Writing essays is usually not difficult for students, as this assignment is more effortless than, for example, a term paper. But this is not the case if a student has to write a philosophy paper. Students often find philosophy a rather complicated subject, and essay writing has a lot of nuances. In this article, we will share all the necessary information to help you with your philosophy assignment.
What is a philosophy paper?
A philosophy paper is a written work that sets out an argument or explores a philosophical topic or problem. Philosophy papers are usually written by students, academics or professional philosophers. It can vary in length from a few pages to dozens of pages.
As philosophy is a compulsory subject in many educational institutions, students often get an assignment to write an essay. The topics may vary, but usually, the paper aims to answer many philosophical questions. For example, it may be questions about the meaning of life, human relationships, the difficulties we face, and so on. Students almost always find this assignment challenging, as a philosophy paper has specific requirements.
That applies first and foremost to the manner of presentation. It should be appropriate to the particularities of the discipline and philosophy. In addition, the student must present their thoughts convincingly and coherently. They should first give an overview of the knowledge already available and then share their own opinions.
Philosophy assignments require the author to carefully analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments or theories and to develop their ideas or position on a particular topic. That may involve careful reading of primary sources, such as the works of prominent philosophers, or referring to secondary sources, such as scholarly articles or books.
A proper philosophy paper should be clear, concise, and well-organised, demonstrating a thorough understanding of relevant philosophical concepts and debates. When presenting their thoughts, students should ensure they are supported by sound reasoning, evidence and logical arguments.
In simple terms, the purpose of a philosophy assignment is to address philosophical issues and develop and defend a well-reasoned position on a particular topic or issue.
Advice on how long should a philosophy paper be
The length of a philosophy paper can vary depending on the assignment requirements, the level of study and the topic complexity. However, as a rule, philosophy papers are usually 5–15 pages long.
The page number requirements may vary depending on which course the student is studying. For undergraduate courses, a typical philosophy assignment may be around 5–10 pages, while graduate papers may be longer, around 10-15 pages or more.
Also, the length of the paper may vary depending on how deeply you need to look into the issue. Some assignments may require shorter documents, e.g. 3–4 pages, while others may require longer papers of 20 pages or more.
It is essential to read the instructions and recommendations for the assignment carefully to determine the specific requirements for the length of the paper. If you doubt that you have understood the assignment well enough, you should not hesitate to ask your tutor questions. Philosophy is not the easiest subject, and students are still on their way to gaining mastery of essay writing. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consult an instructor or professor for clarification.
When writing an assignment, it is essential to take care not only of the necessary length of the text but also of its quality. Regardless of the length, a good philosophy paper should be well-structured, clearly written and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the topic discussed.
What to include in a philosophy paper
Knowing the simple rules for writing a philosophy essay will help you with the writing assignment. In general, the structure of a philosophy essay is not much different from other texts. It should include an introduction, a main body and a conclusion. However, you should stick to some specific features of writing these assignments. A philosophy paper should usually include the following elements:
- Introduction. The introduction should contain background information and the context of the topic under discussion, as well as a clear statement of the thesis that sets out the primary argument or position of the article.
- Exposition. The exposition should provide a clear and brief explanation of the philosophical theories or concepts relevant to the assignment. That may include a discussion of the views of prominent philosophers, a presentation of arguments from primary sources or a summary of relevant secondary sources.
- Analysis. The analysis section should critically evaluate the arguments and positions presented in the presentation, using evidence and logical reasoning to support the author’s opinion.
- Objections and responses. You need to anticipate and address potential objections to the author’s argument or position. That may include discussing alternative viewpoints or objections raised by other philosophers.
- Conclusion. The conclusion should summarise the principal argument or position of the article, as well as clearly and concisely state the thesis. It may also contain suggestions for future research or areas of study.
In addition to these elements, your philosophy paper should be well-structured, clearly written and free from grammatical and spelling mistakes. Your essay will likely contain quotations, so it is also essential for you to get them right. Using a uniform citation style such as MLA or APA. You can find out which style you should use for your assignment from your thesis advisor.
How to start a philosophy paper
Writing a philosophy assignment can take much longer than you had planned. Therefore, you should not put off doing your homework until the last minute but start working on your paper as soon as you have received the assignment.
When you first receive an assignment in philosophy, you may find it difficult to make because you don’t know how to start. To help you organise the process of writing a philosophy assignment, we provide you with this step-by-step plan:
- Choose an assignment topic that is interesting and relevant to the course or assignment. It is essential to select a topic narrow enough to be manageable, but broad enough to allow for meaningful discussion and analysis.
- Do research on the topic. Take time to do some quality research on different sources of information. Do not rush to use the information you find on the first websites. It is essential to critically evaluate sources and choose relevant ones.
- Develop a plan. Develop a clear and concise plan from the information and analysis you receive. That will help you to structure the information relevant to your essay question. Besides, a detailed outline will be your reference point when writing your philosophy paper. It will help you not to deviate from the main essay topic and remember to mention essential information.
- Write a draft. In the preliminary version of your paper, you can include all the information you have been able to get previously. For example, include philosophers’ reasoning, quotations, your view of the issue, etc. But at this stage, we recommend that you keep an eye on the length of your sentences. They should not be too long and complicated. Also, avoid abstruse statements. For example, you may use terminology, but at the same time, try to explain all the concepts in simple words. Remember that you are writing for people, and it should be easy for them to read your philosophy essay.
When you have written a draft, find someone to discuss the text with. An outside opinion will help you evaluate the quality of your text objectively. If there is no one among your friends you can turn to, ask our writers for help. They will read your text and give their professional advice.
