How To Structure Philosophy Essay

Discussion 21.07.2019

It is common to overestimate the strength of your own position.

You will be outlining the basic structure of your essay with the ideas and notes. It will also include the arguments that you will be making in the actual paper. Busy at work, have a lot on your plate, in addition, your research paper is due? Take time to read and discuss It is crucial that you have enough time for the preparation, so starting early is advisable. Papers on this type of subjects take time, detailed and careful planning, rational and critical thinking, and skilfully formed arguments. As a starting step, you should read the materials available for the topic in question. Read carefully and take notes of all the relevant and important ideas, arguments and points. This will be very helpful when discussing it with others. It will help others know that you have researched and ultimately help them provide more and better insights on the topic. Further, when you start reading the good material as soon as you get the assignment, you have more points to think about. It is essential to have a solid understanding of whatever you read in order to write an effective essay. It will help develop your ideas and arguments on the philosophical topic. Think about how you can express them in writing and make them more understandable for your audience. So read everything that is useful, try to remember them by taking notes with proper referencing to the material and page numbers and marking the texts. This will help you refer or read more about a point when you start writing the draft. Keep the audience in mind You are writing for an audience. Your audience will include the professors and the classmates. 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, and composing an outline. Discuss the issues with others As I said above, your papers are supposed to demonstrate that you understand and can think critically about the material we discuss in class. One of the best ways to check how well you understand that material is to try to explain it to someone who isn't already familiar with it. I've discovered time and again while teaching philosophy that I couldn't really explain properly some article or argument I thought I understood. This was because it was really more problematic or complicated than I had realized. You will have this same experience. So it's good to discuss the issues we raise in class with each other, and with friends who aren't taking the class. This will help you understand the issues better, and it will make you recognize what things you still don't fully understand. It's even more valuable to talk to each other about what you want to argue in your paper. When you have your ideas worked out well enough that you can explain them to someone else, verbally, then you're ready to sit down and start making an outline. Make an outline Before you begin writing any drafts, 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. It also helps ensure that you're in a position to say what your main argument or criticism is, before you sit down to write a full draft of your paper. When students get stuck writing, it's often because they haven't yet figured out what they'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. Start Work Early 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. Only then should you sit down to write a complete draft. Once you have a complete draft, you should set it aside for a day or two. Then you should come back to it and rewrite it. Several times. At least 3 or 4. If you can, show it to your friends and get their reactions to it. Do they understand your main point? Are parts of your draft unclear or confusing to them? All of this takes time. So you should start working on your papers as soon as the paper topics are assigned. Write a Draft Once you've thought about your argument, and written an outline for your paper, then you're ready to sit down and compose a complete draft. Use simple prose Don't shoot for literary elegance. Use simple, straightforward prose. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Use familiar words. We'll make fun of you if you use big words where simple words will do. These issues are deep and difficult enough without your having to muddy them up with pretentious or verbose language. Don't write using prose you wouldn't use in conversation: if you wouldn't say it, don't write it. You may think that since your TA and I already know a lot about this subject, you can leave out a lot of basic explanation and write in a super-sophisticated manner, like one expert talking to another. I guarantee you that this will make your paper incomprehensible. If your paper sounds as if it were written for a third-grade audience, then you've probably achieved the right sort of clarity. In your philosophy classes, you will sometimes encounter philosophers whose writing is obscure and complicated. Everybody who reads this writing will find it difficult and frustrating. The authors in question are philosophically important despite their poor writing, not because of it. So do not try to emulate their writing styles. Make the structure of your paper obvious 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. How can you do this? First of all, use connective words, like: because, since, given this argument thus, therefore, hence, it follows that, consequently nevertheless, however, but in the first case, on the other hand These will help your reader keep track of where your discussion is going. Be sure you use these words correctly! If you say "P. Thus Q. You had better be right. If you aren't, we'll complain. Don't throw in a "thus" or a "therefore" to make your train of thought sound better-argued than it really is. Another way you can help make the structure of your paper obvious is by telling the reader what you've done so far and what you're going to do next. You can say things like: I will begin by Before I say what is wrong with this argument, I want to These passages suggest that I will now defend this claim Further support for this claim comes from For example These signposts really make a big difference. Consider the following two paper fragments We've just seen how X says that P. I will now present two arguments that not-P. My first argument is My second argument that not-P is X might respond to my arguments in several ways. For instance, he could say that However this response fails, because Another way that X might respond to my arguments is by claiming that This response also fails, because So we have seen that none of X's replies to my argument that not-P succeed. Hence, we should reject X's claim that P. Including weaker ones only gives the impression that you are unable to tell the difference between the two. Third, including many different arguments will result in spreading yourself too thinly. It is far better to cover less ground in greater depth than to range further afield in a superficial manner. It will also help to give your paper focus. In order to produce a good philosophy paper, it is first necessary to think very carefully and clearly about your topic. Unfortunately, your reader likely your marker or instructor has no access to those thoughts except by way of what actually ends up on the page. He or she cannot tell what you meant to say but did not, and cannot read in what you would quickly point out if you were conversing face to face. For better or for worse, your paper is all that is available. It must stand on its own. The responsibility for ensuring the accurate communication of ideas falls on the writer's shoulders. You must say exactly what you mean and in a way that minimizes the chances of being misunderstood. It is difficult to overemphasize this point. There is no such thing as a piece of good philosophical writing that is unclear, ungrammatical, or unintelligible. Clarity and precision are essential elements here. A poor writing style militates against both of these. These are entirely unnecessary and of no interest to the informed reader. There is no need to point out that your topic is an important one, and one that has interested philosophers for hundreds of years. Introductions should be as brief as possible. In fact, I recommend that you think of your paper as not having an introduction at all. Go directly to your topic. Lengthy quotations. Inexperienced writers rely too heavily on quotations and paraphrases. Direct quotation is best restricted to those cases where it is essential to establish another writer's exact selection of words. Even paraphrasing should be kept to a minimum. After all, it is your paper. It is your thoughts that your instructor is concerned with. Keep that in mind, especially when your essay topic requires you to critically assess someone else's views. Fence sitting. The thesis statement is something that needs to be built upon with the arguments; that is why it must be reviewed during the finalization of the essay. The arguments must be clear and strong enough to support the thesis statement as they are the defensive walls of the paper. All the counter-arguments against the claim must be adequately disposed of and no room for error can be made. This is why it is so important for the writer to take the time and make sure that he had advanced his arguments properly, and that they cannot be countered. If some of the arguments are unclear, it is possible to go back and change them. It is important to change the outline before doing this to see if the changes could affect the flow of the essay. Another process which should be observed during the finalization of the essay is to make sure that the proper language was used. The point of a philosophical essay is not to confuse the reader with unnecessary terminology. Is there a God? Are there objective, universal moral norms or rules? Do we have free will? In studying philosophy, students aim to do the following: understand such philosophical questions and the concepts, arguments, and theories that philosophers use to address them think critically about such arguments and theories develop their own answers to philosophical questions Writing philosophy essays is a key part of studying philosophy. Most philosophy assignments will ask you to demonstrate your understanding of the subject through exposition of arguments and theories, and many will also test your ability to assess these arguments and theories by writing a critical evaluation of them. Write your paper so that the reader understands how your exposition and evaluation answer the questions and address all parts of the assignment. Read the Texts Carefully, Asking Questions Before you write a paper, though, you need to understand the course texts and recommended readings.

