Writing_philosophy_papers

Writing_philosophy_papers - On Writing Philosophy Advice...

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Advice for IAH 206 Recitation Writing and Paper Philosophical writing is different from other kinds of writing. The goal is to present and defend an argument. As such, a philosophy paper should be as clear as possible, avoiding overly verbose, poetic, or confusing language. A philosophical argument consists of a conclusion, and premises (reasons) to support that conclusion. The first step then is to clearly state your conclusion or thesis , that which you are going to argue for. Introduction/Thesis Statement It is not necessary to write an elaborate introduction that anecdotally or dramatically brings the reader to your subject: “In my youth, I have spent many sleepless nights pondering the concept of justice. ..” Nor is it necessary to begin with obvious or irrelevant information: “The constitution of the United States has been around for centuries. ..” Consider your introduction a guide or outline to your paper. Present your thesis (conclusion) and explain how you plan to support it (summarize your reasons). It is thus appropriate and even desirable to use the first person. Examples: In this paper, I will argue that adopting a technology is always justifiable because it furthers human freedom, thus allowing individuals to achieve the good life. In this essay, I will claim that society as a whole should be held responsible for the consequences of technologies on the world because they have contributed to reductions in human welfare. Avoid overly vague formulations like “I will argue that problem solving is very important to evaluating a technology.” This is a relatively uninteresting claim. Important how? Why is it so important? If you find yourself using vague terms like “important,” chances are you need to think a bit more about your subject, and try to take a more firm stance on the matter. In short, your thesis should be ALL of the following: clear and precise appropriate in scope (you can actually defend the claim in the allotted space) taking a position on an issue The rest of your introduction should briefly lay out how you plan to support your thesis. That is, clearly and succinctly state the reason (or reasons) you will give as support for your thesis. An organized introduction will be essential for the paper in this class, so it would be wise to practice in the recitation assignments. Supporting your claim You should use the readings to support your thesis. Quote sparingly. Paraphrasing is preferable to quoting. Avoid extensive quotations. Always cite your source whenever you use:
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This note was uploaded on 08/11/2009 for the course IAH 206 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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Writing_philosophy_papers - On Writing Philosophy Advice...

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