Essay Prompt on Determined A Memoir Book Common Reading Essay Contest


Martin’s story highlights the importance of hope and determination that helped him to persevere through the Holocaust. Using your critical thinking skills, select a theme from Martin’s story that you can relate to, and write a 2-3 page reflective essay. Be sure to include examples from Martin’s life and your life, and how you can relate the two.

Remember you can also submit your essay to the Common Reading Essay Contest for the opportunity to win one of three cash prizes. The Common Reading Essay Contest’s deadline will be announced on the website.

Tips to help you write your essay

  • Review the book and your discussion notes
  • Identify the main themes
  • Brainstorm pieces or events that stand out in your mind. Consider why these sections are particularly memorable or significant to you.  You might find it helpful to use the Brainstorming and Connecting Chart (PDF) to keep track of your ideas and connections.  A chart similar to this is a useful tool whenever you need to write a reflective essay/paper.  Note that reflective writing is an exploration and an explanation of events – not just a description or summary of them.
  • Above all – be honest, seek to find your true and deepest feelings about what you are trying to express.  Genuine reflective writing often involves “revealing” anxieties, errors and/or weaknesses, as well as strengths and successes.  This is fine (in fact it’s often essential!), as long as you remember that there is always an opportunity for growth and improvement.
  • Relate relevant class information to the reading and your experiences.  Consider: How does the book connect to the topics discussed in the class?  How did the book help you to understand the value of applying creativity to finding solutions to complex problems or tasks?  What is the author’s message about creating connections, cultivating relationships, community engagement, and engaged citizenship?
  • Write multiple drafts.  Don’t let the first draft be the final draft.  Put the essay down for a day or two. This will allow you to think about what you have written and make changes to the next draft.
  • Check and double-check your spelling and grammar.  If you need particular help with any of this, please use Grammarly. and visit the Center for Excellence in Writing.


School: Florida International University

  • 15/03/2020
  • 45
Categories: Questions

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