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They will instead make a cash settlement, which reflects the market value at the time the loss happened. This is so a prospective buyer knows a vehicle was previously written off when conducting vehicle history checks. These checks also cover whether the vehicle is stolen or has outstanding finance, too. So, what do the categories mean?

Essay guide philosophy philosophy student writing writing analytical expository essay structure

Essay guide philosophy philosophy student writing writing

If you do have other philosophical interests that you want to pursue such as Aquinas on mind , then please do pursue them, in addition to writing your essay on the set topic. At no stage does the requirement of relevance prevent you from pursuing your other interests. There might be occasions when you want to quote other philosophers and writers apart from when you are quoting them because they are the subject of your essay.

There are two basic reasons why you might want to do this. First, you might quote someone because their words constitute a good or exemplary expression or articulation of an idea you are dealing with, whether as its proponent, critic, or simply its chronicler. But be clear about what you think the quote means and be careful about what you are doing with the quote.

It won't do all the work for you. The second reason you might want to quote a philosopher is because you think their words constitute an "authoritative statement" of a view. Here you want to use the fact that, eg Bertrand Russell maintained that there are two kinds of knowledge of things namely, knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description in support of your claim that there are two such kinds of knowledge of things.

However, be very careful in doing this, for the nature of philosophical authority is not so simple here. That is to say, what really matters is not that Bertrand Russell the man held that view; what matters are his reasons for holding that view. So, when quoting philosophers for this second reason, be careful that you appreciate in what exactly the authority lies - which means that you should show that you appreciate why Russell maintained that thesis.

Of course, you can't provide long arguments for every claim you make or want to make use of; every essay will have its enabling but unargued assumptions. But at least be clear about these. Hollingdale Harmondsworth: Penguin, [first German ed. Philosophy is by its nature a relatively abstract and generalising business. Note that abstractness and generality are not the same thing.

Nor do vagueness and obscurity automatically attend them. Sometimes a longish series of general ideas and abstract reasonings can become difficult for the reader and often the writer to follow. It can often help, therefore, to use some concrete or specific examples in your discussion. Note that there can be different levels of concreteness and specificity in examples. Examples can be taken from history, current events, literature, and so on, or can be entirely your own invention.

Exactly what examples you employ and just how and why you use them will, of course, depend on the case. Some uses might be: illustration of a position, problem or idea to help make it clearer; evidence for, perhaps even proof of, a proposition; a counter-example; a case-study to be returned to at various points during the essay; or a problem for a theory or viewpoint to be applied to.

Again, be clear about what the example is and how and why you use it. Be careful not to get distracted by, or bogged down in, your examples. Brevity is usually best. There's another old saying: "If you can't say what you mean, then you can't mean what you say" - and this very much applies to philosophical writing.

Thus, in writing philosophically, you must write clearly and precisely. This means that good philosophical writing requires a good grasp of the language in which it is written, including its grammar and vocabulary. See Section 9. A high standard of writing skills is to be expected of Arts graduates. Indeed, this sort of skill will last longer than your memory of, for example, the three parts of the Platonic soul though it is also hoped that some of the content of what you study will also stick.

So use your time at university in all your subjects to develop these skills further. Having a mastery of a good range of terms, being sensitive to the subtleties of their meaning, and being able to construct grammatically correct and properly punctuated sentences are essential to the clear articulation and development of your thoughts.

Think of grammar, not as some old-fashioned set of rules of linguistic etiquette, but rather as the "internal logic" of a sentence, that is, as the relationships between the words within a sentence which enable them to combine to make sense.

Virtually all sentences in philosophical writing are declarative ie. There is some place, though, for interrogative sentences, ie. Note that, in contrast, this guide, which is not in the essay genre, contains many imperative sentences, ie. As you craft each declarative sentence in your essay, remember the basics of sentence construction.

Make clear what the sentence is about its subject and what you are saying about it the predicate. Make clear what the principal verb is in the predicate, since it is what usually does the main work in saying something about the subject. Where a sentence consists of more than one clause as many do in philosophical writing , make clear what work each clause is doing.

Attend closely, then, to each and every sentence you write so that its sense is clear and is the sense you intend it to have. Think carefully about what it is you want each particular sentence to do in relation to both those sentences immediately surrounding it and the essay as a whole and structure your sentence so that it does what you want it to do. To help you with your own sentence construction skills, when reading others' philosophical works or indeed any writing attend closely to the construction of each sentence so as to be alive to all the subtleties of the text.

Good punctuation is an essential part of sentence construction. Its role is to help to display the grammar of a sentence so that its meaning is clear. As an example of how punctuation can fundamentally change the grammar and, hence, meaning of a sentence, compare i "Philosophers, who argue for the identity of mind and brain, often fail to appreciate the radical consequences of that thesis.

Only the punctuation differs in the two strings of identical words, and yet the meanings of the sentences are very different. Confusions over this sort of thing are common weaknesses in student essays, and leave readers asking themselves "What exactly is this student trying to say?

It will be assumed that you can spell - which is not a matter of pressing the "spell-check" key on a word-processor. A good dictionary and a good thesaurus should always be within reach as you write your essay. Also, try to shorten and simplify sentences where you can do so without sacrificing the subtlety and inherent complexity of the discussion. Where a sentence is becoming too long or complex, it is likely that too many ideas are being bundled up together too closely.

Stop and separate your ideas out. If an idea is a good or important one, it will usually deserve its own sentence. Your "intra-sentential logic" should work very closely with the "inter-sentential logic" of your essay, ie. This "inter-sentential logic" is what "logic" is usually taken to refer to.

For example, to enable sentences P and Q to work together to yield sentence R as a conclusion, you need to make clear that there are elements within P and Q which connect up to yield R. Consider the following example: "Infanticide is the intentional killing of a human being.

However, murder is regarded by all cultures as morally abhorrent. Therefore, people who commit infanticide should be punished. If you are concerned to write not only clearly and precisely, but also with some degree of grace and style and I hope you are , it's still best to get the clarity and precision right first, in a plain, straightforward way, and then to polish things up afterwards to get the style and grace you want.

But don't sacrifice clarity and precision for the sake of style and grace - be prepared to sacrifice that beautiful turn of phrase if its presence is going to send your discussion down an awkward path of reasoning. Aim to hit the nail on the head rather than make a loud bang. What you are likely to find, however, is that a philosophy essay which really is clear and precise will have a large measure of grace and style in its very clarity and precision.

Remember that obscurity is not a sign of profundity. Some profound thought may well be difficult to follow, but that doesn't mean that one can achieve profundity merely through producing obscure, difficult-to-read writing. Your marker is interested in what's actually in your essay, not what's possibly inside your head or indeed what's possibly in some book you happen to have referred to in your essay.