How to write a philosophy paper to get an A
Writing a philosophy paper requires careful thought and planning. Here are some steps you can follow to make each section of your assignment look professional:
- Assignment requirements. Carefully read and understand the assignment prompt, including any instructions and guidelines provided by the instructor.
- Develop a thesis statement. Create a clear and concise statement that sets out the major argument or position of the article. The statement should be based on a thorough analysis of the topic and should be supported by evidence and reasoning.
- Conducting research. Research to gather information and ideas on the chosen topic. Use a variety of sources, including primary and secondary sources, to gather evidence and support a thesis.
- Create a scheme. Organise the document by writing an outline including the main sections and subsections. The summary should follow a logical structure and be based on a thesis statement. The more precise the scheme you create initially, the better chance you have of writing a coherent essay that is relevant to the topic.
- Write an introduction. The introduction should catch the reader’s attention, provide background information on the topic and present the thesis statement.
- Structure the main body. It should present the main ideas and analysis of the article. The main body of the essay is a rather large block of text, which should be properly divided into paragraphs. Each paragraph should focus on one idea and should be supported by evidence and examples. Also, don’t forget connective words such as ‘so’, ‘so how’, and so on. They will help you create a text that is easy to read.
- Address counterarguments. Address any counterarguments or objections to the thesis, using evidence and statements to defend the author’s position.
- Write a conclusion. The conclusion should summarise the main points of the article, restate the thesis, and present concluding thoughts or recommendations.
After you have written the essay, reread it and correct any mistakes. You may notice typos or other flaws as you check. Edit the text until it is clear, concise, and contains no errors.
To increase the efficiency of checking the philosophy essay, it is advisable to put your work aside for a few hours after writing and do other things. This pause will help you to take a fresh look at the essay and notice mistakes you haven’t caught before. That is another reason not to put off writing until the last minute but to leave yourself some time to proofread and edit.
If you still don’t know how to start working on a philosophy assignment, ask your teacher for advice. You can also always ask for help from our service. Here you can order a proofreading service for a completed essay and ask us to write a finished paper from scratch.
The proper philosophy paper format
A philosophy essay should not only have competent content but also be properly formatted. The format of a philosophy paper usually includes the following elements:
- Title page. The title page should include the name of the paper, the author’s name, the course title and the date of submission.
- Introduction. The introduction should contain background information and the context of the topic under discussion, as well as a clear statement of the thesis that sets out the main idea or position of the article.
- Main body. The main body of the piece should be divided into sections and paragraphs that support the thesis. Each section or paragraph should focus on one idea and should be supported by evidence and examples.
- Counter-arguments. The author should address any counterarguments to their thesis, using evidence to defend their position.
- Conclusion. The conclusion should summarise the main idea of the article, and summarise the thesis clearly and concisely. It may also contain suggestions for future research or areas of study.
- References or works cited. The References or Cited Papers section should list all sources cited in the article according to a common citation style, such as MLA or APA.
It is essential to follow all formatting guidelines provided by the instructor or professor, including font size, margins and line spacing. Some general formatting requirements for philosophy papers include using a 12-point font size, double-spacing and one-inch margins.
What to do and what not to do when writing a philosophy paper
- Read and understand the assignment carefully and follow all instructions from the instructor or professor.
- Develop a clear and concise thesis statement that states the main concept of the article.
- Do thorough research and gather evidence and examples to support your thesis.
- Organise your paper into sections and paragraphs devoted to specific ideas.
- Provide counterarguments and objections to your thesis statement, using evidence and arguments to defend your position.
- Carefully proofread and edit your article, paying attention to grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- Cite all sources correctly, using a consistent citation style such as MLA or APA.
- Seek feedback and advice from your tutor, writing tutor or other academic support resources.
- Rely solely on your personal opinions or beliefs without supporting them with evidence and arguments.
- Plagiarize or use someone else’s work without proper attribution.
- Use overly complex or technical language that may be difficult for readers to understand.
- Make unsubstantiated claims or arguments that cannot be supported by evidence.
- Ignore counterarguments or objections to your thesis statement, as this weakens the overall argument.
- Take your time when writing, and do not leave the paper to the last minute.
- Use informal language or slang, as it is not appropriate for a research paper.
- Submit the assignment without careful checking and editing.
Take these philosophy paper tips
You can see from this article that making a philosophy assignment is quite a time-consuming process. However, following simple rules will allow you to do your assignment successfully. Here are some tips on how to write a successful philosophy paper:
- Start early. Give yourself enough time to research, plan and write your paper. Procrastination can lead to a rushed and poorly written document.
- Study all the requirements carefully. Make sure you understand the prompt for the assignment, including any instructions or guidelines provided by the instructor or professor.
- Take notes. Keep paper and pen handy during the session to record important information. Also, while you are studying the information you will be researching to write your essays, you will come up with new ideas. This way, you can write them down at once so that you do not forget them in the future.
- Consider only one question. As you write your articles, ensure that your thoughts do not take you too far and that you do not deviate from the topic.
- Use evidence and examples. Use evidence and examples to support your thesis, and be sure to cite all sources correctly.
- Structure your article properly. Use clear and concise headings and subheadings to organise your paper, and make sure each paragraph focuses on one idea or argument.
- Be concise. Use clear and concise language to convey your ideas and arguments. Avoid using overly complex or technical language that may be difficult for readers to understand.
- Editing and proofreading. Carefully proofread and edit your article to ensure it is error-free and complies with the rules for proper formatting and citation.
- Get feedback. Ask more experienced students or a philosophy writing service for help with your assignment. Professionals can read your text and advise if you have omitted something important.
- Don’t be too judgmental. Remember that philosophy is a subject that involves exploring different points of view and ideas. Be open-minded and willing to consider various points of view, even if you do not ultimately agree with them.