FORMAT FOR ESSAY: 1. Introduction. In the following, I will explore such and such (or so and so’s argument that…). I will ultimately defend the plausibility/implausibility of his/her position or such and such a position. The position the author takes is actually the conclusion of their argument. The bulk of the work (or words/pages), in philosophy, constitutes the premises (i.e. reasons), which the author presents to attempt to persuade you of the plausibility of their main argument (which, is, once again, actually the conclusion of the bulk of the work, which is, in turn, an elaboration of reasons). NO FENCE SITTING. Even if you are a fence sitter about the issue at hand, take a stance one way or another. Your intro should be no more than a few sentences. 2. Explain the philosophical problem/argument advanced by so and so. First, identify the main terms that occur in the work. Circle them. If you haven’t included that term in your essay, you know you’re missing something. You should not have a section called “main terms”. The purpose of circling the terms is to avoid you missing
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