Corey Dressel

“This I Believe…” An assignment that combines textual writing with audio recording

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm

ASSIGNMENT: This I Believe…

My students’ final paper assignment asks them to consider what it is that they believe after our semester-long journey together.


They were exposed to documentaries, including I Am, Facing Sudan, and Hunted Like Animals. They had to read memoirs that depicted a wide variety of experiences, from love and heart-break, to the contemplation of Heaven and Hell, to suffocating and unbearable suffering.

Their life melted into local experiences and distant cultures. They found themselves living in small-town Wisconsin, flying over the Laotian mountains, and being dragged through the dry coarse sand of the unforgiving Ajakageer dessert. They froze at night with Craig; ached to the core of their being for love and protection with Benson, Alepho, and Benjamin; and, drowned with Yang’s family in the Mekong River.

I pushed them to write and then to write better. They read, created, researched, and learned. I presented lessons on logic and argument while they considered how they are persuaded and how they should attempt to persuade others. And, I challenged them to reconsider their theories and their ideals—the biases that came with them when they first entered the classroom on the first day of the semester.

When the semester is wrapping up and they prepare to leave this chapter in their life behind, they do not walk away the same as they walked in: the experiences and personal challenges presented in this course will forever have had an impact on them.

SO, then I ASK: Who are you? What is it that you believe?

With this assignment, I ask my students to finish the prompt: “This I believe…” with a personal and very inward response based on their experience with the contents presented in this course. This assignment is amended from the international organization, aptly named: This I Believe.


As their final paper/project, they are asked to write, record, and upload an audio version of a statement of their personal belief based off of this English 111 class. After submitting the text version of their statement, they then upload the audio version to a discussion board on D2L. I will then upload each audio recording to this blog as well as to the discussion board: Corey Dressel – This I Believe…

I warn them that they may find this assignment to be extremely challenging as it requires them to search deep within themselves. However, in this personal intimacy, they will find the content that will mark their pages in a way that no one else could do on their behalf.


Click on the link below to view the full version of the assignment sheet.

This I Believe… assignment sheet

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