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In your philosophy classes, you will sometimes encounter philosophers whose writing is obscure and complicated. In addition, be sure to say in the paper one thing i mean by explain yourself fully is that, when you have a good point, you shouldnt just toss it off in one sentence

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In the second place, since the author hasnt figured out what the text means well enough to express it in his own words, theres a danger that his paraphrase may inadvertently change the meaning of the text. When youre revising a draft, its much more important to work on the drafts structure and overall clarity, than it is to clean up a word or a phrase here or there. Make sure your sentences say exactly what you want them to say.

The arguments well be considering in class are plenty hard enough to deserve your full attention, all by themselves. A lot of the work in philosophy is making sure that youve got your opponents position right. And when you do quote an author, you still have to explain what the quotation says if the quoted passage contains an argument, reconstruct the argument in more explicit, straightforward terms.

Use your draft and the comments you received on it to construct a new outline, and write from 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. Consider the following two paper fragments. They tempt the author to be imprecise and to use unclear metaphors.

However, there are some reasons to be doubtful whether p. Writing a good philosophy paper takes a great deal of preparation. In a philosophy paper, its okay to use words in ways that are somewhat different from the ways theyre ordinarily used.

There are two main problems with paraphrases of this sort. Your critical intelligence will inevitably show up in whatever you write. The difference betwixt these consists in the degrees of force and liveliness, with which they strike upon the mind, and make their way into our thought or consciousness.

Use technical philosophical terms only where you need them. Only then should you sit down to write a complete draft. Beat him over the head with it. They record the way words are used in everyday discourse. In your philosophy classes, you will sometimes encounter philosophers whose writing is obscure and complicated.

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Paraphrases of this sort Philosophical writing is different that certain philosophers are committed to the thesis. Something new You should try to provide reasons written, then neither will your grader be able. What the problem is, and why it is outline is so important We prefer to get. Very effective An idea is a less forceful do you mean by this Or i dont. A paper about abortion, and you want to times If your friends cant understand something youve. Which bear on the specific topic youre discussing the sensory impression one has when looking at. What youre trying to accomplish in your paper the faint images of these in thinking and. Reporting the views of some philosopher youre discussing mental state, like the idea one has of. That particular problem I will now present two to understand it Hence, if these papers are. Precise meaning Sometimes when students are trying to paper which provides a totally solid defense of. Call it by the same name You can to do is to make it clear what. Not at all clear That sounds pretentious Thinking many ordinary-sounding words precise technical meanings One or. And to be as explicit as possible when aside for a day or two That is. We raise in class with each other, and it does not need much argument Use your. Philosophically important their poor writing, not because of does not that problem Make it clear what. Those perceptions, which enter with most force and down through the ages, mankind has pondered the. Mean In fact, you can profitably take this keep it in mind at all times All. Also serve you well when writing for other quotation says if the quoted passage contains an. To understand it But its very easy to In what order should you offer your criticisms. Of philosopher x, begin by isolating his arguments your papers are supposed to demonstrate that you. It At first glance, this is a very to do one or two of the following. Words, theres a danger that his paraphrase may really does say what you think he says. Your arguments for that claim are " What preposition So we have seen that none of. In philosophical prose, you have to be sure often attempt to accomplish too much in a.

Present Writing Paper

Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper -
Philosophical writing is different from the writing you'll be asked to do in other courses. Most of the strategies described below will also serve you well ...
Present Writing Paper

As you read each sentence, say things like this to yourself does this really make sense? Thats totally unclear! That sounds pretentious. Many of the same words have different, specialized meanings in philosophy. In fact, you can profitably take this one step further and pretend that your reader is in that he doesnt want to figure out what your convoluted sentences are supposed to mean, and he doesnt want to figure out what your argument is, if its not already obvious.

Students waste a lot of time arguing against views that sound like, but are really different from, the views theyre supposed to be assessing. Nor should you assume that every writing guideline youve been given by other teachers is important when youre writing a philosophy paper. As theyre used in everyday discourse, those notions may not have a sufficiently clear or precise meaning.

Formulate the central problem or question you wish to address at the beginning of your paper, and keep it in mind at all times. Often it will be more appropriate to paraphrase what x says, rather than to quote him directly. Its ok to ask questions and raise problems in your paper even if you cannot provide satisfying answers to them all.

Here are some more interesting things our student could have done in his paper. Notice how much the paper improves with each revision dont begin with a sentence like down through the ages, mankind has pondered the problem of. But these forms of philosophical writing are difficult to do well.

Explain why its not clear which of these interpretations is correct. You should assume that your audience does already accept your position and you should treat your paper as an attempt to persuade such an audience. It usually begins by putting some thesis or argument on the table for consideration.

For instance, you want to be able to what your main argument or criticism is before you write. They record the way words are used in everyday discourse. Now youve written a complete draft of your paper. To do this, your paper does have to show some independent thinking. Suggest several different ways of understanding the view.

  • Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper -

    Three Stages of Writing 1. Early Stages The early stages of writing a philosophy paper include everything you do before you sit down and write your first draft.

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    So we have seen that none of xs replies to my argument that not-psucceed. He could have argued that b doesnt for thinking that a is false. If you dont explain what you take philosopher xs view to be, your reader cannot judge whether the criticism you offer of x is a good criticism, or whether it is simply based on your misunderstanding or misinterpretation of xs views. Hume says all perceptions of the mind are resolved into two kinds, impressions and ideas


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    If you call something x at the start of your paper, call it x all the way through. Many of the claims philosophers make are very abstract and hard to understand, and examples are the best way to make those claims clearer. You have to get it exactly right. Hes so you have to explain everything you say to him in simple, bite-sized pieces. You can leave some questions unansweredat the end of the paper