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Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper

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❶Tell the reader what the paper is about.

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I'm still explaining Frege's view here. Road mapping along the way, so the reader knows what's going on. This is Frege's argument that I will address! I'm very careful to present it clearly. Even though I will argue against it, I try to make it sound as plausible as possible.

I use an example to explain Frege's argument. I just used Frege's example, but I could have been more creative and used my own. I try to explain Frege's argument explicitly. Writing it out like this is probably overkill. The important thing is that I identified the key premises and the conclusion. I tell you exactly where I disagree with Frege's argument.

This is my argument for my thesis. I try to be clear, using language in a controlled way, and using examples to help the reader along. I restate my conclusion at the end of my argument. I assess the damage to Frege's overall position. Here I respond to a possible objection to my argument. My conclusion is short and sweet. I recap my main points. An unfortunate page break. Luckily my prof doesn't mind.

Most philosophy profs don't care what format you use, as long as all the information is there. NEVER use tab to achieve a hanging indent. But I also explained it in my own words afterwards. The University of Western Ontario amendel5 uwo. Popular presentations See more popular or the latest prezis. Blog 31 August Prezi at Dreamforce The proof of concept Latest posts.

Creating downloadable prezi, be patient. Delete comment or cancel. Before you begin to develop your ideas for the paper, make sure that you have carefully read all of the materials that are related to the assignment.

If you read the materials, but do not remember much or do not understand part of what you read, then you should reread the texts before you attempt to work on your paper.

Otherwise, your explanation of the philosophy may be flawed or your argument may not hold up. Make sure that you understand the assignment. Some professors distribute assignment guidelines while others simply describe the assignment in class. Before you start working on your paper, make sure that you have a clear understanding of what your professor is asking you to do. It is important to keep your audience in mind as you plan your paper and as you write your paper.

Your professor is your primary audience member and your classmates might also be part of your audience. Therefore, if you introduce a special term or concept, you will need to define it for your audience.

With philosophy papers, it is best to use quotes from the text only when it is absolutely necessary. The goal of your paper is to explain and evaluate a philosophical argument in your own words.

Therefore, you should not rely too heavily on quotes or even paraphrased passages from your sources. Make sure to provide a citation for every quote or paraphrase that you use from a source.

All philosophy papers need to have a strong thesis. Your thesis states your position for the paper and you will need to make sure that you stay focused on your thesis and support it throughout your entire paper.

Keep in mind that a strong thesis states your position as well as why you hold that position. One reason that you may cite might be that beautiful people are not always virtuous. An outline can help you to stay on track as you draft your paper and ensure that you include everything that you need to include. Write how you speak. Writing in a flowery, overly complex way will not make you appear to be more knowledgeable about philosophy.

It is better to write in your own voice and use simple, direct language to get your point across. Imagine that you are explaining the concept to a friend and making an argument for why you agree or disagree with this concept. What would you say? What examples would you use? This makes it hard for your readers to understand what you mean.

Look up new words before you used them. If you like to use the thesaurus feature of Word when you write, just make sure that you are looking up the meanings of these words before you include them. The thesaurus does not always provide suggestions that are grammatically correct or equivalent in meaning to the original word. Introduce your paper with relevant details. Your introduction is important because it gives readers a first impression of your paper.

That is why it is important to use your introduction wisely. After your introduction, you will need to explain the philosophical argument or concept that you are planning to refute or support.

Otherwise, your professor may consider your argument to be less effective. Stick to the relevant details of the argument. Do not explain things that you do not plan to argue against in your paper unless they are absolutely necessary for understanding your point. After you have provided a clear explanation of the philosophy, you will need to move on to your evaluation.

Your evaluation should work to support your thesis at all times. Do not go back and forth between positions or contradict yourself at any time. Stick to your position no matter what. For example, if you are arguing that beauty and virtue are unrelated, then you might give an example of a convicted criminal who many consider to be beautiful. 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.


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arguments or theories in philosophy papers, you must always practice philosophy. This means that you should explain the argument in your own words and according to your own understanding of the steps involved in it. You . 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.

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