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Essay Assignments

Essay Assignment #1 (Revised Draft)

Essay Length: 1200-1500 (3-4 printed pages)


While most people believe that telling the truth is important, very few of us always tell the truth. We have many justifications for lying. Often we justify not telling the truth by claiming that the truth would hurt someone, or that other people don't need to hear the whole truth. Sometimes, in fact, the truth can be destructive, and even used as a weapon. However, more often we don't tell the truth for purely personal reasons: we want to protect ourselves; or we want to avoid confrontation, maintain our reputations, exert our power, or fear the consequences of our actions and statements.


Write an essay in which you analyze what our three texts, "The Lies We Tell" by Ericsson, excerpts from “Genesis” and Hippolytus by Euripides, show us about the importance of honesty. Is lying ever justified? Or is it always wrong?

General Hints

  1. Read the topic a couple of times and note what it requires you to do. Complete all the tasks of the assignment.
  2. Take time to plan and organize your essay before you begin to write. (Scratch outlines are often quite helpful.)
  3. Be sure to start with a strong focused thesis. Set out to argue or prove something and then gather and use evidence from the texts (and possibly your own experience) to support your claim.
  4. Make sure that you support or illustrate general points with specific examples and vivid details.
  5. Allow yourself enough time after writing to go back over your essay, check for errors or omissions, and make any necessary corrections.

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Last Update: 01/12/2016