How to Write a Philosophy Paper

9 min read

How to Write a Good Philosophy Paper: An Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

Philosophy paper often becomes a serious test for students. Writing this kind of text involves the use of mechanisms that are not inherent in other disciplines. We have created this “how to write a philosophy paper for dummies” article specifically to make the process of writing much simpler.

What Is a Philosophy Paper?

The main difference between writing a philosophical task is that initially, a student must study a philosophical concept and then weighty confirm or refute it. For this reason, you should be well versed in the terms and topics that you will be working on. You must do in-depth analysis and research. This is a difficult task but quite feasible if you approach it correctly.

How to Start a Philosophy Paper?

Do not hurry a lot. To write a philosophical paper well, you will need time and patience to find the information you need. For this reason, it is best to start this task as early as possible.

Start thinking about how to write your essay as soon as you get the task. When the right thought comes to your head, write it down immediately.

Study all the sources carefully you need to write your essay. If you are already familiar with this or that source of information but do not keep in mind the details very well, re-read or revise it.

The need to fully and completely understand the philosophical paper’s topic is extremely important. After all, you will need to argue or counter-argue certain statements correctly. For your arguments to be taken seriously, you must be 100% sure of them.

Once you have received the assignment for writing an essay, try to understand its essence. Some teachers explain the tasks in detail, and some just tell the task in front of the audience. In order not to do wasted work, you must understand exactly what is required of you. If you do not understand this or that part of the assignment, be sure to ask the professor to explain it to you.

Analyze your target audience. Try to choose a topic that will be interesting and understandable to the majority.

It may so happen that someone from your target audience has the opposite opinion on the philosophical issue that you cover in your essay. Try to make the concept in such a way that a person, even with the opposite point of view, can understand you.

Do not overuse quotes. The purpose of writing a task is to refute or confirm a particular philosophical idea. Too many citations will clutter your essay and prevent you from conveying the message to your teacher. Therefore, try to use some quotes to support your thoughts.

However, when using a quote, be sure to refer to the source. Without, this it cannot be considered reliable.

Before you start writing, try to present your position verbally. Try to write in such a language as if you were telling about a problem to your friend. An overly complex article will not make you look your best. On the contrary, it will be harder to seize the idea of your concept.

You can insert words from a foreign language into your essay or use terminology. The main thing is not to overuse them and make sure that you use the terms and foreign words correctly.

How to Structure a Philosophy Paper

To correctly structure a philosophical document, you need to work out the main thesis carefully. It is around it the whole essay will be built. Your “pros” or “cons” arguments on the main thesis will become the basis for writing the assignment.

As an example, you want to refute the expression of Aristotle that beauty is directly associated with virtue. The main factor in this refutation may be the statement that beautiful persons are not always virtues. Thus, the general thesis of the essay will sound like this: “Aristotle, in his judgment that beauty is associated with virtue, was mistaken, since there are a lot of beautiful people who definitely cannot be called virtues.”

The best place to put your main thesis is near the end of the first chapter of the philosophical paper.

How to End a Philosophy Paper

A beautiful end to your essay is just as important as an interesting introduction. The conclusions at the end of the article will show your final opinion and focus on the most important aspects of your work. With well-crafted conclusions, you can highlight the relevance and usefulness of your essay.

For example, going back to our mention above about Aristotle, beauty, and virtue, you can state that your work emphasizes the separation of personality and image in society.

Philosophy Paper Outline

As we mentioned above, a philosophical essay should be built around the main thesis. However, it’s impossible to do without a clear writing plan. Therefore, before you start, create a plan for your work. Try to include all that you would like to add and carefully analyze each point. Regardless of the theme of a philosophical essay, its plan should include the following points:

  • An interesting introduction to drawing attention to the essay.
    ● The main thesis around which the entire essay will be built.
    ● Substantiation or refutation of the idea of the main thesis.
    ● The proof point among which will be united the results of the study.
    ● A section with potential rebuttals of your essay’s main theme, as well as the arguments in its defense.
    ● Competent conclusions.

Philosophy Paper Introduction

Try to come up with the most interesting introduction for the essay. It is very important. After all, an introduction guarantees a good first impression that your student work makes. The main task of the introduction is to grab the attention of the audience and the opportunity to speak about this or that philosophical idea.

The introduction should not briefly describe the entire topic of your essay. Just go to the main message. For example: “Parallels between beauty and virtue are often guests in the writings of Aristotle.”

Philosophy Paper Body

Try to explain your concept as reasonably as possible. After your audience has read the intro, you must announce whether you intend to refute or confirm a particular philosophical point of view.

You should not ignore the details of any philosophical judgment, even if they seem insignificant to you. Without them, your essay may be poorly argued, and the evidence is not strong enough.

Try to imagine what rebuttals and counterarguments people can give you. Your judgment in the main body of the article should be ready to refute them. However, you should not try to refute all the counterarguments. Imagine three or four main counter-opinions your audience might have and prepare for them. Do not prepare for more because, in your philosophical essay, you should convey your point of view and not challenge certain concepts that other people may have.

Philosophy Paper Conclusion

Justify your main thesis. After that, you can move on to conclusions and a final analysis of the point of view. It is essential not to forget that the conclusions should support your opinion on the essay’s main topic. Do not move from one opinion to another and contradict yourself. An excellent way to conclude is to give examples from your life or create a new one due to the performed research. Thus, if you decide to refute Aristotle’s assertion that beauty and virtue are closely intertwined, you can mention some famous criminals whose image many people considered beautiful.

5 EXTRA Tips from Our Experts

Make a break for a few days. This way, it will be easier for you to rethink the concept of the essay, and you will return to it with fresh energy. This break will make it easier for you to perform the necessary edits and improvements to your paper. The optimal break period is three days.

Review your essay again and pay particular attention to the quality of the content. Also, do not forget about correcting grammar mistakes. Be prepared to make additions and corrections due to the last revision (if needed).

Double-check all the arguments and counterarguments. Check how well the terms and quotes are used in your text. To evaluate how the text will be understandable and easy to read, let your friend read it. Even if he is not strong in philosophy and cannot help you in this area with professional advice, he may indicate too difficult or uninteresting points that you can improve in the future.

At your establishment, visit a writing club that teaches correct essay writing, if any.
Before the final delivery of your philosophical paper, check it again for literacy. Do not underestimate this point because grammatical mistakes can distract your audience. Read the entire essay aloud from beginning to end and understand how good it sounds. Make corrections if necessary.

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