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Tips for Writing about Philosophy

❶In other words, it is a person who is well aware of the subject. I've discovered time and again while teaching philosophy that I couldn't really explain properly some article or argument I thought I understood.

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Major Guidelines
What Does One Do in a Philosophy Paper?

Anticipate objections to your argument. Try to identify the strongest objections that an opponent might use to refute your argument and develop responses to these objections. Focus on handling the three biggest objections that your opponents might raise. For example, if you are arguing that beauty and virtue are not related, then you might identify an objection that some studies have demonstrated that some men are less attracted to women with undesirable personality traits, despite their beauty.

Conclude your paper in a meaningful way. Conclusions are also important because they provide an opportunity for you to summarize, clarify, and emphasize one or more important parts of your paper. Try to conclude your paper in a way that will help your readers to see the relevance and significance of your paper.

Put your paper aside for a few days. Revising is easier if you can take a break from what you have written for a few days. After you return to the paper again, you will have a fresh perspective that should help you to improve the content of your work more easily than if you had attempted to revise it right away.

If possible set aside your paper for at least three days, but keep in mind that even setting aside your paper for a few hours before you revise is better than nothing. Read your paper with an eye towards content and clarity. Revision is not about fixing typos and grammatical errors. Revision is about seeing what you have written with new eyes and being willing to make major changes, additions, and deletions if it will improve the content of your paper.

Do your arguments hold up? If not, how might you improve them? Are the concepts in your paper clear and easy to understand? If not, how might you clarify these concepts? Ask someone to read your work. Having someone else take a look at your paper can also help you to improve your work. Someone who is not too familiar with philosophy may also help you to identify areas where you could offer more helpful details.

Try asking a classmate or friend preferably someone who you know to be a good writer to take a look at your paper and give you some feedback. 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 strategies for revising your own work.

You can also make an appointment with your professor if he or she is willing to provide feedback before you submit the paper. Just make sure that you request an appointment at least one week before the paper is due. Otherwise, your professor may not have time to meet with you.

Polish your work with proofreading. Proofreading is the final step in the writing process where you check for minor errors and correct them as needed. These little errors can distract your readers, so take time to proofread your work before you submit your final draft. Try reading your paper out loud or reading it backwards one sentence at a time. Our point is that your task as an essay writer is to avoid this vagueness by all means. For that, be strongly encouraged to pick your words very carefully.

After you have your first draft, look up every single term that you use in a trusted thesaurus to make sure that it means exactly what you need it to mean. Every essay writer who has a clear idea about how to write a philosophy paper knows just how enormously powerful tool they are to make your writing more convincing by rendering the narration smoother and more consistent.

Needless to say that you cannot just drop these conjunctions randomly across your text — you need to make sure that they indeed form logical connections between the given units. Naturally, such razor-sharp clarity can only be achieved through tedious work and multiple rewrites. Therefore, make sure that you have your first draft ready as soon as possible to secure enough time for all the rewrites.

It is true that a philosophy paper suggests primarily logical persuasion, i. While such rational persuasion is indeed the ultimate goal of a philosophy paper, a seasoned essay writer might point out that we are not formally restricted to logos here. However, when inserting quotes in your philosophy paper, there are two critical points of implementation to remember about:. How to Write a Philosophy Paper How to write a philosophy paper? To ease your task, here are a few tips specifically for writing papers in philosophy: This method of persuasion appeals to emotion.

We could use it here by adding something emotional, like a joke or some play with stylistics. This will seem quite off-topic and inappropriate and undermine your authority without helping to cover the issue. So, it is best to cross pathos out.

This method of persuasion appeals to the ethics and works by solidifying the authority of the speaker. We know that your reader is your professor — someone who is well informed on the subject and has some authority in it. You can appeal to your reader more effectively by seamlessly letting them know that you also have a well-grounded standpoint on the issue in question. Making the Structure of Your Paper Perspicuous 6.

Demonstrating Mastery of the Pertinent Philosophical Material 7. Arguing for Your Position 8. Criticizing an Argument 9. Considering Potential Objections Writing Clearly and Precisely Jim Pryor's Writing Guidelines Acknowledgments I cannot claim credit for many of the ideas contained within this guide.

Other Guides to Writing Philosophy A. Martinich, Philosophical Writing, 2nd ed.


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Philosophical problems and philosophical writing require careful and extended reflection. Don't wait until two or three nights before the paper is due to begin. That is very stupid. Writing a good philosophy paper takes a great deal of preparation. You need to leave yourself enough time to think about the topic and write a detailed outline.

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Of course, writing a paper on philosophy, you are expected to follow the same general guidelines as with most other papers. 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 in .

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Writing a good philosophy paper takes a great deal of preparation. You should leave yourself enough time to think about your topic and write a detailed outline (this will take several days). Then write a draft (this will take one day). This is the essential distinguishing feature of how to write a philosophy paper, and it dictates its differences from other kinds of written assignments. Given this, here are a few excellent tips specifically on how to write a philosophy paper: #1 Pay special attention to .

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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, Write so that you could be clearly understood by a student who has taken some classes in philosophy but not this particular class. (Think of this imaginary reader. Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper. structure of your paper obvious if you don't know what the structure of your paper is. but explain yourself fully To write a good philosophy paper.. For example. Documents Similar To Pryor-Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper.