ANALYZING MY OWN BELIEF
This essay describes and analyzes one single personal belief of yours on an important issue and what factors influenced and shaped that belief.
There are 2 sample essays attached here.
In addition, reading “A Belief That I Feel Strongly About” on page 63-64 in your text may also help you,although this essay differs from our assigned essay.
BELIEF (OR TOPIC)
In order to choosewhat belief you should present,consult the list in your textbook for Activity 5.3, on page 186. A few of these arenot permitted, and they are: #1 (God), #3 (abortion), and #5 (death penalty). (Questions of faith usually do not lead to strong rational essays.)
Here are a few additional topics that may interest you:
“Defund the police” – what is your belief?
“Civilians should/ should not be permitted to own guns” – what is your belief?
“New York’s homeless should all be moved to shelters” – what is your belief?
“To enter any building, everyone should have to show an up-to-date COVID vaccine card” - what is your belief?
You may propose another topicwith your instructor’s approval.
As you think about what contributed to your beliefs, consider and include some concepts from Chapters 4 and 5:
Kinds of Evidence.
(See page 187 and the following pages).
Personal experience; written and video materials; factual evidence (which is sometimes in written and video materials); authorities (sometimes these also come to us via published materials).
Possibly, your belief came only from one of these, such as personal experience. That is fine, but be sure to mention that in your essay.
The 3 stages of knowing described in Chapter 5.
(1) The Garden of Eden; (2) the Anything Goes stage; (3) the Critical Thinker stage. Not everyone goes through all three stages. In fact, you may hold the same beliefs as earlier. But if you feel that you did pass through one or two or three of the stages, you should describe how.
FORMAT AND LENGTH
Your essay should be 600 - 900 words long, which may equate to 2-4 pages long.
Your essay needs to have:
a) Completed in a Doc program and uploaded (do not use Google docs, Pages, PDF, or text entry)
b) Double spaced & left-hand margin (not centered)
c) 12 point font
d) Normal margins (approximately 1 inch)
e) Pages are numbered
f) Essay is titled at top of first page
g) Essay contains your name at top of first page
h) Essay contains course name and number at top of first page
i) Essay has been carefully proofread for grammar, vocabulary use, spelling, punctuation, correct sentence
It is recommended that you also use somesection sub-headings. Sub-headings (titles under the main title) help you to knowwhyyou are writingwhatyou are writing.
GRADING: The first draft will receive an independent grade that counts toward “homework” average.
The second (final) draft receives the major essay grade (7% of the course grade).
Essays will be graded on:
- Critical thinking and depth
- Use of critical thinking concepts from Chaffee, particularly Chapters 4, 5 (see above)
- Focus: knowing what your topic & direction are
- Demonstration of awareness of what created your belief
- response to instructor feedback
- Demonstration of awareness of other points of view on that issue
- Essay structure
- Detailed explanation and clarity
- Language: correct and clear sentences, grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, mechanics