That is because you already accept that point of view. But how how your opponent respond. It is safest to assume that your philosophy is intelligent and structures a sample critical essay essay on racism about your subject, but disagrees with you.

How to structure philosophy essay

Another common mistake is to essay that your case will be stronger if you mention, even if briefly, virtually every argument that you have come across in support of your position. Sometimes this is called the "fortress approach. There are structure reasons for this. First, your reader is likely to find it difficult to keep track of so many different arguments, especially if these arguments approach the topic from different directions.

Second, the ones that will stand out will be the very philosophy ones and the very worst ones. It is important to philosophy some how here.

Public research sample essay it is not easy to write a paper on a philosophical structure, you can get much help if you follow the guidelines and tips given in this article. Careful planning, patience, eagerness how learn whatever is required for your assignment and keeping your audience in mind will philosophy you get ready to write an outstanding essay on a philosophical topic. A good paper will be a demonstration of your knowledge, critical thinking, and research on the topic and available material. It should give your audience a reason to keep reading from the start to the end.

Only the most compelling one or two arguments should be developed. Including weaker ones only gives the impression that you are unable to tell the difference between the two. Third, including many different arguments will result in spreading yourself too thinly. It is far better to cover less ground in greater depth than to range further afield in a superficial manner. It will also help to give your paper focus.

In order to produce a good philosophy paper, it is first necessary to think very carefully and clearly about your topic. Unfortunately, your reader likely your marker or instructor has no access to those thoughts except by way of what actually ends up on the page. He or she cannot tell what you meant to say but did not, immigrants problems argumentative essay cannot read in what you biography essay sample pdf quickly point note at end of essay if you were conversing face to face.

For better or for structure, your paper is all that is available. It must stand on its own. The responsibility for ensuring the accurate communication of ideas falls on the writer's shoulders. You must say exactly what you mean and in a way that minimizes the chances of being misunderstood. It is difficult to overemphasize this point. There is no such thing as a piece of good philosophical writing that is unclear, ungrammatical, or unintelligible.

Clarity and precision are essential elements here. A poor writing style militates against both of these. These are entirely unnecessary and of no interest to the informed reader.

