How to Write a Philosophy Paper

How to Write a Philosophy Paper

How to write a philosophy paper? What does a philosophy paper mean? What constitutes a solid paper on philosophy? How to begin writing it and where to go from there? These and many other questions run frantically through the head of almost every student or essay writer when the time comes, and they are given a task to write a philosophy paper. While writing a worthy paper on philosophy does pose quite some challenges, it is not so complicated when you know what you are doing.

Of course, writing a paper on philosophy, you are expected to follow the same general guidelines as with most other papers. You should know how to conduct your primary research effective, you should know how to outline your paper before you can proceed to writing it, you should know how to write an article title in a paper to cite it properly in the format style required at your school, etc.

However, these issues are no big deal for a more or less experienced essay writer. What we would like to draw your attention to are the peculiarities that you need to be aware of to know how to write a philosophy paper specifically. Putting it briefly, they all come down to the essential goal of a philosophy paper, which is to convince your reader that your understanding of a particular issue is the correct one. For this, you will obviously need to picture the reader whom you need to convince of your rightness. It is not hard: your reader is your professor to whom you submit your paper. In other words, it is a person who is well aware of the subject. And since you need to convince them, it is implied that they don’t share your opinion on the issue in question. This detail is the essential peculiarity of philosophy papers which make them stand out among other written assignments.

Given the above said, knowing how to write a philosophy paper may seem quite challenging. To ease your task, here are a few tips specifically for writing papers in philosophy:

#1 Doubt everything

On the whole, being confident is a good thing in life. However, when you have a task to convince someone, it is not just useful but logical to anticipate all and any possible objections. After all, it is good to have answers ready when someone questions your opinion. When we talk about how to write a philosophy paper, we must remember that these questions will not be addressed to you, because when your professor will be reading your paper, you will most likely not be there to answer them.

This is why your paper needs to stand on its own. To achieve this, you have to doubt every statement that you make throughout your writing. For each of your arguments, ask yourself – why should my reader accept this? Or better yet – why should I accept this? You don’t need to answer these questions thoroughly. On the contrary, you should aim to present the arguments and the conclusion(s) in a way that such questions don’t arise. This way, you eliminate your reader’s doubt before it even appears.

#2 Rewrite

It is no secret that people often consider philosophy too vague to even matter. We will not go into detail about why it happens or whether such assumption is true. Our point is that your task as an essay writer is to avoid this vagueness by all means. For that, be strongly encouraged to pick your words very carefully. After you have your first draft, look up every single term that you use in a trusted thesaurus to make sure that it means exactly what you need it to mean.

Another thing you need to make full use of are the logical conjunctions, such as “since,” “given that,” etc. Every essay writer who has a clear idea about how to write a philosophy paper knows just how enormously powerful tool they are to make your writing more convincing by rendering the narration smoother and more consistent. Needless to say that you cannot just drop these conjunctions randomly across your text – you need to make sure that they indeed form logical connections between the given units.

Naturally, such razor-sharp clarity can only be achieved through tedious work and multiple rewrites. Therefore, make sure that you have your first draft ready as soon as possible to secure enough time for all the rewrites.

#3 Diversify your methods of persuasion

It is true that a philosophy paper suggests primarily logical persuasion, i.e., your method of persuasion is logos – appealing to your reader’s rationality. While such rational persuasion is indeed the ultimate goal of a philosophy paper, a seasoned essay writer might point out that we are not formally restricted to logos here. Let’s see how to write a philosophy paper with adding other persuasion methods and if it is even possible to employ them here:

  • Pathos. This method of persuasion appeals to emotion. We could use it here by adding something emotional, like a joke or some play with stylistics. This will seem quite off-topic and inappropriate and undermine your authority without helping to cover the issue. So, it is best to cross pathos out.
  • Ethos. This method of persuasion appeals to the ethics and works by solidifying the authority of the speaker. We know that your reader is your professor – someone who is well informed on the subject and has some authority in it. You can appeal to your reader more effectively by seamlessly letting them know that you also have a well-grounded standpoint on the issue in question. You can achieve this by carefully placing several quotes – both direct and indirect – throughout your philosophy paper. So, it is possible to consider employing ethos alongside logos in a philosophy paper.

However, when inserting quotes in your philosophy paper, there are two critical points of implementation to remember about:

  1. You need to know exactly how to write an article title in a paper to cite it appropriately. Today, all academic papers are run through plagiarism-checking software, and if a source is detected that is not properly cited, it gets automatically marked as plagiarism. It will be tough to prove that your mistake had to do with citation guidelines and not with plagiarism as such. So, it is best to avoid such a situation by all means.
  2. You should use quotes from other authors to support your arguments and not to replace them. So, make sure that these quotes are not too abundant.