Our First Writing Opportunity

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I’m excited to share with you a few different options for our first writing opportunity.

As we work through our writing boot camp, which is dedicated to growing and developing our writing skills, we will discuss important issues that can serve as powerful topics for essays. You may choose what issues and topics you want to read and write about. Our options are here:

This I Believe – for a smaller audience

YES! Magazine Writing Contest – for a larger audience (and public recognition and prizes!)

With either prompt, our learning targets are the same:

  • I can compose a clear, concise claim (a.k.a. thesis statement) that identifies my main, central argument.
  • I can support my claim with evidence and examples.
  • I can explain my evidence with sound reasoning that demonstrates how it supports 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.

If you choose to write for the contest, you’ll also need to ensure you follow all of its rules.

For the writing contest, you need:


An interesting read to get you thinking and perhaps inspire you… New York Times op-ed “What Does America Stand For? We Ask Teenagers”

“What are your values as a person? What are American values? Do you think the country is living up to those values today? Why or why not?”