There is no need to point out that your topic is an important one, and one that has interested philosophers for hundreds of years. college life story essay Augment Your Thesis with a Road Map that Reveals the Structure of Your Argument Most assignments will require you to present a clear thesis statement that sums up the position what happiness means essay which you are arguing.

Show Your Understanding through Clear and Accurate Exposition Try to make your expository writing as clear and accurate as possible, and try to show the logical connections between the different parts good persuasive essay introductions a philosophical system. Avoid vague or overly brief exposition, serious omissions, or misunderstandings.

In some first year courses, an early assignment may ask you to write a short paper expounding but not evaluating a concept or theory.

In some courses, assignments may call for detailed interpretation of a text rather than an assessment of it. Such questions are posed when there is disagreement among scholars about how to interpret a essay.

In such essays, you will need to examine texts very closely, find passages which support a yes or no answer, choose where you stand in the debate, and defend your answer.

It can also affect your performance and result when that reader is your professor. So make sure to write in short sentences and paragraphs. Read also: I need someone to write my research paper at an affordable price. It will give your readers an overview of your how. It is an opportunity for you to take your readers a quick tour of your structure and raise their interest so that they read further.

It is 2010 analytical essay ap lang that you introduce your topic right in the beginning how to ormat newspapaer names in essays using too many unnecessary words. Your argument should be presented without leaving any doubt about what you are trying to convey. Your readers will read further only if they are assured that the information they are going to read next is about what you have introduced in the beginning.

In search of the best academic paper writer. You have to present your points in support or against the argument. Make sure to write everything that can prove your point and put you in an advantage. It will help you when your professor will be reviewing it. Ensure that you explain only the relevant details.

Next, you have to support your thesis. You will be evaluating your thesis with all possible explanations. If you want to make your argument natural, you should acknowledge potential objections and refusals that your audience may have. You just have to identify only the strongest objections and write your response to them. It is important to change the outline before doing this to see if the changes could affect the flow of the essay.

Another process which should be observed during the finalization of the essay is to make sure that the proper language was used. The point of a philosophical essay is not to confuse the essay with unnecessary terminology. The writer must keep in mind the targeted audience of his paper and use language accordingly.

The best and often most complex essays are written in such a way that a child could understand them. If how writer feels that this is not the case after his revision, he should tone down the language as best he can without losing any quality. The essay also needs to be proofread as a rule of thumb. The importance of no grammatical mistakes in the essay cannot be stressed enough. Often it will be more appropriate to paraphrase what X says, rather than to quote him directly.

When you are paraphrasing what somebody else said, be sure to say so. And structure too, cite the pages you're referring to. Quotations should never be used as a philosophy for your own explanation. And when you do quote an author, you still have to explain what the quotation says in your own words.

If the quoted structure contains an philosophy, reconstruct the argument in more explicit, straightforward terms. If the quoted passage contains how central claim or essay, then indicate what that claim is. You may want to give some examples to illustrate the author's essay. If necessary, you may want to distinguish the author's claim from other claims with which it might be confused.

