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How to Write a Philosophy Paper

How to Write a Philosophy Paper

Many students get a task of writing a philosophy paper now and then. Once we get our topic for this paper, we seamlessly assume that we know how to write a philosophy paper and that’s all we need. We know how to plan all stages of our work, we know how to conduct a meaningful research, we know how to outline our essay and get it written, we even know how to write an article title in a paper itself and in its works cited section according to Chicago / Turabian, MLA or any other formatting style requirements. Is it enough to secure oneself an excellent grade for this assignment? As important as all these details are, the answer is – hardly.

For better or worse, this kind of a written assignment will require of an essay writer some extra skills and knowledge on how to write a philosophy paper. Same as with most other papers an essay writer has to write, they mostly have to do with focusing on the person(s) who will be reading your paper and with the very purpose of a philosophy paper as such. In this case, your target reader is – obviously – your professor, a person well-informed on the subject, and your goal is to presume that s/he has a different standpoint on the problem than you, and you should try your best to persuade them that you are right. This is the essential distinguishing feature of how to write a philosophy paper, and it dictates its differences from other kinds of written assignments.

Given this, here are a few excellent tips specifically on how to write a philosophy paper:

#1 Pay special attention to the structure
The above mentioned specifications of this type of writing dictate certain peculiarities of how to write a philosophy paper. This begins with outlining your essay. First of all, assuming that your reader is already well aware of the subject, you do not need a lengthy introduction or any kind of exposition. You can keep this section to a minimum or even skip it altogether and jump straight to the point.

Secondly, you have to take great care that your narration flows smoothly and that it seamlessly leads your reader to the conclusion that you are right. Any attempts to state that other opinions than yours are false or to target specific details of an opinion, thus trying to prove that the entire opinion is wrong, will be detected by your reader and produce no desired effect on them. The reader must be convinced that they came to your desired conclusions themselves and were not lead there.

To achieve this, it is better to prepare your outline as early as possible, so you had the time to lay it aside for a few days and then give it a fresh look to see if the narration is seamless and the conclusions are not too forced.

#2 Choose your vocabulary very carefully
Plenty of people out there think that philosophy is an outstandingly vague subject to talk about. And there are reasons for such a stereotype, which we will not dig into. It is your duty as an essay writer to minimize this vagueness by choosing the words that you use with extreme care. Avoid any words that may have ambiguous meaning and make sure that you know the exact meaning of each word that you choose to put in your writing, especially if it is a specialized term (from any field of knowledge).

Of course, this includes special attention to the spelling. You’d be surprised to know how often and “illusion” is actually supposed to be an “allusion,” and it is needless to say that an “expirience” is unacceptable.

Aside from that, it is worth mentioning that the careful use of logical conjunctions like “hence,” “therefore” and others of the kind; this guideline helps to ensure the smoothness and consistency of your narration. The keyword here is ‘careful’ - you should only use them when the connection between the items in question can indeed be deemed logical.

#3 Constantly doubt yourself
An inexperienced essay writer who has a very vague idea about how to write a philosophy paper is very likely to fall into a trap. The trap lies in assuming that your position on the issue is obviously right. Assume that you are writing for an intelligent reader who just so happens not to share your standpoint. This is why you must presuppose that they will doubt your every statement. So, why leave it to them? It is crucial to work through all ambiguous points yourself and eliminate all doubt in advance by not leaving any room for it.

#4 Quote appropriately
We did mention that you must assume that your reader is a well-informed expert on the subject you are writing about. This should not be understood as though you should only state your own arguments and opinions. First, it is pretty much impossible at this point. Second, you will reveal that you are just as aware of the issue and its background as your reader. This is why it is a great idea to quote several renowned experts on your issue.

However, you must make sure that you know how to write an article title in a paper according to the formatting style required by your school and professor. This is a critical point, because your paper will most likely be checked for plagiarism automatically, and if you don’t cite your source properly – the plagiarism-checking software will mark your reference as plagiarized. This can be a dire issue that will spoil your grade or even your academic career altogether, and you will spend a lot of time and effort to prove that you did not plagiarize anything. To avoid such an unpleasant situation, it is critical to be aware of all the relevant citation guidelines.