So avoid hinting at or alluding suggestively to ideas, especially where they are meant to do some important work in your essay. Instead, lay them out explicitly and directly. Of course, you won't have space to spell out every single idea, so work out which ideas do the most important work and make sure that you at least get those ideas clearly articulated. In expounding a text or problem that ultimately just is vague, muddled, or obscure, try to convey such vagueness, muddle or obscurity clearly, rather than simply reproducing it in your own writing.

That is, be clear that and how a text or problem has such features, and then perhaps do your best to make matters clearer. Despite these stern pronouncements, don't be afraid of sometimes saying things which happen to sound a little odd, if you have tried various formulations and think you have now expressed your ideas just as they should be expressed. Philosophy is often an exploratory business, and new ways of seeing and saying things can sometimes be a part of that exploration.

The need for clarity and precision in philosophical writing sometimes means that you need to stipulate your own meaning for a term. When you want to use a particular word in a particular way for the purposes of your essay - as a "technical term" - be clear about it. Be wary, though, of inventing too many neologisms or being too idiosyncratic in your stipulations. With regard to what "authorial pronoun" to adopt in a philosophy essay, it's standard to write plainly in the first person singular "I", "me", "my", etc.

Nonetheless, stick closer to "I argue", "I suggest", "my definition", etc. A philosophy essay is still something more intellectual and formal than a personal reminiscence, polemic, or proclamation. In terms of audience, it's probably best to think of your reader as someone who is intelligent, open to discussion and knows a little about the topic you're writing on, but perhaps is not quite clear or decided about the issues, or needs convincing of the view you want to put forward, or is curious about what you think about the issues.

Try also to use non-discriminatory language, ie. As you write, you will be considering carefully your choice of words to express your thoughts. You will almost always find that it is possible to avoid discriminatory language by rephrasing your sentences. There are many guides to good writing available. Anyone who writes whether in the humanities or the sciences, whether beginners or experienced professionals will do well to have some on hand.

Most good bookshops and libraries will have some. Among the most consulted works are check for the latest editions :. Closely related to the above points about English expression is the importance of having a good grasp of what can rather generally be called "the vocabulary of logical argument".

These sorts of terms are crucial in articulating clearly and cogently a logical line of argument. Such argumentation will, of course, be of central importance in whatever discipline you are studying, indeed in any sphere of life that requires effective thinking and communication. I have in mind terms such as these grouped a little loosely :. Most of these are quite simple terms, but they are crucial in argumentative or discursive writing of all kinds. Many are themselves the subject of study in logic, a branch of philosophy.

The sloppy use of these sorts of terms is another common weakness in students' philosophy essays. Pay close and careful attention to how you employ them. Moreover, pay close and careful attention to how the authors you read use them. For further discussion of some of these terms and others, see:. It is virtually essential that you write a first draft of your essay and then work on that draft to work towards your finished essay. Indeed, several drafts may well be necessary in order to produce your best possible work.

It is a rare philosopher indeed who can get things perfectly right on the first attempt, so be prepared to revise and re-develop what you write. Don't be too precious about what you have written, if it appears that it should be sacrificed in the revision process. There is usually a very marked difference between essays which are basically first draft rush-jobs done the night before they are due and those which have been revised and polished.

Give yourself time to revise by starting writing early on. For most philosophy students, the greater part of the work in essay writing is in the writing, not in the preliminary researches and planning stages. So be wary of thinking "I've done all the research. I only need to write up my notes, which I can do the night before the essay's due". This is likely to lead to a weak, perhaps non-existent, essay and very likely a sleepless night.

Stick to the word limit given for your essay. Why are word limits imposed? First, to give the markers a fair basis for comparing student essays. Second, to give you the opportunity to practise the discipline of working creatively under constraints. Skill in this discipline will stand you in very good stead in any sphere where circumstances impose limitations. Again, word limits are not constraints on your intellectual freedom. Outside your essay you are free to write without limit.

But even there you'll probably find that your creativity is improved by working under a self-imposed discipline. As a general rule, most student essays that fall well short of the word limit are weak or lazy attempts at the task, and most essays that go well over the limit are not much stronger or the result of much harder work - the extra length is often due to unstructured waffle or padding which the writer hasn't thought enough about so as to edit judiciously.

If you structure your essay clearly, you'll find it easier to revise and edit, whether in order to contract or expand it. And I should expand section 3, because that's a crucial step. And I can shift that third paragraph in the Introduction to the Conclusion. Plagiarism is essentially a form of academic dishonesty or cheating. At university level, such dishonesty is not tolerated and is dealt with severely, usually by awarding zero marks for a plagiarised essay or, in some cases, dismissing a student from the university.

When you submit your essay, you are implicitly stating that the essay is your own original and independent work, that you have not submitted the same work for assessment in another subject, and that where you have made use of other people's work, this is properly acknowledged.

If you know that this is not in fact the case, you are being dishonest. In a number of university departments, students are in fact required to sign declarations of academic honesty. Plagiarism is the knowing but unacknowledged use of work by someone else including work by another student, and indeed oneself - see below and which is being presented as one's own work.

It can take a number of forms, including:. None of the practices of copying, paraphrasing, summarizing or cobbling is wrong in itself, but when one or more is done without proper acknowledgment it constitutes plagiarism. Therefore, all sources must be adequately and accurately acknowledged in footnotes or endnotes. Plagiarism from the internet in particular can be a temptation for a certain kind of student. However, be warned: there is a number of very good internet and software tools for identifying plagiarism.

With regard to collusion, it's undoubtedly often very helpful to discuss one's work with others, be it other students, family members, friends or teachers. Indeed, philosophy thrives on dialogue. However, don't kid yourself that you would simply be extending that process if you were to ask your interlocutor to join with you in the writing of your essay, whether by asking them to tell you what you should write or to write down some of their thoughts for you to reproduce in your essay.

At the end of the day, you must be the one to decide what goes into your essay. Students sometimes worry about whether they will be able to develop "original ideas", especially in light of the fact that nearly every philosophical idea one comes up with seems to have been thought of before by someone else. There is no denying that truly original work in philosophy is well rewarded, but your first aim should be to develop ideas that you think are good and not merely different.

If, after arguing for what you believe is right, and arguing in way that you think is good, you then discover that someone else has had the same idea, don't throw your work away - you should feel vindicated to some extent that your thinking has been congruent with that of another possibly great philosopher. If you have not yet handed your essay in when you make this discovery, make an appropriately placed note to that effect.

Don't be fooled, however, into thinking that plagiarism can be easily passed off as congruent thinking. Of course, if that other philosopher's ideas have helped you to develop your ideas, then this is not a matter of congruent ideas but rather of derivative ideas, and this must be adequately acknowledged.