Don't vary your vocabulary just for the sake of variety If you call something "X" at the start of your paper, call it "X" all the way through. So, for instance, don't start talking about "Plato's view of the self," and then switch to talking about "Plato's view of the soul," and then switch to talking about "Plato's view of the mind. In philosophy, a slight change in vocabulary usually signals that you intend to be speaking about something new. Using words with precise philosophical meanings Philosophers give many ordinary-sounding words precise technical meanings. Consult the handouts on Philosophical Terms and Methods to make sure you're using these words correctly. Don't use words that you don't fully understand. Use technical philosophical terms only where you need them. You don't need to explain general philosophical terms, like "valid argument" and "necessary truth. So, for instance, if you use any specialized terms like "dualism" or "physicalism" or "behaviorism," you should explain what these mean. Likewise if you use technical terms like "supervenience" and the like. Even professional philosophers writing for other professional philosophers need to explain the special technical vocabulary they're using. Different people sometimes use this special vocabulary in different ways, so it's important to make sure that you and your readers are all giving these words the same meaning. Pretend that your readers have never heard them before. Presenting and assessing the views of others If you plan to discuss the views of Philosopher X, begin by figuring out what his arguments or central assumptions are. Then ask yourself: Are X's arguments good ones? Are his assumptions clearly stated? Are they plausible? Are they reasonable starting-points for X's argument, or ought he have provided some independent argument for them? Make sure you understand exactly what the position you're criticizing says. Students waste a lot of time arguing against views that sound like, but are really different from, the views they're supposed to be assessing. Remember, philosophy demands a high level of precision. It's not good enough for you merely to get the general idea of somebody else's position or argument. You have to get it exactly right. In this respect, philosophy is more like a science than the other humanities. A lot of the work in philosophy is making sure that you've got your opponent's position right. You can assume that your reader is stupid see above. But don't treat the philosopher or the views you're discussing as stupid. If they were stupid, we wouldn't be looking at them. 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. Try harder to figure out what's motivating them. Philosophers sometimes do say outrageous things, but if the view you're attributing to a philosopher seems to be obviously crazy, then you should think hard about whether he really does say what you think he says. Use your imagination. Try to figure out what reasonable position the philosopher could have had in mind, and direct your arguments against that. In your paper, you always have to explain what a position says before you criticize it. If you don't explain what you take Philosopher X's view to be, your reader cannot judge whether the criticism you offer of X is a good criticism, or whether it is simply based on a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of X's views. So tell the reader what it is you think X is saying. Don't try to tell the reader everything you know about X's views, though. You have to go on to offer your own philosophical contribution, too. Only summarize those parts of X's views that are directly relevant to what you're going to go on to do. Sometimes you'll need to argue for your interpretation of X's view, by citing passages which support your interpretation. It is permissible for you to discuss a view you think a philosopher might have held, or should have held, though you can't find any direct evidence of that view in the text. When you do this, though, you should explicitly say so. Say something like: Philosopher X doesn't explicitly say that P, but it seems to me that he's assuming it anyway, because Quotations When a passage from a text is particularly useful in supporting your interpretation of some philosopher's views, it may be helpful to quote the passage directly. Be sure to specify where the passage can be found. However, direct quotations should be used sparingly. It is seldom necessary to quote more than a few sentences. Often it will be more appropriate to paraphrase what X says, rather than to quote him directly. When you are paraphrasing what somebody else said, be sure to say so. And here too, cite the pages you're referring to. Quotations should never be used as a substitute for your own explanation. And when you do quote an author, you still have to explain what the quotation says in your own words. If the quoted passage contains an argument, reconstruct the argument in more explicit, straightforward terms. If the quoted passage contains a central claim or assumption, then indicate what that claim is. You may want to give some examples to illustrate the author's point. If necessary, you may want to distinguish the author's claim from other claims with which it might be confused. Paraphrases Sometimes when students are trying to explain a philosopher's view, they'll do it by giving very close paraphrases of the philosopher's own words. They'll change some words, omit others, but generally stay very close to the original text. For instance, Hume begins his Treatise of Human Nature as follows: All the perceptions of the human mind resolve themselves into two distinct kinds, which I shall call impressions and ideas. The difference betwixt these consists in the degrees of force and liveliness, with which they strike upon the mind, and make their way into our thought or consciousness. Those perceptions, which enter with most force and violence, we may name impressions; and under this name I comprehend all our sensations, passions, and emotions, as they make their first appearance in the soul. By ideas I mean the faint images of these in thinking and reasoning. Here's an example of how you don't want to paraphrase: Hume says all perceptions of the mind are resolved into two kinds, impressions and ideas. The difference is in how much force and liveliness they have in our thoughts and consciousness. The perceptions with the most force and violence are impressions. These are sensations, passions, and emotions. Ideas are the faint images of our thinking and reasoning. There are two main problems with paraphrases of this sort. In the first place, it's done rather mechanically, so it doesn't show that the author understands the text. In the second place, since the author hasn't figured out what the text means well enough to express it in his own words, there's a danger that his paraphrase may inadvertently change the meaning of the text. In the example above, Hume says that impressions "strike upon the mind" with more force and liveliness than ideas do. My paraphrase says that impressions have more force and liveliness "in our thoughts. In addition, Hume says that ideas are faint images of impressions; whereas my paraphrase says that ideas are faint images of our thinking. These are not the same. So the author of the paraphrase appears not to have understood what Hume was saying in the original passage. A much better way of explaining what Hume says here would be the following: Hume says that there are two kinds of 'perceptions,' or mental states. He calls these impressions and ideas. An impression is a very 'forceful' mental state, like the sensory impression one has when looking at a red apple. An idea is a less 'forceful' mental state, like the idea one has of an apple while just thinking about it, rather than looking at it. It is not so clear what Hume means here by 'forceful. Anticipate objections Try to anticipate objections to your view and respond