Im studying for my English class and dont understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?
This I Believe
Never has the need for personal philosophies of this kind been more urgent.
–Edward R. Murrow, 1950s news anchor and founder of This I Believe
The first assignment for this class is a This I Believe essay. This I Believe essays are 500
word personal philosophies designed to be read on National Public Radio. They are not
statements about who we are or how we should be; they are essays that allow you to present
one of your own core beliefs and show how it has been formed by (or challenged and reshaped
by) your experience.
This I Believe was created and hosted by Edward R. Murrow in the 1950s, a decade marked
by the Cold War, McCarthyism, and heightening racial tension. In the midst of an era where
much trouble arose from fear and misunderstanding (e.g., where one lone senator managed to
create a monopoly on the truth in a way that caused lasting damage to many individuals),
Murrow recognized the need to help people appreciate what they had in common. By featuring
the personal philosophies of real people, he hoped to point to the common meeting grounds of
beliefs, which is the essence of brotherhood and the floor of our civilization.
When NPR started airing This I Believe again a few years ago, they too hoped to enhance our
ability to understand each other. They believed that a vital democracy requires direct
communication, but they recognized that the sound-bite nature of our information-delivery
systems and failure to appreciate others beliefs inhibit meaningful discussion. The producers
believe that simply sharing personal beliefs in a positive, non-judgmental way is an excellent
tool for creating genuine dialogue and understanding in our society. They say, Our goal is not
to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs; our goal is to encourage Americans to
begin the much more difficult task of developing sensitivity to beliefs different from their own.
To me, that seems like a task worth participating in.
For a complete history of This I Believe and to browse sample essays, visit the
Here are the things your essay should do:
Make a clear, concise statement of belief.
Use personal experience evidence and narrative techniques to demonstrate how your belief
was formed, tested, or changed.
Maintain a personal tone suitable to radio. (Remember that your audience is intelligent and
Demonstrate readability. (The sentences should be crafted in such a way that they are easily
read aloud. Pay attention to length, clarity, and rhythm as well as grammar and mechanics.)
Demonstrate effective choices about stylediction, balance, emphasis, transitions, etc.
Follow the guidelines on the This I Believe website. You will find these guidelines under the
Write option on the website. You are encouraged to submit this essay to the program after
your revision process. Good luck!
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