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. In order to produce a good philosophy paper, it is first necessary to think very carefully and clearly about your topic.
Unfortunately, your reader likely your marker or instructor has no access to those thoughts except by way of what actually ends up on the page.
He or she cannot tell what you meant to say but did not, and cannot read in what you would quickly point out if you were conversing face to face. For better or for worse, your paper is all that is available. It must stand on its own. You must say exactly what you mean and in a way that minimizes the chances of being misunderstood.
It is difficult to overemphasize this point. There is no such thing as a piece of good philosophical writing that is unclear, ungrammatical, or unintelligible.
Clarity and precision are essential elements here. A poor writing style militates against both of these. There is much more that could be said about clear writing. I have not stopped to talk about grammatical and stylistic points. For help in these matters and we all need reference works in these areas I recommend a few of the many helpful books available in the campus bookstore. Both of these books have gone through several editions.
More advanced students might do well to read Philosophical Writing: An Introduction , by A. Some final words should be added about proofreading. After that, have someone else read your paper. Is this person able to understand you completely? Can he or she read your entire paper through without getting stuck on a single sentence? If not, go back and smooth it out. In general terms, do not be content simply to get your paper out of your hands. Take pride in it. Clear writing reflects clear thinking; and that, after all, is what you are really trying to show.
Summer News August 13, DR. Lisa Shapiro who was awarded the first Ulrike Detmers Honorary degrees, news and appointments April 30, Congratulations to faculty, former faculty and alumni this month. Professor Emeritus Steven Davis Writing A Philosophy Paper. These are entirely unnecessary and of no interest to the informed reader.
There is no need to point out that your topic is an important one, and one that has interested philosophers for hundreds of years.
Introductions should be as brief as possible. In fact, I recommend that you think of your paper as not having an introduction at all. Go directly to your topic. Inexperienced writers rely too heavily on quotations and paraphrases. Even paraphrasing should be kept to a minimum. After all, it is your paper. It is your thoughts that your instructor is concerned with. Do not present a number of positions in your paper and then end by saying that you are not qualified to settle the matter. Tired of ever growing piles of homework?
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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, will need to explain that argument before presenting your critique of it. Sometimes, the entire task of an.
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A title: nothing fancy, no need to be cute, just a title A Sample Philosophy Paper annotated This contains all the required information. If your prof likes to grade anonymously, make sure . I Need Help Writing A Philosophy Paper i need help writing a philosophy paper Issuu is a digital publishing platform that makes it simple to publish magazines, catalogs, newspapers, books, and /10().
What follows is some general advice about how to go about writing short (4 - 5 page) philosophy papers on pre-assigned topics. Write until you have said what you need to say, not until you hit the page limit. Examples will help here. Almost all philosophy relies on the use of examples, both for illustrative and persuasive purposes. Feb 22, · How to Write a Philosophy Paper. After you have provided a clear explanation of the philosophy, you will need to move on to your evaluation. Many universities also have writing centers where students can make an appointment and get some feedback from a trained writing tutor. This can also help you to develop effective 78%(32).