How to start writing a philosophy paper

How to start writing a philosophy paper

Use simple, straightforward prose. These issues are deep and difficult enough without your having to muddy them up with pretentious or verbose language. Do not settle for a word that you think comes close to capturing the sense you have in mind. You will have this same experience. If your position is worth arguing for, there are going to be reasons which have led some people to reject it. 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. Good philosophical writing usually has an air of simple dignity about it.

But you shouldn't write this way. Sometimes they argue that certain answers to the question are too easy, that is, they won't work. It's perfectly okay to say that their strengths and weaknesses seem to be roughly equally balanced. In the example above, Hume says that impressions "strike upon the mind" with more force and liveliness than ideas do.

Above all, it means that there must be a specific point that you are trying to establish - something that you are trying to convince the reader to accept - together with grounds or justification for its acceptance.

Consult the handouts on Philosophical Terms and Methods to make sure you're using these words correctly. Presenting and assessing the views of others If you plan to discuss the views of Philosopher X, begin by isolating his arguments or central assumptions.

Which premises are the weakest points of the argument? 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.

Philosophical paper topics

After all, neither of these papers commits you to the view that not-P. When you are writing your papers, I do not expect you to consult these or any other secondary sources we haven't discussed in class. Keep in mind that when I or your TF grade a rewrite, we may sometimes notice strengths or weaknesses in unchanged parts of your paper that we missed the first time around. Does it still seem to flow smoothly when you come back to it? Do you explain your central notions? Merely summarizing what others have said won't be enough. 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. It is a good idea to let your outline simmer for a few days before you write your first draft. Also, I've browsed some other writing guidelines on the web, and occasionally incorporated advice I thought my students would find useful. Notice that certain words such as "therefore," "hence," "since," and "follows from" are strong logical connectives. Do it. For instance, he could say that

Don't write using prose you wouldn't use in conversation: if you wouldn't say it, don't write it. Further Advice Writing tutor for Introductory Philosophy Courses This site walks you through the process of writing a philosophy paper in several drafts.

Now I'm going to consider an argument that Then put your ideas for the essay into a logical order. When quoting or paraphrasing, always give some citation.

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How to Write a Philosophy Paper (with Pictures)