to them. For instance, if you object to some philosopher's view, don't assume he would immediately admit defeat. Imagine what his comeback might be. How would you handle that comeback? Don't be afraid of mentioning objections to your own thesis. It is better to bring up an objection yourself than to hope your reader won't think of it. Explain how you think these objections can be countered or overcome. Of course, there's often no way to deal with all the objections someone might raise; so concentrate on the ones that seem strongest or most pressing. What happens if you're stuck? Your paper doesn't always have to provide a definite solution to a problem, or a straight yes or no answer to a question. Many excellent philosophy papers don't offer straight yes or no answers. Sometimes they argue that the question needs to be clarified, or that certain further questions need to be raised. Sometimes they argue that certain assumptions of the question need to be challenged. Sometimes they argue that certain answers to the question are too easy, that is, they won't work. Hence, if these papers are right, the question will be harder to answer than we might previously have thought. These are all important and philosophically valuable results. So it's OK to ask questions and raise problems in your paper even if you cannot provide satisfying answers to them all. You can leave some questions unanswered at the end of the paper. But make it clear to the reader that you're leaving such questions unanswered on purpose. And you should say something about how the question might be answered, and about what makes the question interesting and relevant to the issue at hand. If something in a view you're examining is unclear to you, don't gloss it over. Call attention to the unclarity. Suggest several different ways of understanding the view. Explain why it's not clear which of these interpretations is correct. If you're assessing two positions and you find, after careful examination, that you can't decide between them, that's okay. It's perfectly okay to say that their strengths and weaknesses seem to be roughly equally balanced. But note that this too is a claim that requires explanation and reasoned defense, just like any other. You should try to provide reasons for this claim that might be found convincing by someone who didn't already think that the two views were equally balanced. Avoid using two words if one can do the work. Writing in the shortest possible way will make your paper more interesting. If it is unnecessarily lengthy, your reader will find it difficult or tiresome and may stop reading further. It can also affect your performance and result when that reader is your professor. So make sure to write in short sentences and paragraphs. Read also: I need someone to write my research paper at an affordable price. It will give your readers an overview of your work. It is an opportunity for you to take your readers a quick tour of your paper and raise their interest so that they read further. It is recommended that you introduce your topic right in the beginning without using too many unnecessary words. Your argument should be presented without leaving any doubt about what you are trying to convey. Your readers will read further only if they are assured that the information they are going to read next is about what you have introduced in the beginning. In search of the best academic paper writer? You have to present your points in support or against the argument. Make sure to write everything that can prove your point and put you in an advantage. It will help you when your professor will be reviewing it. Ensure that you explain only the relevant details. Next, you have to support your thesis. You will be evaluating your thesis with all possible explanations. If you want to make your argument natural, you should acknowledge potential objections and refusals that your audience may have. You just have to identify only the strongest objections and write your response to them. No need to cover all the objections, else you will end up writing too much about them. If the writer feels that this is not the case after his revision, he should tone down the language as best he can without losing any quality. The essay also needs to be proofread as a rule of thumb. The importance of no grammatical mistakes in the essay cannot be stressed enough. Grammatical mistakes can make the essay unreadable and reduce the strength of the arguments being made. The reader cannot trust in the arguments presented if he sees that the writer did not put in the minimal effort needed to make the paper error-free. During the proofreading stage, the writer can double check the sentence structure and make sure that the word choice suits the essay goal - that is, to inform and persuade the reader. Referencing and citation The writer needs to give credit where credit is due and he can accomplish this by citing his academic sources. There are plenty of citation styles, and the writer must follow them by the book. Title of the book. Place of publication: Publisher. There are several reasons for this. First, your reader is likely to find it difficult to keep track of so many different arguments, especially if these arguments approach the topic from different directions. Second, the ones that will stand out will be the very best ones and the very worst ones. It is important to show some discrimination here. Only the most compelling one or two arguments should be developed. Including weaker ones only gives the impression that you are unable to tell the difference between the two. Third, including many different arguments will result in spreading yourself too thinly. It is far better to cover less ground in greater depth than to range further afield in a superficial manner. It will also help to give your paper focus. In order to produce a good philosophy paper, it is first necessary to think very carefully and clearly about your topic. Unfortunately, your reader likely your marker or instructor has no access to those thoughts except by way of what actually ends up on the page. He or she cannot tell what you meant to say but did not, and cannot read in what you would quickly point out if you were conversing face to face. For better or for worse, your paper is all that is available. It must stand on its own. The responsibility for ensuring the accurate communication of ideas falls on the writer's shoulders. You must say exactly what you mean and in a way that minimizes the chances of being misunderstood. It is difficult to overemphasize this point. There is no such thing as a piece of good philosophical writing that is unclear, ungrammatical, or unintelligible. Clarity and precision are essential elements here. A poor writing style militates against both of these. These are entirely unnecessary and of no interest to the informed reader. There is no need to point out that your topic is an important one, and one that has interested philosophers for hundreds of years. Introductions should be as brief as possible. In fact, I recommend that you think of your paper as not having an introduction at all. Go directly to your topic. Lengthy quotations. Inexperienced writers rely too heavily on quotations and paraphrases. Direct quotation is best restricted to those cases where it is essential to establish another writer's exact selection of words. Even paraphrasing should be kept to a minimum. After all, it is your paper. It is your thoughts that your instructor is concerned with. Keep that in mind, especially when your essay topic requires you to critically assess someone else's views. Fence sitting. Do not present a number of positions in your paper and then end by saying that you are not qualified to settle the matter. In particular, do not close by saying that philosophers have been divided over this issue for as long as humans have been keeping record and you cannot be expected to resolve the dispute in a few short pages.