If, after developing your ideas, you discover that they are original, then that is an added bonus. But remember that it is more important to be a good philosopher than an original one. Quotations in your essay should be kept to a minimum. The markers know the central texts pretty well already and so don't need to have pages thereof repeated in front of them.

Of course, some quotation will usually be important and useful - sometimes essential - in both exposition and critical discussion. When you quote the words of someone else directly, you must make the quotation clearly distinct from your own text, using quotation marks. Note that it is relatively arbitrary whether one uses 'single' or "double" quotation marks for "first order" quotations, but whichever style you adopt, use it consistently in the one essay.

Alternatively, where the quoted passage is greater than three lines, put the quoted words in a separate indented paragraph , so that your essay would look like this:. Whatever I have up till now accepted as most true I have acquired either from the senses or through the senses. But from time to time I have found that the senses deceive, and it is prudent never to trust completely those who have deceived us even once.

In this essay I shall argue that prudence does not in fact require us to distrust our senses and that Descartes's sceptical method is therefore seriously flawed. Footnotes appear at the foot of the same page on which the cited material appears, clearly separated from the main body of the text, each one clearly numbered. Endnotes appear at the end of the essay, again clearly separated from the main body of text, numbered and headed "Endnotes" or "Notes".

Either method is acceptable, but you should choose one and stick with it throughout the one essay. Below are some examples of how to put the relevant referencing information in footnotes and endnotes. This is not intended as an exercise in pedantry, but as a guide to how to provide the information needed for adequate referencing.

The reason we provide this information is to enable our readers to find the sources we use in order to verify them and to allow them to pursue the material further if it interests them. In your own researches you will come to value good referencing in the texts you read as a helpful source of further references on a topic. Again, it is this sort of research skill that an Arts graduate will be expected to have mastered.

There are various conventions for writing up footnotes and endnotes. The Philosophy Department does not require that any particular convention be followed, only that you be consistent in your use of the convention that you do choose. For other conventions see the style guides mentioned above, or simply go to some texts published by reputable publishers and see what formats they employ. Imagine, then, that the following are endnotes at the end of your essay.

I will explain them below. I have, though, added the desirability of a pin-point reference. At the end of your essay after your endnotes, if used you should list in a bibliography all of the works referred to in your notes, as well as any other works you consulted in researching and writing your essay. The list should be in alphabetical order, going by authors' surnames. The format should be the same as for your notes, except that you drop the page references and should put surnames first.

So the bibliography of our mock-essay above would look like this:. Generally, you should present an essay that is legible hand-writing is OK, but typed or word-processed essays are preferable , in English, on one side of pieces of paper that are somewhere in the vicinity of A4 size and are fixed together.

You should attach a completed Cover Sheet provided by the Philosophy program. Plastic document covers, spiral binding and other forms of presentational paraphernalia are not necessary nor are they usually even desirable, as they mostly just get in the marker's way. Late essays are penalised. For details of penalties consult the Philosophy program's notice board.

Essays not handed in at all get zero marks. An essay that is handed in but gets a mark below 50 and so is technically a "failed" essay still gets some marks. At least, it will so long as it's not so extremely late that the deducted marks wipe out all the marks it would have received if handed in on time.

All marks received for your essay whether pass or fail go toward your final score in the subject. Therefore, even if you think your essay is bound to fail but please let your marker be the judge of that , or the due date has already passed, or both, it is still in your interests to hand your essay in. Philosophy staff are not there just to be listened to by you; they are also there to listen to you. So don't hesitate to contact your tutor or lecturer to discuss questions or problems you have concerning your work.

If you have a legitimate excuse, you may be granted an extension on the due date for your essay by the lecturer in charge. Similarly, special consideration may also be granted when illness or other circumstances adversely affect your work. Applications for special consideration are made online via the Special Consideration web page.

Some personal or non-philosophical academic difficulties you might have you might want to discuss with someone other than your tutor or lecturer. Student Counselling and Psychological Services are there for you to discuss all sorts of problems you might encounter. Please consult your student diary for details on the counselling service.

As noted above, good philosophical writing requires a good grasp of the language in which it is written. If you are from a non-English speaking background and are having difficulties with your English expression in an academic context, you might like to make use of the services provided by Student Services Academic Skills. Many native English speakers, too, can benefit from short "refresher" courses and workshops run by the Centre.

Please consult your student diary for details about this service. Essays of the sort discussed so far in this guide are not the only form of assessment in the Philosophy program - examinations are also set. What is to be said about them? First, not much that is different from what's been said above about philosophy essays.

This is because what you write in a philosophy exam is none other than a philosophy essay. Have a look at past philosophy exam papers, in the Gibson and Baillieu libraries, to get a feel for them. The only basic difference between essays and exams is the matter of what constraints you're working under.

Essays have word limits; exams have time limits. Again, stick to them. Actually, you'll be made to stick to them by the exam invigilators. It's best, then, to think about how long to spend writing on an exam essay topic, rather than about how many words to write on it. Simple arithmetic will tell you how much time to spend on each exam question. Avoid the trap of "borrowing time" from a later question in order to perfect your answer to an earlier question, and then working faster on the later questions to catch up on lost time - this is likely to get you in a tangle.

There are no word limits in philosophy exam essays, but don't think that the more you scrawl across the page, the more marks you'll get. Nonetheless, use the time you've got so as to maximise your display of your philosophical understanding and skills in answering the question. Planning and structuring remain very important in exam essays.

With regard to the niceties of footnotes, endnotes and bibliographies, etc. However, if you quote or refer to a specific passage from a text, do indicate clearly that it is a quotation or reference. The principle of being clear as to who is saying what remains central. If you have the reference handy, just put it briefly in the text of your exam essay.

Generally speaking, you will show your familiarity with any relevant texts by how you handle them in your discussion. This is also true for your non-exam essays. Your preparation for the exam should have been done well before entering the exam hall. Note that various subjects have restrictions on what texts and other items can be brought into the exam hall.

Consult the Philosophy program's notice board for details. Many subjects will have "closed book" exams. Even if an exam is "open book", if you are properly prepared, you should not need to spend much time at all consulting texts or notes during the exam itself. You won't have time for redrafting and revising your exam essay which makes planning and structuring your answers before you start writing all the more important. If you do want to delete something, just cross it out clearly.

Don't waste time with liquid paper or erasers. Write legibly. Don't wr. Finally, read the instructions at the beginning of the exam paper. They are important. Note the somewhat quaint University practice of starting Reading Time some time before the stated time for the exam. Philosophy exams usually have 15 minutes of reading time. Check for each of your exams.

So, if your exam timetable says the exam is at 2. Reading time is very important. Use it to decide which questions you'll answer and to start planning your answers. Essay topics. Researching your essay Research To do research for your philosophy essay you need to do only two things: read and think.

Philosophical writings Most philosophical writings come in either of two forms: books or articles. Among the most useful of the general reference works are: Edward Craig, ed. London: Routledge, Paul Edwards, ed. New York: Macmillan, Robert Audi, ed. Urmson and Jonathan Ree, eds. Zalta, ed. Libraries and electronic resources The University's Baillieu Library including the Institute of Education Resource Centre , which is open to all members of the University, contains more than 2, years' worth of philosophical writings.

Writing your essay Planning and structuring your essay It is very important that you plan your essay, so that you have an idea of what you are going to write before you start to write it. Relevance What you write in your essay should always be relevant to the question posed. Citing Philosophical "Authorities" There might be occasions when you want to quote other philosophers and writers apart from when you are quoting them because they are the subject of your essay. Examples Philosophy is by its nature a relatively abstract and generalising business.

English expression There's another old saying: "If you can't say what you mean, then you can't mean what you say" - and this very much applies to philosophical writing. Other things to avoid: waffle and padding vagueness and ambiguity abbreviations this guide I'm writing isn't an eg.

Among the most consulted works are check for the latest editions : J. Williams and G. Strunk and E. White, The Elements of Style, 4th ed. New York: Longman, E. Gowers, The Complete Plain Words, 3rd ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin, R. Burchfield, ed. It must stand on its own. The responsibility for ensuring the accurate communication of ideas falls on the writer's shoulders.

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. Some final words should be added about proofreading.

Do it. After that, have someone else read your paper. Is this person able to understand you completely? Can he or she read your entire paper through without getting stuck on a single sentence? If not, go back and smooth it out. In general terms, do not be content simply to get your paper out of your hands. Take pride in it. Clear writing reflects clear thinking; and that, after all, is what you are really trying to show.

Scholarly Impact: Endre Begby March 09, What are the implications of undercutting opposing views without offering an additional argument, Writing A Philosophy Paper. These are entirely unnecessary and of no interest to the informed reader. There is no need to point out that your topic is an important one, and one that has interested philosophers for hundreds of years.

Introductions should be as brief as possible. In fact, I recommend that you think of your paper as not having an introduction at all. Go directly to your topic. Lengthy quotations. Inexperienced writers rely too heavily on quotations and paraphrases. Direct quotation is best restricted to those cases where it is essential to establish another writer's exact selection of words.

Even paraphrasing should be kept to a minimum. After all, it is your paper. It is your thoughts that your instructor is concerned with. Keep that in mind, especially when your essay topic requires you to critically assess someone else's views. Fence sitting. Do not present a number of positions in your paper and then end by saying that you are not qualified to settle the matter.

In particular, do not close by saying that philosophers have been divided over this issue for as long as humans have been keeping record and you cannot be expected to resolve the dispute in a few short pages. Your instructor knows that. But you can be expected to take a clear stand based on an evaluation of the argument s presented.

Go out on a limb. If you have argued well, it will support you. Good philosophical writing usually has an air of simple dignity about it. Your topic is no joke. No writers whose views you have been asked to read are idiots. If you think they are, then you have not understood them. Name calling is inappropriate and could never substitute for careful argumentation anyway.

Begging the question. You are guilty of begging the question or circular reasoning on a particular issue if you somehow presuppose the truth of whatever it is that you are trying to show in the course of arguing for it. Here is a quick example. If Smith argues that abortion is morally wrong on the grounds that it amounts to murder, Smith begs the question.

Smith presupposes a particular stand on the moral status of abortion - the stand represented by the conclusion of the argument. To see that this is so, notice that the person who denies the conclusion - that abortion is morally wrong - will not accept Smith's premise that it amounts to murder, since murder is, by definition, morally wrong. When arguing against other positions, it is important to realize that you cannot show that your opponents are mistaken just by claiming that their overall conclusions are false.

Nor will it do simply to claim that at least one of their premises is false. You must demonstrate these sorts of things, and in a fashion that does not presuppose that your position is correct. Before you start to write make an outline of how you want to argue. There should be a logical progression of ideas - one that will be easy for the reader to follow.

If your paper is well organized, the reader will be led along in what seems a natural way. If you jump about in your essay, the reader will balk. It will take a real effort to follow you, and he or she may feel it not worthwhile. It is a good idea to let your outline simmer for a few days before you write your first draft. Does it still seem to flow smoothly when you come back to it? If not, the best prose in the world will not be enough to make it work. Use the right words.

Once you have determined your outline, you must select the exact words that will convey your meaning to the reader. A dictionary is almost essential here. Do not settle for a word that you think comes close to capturing the sense you have in mind. Notice that "infer" does not mean "imply"; "disinterested" does not mean "uninterested"; and "reference" does not mean either "illusion" or "allusion.

Notice that certain words such as "therefore," "hence," "since," and "follows from" are strong logical connectives. When you use such expressions you are asserting that certain tight logical relations hold between the claims in question. You had better be right.

This guide is intended to give new students of philosophy some preliminary advice about writing philosophy essays at university.

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Essay guide philosophy philosophy student writing writing The basic way to approach text-focused topics, then, essay guide philosophy philosophy student writing writing to treat the nominated text as an attempt by one philosopher to deal with a particular philosophical problem or issue. Footnotes and endnotes Footnotes appear at the foot of the same page on which the cited material appears, clearly separated from the main body of the text, each one clearly numbered. So you may well come to "work around" many of these guidelines. Students sometimes worry about whether they will be able to develop "original ideas", especially in light of the fact that nearly every philosophical idea one comes up with seems to have been thought of before by someone else. Think carefully about what it is you want each particular sentence tips writing essay introductions do in relation to both those sentences immediately surrounding it and the essay as a whole and structure your sentence so that it does what you want it to do. Defining philosophy is always a more or less controversial business, but one way to think of what is done in university philosophy departments is to think of the difference between having a philosophy and doing philosophy.
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Professional expository essay proofreading for hire for mba As a general rule, most student essays that fall well short of the word limit are weak or lazy attempts at the task, and most essays that go well over the limit are not much stronger or the result of much harder work - cause and effect essay on world hunger extra length is often due to unstructured waffle or padding which the writer hasn't thought enough about so as to edit judiciously. In this it will be important that you make clear who is putting forward which point, that is, make it clear whether you are presenting your own thoughts or are expounding someone else's. However, be warned: there is a number of very good internet and software tools for identifying essay guide philosophy philosophy student writing writing. It is difficult to overemphasize this point. Therefore, even if you think your essay is bound to fail but please let your marker be the judge of thator the due date has already passed, or both, it is still in your interests to hand your essay in. So use your time at university in all your subjects to develop these skills further. When you use such expressions you are asserting that certain tight logical relations hold between the claims in question.
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References page for resume Edit boldly. Such examination may even help to develop new and firmer ground. If you are concerned to write not only clearly and precisely, but also with some degree of grace and style and I hope you areit's still best to get the clarity and precision right first, in a plain, straightforward way, and then to polish things up afterwards to get the style and grace you want. 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. If you think they are, then you have not understood them. Your instructor knows that.

