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How to Write a Good Philosophy Paper
How to Write a Good Philosophy Paper – EXPLAINED
Philosophy is a subject that not everyone understands or loves. Still, it is often included in the humanities courses, and some students even choose it as their major, planning to become analysts, writers, or professors. Thus, you can come across a philosophy paper on many occasions, and your task is to compose a competent-looking, credible argument on the given topic, thus providing a clear rationale for your position.
Indeed, Philosophy often seems overly complex to students, mainly because it uses advanced terminology and sophisticated argumentation. Philosophical thinking is an art in itself, and your task is to master that art, giving your thoughts structure and substantiating them with the right sources.
Here we offer a guide on how to write a philosophy paper for dummies, giving you many step-by-step instructions and professional observations regarding this type of composition. Read on to get a clear idea of what you need to do before, during, and after philosophy writing to fetch a high grade for yourself.
What Is a Philosophy Paper
When you face the need to compose a piece of philosophical writing, the problem of defining this subject comes to the fore. What exactly does such an assignment entail? And how do you need to approach it for the sake of proving your competency and earning a decent grade?
Many students think that philosophy is primarily interested in Big Questions, which suggests that you need to master the art of philosophical reasoning. You may need to ponder on the topics like:
- What is the meaning of life?
- What makes people love or hate each other?
- Why is there crime on the earth?
- When is it morally permissible to kill a person?
- What does happiness mean?
- Is there life after death?
Experts note that the core of a philosophy paper is constructing a good argument. It has to lead the reader through a series of undeniable, plausible, logical steps that take your audience from an evident premise to a not-so-evident conclusion. That’s what a positive argument typically does. You can also choose to use a negative argument in the philosophy assignment, which means that you will use the same logical steps to prove that a specific theory, claim, or argument is wrong.
How to Start a Philosophy Paper
As in any other type of writing, you should start the academic work by formulating a clear, precise thesis statement. It will be your guiding idea, a compass that will lead you through the process of research and writing, while your audience will use it as a roadmap in the reading of your philosophy piece.
It’s essential to get to the point quickly and without too much philosophical digression. Don’t give too much historical background for the point you’re going to argue; it’s enough to dedicate a sentence or two to the overall context of your study and then proceed to the thesis statement’s formulation.
The next step of starting your writing process is identifying and defining all technical or specialized terms used in the paper. You need to explain them briefly so that their complexity doesn’t impede the readers’ comprehension of your line of argumentation. Once the terminology is provided, even laypersons will have no trouble understanding and assessing the validity of your claims, which is a guarantee of your paper’s success.
The final point of consideration is to provide the motivation of your thesis statement’s (and topic’s) choice to the readers. It often works well for the assignments that have a free topic. So, you receive an opportunity to explain your thought and selection process to the tutor, scoring a couple of additional points for the depth of insight and evaluation.
How to Structure a Philosophy Paper
Regardless of the topic or paper type you’re assigned, you need to keep to a specific structure in writing on philosophy. Here we offer some general recommendations for structuring your text to improve its readability and academic value:
- When picking an argument for your philosophy assignment, you need to criticize it constructively. It’s unnecessary to focus only on the positives; you can show that some arguments are pretty weak, choosing an alternative approach to proving some philosophical issue or topic.
- You can defend one person’s argument by criticizing the critique of their claims by another analyst. Philosophers often consider each other’s theories and claims critically, finding their weaknesses and attacking their arguments using a different school of thought or an individual approach. Thus, you can analyze those critical responses and give your own evaluation of the argument, showing whom you consider more convincing.
- You can provide a heterogeneous response to a specific point or thesis by offering examples and counterexamples. In this way, you can illustrate the diversity of opinions and perspectives on one issue from various angles, proving your mastery of different theories and schools of philosophy.
- Discuss the consequences of adopting specific philosophical claims or arguments, with proper regard to their plausibility and real-life implementation.
Experts also recommend opting for a smaller number of arguments that a writer can develop in-depth and research them profoundly. It’s a much healthier alternative to picking as many arguments as possible and dedicating only a sentence or two to each of them.
