What a philosophy paper looks like

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Don't use phrases like "Since the dawn of history, philosophers having been arguing about A good way to start is with the phrase: This is a paper in which you will be giving reasons in defense of your position. Before you start to write a draft of your paper, think about what the main points are that you wish to make, how they relate to one another, and in what order you'll present them.

It may help the organization click to see more your paper to give the reader a "map" of the paper in your first or second paragraph. First, I will explain this. Next, I will set out that. Then I will show the weakness of this position.

  • Rewrite, and Keep Rewriting Now you've written a complete draft of your paper.
  • It's not enough that you know what their point is.
  • You may know what you want to say, but that might not be what you've really written.

Finally, I will give learn more here reasons for supporting the other position. If it does not, leave it out. Do not use quotations in order to make or set out main points in your paper. The same goes for paraphrasing. Avoid stringing together a series of quotes or paraphrased passages, especially when setting out the position of a philosopher. You should familiarize yourself enough with a position so that you can describe it in your own words.

However, put in textual references to primary sources, even when describing somebody's position in your own words, so that an interested reader would be able to here at the place where the philosopher in question states the position or argument you're explaining. I'd prefer that you use the author-date citation format although Paper looks citation format is also OK for modern sources, and the standard scholarly conventions for referring to ancient texts.

Also, do be careful not to plagiarize. If your ideas were influenced by a secondary source, cite that source. We'll be discussing plagiarism in class, but here is a good introduction to what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Remember that this is a position paper, not a research paper. For most classes, the material we've looked at should give you plenty to engage with philosophically, and you should not go searching through secondary sources finding out what a bunch of other people have said.

Were a paper looks like philosophy what the

But if you do, you need to give proper credit! By doing so, you show that you understand what you're talking about--unclear writing is often the product of unclear thinking. Philosophers have said all sorts what things that initially seem bizarre or simply incomprehensible.

Philosophy what paper like a looks with

Before dismissing somebody as holding a silly or incoherent position, ask yourself: If you do think you understand the position, but still think that it seems outrageous, be charitable and try to see if you can find good reasons why an intelligent person might hold such a position. You don't have to agree with the position.

Grade philosophy paper looks what like a get professional

But by being charitable, you will help make your own argument stronger, if you do end up disagreeing with somebody else. Don't just say what you believe, however; say why your belief is correct, or at least plausible. Make sure that you give reasons and arguments for the position that you hold. One good way to approach such a paper is to imagine that you're trying to convince a reasonable person who initially disagrees with your thesis.

What philosophy looks a paper like research

What arguments could you give such a person? What objections would such a person make against your arguments and your position? By imagining the strongest objections that you can, and then replying to them, you will make your argument stronger. A college-level paper should be free of typos and grammatical mistakes.

Spell-check won't catch all of your errors. Sometimes it's easier to catch errors on the printed page than on a computer screen; this is particularly true of any bizarre formatting that won't show up on the screen. So print out a hard copy of your paper and look it over before printing out your final version.

If you'd like some on-line guides to grammar, the University of Chicago's writing center put together a good set of resources. Actually, that's not true--plenty of things feel worse. But it still feels pretty bad. Save your work often, and occasionally save a copy of your work onto another disk. The best way to spot unclear writing and thinking, to formulate and respond to good objections, and to organize your paper clearly so that all of your points help support your thesis is to write a draft of your paper, look it over with a critical eye, and then improve upon it.


What does an MLA paper look like?

Use simple, straightforward prose. Anticipate objections Try to anticipate objections to your view and respond to them. My paraphrase says that impressions have more force and liveliness "in our thoughts. Avoid stringing together a series of quotes or paraphrased passages, especially when setting out the position of a philosopher. It's no good to protest, after we've graded your paper, "I know I said this, but what I meant was Philosophy papers usually involve both exposition and evaluation.

Repeat this process as needed. If you have any questions about your paper, please feel free to come by my office to talk to me. I'll be happy to look at rough drafts of papers, to talk to you about possible topics, or to discuss arguments you're thinking of giving. You may also find the following sample paper illustrating some of the above points helpful.


What a philosophy paper looks like

The above suggestions are a good place to start, but aren't exhaustive. Two excellent paper-writing guides that are more extensive than this one are How to Write a Philosophy Paper, by Peter Horban. A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say?

What a philosophy paper looks like

What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?

Spell-check won't catch all of your errors. Before you start to write a draft of your paper, think about what the main philosoohy are that you wish to make, how they relate to one another, and in what order you'll present them. Sometimes as you're writing, you'll find that your arguments aren't as good as you initially thought them to be. I conclude that the Conjunction Argument does not in fact succeed in establishing P. Instead, imagine your audience as someone who is intelligent and interested in the subject but has not studied it.

But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in.

  • If you can't see anything the view has going for it, maybe that's because you don't have much experience thinking and arguing about the view, and so you haven't yet fully understood why the view's proponents are attracted to it.
  • And likewise for other words.
  • The arguments we'll be considering in class are plenty hard enough to deserve your full attention, all by themselves.

They will construct your sentences for you--even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent--and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself.

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7 Comments
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