Guidelines: When writing the essay, please observe the following guidelines. Submit the essay using the space provided in the online form to upload your essay.
- Limit the length to approximately 750-1,000 words (which translates to between two and three double-spaced, typed pages).
- Be sure to include a title for the essay and your name in the essay box on the online form.
- Compose the essay without any assistance, in the either in the form of other people or outside commentary. Don’t use the Internet or the library for research. You are, however, permitted to use a dictionary (online or hardback) for words which are unfamiliar to you. And you can use reference tools (online or otherwise) to identify names which you don’t recognize. Your best interests will be served only if the Writing Program can make an honest appraisal of how you write on your own. This will be your first opportunity to put Haverford’s Honor Code into practice.
Assignment: Read Nora Ephron's The Boston Photographs, reprinted in Chris Anderson and Lex Runciman, eds., Open Questions; Readings for Critical Thinking and Writing (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005).
These photographs were first published were first published on June 22, 1975. The decision to publish proved provocative: beyond the initial response to publication, and over the course of thirty years, this editorial decision has become a case for debate in studies in ethics. Some argued that this was only “cheap sensationalism” or voyeurism; others now argue that this is a more serious ethical violation using the term “revictimization” in terms of the subjects of the photograph and the dynamic involved in viewing the photograph, however casually. Others argued that publication was a responsible record of an actual event, or simply that the photograph was of such exceptional quality that it deserved publication.
In a clear and concise argument, and using evidence drawn from Nora Ephron’s essay, address the decision to publish this photograph: should it have been published?
Please remember to title your essay, and include your name in the text box provided for the essay on the online form.
When evaluating your essay, Writing Program faculty will attend to the following criteria:
- Engagement and reasoning: How well do you demonstrate a grasp of the argument while still establishing and supporting your own position?
- Structure and style: Does the organization of your essay help or hinder readers? Is there sufficient control of particular sentences to allow us to follow your reasoning?
Any questions, please contact Prof. Debora Sherman, Director of College Writing, 610-896-1255.