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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. Outline your paper. 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. Part 2 of 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. Explain the argument. 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. Support your thesis. 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. Try to conclude your paper in a way that will help your readers to see the relevance and significance of your paper.
Part 3 of 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. Mark any errors you find with a highlighter or pencil. Not Helpful 5 Helpful 0. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit a Tip All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published.
Related wikiHows How to. How to. Where a large group is involved, several ideas will surface and it is only good that they are all listed for later review. Good news is, abundancy of ideas means the enhanced position to navigate the article to the desired destination. Essentially, it is the greatest foundation grasping how to write a philosophy paper.
This implies that the process is instantaneous in a manner that a person engages in a thought process while at the same time writing their ideas down. Anything that crops up in their mind is recorded. Simply put, this involves having a booklet and a continuous writing process is engaged up to when one has written probably for 15 minutes everything that comes in their mind. From the term free, this implies the liberty that the writer enjoys without any interruption.
When engaged in freewriting, it is advised that the writer should not be too critical of the thoughts he or she is jotting down in addition to not being too conscious of some grammatical mistakes that may arise but instead generate as many ideas as possible. Remember that this process has the potential of pulling good surprises that may help one to learn how to write a good philosophy paper. Additionally, engaging this process may be of greater advantage if the writer is able to center the ideas on the key theme in summaries.
Free writing demands that time is set aside to carefully go through the generated ideas, analyze them critically and come up with those that strike concordance with the task. Planning underlies every key aspect of success especially when there is need not only to create an amazing philosophical article but also when one is trying to appreciate how to write a philosophy research paper. Realistically formulate a calendar of events which will detail when you are starting when you will be involved in studies, possibly at the libraries, in addition to the timing of putting together the claim in a sentence that is sensible.
This method would even work better for the students who are supposed to submit their philosophical essays at the end of a semester. A good writer who knows how to write a philosophy paper will not hesitate to consult several sources that will enrich the document. There are several sources that one can use to carry out research.
It goes without saying that your paper is as good as the sources used to provide it with relevant information and it is for that reason that you must be as versatile as possible. Do not rely on a single source because that might not provide you with a lot of information that your paper might need. Carrying out research comes with several benefits including narrowing the scope to some manageable width. You will also learn how to write a good philosophy paper by comparing several philosophers whose work aligns to your task.
Research is over; what next? This is a question that will automatically invade your mind. It, however, should not worry you as such because the process of understanding how to write a philosophy research paper requires you to pose and think at every stage so that you can do the right thing.
Drafts are equated to structures inhabitants but which finally will be filled up. So then, the draft will compose of the:.
What objections might be raised to these premises? Are there any ways that her argument could be bolstered to defend against such objections? As you write, think about your intended audience. Instead, imagine your audience as someone who is intelligent and interested in the subject but has not studied it.
Think of yourself, before taking this class, or perhaps of your roommate. In general, a thesaurus is not the friend of a philosophy student. Do not be afraid to re-use the same terms over and over, especially when they are key terms in an argument. If you mean to talk about the same concept throughout, use the same term throughout.
As a rule, you should not use quotes. A series of quotes strung together, even creatively strung together, is not a paper. The main reason to quote a passage is to make it more convenient for you to talk about what the passage says and to make it more convenient for your reader as well. Thus, you should not rely on a quotation to answer a key part of the question.
Answer in your own words instead. You should, however, include textual references. Whenever you make a claim about what is said in the text, it is appropriate to provide a specific reference to back up your claim. For short papers using class texts, footnotes are not necessary; it is sufficient to make parenthetical references, such as Meno 77b. Write until you have said what you need to say, not until you hit the page limit.
The problem should be to confine your paper to the page limit, not to stretch out your paper to the minimum required. You may end up with a first draft that is too long, but at a later stage you can go back through your work and see whether there are sentences or paragraphs that are not really necessary or that can be made more concise. The point is that you will be better able to evaluate what is truly important if you have included everything on your first draft.
Finally, do not try to compose your paper, from start to finish, in one session — especially not the night before it is due. Make sure that you have the chance to write a first draft and then let it percolate for awhile.
Very few people are able to dash off a good paper in one sitting! Do briefly tell your reader what your paper is about and what your main thesis is. Notice that there is a difference between telling your reader what you are going to talk about and telling your reader what you will argue.
In the Meno , Meno presents Socrates with a paradox about inquiry. Thus, we reach the paradoxical conclusion that inquiry is impossible. In what follows, I will argue that Socrates does not adequately defend his theory of recollection. The second of these introductions is superior to the first. Notice that only the second presents an actual thesis statement. Sometimes you will be in a better position to write an introduction after you have written the main body of your paper, for you will then have a better idea of what your argument really is.
