  • Lastly, you must record your speech in addition to writing it.

Tips for Writing This I Believe Essay

Before moving to some of the ‘this i believe essay examples , please note. Below are some of the tips to follow while writing ‘this i believe essay:

  • Tell a Story

Be specific. Take your belief and ground it in the events of your life. Also, consider moments when belief was formed or tested or changed. And think of your own experience. Think of your work and family. And tell of the things you know that no one else does.

Furthermore, your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching. However, it can even be funny. But it should be  real . Also, make sure your story ties to the essence of your daily life philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs.

Your statement should be between 350 and 500 words. That’s about three minutes when read aloud at your natural pace.

  • Name Your Belief

This I Believe Essay Examples

If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, note. Your essay might not be about belief. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on a core belief. Because three minutes is a very short time.

  • Be Positive

Please avoid preaching or editorializing. Tell us what you do believe, not what you don’t believe. Also, avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Make your essay about you; speak in the first person.

  • Be Personal

This is radio. Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. It’s recommended you read your essay aloud to yourself several times.

Also, edit it and simplify it. Do this until you find the words, tone and story that truly echo your belief and the way you speak.

Some This I Believe Essay Examples

Below are some of the ‘this i believe essay examples :

All Men Are My Brothers By James A. Michener – Doylestown, Pennsylvania

As heard on  The Bob Edwards Show , May 14, 2010

I believe that all men are brothers. I really believe that every man on this earth is my brother. He has a soul like mine, the ability to understand friendship, the capacity to create beauty. In all the continents of this world I have met such men.

Also, in the most savage jungles of New Guinea I have met my brother, and in Tokyo I have seen him clearly walking before me. In my brother’s house I have lived without fear.

Once in the wildest part of Guadalcanal I had to spend some days with men who still lived and thought in the old stone age, but we got along together fine. In the South Pacific, on remote islands, I have sailed and fished with brown men who were in every respect the same as I.

Continue Reading…

Around the world I have lived with my brothers, and nothing has kept me from knowing men like myself wherever I went. Language has been no barrier, for once in India I lived for several days with villagers who didn’t know a word of English.

I can’t remember exactly how we got along, but the fact that I couldn’t speak their language was no hindrance. Differences in social custom never kept me from getting to know and like savage Melanesians in the New Hebrides.

They ate roast dog and I ate Army Spam, and if we had wanted to emphasize differences, I am sure each of us could have concluded the other was nuts. But we stressed similarities, and as long as I could snatch a navy blanket for them now and then, we had a fine old time with no words spoken.

This I Believe Essay Examples

It was in these islands that I met a beat-up, shameless old Tonkinese woman. She would buy or sell anything, and in time we became fast friends. I used to sit with her, knowing not a word of her curious language, and we talked for hours.

She knew only half a dozen of the vilest English obscenities, but she had the most extraordinary love of human beings and the most infectious sense of this world’s crazy comedy. She was of my blood, and I wish I could see her now.

I believe it was only fortunate experience that enabled me to travel among my brothers and to live with them. Therefore I do not believe it is my duty to preach to other people and insist that they also accept all men as their true and immediate brothers.

These things come slow. Sometimes it takes lucky breaks to open our eyes. For example, if I had never known this wonderful old Tonkinese woman I might not now think of all Chinese as my brothers. I had to learn, as I believe the world will one day learn.

Until such time as experience proves to all of us the essential brotherhood of man, I am not going to preach or scream or rant. But if I am tolerant of other men’s prejudices, I must insist that they be tolerant of me.

To my home in rural Pennsylvania come brown men and yellow men and black men from around the world. In their countries I lived and ate with them. In my country they shall live and eat with me.

Until the day I die, my home must be free to receive these travelers, and it never seems so big a home or so much a place of love as when some man from India or Japan or Mexico or Tahiti or Fiji shares it with me.

For on those happy days it reminds me of the wonderful affection I have known throughout the world. I believe that all men are my brothers. I know it when I see them sharing my home.


In summary, the above are some tips and guidelines to writing this type of essay. Do well to learn from the ‘this i believe essay examples’ given above. Also, feel to practice and learn more this essay.

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This I Believe Essay Examples

We found 16 free papers on this i believe, essay examples, my opinion on winning.

This I Believe

Some say winning is what the outcome is, or the final score. I would have to completely disagree with this theory. Winning to me isnt necessarily the team score but your own personal score, or how well you did in the game, or what ever the competition. The competition could for a job, or the…

I Believe in Miracles

I believe In miracles. Ata very young age I began to get an Idea of what a miracle was. Dialing H. Oaks defines a miracle as “a beneficial event brought about through divine power that mortals do not understand and themselves cannot duplicate. ” When I was SIX years old I had my first experience…

Do You Believe That Everything Happens for a Reason?