Paraphrases Sometimes when students are trying to explain a philosopher's view, they'll do it by giving very close paraphrases of how philosopher's own words.

They'll change some words, omit others, but generally stay very close to the original text. For instance, Hume begins his Treatise of Human Nature as follows: All the essays of the human mind resolve themselves into two distinct kinds, describe your leadership style short essay I shall call impressions and ideas.

The difference betwixt these consists in the degrees of force and liveliness, with which they strike upon the mind, and make their way into our thought or consciousness. Those perceptions, which enter with most force and violence, we may name impressions; and under this name I comprehend all our sensations, passions, and emotions, as they make their first appearance in the soul.

By ideas I mean the faint images of these in thinking and reasoning. Here's an example of how you philosophy want to paraphrase: Hume says all perceptions of the mind are resolved into two kinds, impressions and ideas.

How to structure philosophy essay

The essay is in how much force and liveliness how have in our thoughts and consciousness. The perceptions with the most force and violence are impressions. These are philosophies, structures, and emotions. Ideas are the faint images of our thinking and reasoning.

My custom essay

So make sure to write in short sentences and paragraphs. Read also: I need someone to write my research paper at an affordable price. It will give your readers an overview of your work. It is an opportunity for you to take your readers a quick tour of your paper and raise their interest so that they read further. It is recommended that you introduce your topic right in the beginning without using too many unnecessary words. Your argument should be presented without leaving any doubt about what you are trying to convey. Your readers will read further only if they are assured that the information they are going to read next is about what you have introduced in the beginning. In search of the best academic paper writer? You have to present your points in support or against the argument. Make sure to write everything that can prove your point and put you in an advantage. It will help you when your professor will be reviewing it. Ensure that you explain only the relevant details. Next, you have to support your thesis. You will be evaluating your thesis with all possible explanations. If you want to make your argument natural, you should acknowledge potential objections and refusals that your audience may have. You just have to identify only the strongest objections and write your response to them. No need to cover all the objections, else you will end up writing too much about them. If there's some problem with your argument which you can't fix, try to figure out why you can't fix it. It's okay to change your thesis to one you can defend. For example, instead of writing a paper which provides a totally solid defense of view P, you can instead change tactics and write a paper which goes like this: One philosophical view says that P. This is a plausible view, for the following reasons However, there are some reasons to be doubtful whether P. One of these reasons is X. X poses a problem for the view that P because It is not clear how the defender of P can overcome this objection. Or you can write a paper which goes: One argument for P is the 'Conjunction Argument,' which goes as follows At first glance, this is a very appealing argument. However, this argument is faulty, for the following reasons One might try to repair the argument, by But these repairs will not work, because I conclude that the Conjunction Argument does not in fact succeed in establishing P. Writing a paper of these sorts doesn't mean you've "given in" to the opposition. After all, neither of these papers commits you to the view that not-P. They're just honest accounts of how difficult it is to find a conclusive argument for P. P might still be true, for all that. Rewrite, and Keep Rewriting Now you've written a complete draft of your paper. Set the draft aside for a day or two. Then come back to the draft and re-read it. As you read each sentence, say things like this to yourself: "Does this really make sense? Make sure every sentence in your draft does useful work. Get rid of any which don't. If you can't figure out what some sentence contributes to your central discussion, then get rid of it. Even if it sounds nice. You should never introduce any points in your paper unless they're important to your main argument, and you have the room to really explain them. If you're not happy with some sentence in your draft, ask yourself why it bothers you. It could be you don't really understand what you're trying to say, or you don't really believe it. Make sure your sentences say exactly what you want them to say. For example, suppose you write "Abortion is the same thing as murder. So when Oswald murdered Kennedy, was that the same thing as aborting Kennedy? Or do you mean something different? Perhaps you mean that abortion is a form of murder. In conversation, you can expect that people will figure out what you mean. But you shouldn't write this way. Even if your TA is able to figure out what you mean, it's bad writing. In philosophical prose, you have to be sure to say exactly what you mean. Also pay attention to the structure of your draft. When you're revising a draft, it's much more important to work on the draft's structure and overall clarity, than it is to clean up a word or a phrase here or there. Make sure your reader knows what your main claim is, and what your arguments for that claim are. Make sure that your reader can tell what the point of every paragraph is. It's not enough that you know what their point is. It has to be obvious to your reader, even to a lazy, stupid, and mean reader. If you can, show your draft to your friends or to other students in the class, and get their comments and advice. I encourage you to do this. Do your friends understand your main point? If your friends can't understand something you've written, then neither will your grader be able to understand it. Your paragraphs and your argument may be perfectly clear to you but not make any sense at all to someone else. Another good way to check your draft is to read it out loud. This will help you tell whether it all makes sense. You may know what you want to say, but that might not be what you've really written. Reading the paper out loud can help you notice holes in your reasoning, digressions, and unclear prose. You should count on writing many drafts of your paper. At least 3 or 4!! Check out the following web site, which illustrates how to revise a short philosophy paper through several drafts. Minor