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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Writing Philosophy by Lewis Vaughn. Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays is a concise, self-guided manual that covers the basics of argumentative essay writing and encourages students to master fundamental skills quickly, with minimal instructor input.

Opening with an introductory chapter on how to read philosophy, the book then moves into the basics of writing summaries and ana Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays is a concise, self-guided manual that covers the basics of argumentative essay writing and encourages students to master fundamental skills quickly, with minimal instructor input.

Opening with an introductory chapter on how to read philosophy, the book then moves into the basics of writing summaries and analyzing arguments. It provides step-by-step instructions for each phase of the writing process, from formulating a thesis, to creating an outline, to writing a final draft, supplementing this tutorial approach with model essays, outlines, introductions, and conclusions. Skills essential to evaluating arguments, citing sources, avoiding plagiarism, detecting fallacies, and formatting final drafts are dealt with in detail.

The final two chapters serve as a reference guide to common mistakes and basic skills in sentence construction, writing style, and word choice. Employing a rulebook format similar to that of the classic Elements of Style by Strunk, White, and Angell , Lewis Vaughn distills helpful writing advice into simple rules that students can easily remember and apply--and that instructors can refer to when reviewing student papers.

These rules cover essay organization, sentence structure, documentation styles, plagiarism, grammar, usage, and more. Written in a clear and engaging style and incorporating samples of student writing, Writing Philosophy is an indispensable resource for virtually any philosophy course. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.

More Details Original Title. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Writing Philosophy , please sign up. I can't find a PDF of this! Does anyone know the 5 common mistakes made while writing philosophy? See 1 question about Writing Philosophy….

Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list ». Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Sep 22, Rambling Reader rated it it was amazing. Nov 16, Edward rated it it was amazing. Extremely helpful for someone starting undergrad or postgraduate philosophy. Helps you see the foundations needed to do well in philosophy.

Feb 14, Jennifer rated it really liked it Shelves: philosophy. This is a good book to read if you are unaccustomed to writing argumentative papers in general. Additionally, if you are unfamiliar with reading philosophy it provides some tips, as reading philosophy and theory in general can be very difficult. I have a professor who assigns this book for every class he teaches. He claims that since he began this practice it has greatly improved the quality of papers he has received.

Mar 11, Rob rated it really liked it. The author gives a clear explanation of the specifics of writing philosophy papers. He details rules of style that could apply to any academic paper, as well as how to defend a thesis, avoid fallacies, and select worthy objections to answer in an argumentative paper. His sections on analyzing arguments are similar to what one would find in an introductory logic course. Sep 05, Farrell rated it really liked it. A fantastic book!

It was great at explaining techniques for reading and writing Philosophy. I really enjoyed this book! Oct 05, Emma rated it it was amazing. Such an informative and useful book for writing philosophical essays! Most philosophical writings come in either of two forms: books or articles. Articles appear either in books that are edited anthologies or in academic journals, such as Philosophical Quarterly or Australasian Journal of Philosophy. Some academic journals are also on the internet.

Most articles in the journals are written by professional philosophers for professional philosophers; similarly with many books. But by no means let this put you off. Everyone begins philosophy at the deep end - it's really the only kind there is! There are, however, many books written for student audiences. Some of these are general introductions to philosophy as a whole; others are introductions to particular areas or issues eg biomedical ethics or philosophy of science.

Among the general introductions are various philosophical dictionaries, encyclopedias and "companions". These reference works collect short articles on a wide range of topics and can be very useful starting points for newcomers to a topic. Among the most useful of the general reference works are:. Note taking, like your reading, should not be random, but ought to be guided by the topic in question and by your particular lines of response to the issues involved.

Note taking for philosophy is very much an individual art, which you develop as you progress. By and large it is not of much use to copy out reams of text as part of your researches. Nor is it generally helpful to read a great number of pages without making any note of what they contain for future reference. But between these two extremes it is up to you to find the mean that best helps you in getting your thoughts together. The University's Baillieu Library including the Institute of Education Resource Centre , which is open to all members of the University, contains more than 2, years' worth of philosophical writings.

The best way to become acquainted with them is by using them, including using the catalogues including the Baillieu's on-line catalogues and subject resources web-pages , following up a work's references and references in the references , intelligent browsing of the shelves, etc.

In the main Baillieu Library, the philosophical books are located mostly between — in the Dewey decimal system, and philosophical journals are located in the basement. The Reference section on the ground floor also has some relevant works. The Education Resource Centre also has a good philosophy collection. In addition to hard-copy philosophical writings, there is also a variety of electronic resources in philosophy, mostly internet-based. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy was already mentioned above.

Links to other useful internet sites such as the Australasian Association of Philosophy website can be found through the Baillieu Library's web-page and the Philosophy Department's web-page. A strong word of warning, however, for the would-be philosophical web-surfer: because anyone can put material on a website, all kinds of stuff, of varying levels of quality, is out there - and new-comers to philosophy are usually not well placed to sort their way through it.

Unless you have a very good understanding of what you're looking for - and what you're not looking for - most of you will be much better off simply carefully reading and thinking about a central text for your course, eg Descartes' First Meditation, rather than wandering about the internet clicking on all the hits for "Descartes".

Exercise your mind, not your index finger. It is very important that you plan your essay, so that you have an idea of what you are going to write before you start to write it. Of course, you will most likely alter things in later drafts, but you should still start off by having a plan. Planning your essay includes laying out a structure.

It is very important that your essay has a clearly discernible structure, ie that it is composed of parts and that these parts are logically connected. This helps both you and your reader to be clear about how your discussion develops, stage by stage, as you work through the issues at hand. Poor essay structure is one of the most common weaknesses in student philosophy essays.

Taking the time to work on the structure of your essay is time well spent, especially since skill in structuring your thoughts for presentation to others should be among the more enduring things you learn at university. A common trap that students fall into is to start their essay by writing the first sentence, then writing another one that seems to follow that one, then another one that sort of fits after that one, then another that might or might not have some connection with the previous one, and so on until the requisite 1, words are used up.

The result is usually a weak, rambling essay. There are, of course, no hard and fast rules about how to structure a philosophy essay. Again, it is a skill you develop through practice, and much will depend on the particular topic at hand. Nonetheless, it might be helpful to begin by developing an essay structure around the basic distinction between your exposition and your critical discussion as discussed above.

