Some students confuse them with research papers, essays on Literature or any other kinds of academic papers and get rather low marks for them.
The following remarks, though they will not guarantee a top quality paper, should help you determine where best to direct your efforts. One of the first points to be clear about is that a philosophical essay is quite different from an essay in most other subjects.
That is because it is neither a research paper nor an exercise in literary self-expression. It is not a report of what various scholars have had to say on a particular topic. It does not present the latest findings of tests or experiments.
And it does not present your personal feelings or impressions. Instead, it is a reasoned defense of a thesis. What does that mean? Above all, it means that there must be a specific point that you are trying to establish - something that you are trying to convince the reader to accept - together with grounds or justification for its acceptance.
Before you start to write your paper, you should be able to state exactly what it is that you are trying to show. This is harder than it sounds.
It simply will not do to have a rough idea of what you want to establish. A rough idea is usually one that is not well worked out, not clearly expressed, and as a result, not likely to be understood. Whether you actually do it in your paper or not, you should be able to state in a single short sentence precisely what you want to prove.
If you cannot formulate your thesis this way, odds are you are not clear enough about it. The next task is to determine how to go about convincing the reader that your thesis is correct. In two words, your method must be that of rational persuasion.
You will present arguments. At this point, students frequently make one or more of several common errors. Sometimes they feel that since it is clear to them that their thesis is true, it does not need much argumentation.
It is common to overestimate the strength of your own position. That is because you already accept that point of view.
But how will your opponent respond? It is safest to assume that your reader is intelligent and knows a lot about your subject, but disagrees with you. Another common mistake is to think that your case will be stronger if you mention, even if briefly, virtually every argument that you have come across in support of your position.
Sometimes this is called the "fortress approach. There are several reasons for this.
First, your reader is likely to find it difficult to keep track of so many different arguments, especially if these arguments approach the topic from different directions.
Second, the ones that will stand out will be the very best ones and the very worst ones. It is important to show some discrimination here. Only the most compelling one or two arguments should be developed.
Including weaker ones only gives the impression that you are unable to tell the difference between the two. Third, including many different arguments will result in spreading yourself too thinly. It is far better to cover less ground in greater depth than to range further afield in a superficial manner.
It will also help to give your paper focus.A Brief Guide to Writing the Philosophy Paper The Challenges of Philosophical Writing The aim of the assignments in your philosophy classes is to get you doing philosophy. But what is philosophy, POOR WRITING EXAMPLE In answer to the previously mentioned assignment, George wrote a paper arguing that there was free will, on the grounds that.
A Sample Philosophy Paper annotated This contains all the required information. If your prof likes to grade anonymously, make sure not to include your name. An introduction: Again, nothing fancy.
Tell the reader what the paper is about. Provide a roadmap. And..a statement of your thesis. Some background: This can be hard. Of course, writing a paper on philosophy, you are expected to follow the same general guidelines as with most other papers.
|Downloading prezi...||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.|
You should know how to conduct your primary research effective, you should know how to outline your paper before you can proceed to writing it, you should know how to write an article title in a paper to cite it properly.
A Sample Philosophy Paper annotated This contains all the required information. If your prof likes to grade anonymously, make sure not to include your name. An introduction: Again, nothing fancy. Tell the reader what the paper is about. Provide a roadmap.
And..a statement of your thesis. Some background: This can be hard. An inexperienced essay writer who has a very vague idea about how to write a philosophy paper is very likely to fall into a trap.
The trap lies in assuming that your position on the issue is obviously right. A Simple Foolproof Method for Writing Philosophy Papers From About Philosophy by Robert Paul Woolf, Prentice-Hall, A philosophy paper is a defense of a thesis, in which the thesis is explained and analyzed, arguments are given in support of the thesis, possible objections to the thesis are stated and examined, and responses are given to the.