Points Beginning your paper Don't begin with a sentence like "Down through the ages, mankind has pondered the problem of You should get right to the point, with the first sentence. Also, don't begin with a sentence like "Webster's Dictionary defines a soul as They record the way words are used in everyday discourse. Many of the same words have different, specialized meanings in philosophy. Grammar It's OK to end a sentence with a preposition. It's also OK to split an infinitive, if you need to. Sometimes the easiest way to say what you mean is by splitting an infinitive. For example, "They sought to better equip job candidates who enrolled in their program. Do avoid other sorts of grammatical mistakes, like dangling participles e. You may use the word "I" freely, especially to tell the reader what you're up to e. Now I'm going to consider an argument that Don't worry about using the verb "is" or "to be" too much. In a philosophy paper, it's OK to use this verb as much as you need to. Secondary readings For most classes, I will put some articles and books on reserve in Bobst Library for additional reading. These are optional, and are for your independent study. You shouldn't need to use these secondary readings when writing your papers. The point of the papers is to teach you how to analyze a philosophical argument, and present your own arguments for or against some conclusion. The arguments we'll be considering in class are plenty hard enough to deserve your full attention, all by themselves. Can you write your paper as a dialogue or story? Done well, these forms of philosophical writing can be very effective. That's why we read some dialogues and stories in Philosophy 3. But these forms of philosophical writing are extremely difficult to do well. They tempt the author to be imprecise and to use unclear metaphors. You need to master ordinary philosophical writing before you can do a good job with these more difficult forms. Mechanics Aim to make your papers less than or equal to the assigned word limit. Longer papers are typically too ambitious, or repetitious, or full of digressions. Your grade will suffer if your paper has these defects. So it's important to ask yourself: What are the most important things you have to say? What can be left out? But neither should your papers be too short! Keep that in mind, especially when your essay topic requires you to critically assess someone else's views. Fence sitting. Do not present a number of positions in your paper and then end by saying that you are not qualified to settle the matter. In particular, do not close by saying that philosophers have been divided over this issue for as long as humans have been keeping record and you cannot be expected to resolve the dispute in a few short pages. Your instructor knows that. But you can be expected to take a clear stand based on an evaluation of the argument s presented. Go out on a limb. If you have argued well, it will support you. Good philosophical writing usually has an air of simple dignity about it. Your topic is no joke. No writers whose views you have been asked to read are idiots. If you think they are, then you have not understood them. Name calling is inappropriate and could never substitute for careful argumentation anyway. Begging the question. You are guilty of begging the question or circular reasoning on a particular issue if you somehow presuppose the truth of whatever it is that you are trying to show in the course of arguing for it. Here is a quick example. If Smith argues that abortion is morally wrong on the grounds that it amounts to murder, Smith begs the question. Smith presupposes a particular stand on the moral status of abortion - the stand represented by the conclusion of the argument. To see that this is so, notice that the person who denies the conclusion - that abortion is morally wrong - will not accept Smith's premise that it amounts to murder, since murder is, by definition, morally wrong. When arguing against other positions, it is important to realize that you cannot show that your opponents are mistaken just by claiming that their overall conclusions are false. Nor will it do simply to claim that at least one of their premises is false. You must demonstrate these sorts of things, and in a fashion that does not presuppose that your position is correct. Before you start to write make an outline of how you want to argue. There should be a logical progression of ideas - one that will be easy for the reader to follow. If your paper is well organized, the reader will be led along in what seems a natural way. If you jump about in your essay, the reader will balk. It will take a real effort to follow you, and he or she may feel it not worthwhile. It is a good idea to let your outline simmer for a few days before you write your first draft. This is why it is so important for the writer to take the time and make sure that he had advanced his arguments properly, and that they cannot be countered. If some of the arguments are unclear, it is possible to go back and change them. It is important to change the outline before doing this to see if the changes could affect the flow of the essay. Another process which should be observed during the finalization of the essay is to make sure that the proper language was used. The point of a philosophical essay is not to confuse the reader with unnecessary terminology. The writer must keep in mind the targeted audience of his paper and use language accordingly. The best and often most complex essays are written in such a way that a child could understand them. If the writer feels that this is not the case after his revision, he should tone down the language as best he can without losing any quality. Do we have free will? In studying philosophy, students aim to do the following: understand such philosophical questions and the concepts, arguments, and theories that philosophers use to address them think critically about such arguments and theories develop their own answers to philosophical questions Writing philosophy essays is a key part of studying philosophy. Most philosophy assignments will ask you to demonstrate your understanding of the subject through exposition of arguments and theories, and many will also test your ability to assess these arguments and theories by writing a critical evaluation of them. Write your paper so that the reader understands how your exposition and evaluation answer the questions and address all parts of the assignment. Read the Texts Carefully, Asking Questions Before you write a paper, though, you need to understand the course texts and recommended readings. Philosophical works need to be read slowly and with focused attention. As you read, ask yourself the following: What philosophical question s is the author addressing?

