Recently in <Subject area> we’ve been studying <topic/question/issue>. At first, I thought <What were your first thoughts on this topic/question/issue? Look back at your first pieces of writing/annotations/questions.>. When I <saw/read/played/heard…> <a specific resource> I started to think <How did your thinking shift or change?>. I know that many people feel that <What do some people say about this topic/issue/question?>. After doing this study, <What do you think about this issue/topic/question, now?> For example, I <heard/read> that <Be specific with one example of what you have heard/read.>

One thing that I know for sure about <topic/question/issue> is that <Complete this sentence with something that is important to you about this issue/topic/question> Now I’ve studied my share of <Put a related subject here, for example, U.S.History, biology, environmental science, religion, philosophy, music, sports, politics…>, and personally, it’s <funny/interesting/infuriating/reassuring…> to me how… <Write 3 or 4 more sentences.>

I did some research on <the topic/issue/question>. In this one <article/video/podcast>: <Title and link to the source.> This <article/video/podcast> provided a lot of information and opinions on <your issue/topic/question>. Some people felt that <your issue/topic/question> <was/were> <Summarize some facts from your article.> <Insert a quote from the article.> This <statement/statistic> didn’t really surprise me all that much, but it did make me feel <emotion>. <Write 2 or 3 more sentences, explaining why you think the way you do about this.>

In another source that I looked at, <Title and link to another article/video/photo series/poem/song….> there was this one statement that made me <nod my head in agreement / shake my head in disagreement> with the <writer/photographer/reporter/poet..>. It was: <Insert a quote from this second source.> This is so <true/untrue>, because <expalin why you think and why in 3 or 4 more sentences.>

All of this makes me think that <Write 3 or 4 more sentences summarizing what you learned from reading these Internet sources.> My question at this point is: <Pose a question here to launch a deeper inquiry into the issue by asking: Where is it happening? Why is it there? Why care?>

Click to make your own
Google Doc of this guide.

This guide will help you move from responding to articles, videos, images, and podcasts that you have been looking at with your class to writing a more formal essay about your own questions.

This guide asks you to tell the story of your thinking from the time you first encountered the topic to when you formed your own questions about it. What have you been learning about this topic over the years and in and out of school? And what are your questions now?

Then you are prompted to talk about the research you have done recently using at least two different sources.

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.

CC BY-SA 4.0All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


We welcome new members. You can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Missions on Youth Voices

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?


Create Account