Friendship: Discovering New Aspects of Oneself

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Friendship: Discovering New Aspects of Oneself
In the novel/DVD Bridge to Terabithia written by Katherine Paterson, the reader/viewer sees the essential beauty of Leslie and Jess’s friendship: it allows both Leslie and Jess, particularly Jess, to find their true selves. This seems to be the author’s (Paterson) central point about friendship—that it allows friends to expand, to explore new dimensions of one's character as a result of the other person's pushing one in new directions.

How does Jess change as a result of his friendship with Leslie? 

He becomes more confident in himself. As he puts it, Leslie "had taken him from the cow pasture into Terabithia and turned him into a king." (p. 187) Jess also learns that there was a way to organize a family and have relationships with adults that is different than the way his family operates. Leslie also gives him books to read. Jess's artistic abilities are strengthened by Leslie's imagination, which provides for new and innovative artwork, and Leslie's strength and courage are tested and developed when Jess encourages her to help Janice Avery. Jess discovers in himself an aptitude for invention and creativity; Leslie uncovers a desire for spirituality when Jess brings her to church.


Compose a three to five paragraph personal essay titled, “Friendship: Discovering New Aspects of Oneself.”

Use between 300-500 words. (read more at the end of this handout.) Design your planning sheet on the back of this handout.

Staple your sheets at home in this order:

  1. This instruction sheet on the bottom

  2. Your planning sheet

  3. Your first draft written in blue ink

  4. Your red ink editing on you first draft

  5. Your typed final copy on top.


Use standard college guidelines:

White computer paper, front side only

Black ink

Times New Roman font

12-point size

Double spaced

One inch borders

Our class heading on the top of the first sheet.

  1. Introduce your writing with a hook to get the reader’s attention: DDQQIESS

  • description, definition, question, quotation, incident, example, statistic, startling statement.

  1. Develop the body of your writing with the P E E Chain:

  • Make your point (then use a transition)

  • Give an example or evidence (use a transitional link)

  • Then explain or explore your idea

  • It is always helpful to tell why your idea matters

  1. Conclude your writing with either one or both-

  1. Use VIVID ADJECTIVES, and remember that SAID IS DEAD! Use TRANSITIONAL WORDS and EXPRESSIONS to connect ideas in sentences and between paragraphs. Re-read your handouts in your notebook-binder to check and REVISE your essay.


Compose your essay like this-

In a friendship, one discovers new aspects of oneself and helps the other person to discover new aspects of him/herself, as well. 

(CONTENT:) Write about a time when you experienced, or almost experienced, a friendship that brought out your best. Or you may write about a friendship between others that you witnessed as a healthy relationship that brought out the best in those people.

Compose three paragraphs. Introduce with the meaning of friendship. Develop your essay with your example of friendship (yours or another’s). And conclude your essay with either what was learned (or not learned), and/or a vision of the future regarding friendships and personal growth and development.

(MECHANICS AND FORM:) Use about 300 words. The first draft is hand-written in blue ink. Then, edit paper with red ink. Edit for bigger words. Check spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and sentence structure. Next, type it. Use Times New Roman, 12 points. Use white computer sheets, front only. One inch borders. Double spaced. Staple this instruction sheet to the bottom, your blue ink first draft in the middle, and the typed final copy on top.

Design your planning sheet here-

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