In this it will be important that you make clear who is putting forward which point, that is, make it clear whether you are presenting your own thoughts or are expounding someone else's. Again, confusion in this regard is a common problem in student essays. It can often help your structuring if you provide headings for different sections possibly numbered or lettered.

Again, this helps both your reader to follow your discussion and you to develop your thoughts. At each stage, show clearly the logical relations between and the reasons for your points, so that your reader can see clearly why you say what you say and can see clearly the development in your discussion. Another key to structuring your essay can be found in the old adage "Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em. Tell 'em. Then tell 'em what you've told 'em", which provides you with a ready-made structure: Introduction, Main Body, and Conclusion.

In your Introduction, first introduce the issues the essay is concerned with. In doing so, try to state briefly just what the problem is and if there is space why it is a problem. This also applies, of course, to issues covered in text-focused essay topics. Next, tell the reader what it is that you are going to do about those problems in the Main Body. This is usually done by giving a brief sketch or overview of the main points you will present, a "pre-capitulation", so to speak, of your essay's structure.

This is one way of showing your reader that you have a grasp indeed, it helps you get a grasp of your essay as a structured and integrated whole, and gives them some idea of what to expect by giving them an idea of how you have decided to answer the question. Of course, for reasons of space, your Introduction might not be very long, but something along these lines is likely to be useful.

In your Main Body, do what you've said you'll do. Here is where you should present your exposition s and your critical discussion s. Thus, it is here that the main philosophical substance of your essay is to be found. Of course, what that substance is and how you will present it will depend on the particular topic before you. But, whatever the topic, make clear at each stage just what it is you are doing.

You can be quite explicit about this. There will be three stages to this presentation. A distinct Conclusion is perhaps not always necessary, if your Main Body has clearly "played out" your argument. So you don't always have to present a grand summation or definitive judgement at the end. Still, often for your own sake, try to state to yourself what it is your essay has achieved and see if it would be appropriate to say so explicitly. Don't feel that you must come up with earth-shattering conclusions.

Of course, utter banality or triviality are not good goals, either. Also, your essay doesn't always have to conclude with a "solution" to a problem. Sometimes, simply clarifying an issue or problem is a worthy achievement and can merit first-class honours.

A good conclusion to a philosophy essay, then, will usually combine a realistic assessment of the ambit and cogency of its claims with a plausible proposal that those claims have some philosophical substance. What you write in your essay should always be relevant to the question posed. This is another common problem in student essays, so continually ask yourself "Am I addressing the question here? However, I shall argue that there are, in fact, several different scientific methods and that these are neither unified nor consistent.

You would be ill-advised, for example, to proceed thus: "What is scientific method? This is a question asked by many great minds. But what is a mind? In this essay, I shall discuss the views of Thomas Aquinas on the nature of mind. This requirement of relevance is not intended as an authoritarian constraint on your intellectual freedom.

It is part of the skill of paying sustained and focused attention to something put before you - which is one of the most important skills you can develop at university. If you do have other philosophical interests that you want to pursue such as Aquinas on mind , then please do pursue them, in addition to writing your essay on the set topic. At no stage does the requirement of relevance prevent you from pursuing your other interests.

There might be occasions when you want to quote other philosophers and writers apart from when you are quoting them because they are the subject of your essay. There are two basic reasons why you might want to do this. First, you might quote someone because their words constitute a good or exemplary expression or articulation of an idea you are dealing with, whether as its proponent, critic, or simply its chronicler.

But be clear about what you think the quote means and be careful about what you are doing with the quote. It won't do all the work for you. The second reason you might want to quote a philosopher is because you think their words constitute an "authoritative statement" of a view. Here you want to use the fact that, eg Bertrand Russell maintained that there are two kinds of knowledge of things namely, knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description in support of your claim that there are two such kinds of knowledge of things.

However, be very careful in doing this, for the nature of philosophical authority is not so simple here. That is to say, what really matters is not that Bertrand Russell the man held that view; what matters are his reasons for holding that view. So, when quoting philosophers for this second reason, be careful that you appreciate in what exactly the authority lies - which means that you should show that you appreciate why Russell maintained that thesis. Of course, you can't provide long arguments for every claim you make or want to make use of; every essay will have its enabling but unargued assumptions.

But at least be clear about these. Hollingdale Harmondsworth: Penguin, [first German ed. Philosophy is by its nature a relatively abstract and generalising business. Note that abstractness and generality are not the same thing. Nor do vagueness and obscurity automatically attend them. Sometimes a longish series of general ideas and abstract reasonings can become difficult for the reader and often the writer to follow.

It can often help, therefore, to use some concrete or specific examples in your discussion. Note that there can be different levels of concreteness and specificity in examples. Examples can be taken from history, current events, literature, and so on, or can be entirely your own invention. Exactly what examples you employ and just how and why you use them will, of course, depend on the case.

Some uses might be: illustration of a position, problem or idea to help make it clearer; evidence for, perhaps even proof of, a proposition; a counter-example; a case-study to be returned to at various points during the essay; or a problem for a theory or viewpoint to be applied to. Again, be clear about what the example is and how and why you use it. Be careful not to get distracted by, or bogged down in, your examples.

Brevity is usually best. There's another old saying: "If you can't say what you mean, then you can't mean what you say" - and this very much applies to philosophical writing. Thus, in writing philosophically, you must write clearly and precisely. This means that good philosophical writing requires a good grasp of the language in which it is written, including its grammar and vocabulary.

See Section 9. A high standard of writing skills is to be expected of Arts graduates. Indeed, this sort of skill will last longer than your memory of, for example, the three parts of the Platonic soul though it is also hoped that some of the content of what you study will also stick. So use your time at university in all your subjects to develop these skills further. Having a mastery of a good range of terms, being sensitive to the subtleties of their meaning, and being able to construct grammatically correct and properly punctuated sentences are essential to the clear articulation and development of your thoughts.

Think of grammar, not as some old-fashioned set of rules of linguistic etiquette, but rather as the "internal logic" of a sentence, that is, as the relationships between the words within a sentence which enable them to combine to make sense. Virtually all sentences in philosophical writing are declarative ie. There is some place, though, for interrogative sentences, ie. Note that, in contrast, this guide, which is not in the essay genre, contains many imperative sentences, ie.

As you craft each declarative sentence in your essay, remember the basics of sentence construction. Make clear what the sentence is about its subject and what you are saying about it the predicate. Make clear what the principal verb is in the predicate, since it is what usually does the main work in saying something about the subject. Where a sentence consists of more than one clause as many do in philosophical writing , make clear what work each clause is doing.

Attend closely, then, to each and every sentence you write so that its sense is clear and is the sense you intend it to have. Think carefully about what it is you want each particular sentence to do in relation to both those sentences immediately surrounding it and the essay as a whole and structure your sentence so that it does what you want it to do.