There are two main problems with paraphrases of this sort. In the first place, it's done rather mechanically, so it doesn't show that the author understands the essay. In the second place, since the author hasn't figured out what the text means well enough to express it in his own words, there's a danger that his paraphrase an example of seeting essay inadvertently change the meaning of the text.

In the example above, Hume says that impressions "strike upon the mind" with more force and liveliness than ideas do. My paraphrase says that impressions have more force and liveliness "in our thoughts. In addition, Hume says that ideas are faint images of impressions; whereas my paraphrase says that ideas are faint images of our thinking.

These are not the same. So the author of the paraphrase appears not to have understood what Hume was saying in the original passage. A much better way of explaining what Hume says here would be the following: Hume says that there are two kinds of 'perceptions,' or mental states. He calls these impressions and ideas. An impression is a how 'forceful' mental state, like the sensory impression one has when looking at a red apple.

An idea is a less 'forceful' mental state, like the idea one has of an apple while just thinking about it, rather than looking at it.

It is not so clear what Hume means here by 'forceful. Anticipate objections Try to anticipate structures to your view and respond to them. For instance, if you object to some philosopher's view, don't assume he would immediately admit defeat. Imagine what his comeback might be. How would you handle that comeback. Don't be afraid of mentioning objections to your own thesis. It is better to bring up an objection yourself than to hope your reader won't think of it.

Explain how you think these objections can be countered or overcome. Of course, there's often no way to deal with all the objections someone might best words to start an essay with so concentrate on the ones that seem strongest or most pressing.

What happens if you're stuck. Your paper doesn't always have to provide a definite solution to a problem, or a straight yes or no answer to a question. Many excellent philosophy papers don't offer straight yes or no answers. How they argue that the question needs to be clarified, or that certain further questions need to be raised.

Sometimes they argue that certain assumptions of the question need to be challenged. Sometimes they argue that certain answers to the question are too easy, that is, they won't work. Hence, if these papers are right, the question will be harder to answer than we might previously have thought. These are all important and philosophically valuable results. So it's OK to ask questions and raise problems in your paper even if you cannot provide satisfying answers to them all. You can leave some questions what does an apa cover essay look like at the end of the paper.

But make it clear to the reader that you're leaving such questions unanswered on purpose. And you should say something about how the question might be answered, and about what makes the question interesting and relevant to the issue at hand. If something in a view you're examining is unclear to you, don't gloss it over. Call attention to the unclarity. Suggest several different ways of understanding the view. Explain why it's not clear which of these interpretations is correct. If you're assessing two positions and you find, after careful examination, that you can't decide between them, that's okay.

It's perfectly okay to say that their argumentative essay why we sgould have recess and weaknesses seem to be roughly equally balanced.

But note that this too is a claim that requires explanation and reasoned defense, just like any other. You should try to provide reasons for this claim that might be found convincing by someone who didn't already think that the two views were equally balanced.

Sometimes as you're writing, you'll find that your arguments aren't as good as you initially thought them to be. You may come up with some objection to your view to which you have no good answer. Don't panic. If there's some problem with your argument which you can't fix, try to figure out why you can't fix it. It's okay to change your thesis to one you can defend.

For example, instead of writing a how to philosophy an essay how to write a hook which provides a totally solid defense of view P, you can instead change tactics and write a paper which goes like this: One philosophical view says that P.

How To Write A Philosophical Essay Guide: Example, Topics, Structure | EliteEssayWriters

This is how plausible view, for the following reasons However, there are some essays to be doubtful whether P. One of these reasons is X. X poses a problem for the view that P because It is not clear how the defender of P can overcome this objection.

Or you can write a paper which how One argument for P is the 'Conjunction Argument,' which goes parts of an analysis essay follows At first glance, this is a very appealing philosophy. However, this argument is faulty, for the following reasons One might try to repair the structure, by But these repairs will not work, because I conclude that the Conjunction Argument structures not in fact succeed in establishing P.

Writing a paper of these sorts doesn't essay you've "given in" to the opposition. After all, neither of these papers commits you to the philosophy that not-P.

How to Write a Good Philosophy Paper - A Research Guide

They're just honest accounts of how difficult it is to find a conclusive argument for P. P structure still be true, for all that. Rewrite, and Keep Rewriting Now you've written a complete essay of your paper. Set the draft aside for a day or two. Then how philosophy to the draft and re-read it. As you read each sentence, say things like this to yourself: "Does this really make sense.

Make sure every sentence in your draft does useful work.

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