Skip Nav

How to Write a Philosophy Paper: Recommendations, Topics, and Free Examples


❶The goal of your paper is to explain and evaluate a philosophical argument in your own words. Secondary readings For most classes, I will put some articles and books on reserve in Bobst Library for additional reading.

Select type of work

How to Write a Thesis for a Paper to Grab Reader’s Attention?
What is a Philosophy Paper?

It is necessary to understand the goals of the assignment to realize how to write a philosophy of life paper. The clarity of any essay depends on the structure, and many young students wonder how to prepare a paper outline. An outline looks like most of the research project outlines. We have discussed how to develop a thesis statement for a paper.

It is time to explore how to develop an introduction for a philosophy paper. Do not forget to include these elements: Make it clear, concise, and challenging. We are almost done with the structure! The question left is how to write a conclusion for a philosophy paper to leave the reader impressed. A powerful conclusion can guarantee positive feedback.

Start with paraphrasing the thesis statement. Recall the arguments from the body paragraphs one-by-one it would be a summary and end up by involving a rhetorical question or personal forecasts about the topic. How about taking some time to explore the paper format?

In most cases, students apply APA format to cite and reference essays. An example of APA citation would be: Teaching native speakers to recognize foreign-accented speech.

And it does not present your personal feelings or impressions. Instead, it is a reasoned defense of a thesis. What does that mean? 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. Before you start to write your paper, you should be able to state exactly what it is that you are trying to show.

This is harder than it sounds. It simply will not do to have a rough idea of what you want to establish. A rough idea is usually one that is not well worked out, not clearly expressed, and as a result, not likely to be understood. Whether you actually do it in your paper or not, you should be able to state in a single short sentence precisely what you want to prove. If you cannot formulate your thesis this way, odds are you are not clear enough about it.

The next task is to determine how to go about convincing the reader that your thesis is correct. In two words, your method must be that of rational persuasion. You will present arguments. At this point, students frequently make one or more of several common errors.

Sometimes they feel that since it is clear to them that their thesis is true, it does not need much argumentation. It is common to overestimate the strength of your own position. That is because you already accept that point of view. But how will your opponent respond? It is safest to assume that your reader is intelligent and knows a lot about your subject, but disagrees with you.

Another common mistake is to think 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 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. 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. There is much more that could be said about clear writing.

I have not stopped to talk about grammatical and stylistic points. For help in these matters and we all need reference works in these areas I recommend a few of the many helpful books available in the campus bookstore.

Both of these books have gone through several editions. Anticipate and answer questions. Think about any questions they might have and try to answer them in advance. Use examples and analogies to support your point. Philosophy can cover a lot of complex topics. Use analogies and metaphor to draw parallels between abstract ideas and everyday experiences.

Anticipate objections to your arguments. One of the most important aspects of writing a philosophy paper is anticipating objections to your statements. Imagine that you are having a rational argument with an educated person who disagrees with you.

What might that person say to each of the points that you make? Respond to each counter-objection. If you only acknowledge a counter but you do not respond to it, your main point will be weakened. Make sure to clearly and thoroughly explain why you believe the counter is invalid. One response to the counter about the serial killer could be that by serving the serial killer with a just sentence, you are showing mercy to the family and friends of his victims.

Do not ignore any obvious criticisms against your thesis. Failing to address objections to your arguments will make your paper seem weak, and this will be reflected in your grade. Address the major relevant criticisms thoroughly. Follow counter-objections with a positive argument. Once you have addressed and defended against relevant counters, make your own positive argument supporting your thesis.

If this raises more counter-objections, address those as well. Use specific examples, such as a case of a reformed criminal who changed his ways, was pardoned from prison, and went on to do great things. Another example could be the Biblical story of Moses and the Egyptians - God showed mercy to Moses and the Hebrews by freeing them from slavery. This resulted in punishment for the Egyptians who were holding the Hebrews captive.

Be consistent in your language. If you refer to a concept by a certain term in your paper, use that same term consistently. Make sure you have clearly explained your thoughts. Read through your paper from beginning to end to ensure that it is easy to follow and that each thought is fully explained. Round out your examples. Make sure each example connects to the point you were making immediately before, then transition into the next argument.

Explain yourself fully, but do so as concisely as possible. Use simple prose whenever you can, so that the reader is easily able to follow you from point to point.

End with a brief conclusion. As with any paper, you should end with a concluding paragraph.

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Good writing is the product of proper training, much practice, and hard work. The following remarks, though they will not guarantee a top quality paper, should help you determine where best to direct your efforts. I offer first some general comments on philosophical writing, .

Privacy FAQs

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, and how is it to be done? The answer is complicated. Philosophers .

About Our Ads

Feb 22,  · Writing a philosophy paper is quite different from other types of papers. In a philosophy paper, you have to provide an explanation of a philosophical concept and then either support or 78%(32). These writing tips will help to understand how to compose a research paper and survive the process of the best assignment selection. A school graduate may need it to enter college. The clue to successful writing is the answer to the question, “How to start a paper?”.

Cookie Info

Nor should you assume that every writing guideline you've been given by other teachers is important when you're writing a philosophy paper. Some of those guidelines are routinely violated in good philosophical prose (e.g., see the guidelines on grammar, below). Professional Philosophy Papers Online Help. We are not a free philosophy papers online service, but a company with highly professional staff and the highest standards of writing.