How to Write a Philosophy Essay

Broadly, there are two aspects in writing a philosophy essay: exposition, that is describing what exactly authors want to say on a theme, and your individual original thoughts, either on the topic itself, or maybe on the authors’ arguments. At first work with exposition, and how to do it in some way that makes it more simple to come up with the own original thoughts on the theme, and then work more directly with your own original thoughts.

Tips for Writing a Philosophy Essay

  • When reading philosophy papers, try to find and also state clearly, without wasted words, what the writer is trying to argue for. This is rather difficult, since authors often argue for a lot of different claims, and also they do not flag up as clearly as they might do what they’re arguing for. In case you think that the author is arguing for many different claims, try to seek and state exactly what such different claims are.
  • Whenever you may identify a claim that the writer is arguing for in a philosophy essay, try to construct a sound argument that pertains to the philosopher’s claim. It’s important that this is not simply a list of claims which the author makes, but it is rather an argument in which the conclusion that the writer wants to prove goes from the premises. Most arguments have such form: p, if p then q, so q. Having put the ‘p’, try to locate the ‘if p then q’, and also see whether the writer defends this claim. Again this is not easy. A lot of authors don’t flag up the different stages of the arguments, and often you’re left wondering halfway through your paper: so has the author stated his key argument or maybe not yet? Was his argument contained in the very dense passage back there?
  • In case you can not construct a good argument in your philosophy essay, ask «why not?» «What premise is missing?» Has the writer forgotten about such step? May she or he be thinking that this missing step is obviously true, and also is it obviously true? The discipline of having to seek a valid argument in the philosophy papers can make it more simple to spot gaps; you understand ‘well I’ve worked out what conclusion the writer is arguing for, and I have found one of the premises, however to get from this premise to the conclusion needs an extra premise, and also there doesn’t seem to be the argument for that’
  • Reading difficult philosophy papers can take a long time; it may take hours, even a couple of days to read through and analyze philosophers’ article. When reading difficult philosophy papers, it’s often useful to write down some notes; putting things down helps you realize them. Writing a difficult verbatim from a difficult essay may also be useful.

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