Writing Question

In this project, you will write a short essay that reflects your belief or passion about a particular part of your professional experience. This project will help you refresh your writing skills to prepare for the rest of your graduate program. Organizing complex and divergent thoughts to write a single page requires prewriting, perhaps an outline, and applying the mechanics of writing an essay paragraph by paragraph. That means starting with a topic sentence, adding supporting sentences, and concluding with a sentence that provides a bridge to the next paragraph. Your essay is intentionally limited to 500 words to engage you in the structural process of writing.

Your task is to explain what you value and what’s important to you about your profession, your industry, your career, or your education. This requires a level of introspection that no one else can reach for you.

In a 500-word essay, write a statement of personal and professional belief. Answer these questions:

  • What motivates you?
  • What’s your professional passion?
  • What do you believe?

Use the following suggestions, adapted from This I Believe (n.d.), as a guide:

  • Name your belief—If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about your belief. You are writing an essay, not a list, so focus on one core belief. You will define, explain, and develop ideas about this belief through the essay.
  • Tell a story—Be specific. Ground your belief in specific events of your life. Consider moments when your belief was formed, tested, or changed. Think about your own experiences in work and life and share things you know that no one else does. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your professional or educational philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs. Tell how you reached your beliefs, and if they have grown, what made them grow. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real.
  • Be positive—Please avoid preaching, editorializing, or finger-pointing. This essay should explain what you live by and what you believe, not what you don’t believe.
  • Be personal—Avoid speaking in the editorial “we,” the projecting “you,” or the accusing “they.” Make your essay about you. This essay should not be about your views on society or the world; it should be personal to you and your professional or educational journey. Speak in the first person. Read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time, edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly reflect your belief.

When you are satisfied with your essay, continue to the next step to submit.


This I Believe. (n.d.). This I believe essay writing suggestions. https://thisibelieve.org/guidelines/

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