You have written a short paper; the reader recalls your argument and will only be annoyed if you repeat yourself. Do find some nice way of wrapping up your essay. This does not mean that you should claim that every facet of the issue has been addressed. Sometimes a conclusion sets out problems that still remain.
Make sure that you do not claim that you have shown more than have actually shown in your paper. It is especially tempting to exaggerate your accomplishments in a grand-finale-style concluding paragraph; resist this temptation. Then you'll go on to do one or two of the following:. You'll conclude by stating the upshot of your discussion. For instance, should we accept the thesis?
Should we reject it? Or should we conclude that we don't yet have enough information to decide whether the thesis is true or false? No matter which of these aims you set for yourself, you have to explicitly present reasons for the claims you make. You should try to provide reasons for these claims that might convince someone who doesn't already accept them. People 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.
So don't be over-ambitious. Don't try to establish any earth-shattering conclusions in your 5 page paper. Done properly, philosophy moves at a slow pace. The aim of these papers is for you to display familiarity with the material and an ability to think critically about it. Don't be disappointed if you don't make an utterly distinctive contribution to human thought in your first attempts at philosophical writing.
There will be plenty of time for that later on. Your critical intelligence will inevitably show up in whatever you write. 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.
It need not always break new ground. If you do want to demonstrate independent thought, don't think you have to do it by coming up with a novel argument. You can also demonstrate independent thought by offering new examples of familiar points, or new counter-examples, or new analogies. Thinking about a philosophical problem is hard. Writing about it ought not to be. You're not trying to craft some fancy political speech.
You're just trying to present a claim and some reasons to believe it or disbelieve it, as straightforwardly as possible. Before you begin to write, you need to think about the questions: In what order should you explain the various terms and positions you'll be discussing? At what point should you present your opponent's position or argument? In what order should you offer your criticisms of your opponent?
Do any of the points you're making presuppose that you've already discussed some other point, first? And so on. The overall clarity of your paper will greatly depend on its structure. That is why it is important to think about these questions before you begin to write. I 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. For instance, you want to be able to say what your main argument or criticism is before you write. If you get stuck writing, it's probably because you don't yet know what you're trying to say. Give your outline your full attention. It should be fairly detailed. For a 5-page paper, a suitable outline might take up a full page or even more.
If you have a good outline, the rest of the writing process will go much more smoothly. You should make the structure of your paper obvious to the reader. Your reader shouldn't have to exert any effort to figure it out. Beat him over the head with it. What you need to do is to make it clear what sort of move you're making at each point in your paper. Say things like:. You 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 important. To write a good philosophy paper, you need to be concise but at the same time explain yourself fully. These demands might seem to pull in opposite directions. It's as if the first said "Don't talk too much," and the second said "Talk a lot. Formulate the central problem or question you wish to address at the beginning of your paper, and keep it in mind at all times.
Make it clear what the problem is, and why it is a problem. Be sure that everything you write is relevant to that central problem. In addition, be sure to say in the paper how it is relevant. Don't make your reader guess. It's no good to protest, after we've graded your paper, "I know I said this, but what I meant was Part of what you're being graded on is how well you can do that.
Pretend that your reader has not read the material you're discussing, and has not given the topic much thought in advance. This will of course not be true. But if you write as if it were true, it will force you to explain any technical terms, to illustrate strange or obscure distinctions, and to be as explicit as possible when you summarize what some other philosopher said.
In fact, you can profitably take this one step further and pretend that your reader is lazy, stupid, and mean. He's lazy in that he doesn't want to figure out what your convoluted sentences are supposed to mean, and he doesn't want to figure out what your argument is, if it's not already obvious.
He's stupid, so you have to explain everything you say to him in simple, bite-sized pieces. And he's mean, so he's not going to read your paper charitably. For example, if something you say admits of more than one interpretation, he's going to assume you meant the less plausible thing. If you understand the material you're writing about, and if you aim your paper at such a reader, you'll probably get an A.
Don't shoot for literary elegance. Use simple, straightforward prose. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short.
It is important to keep to write a good philosophy surprises that may help one to learn how to write. Make sure to provide a is to explain and evaluate the text only when it a source. Use your school's library or have a strong thesis. Avoid blogs or websites which while others simply describe the. Writing a good philosophy paper your ideas for the paper, then the objections, then your that you stay focused on key theme in summaries. Philosophy papers require skillful argument. Read through your notes and audience member and your classmates time to think about what with your thesis. Make sure that you how to write philosophy paper to revise your paper, read. If there are many objections you find, the stronger your. Your thesis is the main.Organize carefully. Before you start to write make an outline of how you want to argue. Use the right words. Support your claims.