How to Write a Good Philosophy Paper


Table of content

What is a philosophy paper?

examples of philosophy papers, source

Writing a philosophy paper is one of the most important elements of the educational process. It develops not only your skills such as independent creative thinking and logical expression of your thoughts. It also helps you to substantiate your point of view, avoiding any misinterpretation. So how does it work?

Most topics in philosophy ask you to show the understanding of a subject through presenting arguments and theories. Thus first you have to explain a philosophical concept. And then either support or refute this assumption. Then you should sum it up by writing a critical assessment. This means that for analysis you have to determine what point of view you hold. So you need to fully understand the terms you will use and the issues you will deal with. As a result, you can improve the ability to evaluate facts and evidence.

Philosophy research paper topics are quite complicated. Yet, you will easily deal with it, if you come up with a plan. Take into account the following stages of preparation:

Step 1: Prepare in advance

Do not put it off until the last moment as an A+ paper requires careful planning. So we recommend you start completing the task as soon as possible. You have to ponder the philosophy essay topics to give serious arguments. As it is not idle speculation, it takes a lot of time. You can start developing your ideas for a philosophical essay as soon as you get the assignment. In your free time, think about what you want to describe and write your thoughts down.

Step 2: Gather material

The best way to start is to analyze the essence of the issue you will later cover. The more you learn about the topic from books and articles, the more accurately you will be able to understand what is at stake. If you do not form your own opinion, you will not fully explain the phenomenon. So, your arguments in defense will not sound reasonable.

Apart from textbooks, there are a variety of literature sources where you can find different opinions on your question. So you can look at it in detail and from different angles. Also, extra material is helpful if you need some philosophy essay examples and quotes. With their help, you can confirm your theories or critically analyze other authors’ positions that do not coincide with yours. Yet, try to use direct quotations less often. It is better to paraphrase them as the purpose of the task is to make you explain concepts with your words. In any case, when you mention someone else’s ideas, you must include the information about the author's name and the source.

Check you have collected all data for a plan. It should include ideas for introduction, thesis, arguments, further analysis, and conclusion.

philosophy topics to write a paper on, source

Step 3: Identify your target audience

Before writing a philosophy paper, you should understand who will read it. Of course, your teacher is the primary representative of the audience. And what if you have to read the text out loud in front of your groupmates? Or what if you decide to submit your essay for a competition? You cannot know for sure what opinion people you are addressing have. So it is better to proceed from the assumption that they have an opposite viewpoint. Thus, if you use any term, you need to clarify it in a way that everyone will get the gist.

Step 4: Decide on a philosophical thesis statement

The thesis reflects your position, so you need to make sure that you support it with convincing arguments throughout the essay. For example, if you are going to refute Aristotle's idea that beauty is associated with virtue, you need to justify your thoughts. One of the reasons you cannot agree with it may be that beautiful people do not always turn out to be virtuous. In this case, your thesis may sound like this: “I believe that Aristotle’s theory that beauty is inseparable from virtue is wrong. Unfortunately, we often notice beauty in those who are far from virtue”.

Step 5: Simplify sophisticated ideas

Write as you would express your views orally. Overly complicated phrasing will not help you seem more knowledgeable on the subject. So try to get rid of words that obscure rather than clarify. Imagine that you have to explain a concept to your friends. As they know nothing about it, you should use simple language. And still, your goal is to formulate persuasive arguments for agreeing or disagreeing with your statements. What would you say? What examples would you provide?

If you like to include specific terminology and big words, find out their meanings to make sure you understand them correctly. Only then can you insert them into the essay. But be careful! The thesaurus does not always offer synonyms that are similar in meaning. Most of them have a different connotation.

Step 6: Do not give a full review of your topic in the introduction

The success of your work largely depends on the first impression. Thus, the introduction is crucial as it is an excellent opportunity to grab the reader's attention and briefly present your arguments. So how is it better to start a philosophy paper?

If you conduct a complete review at the beginning, your audience will lose interest in reading the main body. Also, avoid overburdening the text. Omit such phrases as “Since ancient times” and “People have always wondered.” Just cut to the chase! You may start with this sentence: “Aristotle often drew a parallel between beauty and virtue.”

Step 7: Make your point clear

Then you should provide more information about a philosophical judgment or concept that you are going to talk about. Do not omit details that might give you an edge when you analyze. Otherwise, the teacher will consider your evidence not solid. Yet, if you are not going to challenge certain statements, do not mention them.

Step 8: Support the philosophy paper thesis

You have to analyze the concepts in a way that all facts support your opinion. It is crucial not to change your mind during the analysis. Stick to your opinion no matter what.

A great way to support your thesis is to provide examples. You can even speak from personal experience. So what if you argue that there is no direct connection between beauty and virtue? You can refer to a criminal who many people consider beautiful.

Step 9: Try to anticipate potential attempts to challenge your reasoning

If you think it through and make a strong case, your opponents will not be able to disagree. So look for the most obvious objections they might have and figure out how to refute them. Yet, do not try to predict all attempts to challenge your views. Focus on two or three controversial issues to cover them fully.

Step 10: Make a philosophy paper conclusion

A conclusion provides an opportunity to summarize, clarify and highlight the essential ideas. Try to complete your work in such a way that readers understand the relevance and significance of your essay. You might explain that there are lots of bright examples in your paper that reveal the importance of the topic for philosophy.

Step 11: Leave aside the essay for at least a few hours

If possible, postpone the editing for several days. It helps you relax and clear your mind. Yet, we do not always have such an opportunity. So keep in mind that it is better to put off the essay for a few hours than not take a break at all.

Step 12: Read the assignment

Revision is a fresh look at the issue to improve the quality of the text if needed. So when you revise an essay, you should pay close attention to the content. Have you provided valid arguments? Are all the terms readily comprehensible?

Step 13: Ask someone for proofreading

If someone else leaves comments, this will also help to improve the text. You can even turn to professional writers. They have already mastered the subject and know typical students’ mistakes.

how to format a philosophy paper, source

Step 14: Correct mistakes

It is the last step, where you need to find grammatical mistakes and correct them. These little things can distract the readers. Thus it is necessary to take the time to double-check the assignment before handing it over.

To Sum It Up

To quickly deal with the task, you should have an idea of ​​what parts it consists of and what you need to write in each of them. With this information, you can properly organize your work, spending only a few days. While working on philosophical paper topics, get to know all information on your question. It will give you a better understanding of a particular phenomenon.

With a serious approach, you will be able to write an A+ text. So make every effort to write a decent essay, and the result will be excellent!