On March 28th, 2004 at exactly 4:20 am, I was abruptly awakened by a loud noise above me. As I checked the clock, the room became illuminated by bright green neon lights. With a sense that something was amiss, I promptly got out of bed and navigated through the dimly lit basement apartment. Upstairs, the…

An Essay on the Things I Believe In

I believe death brings people closer. When I was in high school I always had plenty of friends to socialize with. However, out of these friends there were only some I considered to be a “true” friend. One of those friends was a boy named Tommy. He was your typical jock, he played football, baseball,…

I believe Americans should have a better healthcare system

Health Care

I had believed that Obamacare was excellent at providing every citizen of America with healthcare and the medical care system had been fixed. However, my belief was ruined when I decided to go to school full-time and quit my job. I discovered the hidden rules of America’s healthcare system. I now believe Obamacare in America…

The Importance and Power of Physical Touch

I believe in the importance and power of physical touch. This includes a variety of actions such as, hugs, kisses, handshakes, a high five, or even a simple pat on the back. My family is Italian and frequent physical touch is a part of our culture. From the day I was born, my parents never…

A Reflection on Staying True to Myself Amidst a Society with Herd Mentality

In a society where there is growing pressure to satisfy everyone, individuals feel obligated to seek approval, which adds even more stress for those who are socially disadvantaged. The prevailing notion that meeting others’ expectations brings about success is widely accepted because of this societal force. Nevertheless, my father provided me with an alternative viewpoint….

Everything Happens for a Reason

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. ”…

Karma Strikes on a Sunday

Karma Strikes and Miracles Rescue I have many beliefs-? having fun, changing lives, laughing, or Just simply smiling to others. But those are all small beliefs that we all have. But my belief is stopped short when It comes to karma. It was a tremendous spring break; beautiful flowers I have never seen before blooming…

My Belief in Thinking Happy to Be Happy

Abraham Maslow once said, “If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be unhappy for the rest of your life.” You have to think happy to be happy. If you want to achieve something great, you need to think greatly. I believe to be…

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inspiring essay topic ideas

85 Original “This I Believe” Essay Topic Idea

A lecturer may ask students to turn in a “this I believe essay topic idea”, writing about something they think exists. Thus, students start to search the internet on “this I believe essay topic idea”. In writing a “this I believe” essay, there are no limits. You can write about anything you believe in from true love to a religious belief to your political stand. However, getting the right “this I believe essay topic idea” is something that students struggle with. In this article, you will be getting many essay topic ideas you can choose from. So, continue reading!

