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HUM 2249 Required Enlightenment Assessment Essay
The purpose of this assignment is to assess one of EFSC’s Core Abilities: Critical Thinking. This
assessment essay is given college-wide to students in HUM 2249 and must be submitted through the
TurnItIn drop box found in Lesson 6. The essay should be written using MLA style, format, and
citation/documentation standards. The paper should be a thesis-driven critique and contain no fewer than
700 words and no more than 1000 words in the body of the paper. A copy of the topic below and the
grading criteria that will be used to assess the essay is included in Course Information section of the
The paper is NOT optional. Failure to complete this MANDATORY essay will result in an “F” in
the course. Any paper including ANY plagiarized material with little or no attempt to cite the
material’s origin will receive a “0.”
Enlightenment Assessment Essay Topic
The centuries between the 17th century and our contemporary world began with an early, optimistic
outlook of hope and promise of a better future, exemplified by movements like The Enlightenment,
The Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, culminating in the Information Age, Environmental
awareness and Globalization.
However, the period is also scarred with false starts and failures, violent schisms, world wars,
imperialism, terrorism, irrational nationalism, extreme religious fervor, information overload,
pollution and the threat of nuclear annihilation that indicate a failure of the rational model promised
by the Enlightenment.
Students should consider this dichotomy of hope and failure, of promise and disappointment, and
compose a critique of the Enlightenment project, identifying a specific, modern example to evaluate
its success or failure. Examples can be political, economic, social, or artistic.