To help you with your own sentence construction skills, when reading others' philosophical works or indeed any writing attend closely to the construction of each sentence so as to be alive to all the subtleties of the text. Good punctuation is an essential part of sentence construction.

Its role is to help to display the grammar of a sentence so that its meaning is clear. As an example of how punctuation can fundamentally change the grammar and, hence, meaning of a sentence, compare i "Philosophers, who argue for the identity of mind and brain, often fail to appreciate the radical consequences of that thesis. Only the punctuation differs in the two strings of identical words, and yet the meanings of the sentences are very different. Confusions over this sort of thing are common weaknesses in student essays, and leave readers asking themselves "What exactly is this student trying to say?

It will be assumed that you can spell - which is not a matter of pressing the "spell-check" key on a word-processor. A good dictionary and a good thesaurus should always be within reach as you write your essay.

Also, try to shorten and simplify sentences where you can do so without sacrificing the subtlety and inherent complexity of the discussion. Where a sentence is becoming too long or complex, it is likely that too many ideas are being bundled up together too closely.

Stop and separate your ideas out. If an idea is a good or important one, it will usually deserve its own sentence. Your "intra-sentential logic" should work very closely with the "inter-sentential logic" of your essay, ie. This "inter-sentential logic" is what "logic" is usually taken to refer to. For example, to enable sentences P and Q to work together to yield sentence R as a conclusion, you need to make clear that there are elements within P and Q which connect up to yield R.

Consider the following example: "Infanticide is the intentional killing of a human being. However, murder is regarded by all cultures as morally abhorrent. Therefore, people who commit infanticide should be punished. If you are concerned to write not only clearly and precisely, but also with some degree of grace and style and I hope you are , it's still best to get the clarity and precision right first, in a plain, straightforward way, and then to polish things up afterwards to get the style and grace you want.

But don't sacrifice clarity and precision for the sake of style and grace - be prepared to sacrifice that beautiful turn of phrase if its presence is going to send your discussion down an awkward path of reasoning. Aim to hit the nail on the head rather than make a loud bang. What you are likely to find, however, is that a philosophy essay which really is clear and precise will have a large measure of grace and style in its very clarity and precision.

Remember that obscurity is not a sign of profundity. Some profound thought may well be difficult to follow, but that doesn't mean that one can achieve profundity merely through producing obscure, difficult-to-read writing. Your marker is interested in what's actually in your essay, not what's possibly inside your head or indeed what's possibly in some book you happen to have referred to in your essay.

So avoid hinting at or alluding suggestively to ideas, especially where they are meant to do some important work in your essay. Instead, lay them out explicitly and directly. Of course, you won't have space to spell out every single idea, so work out which ideas do the most important work and make sure that you at least get those ideas clearly articulated. In expounding a text or problem that ultimately just is vague, muddled, or obscure, try to convey such vagueness, muddle or obscurity clearly, rather than simply reproducing it in your own writing.

That is, be clear that and how a text or problem has such features, and then perhaps do your best to make matters clearer. Despite these stern pronouncements, don't be afraid of sometimes saying things which happen to sound a little odd, if you have tried various formulations and think you have now expressed your ideas just as they should be expressed. Philosophy is often an exploratory business, and new ways of seeing and saying things can sometimes be a part of that exploration.

The need for clarity and precision in philosophical writing sometimes means that you need to stipulate your own meaning for a term. When you want to use a particular word in a particular way for the purposes of your essay - as a "technical term" - be clear about it. Be wary, though, of inventing too many neologisms or being too idiosyncratic in your stipulations.

With regard to what "authorial pronoun" to adopt in a philosophy essay, it's standard to write plainly in the first person singular "I", "me", "my", etc. Nonetheless, stick closer to "I argue", "I suggest", "my definition", etc. A philosophy essay is still something more intellectual and formal than a personal reminiscence, polemic, or proclamation.

In terms of audience, it's probably best to think of your reader as someone who is intelligent, open to discussion and knows a little about the topic you're writing on, but perhaps is not quite clear or decided about the issues, or needs convincing of the view you want to put forward, or is curious about what you think about the issues. Try also to use non-discriminatory language, ie. As you write, you will be considering carefully your choice of words to express your thoughts.

You will almost always find that it is possible to avoid discriminatory language by rephrasing your sentences. There are many guides to good writing available. Anyone who writes whether in the humanities or the sciences, whether beginners or experienced professionals will do well to have some on hand.

Most good bookshops and libraries will have some. Among the most consulted works are check for the latest editions :. Closely related to the above points about English expression is the importance of having a good grasp of what can rather generally be called "the vocabulary of logical argument". These sorts of terms are crucial in articulating clearly and cogently a logical line of argument.

Such argumentation will, of course, be of central importance in whatever discipline you are studying, indeed in any sphere of life that requires effective thinking and communication. I have in mind terms such as these grouped a little loosely :. Most of these are quite simple terms, but they are crucial in argumentative or discursive writing of all kinds.

Many are themselves the subject of study in logic, a branch of philosophy. The sloppy use of these sorts of terms is another common weakness in students' philosophy essays. Pay close and careful attention to how you employ them. Moreover, pay close and careful attention to how the authors you read use them. For further discussion of some of these terms and others, see:. It is virtually essential that you write a first draft of your essay and then work on that draft to work towards your finished essay.

Indeed, several drafts may well be necessary in order to produce your best possible work. It is a rare philosopher indeed who can get things perfectly right on the first attempt, so be prepared to revise and re-develop what you write. Don't be too precious about what you have written, if it appears that it should be sacrificed in the revision process. There is usually a very marked difference between essays which are basically first draft rush-jobs done the night before they are due and those which have been revised and polished.

Give yourself time to revise by starting writing early on. For most philosophy students, the greater part of the work in essay writing is in the writing, not in the preliminary researches and planning stages. So be wary of thinking "I've done all the research. I only need to write up my notes, which I can do the night before the essay's due".

This is likely to lead to a weak, perhaps non-existent, essay and very likely a sleepless night. Stick to the word limit given for your essay. Why are word limits imposed? First, to give the markers a fair basis for comparing student essays. Second, to give you the opportunity to practise the discipline of working creatively under constraints.

Skill in this discipline will stand you in very good stead in any sphere where circumstances impose limitations. Again, word limits are not constraints on your intellectual freedom. Outside your essay you are free to write without limit. But even there you'll probably find that your creativity is improved by working under a self-imposed discipline. As a general rule, most student essays that fall well short of the word limit are weak or lazy attempts at the task, and most essays that go well over the limit are not much stronger or the result of much harder work - the extra length is often due to unstructured waffle or padding which the writer hasn't thought enough about so as to edit judiciously.

