How to Write a Credo Essay
A credo is a personal belief or passion that centers an individual. A credo essay assignment asks you to describe why your personal belief is so important to you. As a first step to writing a credo essay, make a list of things you believe in. Think emotionally and logically about what brings fulfillment to your life. You may believe in literature, painting, charity work, cinema, romantic love or tennis. Like other expository essays, the credo essay does not try to persuade a reader to believe you, but simply offers one viewpoint -- yours.
Create a statement that lays out your belief. This will be your skeleton thesis statement, which you will develop later. If your credo essay will focus on the importance of family, for instance, write a statement that makes the claim concrete, such as, “I believe family togetherness is the key to a satisfying life.” It is still a vague concept but your essay will explain it.
Write an introductory paragraph. Start with a “grabber” sentence, a line that will grab your reader’s attention. If you are writing an essay on how playing piano makes life fulfilling, describe your fingers lightly but powerfully bouncing from one piano key to the next when playing J.S. Bach’s Prelude in C Minor.
Flesh out your skeleton thesis statement. Develop it into a statement that more fully describes your passion. For example, if you are writing about family, your thesis statement might be, “I believe maintaining family togetherness provides the basic structure for a healthy, fulfilling and structured life.” Or, using the piano example, you might write, “Playing the piano gives me a comfort, happiness and challenge I cannot find anywhere else in my life.”
Address each part of your thesis statement in the body paragraphs. In the first paragraph, address the first concept in your thesis. For example, devote the first paragraph to how playing the piano brings comfort. You may discuss how the knowledge you have about the keys and the sounds they make when played at different intervals makes you feel safe and comforted, like you do under a warm blanket. Continue with a theme for each of the paragraphs.
Conclude the essay. Wrap up your credo essay in a few sentences by summarizing your belief. If you wrote about your religion, for example, summarize in the conclusion how having religion in your life gives you peace in times of stress and trouble and how grateful you are that God exists in your life. Remember that you are not convincing people to believe with you: this is your individual belief. However, you do want your credo to have a lingering effect.
Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.