Consider the concept of living a good life.

Gonzalez – ENGL

Essay #1

Consider the concept of living a good life.

Historically, this phrase has served as a term for the life that one would like to live, or for happiness—eudaimonia, Greek for “eu” (good) “daimon” (spirit)—originally associated with Aristotle (famous Greek philosopher) and his teaching on ethics (right and wrong conduct/behavior).

Often times an individual’s idea of living a good life is not self-defined but defined by the culture in which they live. Culture can be defined as the social behavior, values (what we judge as important in life), social norms, societal standards, individual expectations, and institutions (educational, political, financial, family, religious, judicial, etc.)

What is living the good life? Can you define it in a meaningful way? Is it different for everyone? Or is there a universal philosophy that each individual can and/or should live by in order to achieve happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction?

You must use all of the readings that we’ve covered so far in class to write your essay. I’ve compiled the websites from where I acquired all of our readings at the end of this assignment. You will be responsible for providing correct in-text citations and a works cited page of all the sources.

Depending on what your personal responses are to the questions above, you may (1) agree with and use the sources to support your thesis; or (2) find contradictions, inaccuracies, inconsistencies, in the sources to support your thesis; or (3) if you’re feeling really brave, you will highlight areas in each source where you agree and disagree to support your thesis.

Whatever you decide to do, your thesis must (a) be written in your own words (not a quote), and (b) it should clearly state what your idea/opinion is on what living the good life means (to you personally), which will then be supported with body paragraphs that will either refute or agree with the source material.

The point of using different sources in a research paper is to reflect a diversity of opinion. And it is perfectly acceptable in this paper for you to discuss what you’ve learned from these different points of view, and what questions remain unanswered for you, and why.


· MLA Format

· Include a relevant title that captures your reader’s attention (“Philosophy Essay” is NOT a relevant title)

· Double-spaced

· One-inch margins

· 12 pt font

· Times New Roman

· In-text citations

· Works Cited page

· 3-5 pages in length

Your rough draft is DUE: Tuesday, Sept. 25th by or before midnight. You will e-mail it to Attach MS Worddocuments only. NO PDFs.

*You must also print a hard copy and bring it to class on the 25th.

**Refer to the handout on Summarizing, Quoting, Paraphrasing for proper punctuation of quotes or paraphrases; refer to the handout on MLA In-text Citations for proper in-text citation format.

***Use to generate your full MLA citations for the Works Cited page and to upload your paper to perform a plagiarism check.


“America the Illiterate” by Chris Hedges

“The Moral Bucket List” by David Brooks

“Four Philosophical Models of the Good Life” by LQ McDonald III

“Allegory of the Cave” by Plato

“2005 Kenyon Commencement Address” by David Foster Wallace