How to End a Philosophy Paper
A rule of thumb is to recap everything you said in the introductory part of your paper and throughout its body. This way, you refresh the reader’s perspective and tie the whole content together. But don’t forget that your ending should restate the thesis in other words, showing how you proved it and how you have advanced your knowledge through the study of supporting evidence. So, you need to draw broader implications of your subject, though without substantial detail. Just draw the directions in which the audience should think further, giving them ideas on the application of your findings.
Philosophy Paper Outline
If you’re still unsure about how to write a philosophy paper, an example of our outline will help you structure any assignment regardless of the topic and requirements. Look at these tips to make your perfect paper hassle-free:
- Introduce the question that motivates your paper’s creation (e.g., are people’s religious beliefs a good reason to believe that God exists?).
- Explain the position you will take on this issue throughout the paper.
- Tell how you plan to argue that point.
- Provide a background paragraph explaining the problem and approach it from a more general perspective.
- Provide the first reason for your claim (supported with evidence, examining the anticipated objections, refuting them, and transitioning to the next point).
- Provide the second reason for your claim (supported with evidence, examining the anticipated objections, refuting them, and transitioning to the next point).
- Provide the third reason (supported with evidence, examining the anticipated objections, refuting them, and transitioning to the concluding section).
Recap the major points to prove that your claim is valid and significant. Give your readers a broader reference to why this discussion is essential and what implications it has for the sphere of philosophy.
Philosophy Paper Introduction
An introductory part should present the thesis statement clearly and briefly, focusing the readers’ attention on the main point. It may include a brief explanation of the terminology and provide the motivation for your topic’s choice. If you have picked a complex topic, then it may also be helpful to explain your argument in a couple of additional sentences.
Learning something new is always an exciting discovery in every person’s life. However, with the advent of formal education, children have often been bored and unmotivated to study at school. I believe that all children’s attitudes to education can change if they consider it from the viewpoint of discovery, not curriculum or grading.
Philosophy Paper Body
The body of your paper should provide substantial evidence for your claim. Here comes the complexity of philosophy writing because the majority of supporting sources you will find will be theoretical. You will hardly find practical research with empirical, quantifiable data, thus needing to rely on other people’s subjective arguments and views.
But upon a closer look at the arguments used in philosophical reasoning, you will see that they are not that subjective. Most of them are based on logical premises and are proved with the help of a sophisticated line of reasoning to lead the audience to the premise’s acceptance without a doubt. Your task is to choose from several philosophical premise types, such as reduction or question-begging arguments.
Premise 1: I love life.
Premise 2: If anyone loves life, then life is the highest value for all people.
Conclusion: Life is the highest value for all people.
Philosophy Paper Conclusion
As soon as you approach your conclusion, it’s time to compose a paragraph mirroring your introductory part in terms of style, vocabulary, and logic. If you have used a formal argument, stick to it here as well. If you used an informal argument, then follow this structure, too. In this section, you need to present a concision of your explanation.
Focus only on the most significant facts from your writing and show how they support your thesis statement. Don’t drown your readers in a ton of unnecessary details; stick to the central subject instead.
As one can see, Hume’s explanation of mental states, or perceptions, is pretty weak and flawed compared to West’s approach to this subject. His focus on the sensory impression gives only a one-sided view of mental states, often involving abstract thinking and reasoning. Thus, Hume’s approach should complement other philosophical methods to achieve a more complete and thorough understanding of the mental state.
As you can see, philosophy writing is pretty specific, following a set of rules and guidelines that take time to study and master. These complexities are explained by the academic discipline of philosophy, which is often challenging for people with a lack of understanding of philosophical reasoning and ideas. Hence, you may find it hard at first, but if you try hard, the process will go smoother and give you excellent outcomes.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to suffer if you don’t want to. We mean that any philosophy assignment can be done in a matter of hours by our professional team of experts. All you need to do to approach our talent pool is contact the manager and place an order for a Philosophy paper on our website. As a result, you will manage to study better without investing extra time and effort into the homework.