How to Write a Philosophy Paper Professor Amy Kind Students often find philosophy papers difficult to write since the expectations are very different from those in other disciplines, even from those of other disciplines in the humanities. What follows is some general advice about how to go about writing short 4 - 5 page philosophy papers on pre-assigned topics. Before starting to write Make sure that you have read all of the relevant texts very carefully.
They are available here: Note in particular that it is a violation of these policies to use material from any source other than yourself in your Philosophy paper introduction without attribution and, where relevant, use of quotation marks. This applies especially to copying and pasting material from websites, which should always be avoided.
You may, of course, make limited use of academically respectable web resources where relevant, as long as they are properly cited I'm not picky about the exact format of your citations, as long as they contain the relevant information and any quoted material is clearly placed in quotation marks though this should still be a very limited portion of your paper.
However, you should never make any use at all of student 'essay mills'--websites that offer students canned student essays for 'research' purposes: General Guidelines for Writing Philosophy Papers Clarity and straightforwardness of thought and language are crucial: No paper should ever start with a sentence like: If you are writing an essay in response to an assigned essay topic, the most important thing is simply to make sure you answer the question that was asked, carefully and thoroughly.
Avoid getting off on tangents that are not crucial to your topic, and avoid sweeping generalizations you can't support in the paper. In addition to the quality of exposition, one of the central things we look for in a philosophy paper is how well the thesis in question is supported.
Even if the reader thinks some of your claims are false, your paper can be excellent if you do a solid job of defending your claims. If you are asked to explain something, do not merely summarize what an author or lecturer has said.
Explain and illuminate the relevant ideas or arguments in your own words, as if you were trying to help a fellow student gain a deeper understanding of them.
Stringing together quotes is not explaining a position or an argument, and does not display your understanding of the material.
Even paraphrasing in your own words is not enough. Again, explanation involves clarifying the claims, bringing out hidden assumptions behind arguments, noticing ambiguities as they arise and nailing them down, and so on.
In addition to careful explanation of positions or arguments, some paper topics ask for critical evaluation of those positions and arguments.
An example of critical evaluation of an argument would be my lecture criticizing Thomson's argument for the conclusion that abortions wouldn't violate a fetus' right to life even if it were granted to have a full right to life.
I developed and used a distinction between positive and negative rights, and argued that the central parallel she appeals to in her argument fails to go through, since it involves a conflation of positive and negative rights.
Some paper topics ask you to do the same sort of thing, and if you're writing on such a topic, be sure that this component of your paper is strong and well developed.
Proofreading of papers is a necessity. So is decent grammar: As for which topic you choose: You should choose something you're most interested in and have the most to say about.
Beware of any topic that seems too easy: If it seems simple--like something you can dash off in a few paragraphs--then that's a good sign that you're not thinking deeply enough about it, and you should probably write on another topic.
So choose your topic carefully. If you use someone else's words, you have to use quotation marks and cite the source in a footnote.
If you don't, it's plagiarism, which constitutes cheating and is a violation of the honor code. See note at top. Is Socrates' position in the Crito, concerning the moral authority of the state, consistent with his view that one should never do anything that is wrong?
Is it consistent with what he says, in the Apology, about what he would do if commanded by the state to cease practicing philosophy, or about what he did when commanded by the Thirty to capture Leon of Salamis for execution?The paper's strengths are its focus, clarity, and organization.
This paper could have been a bit more ambitious as it doesn't do much more than explain the difference between act and rule utilitarianism and Smart's argument against rule utilitarianism. Philosophy of Education (Example #1) My personal goal for my future classroom is to challenge students and watch them grow to their full potential.
I want to take students at different levels and see them develop together for the. ED Personal Philosophy Paper Example 5 Student Name ED The Beginning Questions reflection was particularly strong) 2 2 Philosophy of Education Introduction My philosophy of education was formed at a young age as a result of my experiences in philosophy_example_5.
Writing Philosophy Papers The purpose of a philosophy paper is to make an argument.
Although arguments can vary in their point rather than writing an elaborate introduction. • Example: “In this paper I will be evaluating Philippa Foot’s argument in “Morality as a. Writing Philosophy Papers The purpose of a philosophy paper is to make an argument.
Although arguments can vary in their point rather than writing an elaborate introduction. • Example: “In this paper I will be evaluating Philippa Foot’s argument in “Morality as a. It is true that a philosophy paper suggests primarily logical persuasion, i.e., your method of persuasion is logos – appealing to your reader’s rationality.
Introduction to Literary Analysis Before we embark on looking at a literary analysis essay outline, we need to understand the Narrative Essay Examples.