how to write philosophy papers



How to write philosophy papers

Nor should you assume that every writing guideline you've been given by other teachers is important when you're writing a philosophy paper.

A convincing argument for tes says that q; however, the following thought-experiment will show that q is not true...

Then it goes on to do one or two of the following:Criticize that argument; or show that certain arguments for the thesis are no the argument or thesis against someone else's st the strengths and weaknesses of two opposing views about the examples which help explain the thesis, or which help to make the thesis more that certain philosophers are committed to the thesis by their other views, though they do not come out and explicitly endorse the s what consequences the thesis would have, if it were the thesis, in the light of some matter which of these aims you set for yourself, you have to explicitly present reasons for the claims you make.

You should assume that your audience does not already accept your position; and you should treat your paper as an attempt to persuade such an audience.


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Good philosophy paper is modest and makes a small point; but it makes that point clearly and straightforwardly, and it offers good reasons in support of very often attempt to accomplish too much in a philosophy paper.

The usual result of this is a paper that's hard to read, and which is full of inadequately defended and poorly explained claims.

Done properly, philosophy moves at a slow aim of these papers is for you to show that you understand the material and that you're able to think critically about it.

To do this, your paper does have to show some independent doesn't mean you have to come up with your own theory, or that you have to make a completely original contribution to human thought.

An ideal paper will be clear and straightforward (see below), will be accurate when it attributes views to other philosophers (see below), and will contain thoughtful critical responses to the texts we read.

Merely summarizing what others have said won't be early stages of writing a philosophy paper include everything you do before you sit down and write your first draft. These early stages will involve writing, but you won't yet be trying to write a complete paper.


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You should instead be taking notes on the readings, sketching out your ideas, trying to explain the main argument you want to advance, and composing an i said above, your papers are supposed to demonstrate that you understand and can think critically about the material we discuss in class.

One of the best ways to check how well you understand that material is to try to explain it to someone who isn't already familiar with it. I've discovered time and again while teaching philosophy that i couldn't really explain properly some article or argument i thought i understood. So it's good to discuss the issues we raise in class with each other, and with friends who aren't taking the class. This will help you understand the issues better, and it will make you recognize what things you still don't fully 's even more valuable to talk to each other about what you want to argue in your paper. That is why it is important to think about these questions before you begin to write.


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Strongly recommend that you make an outline of your paper, and of the arguments you'll be presenting, before you begin to write. This lets you organize the points you want to make in your paper and get a sense for how they are going to fit together. It also helps ensure that you're in a position to say what your main argument or criticism is, before you sit down to write a full draft of your paper. For a 5-page paper, a suitable outline might take up a full page or even more.


Plan paper to write on

Find that making an outline is at least 80% of the work of writing a good philosophy paper.

If you have a good outline, the rest of the writing process will go much more ophical problems and philosophical writing require careful and extended reflection.

Writing a good philosophy paper takes a great deal of need to leave yourself enough time to think about the topic and write a detailed outline.

So you should start working on your papers as soon as the paper topics are you've thought about your argument, and written an outline for your paper, then you're ready to sit down and compose a complete 't shoot for literary elegance.

Don't write using prose you wouldn't use in conversation: if you wouldn't say it, don't write may think that since your ta and i already know a lot about this subject, you can leave out a lot of basic explanation and write in a super-sophisticated manner, like one expert talking to another.

I guarantee you that this will make your paper your paper sounds as if it were written for a third-grade audience, then you've probably achieved the right sort of your philosophy classes, you will sometimes encounter philosophers whose writing is obscure and complicated.

The authors in question are philosophically important despite their poor writing, not because of it.


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So do not try to emulate their writing should make the structure of your paper obvious to the reader.

Don't throw in a "thus" or a "therefore" to make your train of thought sound better-argued than it really r way you can help make the structure of your paper obvious is by telling the reader what you've done so far and what you're going to do next.

The reader should never be in doubt about whose claims you're presenting in a given can't make the structure of your paper obvious if you don't know what the structure of your paper is, or if your paper has no structure.

That's why making an outline is so write a good philosophy paper, you need to be concise but at the same time explain yourself demands might seem to pull in opposite directions.

If you understand these demands properly, though, you'll see how it's possible to meet them tell you to be concise because we don't want you to ramble on about everything you know about a given topic, trying to show how learned and intelligent you are.

One or two well-mapped paths are better than an impenetrable ate the central problem or question you wish to address at the beginning of your paper, and keep it in mind at all times.

Don't make your reader thing i mean by "explain yourself fully" is that, when you have a good point, you shouldn't just toss it off in one sentence.


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