Make sure that you have read all of the relevant texts very carefully. Even though you have probably read these texts previously, it is a good idea to reread them in light of the question you plan to answer.

As you write, think about your intended audience. You should not write your paper as if it is a personal communiquй to me. Instead, imagine your audience as someone who is intelligent and interested in the subject but has not studied it. (Think of yourself, before taking this class, or perhaps of your roommate.)

You should, however, include textual references. Whenever you make a claim about what is said in the text, it is appropriate to provide a specific reference to back up your claim. Do not make claims like “Socrates believes that …” without supporting them. For short papers using class texts, footnotes are not necessary; it is sufficient to make parenthetical references, such as ( Meno 77b).

If you want to succeed in writing a philosophy paper, you should follow a certain algorithm. This is a set of tips, clues and rules that will explain you how to write a philosophy paper to impress your teacher or professor.

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Writing about your personal philosophy of nursing paper isn’t difficult. You just choose a good thesis and then try to prove it by using appropriate ideas, thoughts and theories. Finally, don’t forget to use your own ideas about the philosophy of nursing paper to prove that you are a real thinker who is able to analyze, structure and create something new and fresh! This is what you need to know about a philosophy of education paper.

Some students try to prove the rightness of their thesis by using too many facts. It’s a so-called ‘fortress approach’ that also leads to a total failure. For example, it seems that you have used quite a lot of arguments in your educational philosophy paper, but all of them aren’t discussed properly. In addition, you haven’t sorted them into strong and weak ones, and your reader can’t find your own thoughts and ideas you have written in your paper.

That doesn’t mean you have to come up with your own theory, or that you have to make a completely original contribution to human thought. There will be plenty of time for that later on. An ideal paper will be clear and straightforward (see below), will be accurate when it attributes views to other philosophers (see below), and will contain thoughtful critical responses to the texts we read. It need not always break completely new ground.

Use technical philosophical terms only where you need them. You don’t need to explain general philosophical terms, like “valid argument” and “necessary truth.” But you should explain any technical terms you use which bear on the specific topic you’re discussing. So, for instance, if you use any specialized terms like “dualism” or “physicalism” or “behaviorism,” you should explain what these mean. Likewise if you use technical terms like “supervenience” and the like. Even professional philosophers writing for other professional philosophers need to explain the special technical vocabulary they’re using. Different people sometimes use this special vocabulary in different ways, so it’s important to make sure that you and your readers are all giving these words the same meaning. Pretend that your readers have never heard them before.

Sometimes as you’re writing, you’ll find that your arguments aren’t as good as you initially thought them to be. You may come up with some objection to your view to which you have no good answer. Don’t panic. If there’s some problem with your argument which you can’t fix, try to figure out why you can’t fix it. It’s okay to change your thesis to one you can defend. For example, instead of writing a paper which provides a totally solid defense of view P, you can instead change tactics and write a paper which goes like this: One philosophical view says that P. This is a plausible view, for the following reasons. However, there are some reasons to be doubtful whether P. One of these reasons is X. X poses a problem for the view that P because. It is not clear how the defender of P can overcome this objection. Or you can write a paper which goes: One argument for P is the ‘Conjunction Argument,’ which goes as follows. At first glance, this is a very appealing argument. However, this argument is faulty, for the following reasons. One might try to repair the argument, by. But these repairs will not work, because. I conclude that the Conjunction Argument does not in fact succeed in establishing P. Writing a paper of these sorts doesn’t mean you’ve “given in” to the opposition. After all, neither of these papers commits you to the view that not-P. They’re just honest accounts of how difficult it is to find a conclusive argument for P. P might still be true, for all that.

Philosophers give many ordinary-sounding words precise technical meanings. Consult the handouts on Philosophical Terms and Methods to make sure you’re using these words correctly. Don’t use words that you don’t fully understand.

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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.

Before you start to write your paper, you should be able to state exactly what it is that you are trying to show. This is harder than it sounds. It simply will not do to have a rough idea of what you want to establish. A rough idea is usually one that is not well worked out, not clearly expressed, and as a result, not likely to be understood. Whether you actually do it in your paper or not, you should be able to state in a single short sentence precisely what you want to prove. If you cannot formulate your thesis this way, odds are you are not clear enough about it.

Give credit. When quoting or paraphrasing, always give some citation. Indicate your indebtedness, whether it is for specific words, general ideas, or a particular line of argument. To use another writer’s words, ideas, or arguments as if they were your own is to plagiarize. Plagiarism is against the rules of academic institutions and is dishonest. It can jeopardize or even terminate your academic career. Why run that risk when your paper is improved (it appears stronger not weaker) if you give credit where credit is due? That is because appropriately citing the works of others indicates an awareness of some of the relevant literature on the subject.

Edit boldly. I have never met a person whose first draft of a paper could not be improved significantly by rewriting. The secret to good writing is rewriting – often. Of course it will not do just to reproduce the same thing again. Better drafts are almost always shorter drafts – not because ideas have been left out, but because words have been cut out as ideas have been clarified. Every word that is not needed only clutters. Clear sentences do not just happen. They are the result of tough-minded editing.

Make sure that you have a solid grasp on philosophical terms before using them in your own papers. Don’t just assume you know what a word means just because you are familiar with it from other contexts.

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Use many examples In writing a philosophy paper, one of the best ways to show you understand some issue or concept is by providing some concrete example of it. In giving examples, may sure they are relevant to the point you are trying to make.

Given that your aim is to try to give reasons to believe some controversial philosophical claim or other, the assumptions that you make when providing your reasons should be, as a matter of course, less controversial than your main claim. Otherwise, you will not be providing convincing reasons to accept your claim since the assumptions you are making are themselves controversial and, by definition, not argued for. You should also make sure that assumptions you take to be uncontroversial are in fact so.

Second, the ones that will stand out will be the very best ones and the very worst ones. It is important to show some discrimination here. Only the most compelling one or two arguments should be developed. Including weaker ones only gives the impression that you are unable to tell the difference between the two.

Edit boldly. I have never met a person whose first draft of a paper could not be improved significantly by rewriting. The secret to good writing is rewriting – often. Of course it will not do just to reproduce the same thing again. Better drafts are almost always shorter drafts – not because ideas have been left out, but because words have been cut out as ideas have been clarified. Every word that is not needed only clutters. Clear sentences do not just happen. They are the result of tough-minded editing.

Third, including many different arguments will result in spreading yourself too thinly. It is far better to cover less ground in greater depth than to range further afield in a superficial manner. It will also help to give your paper focus.

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.

Charles Babbage Gaston Bachelard Francis Bacon Roger Bacon Annette Baier Kurt Baier Mikhail Bakunin Thomas Bayes Pierre Bayle Jeremy Bentham Simone de Beauvoir Nicolai Berdyaev Gustav Bergmann Henri Bergson George Berkeley Isaiah Berlin Brand Blanshard Boethius Boetius of Dacia Niels Bohr Bernard Bolzano Bonaventure George Boole Susan Bordo Bernard Bosanquet Robert Boyle F. H. Bradley Franz Brentano C. D. Broad Giordano Bruno Martin Buber Jean Buridan Edmund Burke Joseph Butler.

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The way in which one defends a claim that one has put forth in a philosophical paper is by way of offering a convincing argument. In giving an argument, one is providing reasons as to why the readers should come to believe what you believe. To put it in more concrete terms, it is not simply enough to write: “I believe that such and such is the case” or “John Stuart Mill believed that such and such is the case”. One must, in addition, provide reasons for holding that belief. For example: “I believe that such and such is the case because of reason X” or “John Stuart Mill believed that such and such is the case because of reason Y”.