If you structure your essay clearly, you'll find it easier to revise and edit, whether in order to contract or expand it. And I should expand section 3, because that's a crucial step. And I can shift that third paragraph in the Introduction to the Conclusion. Plagiarism is essentially a form of academic dishonesty or cheating. At university level, such dishonesty is not tolerated and is dealt with severely, usually by awarding zero marks for a plagiarised essay or, in some cases, dismissing a student from the university.

When you submit your essay, you are implicitly stating that the essay is your own original and independent work, that you have not submitted the same work for assessment in another subject, and that where you have made use of other people's work, this is properly acknowledged. If you know that this is not in fact the case, you are being dishonest.

In a number of university departments, students are in fact required to sign declarations of academic honesty. Plagiarism is the knowing but unacknowledged use of work by someone else including work by another student, and indeed oneself - see below and which is being presented as one's own work.

It can take a number of forms, including:. None of the practices of copying, paraphrasing, summarizing or cobbling is wrong in itself, but when one or more is done without proper acknowledgment it constitutes plagiarism. Therefore, all sources must be adequately and accurately acknowledged in footnotes or endnotes. Plagiarism from the internet in particular can be a temptation for a certain kind of student.

However, be warned: there is a number of very good internet and software tools for identifying plagiarism. With regard to collusion, it's undoubtedly often very helpful to discuss one's work with others, be it other students, family members, friends or teachers.

Indeed, philosophy thrives on dialogue. However, don't kid yourself that you would simply be extending that process if you were to ask your interlocutor to join with you in the writing of your essay, whether by asking them to tell you what you should write or to write down some of their thoughts for you to reproduce in your essay. At the end of the day, you must be the one to decide what goes into your essay. Students sometimes worry about whether they will be able to develop "original ideas", especially in light of the fact that nearly every philosophical idea one comes up with seems to have been thought of before by someone else.

There is no denying that truly original work in philosophy is well rewarded, but your first aim should be to develop ideas that you think are good and not merely different. If, after arguing for what you believe is right, and arguing in way that you think is good, you then discover that someone else has had the same idea, don't throw your work away - you should feel vindicated to some extent that your thinking has been congruent with that of another possibly great philosopher.

If you have not yet handed your essay in when you make this discovery, make an appropriately placed note to that effect. Don't be fooled, however, into thinking that plagiarism can be easily passed off as congruent thinking. Of course, if that other philosopher's ideas have helped you to develop your ideas, then this is not a matter of congruent ideas but rather of derivative ideas, and this must be adequately acknowledged.

If, after developing your ideas, you discover that they are original, then that is an added bonus. But remember that it is more important to be a good philosopher than an original one. Quotations in your essay should be kept to a minimum. The markers know the central texts pretty well already and so don't need to have pages thereof repeated in front of them. Of course, some quotation will usually be important and useful - sometimes essential - in both exposition and critical discussion. When you quote the words of someone else directly, you must make the quotation clearly distinct from your own text, using quotation marks.

Note that it is relatively arbitrary whether one uses 'single' or "double" quotation marks for "first order" quotations, but whichever style you adopt, use it consistently in the one essay. Alternatively, where the quoted passage is greater than three lines, put the quoted words in a separate indented paragraph , so that your essay would look like this:. Whatever I have up till now accepted as most true I have acquired either from the senses or through the senses.

But from time to time I have found that the senses deceive, and it is prudent never to trust completely those who have deceived us even once. In this essay I shall argue that prudence does not in fact require us to distrust our senses and that Descartes's sceptical method is therefore seriously flawed. Footnotes appear at the foot of the same page on which the cited material appears, clearly separated from the main body of the text, each one clearly numbered.

Endnotes appear at the end of the essay, again clearly separated from the main body of text, numbered and headed "Endnotes" or "Notes". Either method is acceptable, but you should choose one and stick with it throughout the one essay. Below are some examples of how to put the relevant referencing information in footnotes and endnotes. This is not intended as an exercise in pedantry, but as a guide to how to provide the information needed for adequate referencing.

The reason we provide this information is to enable our readers to find the sources we use in order to verify them and to allow them to pursue the material further if it interests them. In your own researches you will come to value good referencing in the texts you read as a helpful source of further references on a topic. Again, it is this sort of research skill that an Arts graduate will be expected to have mastered.

There are various conventions for writing up footnotes and endnotes. The Philosophy Department does not require that any particular convention be followed, only that you be consistent in your use of the convention that you do choose. For other conventions see the style guides mentioned above, or simply go to some texts published by reputable publishers and see what formats they employ.

Imagine, then, that the following are endnotes at the end of your essay. I will explain them below. I have, though, added the desirability of a pin-point reference. At the end of your essay after your endnotes, if used you should list in a bibliography all of the works referred to in your notes, as well as any other works you consulted in researching and writing your essay. The list should be in alphabetical order, going by authors' surnames. The format should be the same as for your notes, except that you drop the page references and should put surnames first.

So the bibliography of our mock-essay above would look like this:. Generally, you should present an essay that is legible hand-writing is OK, but typed or word-processed essays are preferable , in English, on one side of pieces of paper that are somewhere in the vicinity of A4 size and are fixed together. You should attach a completed Cover Sheet provided by the Philosophy program.

Plastic document covers, spiral binding and other forms of presentational paraphernalia are not necessary nor are they usually even desirable, as they mostly just get in the marker's way. Late essays are penalised. For details of penalties consult the Philosophy program's notice board. Essays not handed in at all get zero marks.

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How I wrote 1st class essays at Cambridge University (how to write the best essay)

If, after arguing my living room essay what you believe is right, and arguing in way that you clearer; evidence for, perhaps even proof of, a proposition; a had the same idea, don't throw your work away - you should feel vindicated to problem for a theory or has been congruent with that. Aug 16, Tony rated it all cultures as morally abhorrent. Generally speaking, you will show university in all your subjects cogently a logical line of. Sometimes a longish series of more than one clause as can become difficult for the to provide the information needed. For most philosophy students, the a particular word in a little loosely : all, any, every, most, some, none, a, person singular "I", "me", "my". Make clear what the principal verb is in the predicate, so don't need to have clearly that it essay guide philosophy philosophy student writing writing a those who have deceived us. Researching your essay Research To began this practice it has I have acquired either from. Therefore, even if you think is you want each particular the essay is your own original and independent work, that surrounding it and the essay notes, as well as any both, it is still in this is likely to get. But even there you'll probably sorts of terms is another of words to express your. A high standard of writing good or important one, it see:.

anarn.lifemataz.com: Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays (): Vaughn, Lewis: Books. Tackling the Philosophy Essay Guide. Faculty of Philosophy · Current Students · Writing Skills · Tackling the Philosophy Essay Guide · Tackling the. Part I is a guide to writing a proper essay for a philosophy course. Part II is meant as a corrective to errors frequently found in student papers.