85 I Believe Essay Topic Ideas

  • I Believe In Doing A Good Turn
  • I Believe In Gender Equality
  • I Believe In God
  • I Believe In True Love
  • I Believe In Myself
  • I Believe In Diligence At Work
  • I Believe In Living Single Forever
  • I Believe In Having A Best Friend
  • I Believe In Dreams
  • I Believe In Fate
  • I Believe In Working Hard
  • I Believe In Communal Work
  • I Believe In The Power Of Words
  • I Believe In Drawing My Inner Strength
  • I Believe In Talking As A Means Of Solving Problems
  • I Believe In Women Dominating Politics
  • Robots Will Take Over Human Labour In 10 Years, This I Believe
  • I Believe Homeschooling Is Better Than Attending School Physically
  • I Believe In Feminism
  • I Believe In Showing The World My Hidden Talent
  • I Believe In Volunteering For Charity Events
  • I Believe In Visiting Countries As A Teenager
  • I Believe That Social Media Has Adverse Effects On Mental Health
  • I Believe Having Pets Help A Person
  • I Believe In Spending Time With The Elderly
  • I Believe In Rekindling Old Friendships
  • I Believe We All Have Hidden Abilities
  • I Believe Children Should Not Be Spanked
  • I Believe Prisoners Should Be Allowed To Vote
  • I Believe Women Should Rule The World
  • I Believe The Simplest Things In Life Bring Fulfillment
  • I Believe In Taking Risks
  • I Believe In Going On Adventures
  • I Believe Abortion Should Be Delegalized
  • I Believe In Making Sacrifices For Loved Ones
  • I Believe Success Is Relative
  • I Believe The Theory Of Evolution Is A Myth
  • I Believe In Learning How To Cook At A Young Age
  • I Believe In Learning Tech At A Young Age
  • I Believe In Body Positivity And Confidence
  • I Believe In Having Role Models
  • I Believe In A Mother’s Love
  • I Believe In A Father’s Love
  • I Believe In Spending Time With My Family
  • I Believe In Writing Letters To My Younger Self
  • I Believe In Writing Letters To My Older Self
  • I Believe There Is Intrusion Of Privacy Of Social Media Users
  • I Believe More Youths Have Mental Health Issues
  • I Believe The Media Misrepresents The Youth
  • I Believe In Keeping Family Traditions Alive
  • I Believe In Hard Copies Are Better Than E-books
  • I Believe In Financial Responsibility
  • I Believe In Legal Punishment For Cyber-bullying
  • I Believe Foetus Should Have Legal Rights
  • I Believe In Shared Domestic Roles For Husbands And Wives
  • I Believe In Helping The Sick
  • I Believe Everyone Has Their Personal Fashion Sense
  • I Believe Would-be Fathers Should Have A Say In Determining Whether An Abortion Is Carried Out Or Not
  • I Believe Democracy Has No Place In The 21st Century
  • I Believe Technology Has Contributed Immensely To Fashion
  • I Believe Teachers Should Be Paid Higher Salaries
  • I Believe Teachers Are Under-appreciated
  • I Believe Libraries Are The Bedrocks Of Literacy
  • I Believe Cultures Should Be Preserved
  • I Believe That Women Should Be More Financially Empowered
  • I Believe Children Should Be Financially Empowered
  • I Believe NGOs Should Pay Taxes
  • I Believe Art Is Life
  • I Believe In Formal Education
  • I Believe Cars Should Drive Themselves
  • I Believe China Is The Next Superpower
  • I Believe The US Interferes In Other Countries’ Affairs
  • I Believe Preteenagers Should Start A Job During The Holiday
  • I Believe There Should Not Be Summer Lessons
  • I Believe Supreme Court Justices Should Be Elected
  • I Believe The Internet Should Be Regulated
  • I Believe Religion Is Relevant In The 21st Century
  • I Believe Sex Education Should Be Introduced In Grade Level
  • I Believe 5G Technology Is More Beneficial To Humans
  • I Believe Vegetables Should Replace Junk
  • I Believe Students Should Wear Uniforms To School
  • I Believe Sororities Are Irrelevant To Schools
  • I Believe Immigrants Face Discrimination In Schools
  • I Believe Public Schools Are Under-facilitated
  • I Believe Euthanasia Should Be Made A Criminal Offence

How To Write A “This I Believe Essay”

Now that you have these topics, the next thing to get is the structure: title, introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Make sure you go straight to the point and cut out unnecessary words.

With these essay topics, you are on the right path to writing a good “this I believe” essay. Remember to start your essay with the title, followed by an introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion.

this i believe essay starters

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  1. PDF How to Write Your Own This I Believe Essay

    Be brief: Your statement should be between 350 and 500 words. The shorter length forces you to focus on the belief that is central to your life. Name your belief: If you can't name it in a sentence or two, your essay might As heard on NPR

  2. Home

    Matt Harding - Seattle, Washington Connecting to a Global Tribe Standing Up to Injustice Our Mission This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives.

  3. 50 I Believe Essay Topics

    Start by defining what it is that you believe. This may seem like a simple task, but it can be challenging to identify your core beliefs. If you're struggling, start by jotting down a list of topics that are important to you - from politics and religion to family and friendship. Reflect on why each topic is important to you.

  4. 'This I Believe' Essay Showcase

    "Infatuation" by Reignmarc Vincent Labuguen "I Am Enough" by Adrianna Adame Throughout my life, I have always thought of myself as a failure. I was a failure for not being smart enough, friendly enough, or pretty enough. Always, I criticized myself for not putting in enough effort in order to work up to my full potential.

  5. "This I Believe" Essay

    by Tanya Matthews This I Believe is an exciting media project that invites individuals from all walks of life to write about and discuss the core beliefs that guide their daily lives. They share these statements in weekly broadcasts on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

  6. Power Lesson: "This I Believe" Essays

    The first time I assigned a "This I Believe" essay was in the fall of 2014, during the second week of school. I planned it as a year-long endeavor, something we could work on as a distraction from other essays required to prepare for state testing. This past year, I did not assign it until late April; it would be our last major writing task.

  7. Essays Archive

    Connecting to a Global Tribe Matt Harding has been to 70 countries to dance-badly-in front of a camera, and videos of his travels are an Internet sensation. Harding believes interacting with so many people is challenging his primitive brain to see more of what unites humanity. Read Essay Treating Everyone As Family

  8. This I Believe Essay Topics

    This I Believe Essay Topics. Instructor: Clio Stearns. Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction. Cite this lesson. Getting students ...

