This I Believe Short Essay Writing Project

Marching Orders:

  • Only GoogleDocs will be accepted, read, and assessed.
  • Please check your work against all the learning targets and instructions.
  • Format your essay appropriately as shown in class.
  • Check your comma usage as discussed in class.
  • Highlight your claim.
  • Provide a word count at the end of the essay.
  • Submit in GoogleClassroom.


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This I Believe Short Essay Writing Project

Learning Targets:

  • I can compose a clear, concise claim (a.k.a. thesis) that identifies my main, central argument.
  • I can support my claim with evidence and examples, explaining the evidence in my own words and showing how it proves my claim.
  • I can write with my own voice, meaning my own personality and style, to engage my readers and make them interested in my ideas.
  • When necessary, I can accurately cite the sources of my evidence in proper MLA format.
  • I can communicate my ideas and opinions clearly and properly with solid conventions.

Mentor Texts:

Additional Readings:


What do you think? What do you think about what it means to be an American or a citizen? What do you think about patriotism? What do you think about the constitutional right to stand at attention, take a knee, or sit during the national anthem? What do you think about your constitutional rights as a student and teenager? 

In this brief writing project (about 500 words), you may choose to address any question about the American identity, the concept of citizenship, or the idea of patriotism. You may also choose to ask and answer a question related to the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, or Bill of Rights. Moreover, you could examine any issue of equal rights, representation, and responsibility. You can direct the focus of this writing project any way you want, modeling your writing after a newspaper editorial or a “This I Believe” essay.

No matter what your focus or form, please do the following in your short essay:

  • State your claim, meaning your central argument or belief. If you cannot state your claim, make your argument, or name your belief in a sentence or two, then your claim may be too ambiguous or unclear.
  • Support your claim with evidence (like Thomas Jefferson, yo!). Use evidence — facts, statistics, quotations, past precedents, theoretical explanations, personal experience — to show that you are right.
  • You may choose to acknowledge contradictory opinions (meaning the opinions of those who do not agree with your claim) and explain why you disagree with them.
  • If appropriate, you may choose to give a proactive approach or solution to any problems you may identify. Offer your ideas for making the situation better by using constructive criticism and providing solutions.
  • Write in your own voice, allowing your personality and personal style to shine through. Still, avoid inappropriate language.
  • Be sure to carefully proofread and revise your writing.
  • Use 12 pt Times New Roman font; double-space.
  • Work in GoogleDocs only, please. Submit only GoogleDocs on GoogleClassroom. Thank you!