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. 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. 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. For example, here is a conclusion that avoids exaggeration: However, as I have argued, we cannot generalize from the case of geometrical knowledge to knowledge of other sorts of facts. This is an annotated sample philosophy paper. For those wanting a downloadable copy, here is a png file: Comments 0 Please log in to add your comment.
If your prof likes to grade anonymously, make sure not to include your name. Tell the reader what the paper is about. This can be hard. Only include what is needed in order for you to argue for your thesis. I included my student number and the page number on every page.
This way my prof won't accidentally staple the first half of my paper to the second half of someone else's. The entire paper leads to my argument for my thesis. 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 early stages of writing a philosophy paper include everything you do before you sit down and write your first draft. These early stages will involve writing, but you won't yet be trying to write a complete paper. You should instead be taking notes on the readings, sketching out your ideas, trying to explain the main argument you want to advance, .
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.
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, arguments or theories in philosophy papers, you must always practice philosophy. This means that you should. How to write a philosophical essay The writer should create an essay structure to provide a blueprint of the essay. The philosophy essay structure begins with philosophy essay outlining of the various components of the essay e.g. introduction, body and conclusion.
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. Philosophy papers usually involve both exposition and evaluation. In the expository part of the paper, your task is to explain the view or argument under consideration. Make sure that your explanation is as explicit as possible. The evaluation part of the paper is your chance to do some philosophy of your own.