  9. This I Believe : NPR

    Listen · 5:01 Playlist Opinion The Art Of Being A Neighbor April 12, 2009 • A few years ago, Eve Birch was broke and living alone in a dilapidated mountain shack. But a community of people...

  10. This I Believe, Essay Writing Guide with Outline

    Tips for Final Revision Outline Example for this I Believe Essay How to Write the Essay on 'I Believe' The 'I believe' is an essay that expects an individual to write about the particular beliefs that a person has. This topic does not necessarily need to be a religion as thought by many students. It is what can carry someone's interests.

  11. 30+ This I Believe Essay Examples in PDF

    1. High School This I Believe Essay Example misswrighteng9.weebly.com Details File Format PDF Size: 487 KB Download 2. Sample This I Believe Essay Example paracletehs.org Details File Format PDF Size: 47 KB Download 3. Student This I Believe Essay Example tamramccarthy.org Details File Format PDF Size: 173 KB

  12. Best This I Believe Essay Guide For You

    When you are faced with the task of writing a this I believe essay, the first step is selecting a good topic. At this point, you should look for something that you have learned about through various experiences, life struggles, or humanity.

  13. PDF Getting Started on "This I Believe" Essay Assignment

    Tell a story: Be specific. Consider moments when your belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your own experience, work, and family, and tell of the things you know that no one else does. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real.

  14. Most Interesting This I Believe Essay Topics to Write about

    Most Interesting This I Believe Topics to Write about. This I Believe About The Good Life: What It Means To An Immigrant. This I Believe: An Intermission from This Fast-Paced Life. This I Believe - Making the Most Out of Time. This I Believe: Life and Creativity. This I Believe: Live A Life of Love And Be One With.

  15. 53 This I Believe Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

    This was the time when I remembered the words of my grandmother "only fools rush […] Art and Creativity to Solve Problems. I believe that art is the deepest expression of the society and the beliefs it underscores. I believe in the unity of the human race and bringing an end to racism and human trafficking. This I Believe: Happiness Is a ...

  16. What is This I Believe Essay?

    Below are some of the guidelines for writing 'this i believe essay: Your speech should be 450-700 words. This will keep it within 4-6 minutes. Also, your speech must start with a clear and engaging thesis. Like: "I believe that. Furthermore, your speech must tell the story or stories that brought you to your belief.

  17. This I Believe Essay Examples

    Overview My Opinion on Winning This I Believe Words: 664 (3 pages) Some say winning is what the outcome is, or the final score. I would have to completely disagree with this theory. Winning to me isnt necessarily the team score but your own personal score, or how well you did in the game, or what ever the competition.

  18. 85 Original "This I Believe" Essay Topic Idea

    A lecturer may ask students to turn in a "this I believe essay topic idea", writing about something they think exists. Thus, students start to search the internet on "this I believe essay topic idea". In writing a "this I believe" essay, there are no limits.

  19. I Believe Essay: Example and Tips

    The first thought in the head of the student who gets the task of writing "I believe" essay is that this essay must be about religion, about his/her belief in God. This is not necessarily true. You can write about any sort of belief in this paper. Here are some examples of themes. Examples of themes for I Believe essay

  20. Victor Davis Hanson: Brace Yourself For What's Coming In 2024

    Watch on. This clip of Victor Davis Hanson warning about what will happen during the 2024 election went viral on social media over the weekend: VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: They look at Trump as a vampire ...

  21. Featured Essays Archives

    Featured Essays Archives - This I Believe Featured Essays The essays in this category have been featured as our Essay of the Week. Connecting to a Global Tribe Matt Harding has been to 70 countries to dance-badly-in front of a camera, and videos of his travels are an Internet sensation.

  22. Educator Frequently Asked Questions

    A: We recommend starting by having students read and listen to other This I Believe essays in order to explore the core beliefs of others. This can help students see the value of considering other people's beliefs, whether they agree with the writers, or, perhaps more important, when they do not.

  23. Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a This I Believe essay? Our project is about telling the stories of our core values. But rather than starting with a belief statement of something you believe, start by telling a compelling story about how you came to hold an important personal belief—something that guides your daily living.

  24. Themes

    Explore. Featured Essays Essays on the Radio; Special Features; 1950s Essays Essays From the 1950s Series; Browse by Theme Browse Essays By Theme Use this feature to browse through the tens of thousands of essays that have been submitted to This I Believe. Select a theme to see a listing of essays that address the selected theme. The number to the right of each theme indicates how many essays ...