Philosophy Essay: Writing an “A” Grade Essay
For many students, writing a philosophy essay may seem to be a tough task to complete, if you bear in mind that a good essay results from hard work and effort of the writer. Both the preparation and research stages are important for developing an effective essay. We have prepared for you a list of tips that will guide you in the writing of your philosophy essay. Make sure you place your focus on to the particulars of your essay. You will have your chance to write and present a well-structured and A+ piece of work at the end to show how well you have understood the topic in question.
A philosophy essay is different from any other type of essay assignments. It cannot be tackled with an approach similar to a research paper or literary analysis. Also, it should not be addressed as a factual report from what other writers have expressed in their text concerning the subject. A philosophical paper should be a coherent and factual defense type of paper base on the thesis you choose.
To start with, it should remind you that you need a thesis for your work. It should highlight the position you take concerning the subject in question. Each notion you put across will have not less than two sides of an argument relating to it. This means that you should choose on the side, and use the other to prove the relevance and logic within your point of reasoning. Keep in mind that you need to back up each point you present with a relevant argument. At this instance, your focus should be based on what you intend to prove to the reader concerning the topic. It may sound simple but in real terms, choosing a thesis statement can be quite challenging. When you embark on tasks given to write a philosophy essay paper, the general idea is first to write down information regarding the topic. This should be viewed as general, rough sketches of a work in progress.
A thesis is a statement which is expressed in a single sentence, to state what the reader should expect. If by this stage you cannot formulate a thesis statement fully, then it still needs more brainstorming. When you formulate your thesis statement, you need to create ways that will persuade your target audience of your point of view. Provide a rational explanation for your ideas. This process mainly consists of the presentation of arguments that are supported with factual evidence. Here, a lot of students go astray, as some think that their support for the thesis they come up with, will apply to the readers by default. This makes them have less focus on their arguments and the evidence that supports them.
Your agreement to a specific side of an argument is not a guarantee that it will be the same for your target audience. If each person reading your work agreed with your point of view, there would be no argument at all. The best approach to writing an impressive philosophy paper is assuming that your target audience is as intelligent as yourself, and they do not support the same views on the subject matter. This will help you create good arguments that might end up convincing them otherwise. In simple terms, do not undervalue your audience.
Another obvious mistake student commit is trying to cram all relative arguments about a particular area of study, and putting all of them down on one academic paper. They think that by crafting a long list of arguments is an automatic indicator of the extensive research they have done. To some extent, it might be true even though you should remember that research for the sake of research does not explain the relevant points of your philosophy essay paper. Below are some of the reasons why this approach won’t warrant you the success you require to achieve in the writing of a philosophy paper:
- Many arguments approach the subject matter of research in diverse points of view, which makes the work of the reader harder in keeping track of your reasoning.
- While you come up with a long list of arguments, you are bound to write both strong and weak arguments on the subject matter. This may structure a wrong impression about your work; in that, you cannot spot the difference between the arguments presented. It eventually leads you to create a jumbled piece of work that will result in poor grades.
- When you have a long list of arguments that represent your point of view about a particular topic of discussion will limit your chance to provide substantial reasoning for each idea presented. The ultimate goal for the philosophy essay you write is to convince the reader that your point of view makes sense and they should consider supporting your perspective. Short arguments make your work appear superficial thus negatively affecting the grades you are to be awarded.
By now, it should be clear that choosing your topic should be carefully done. Even if you are required to analyze several materials relating to your subject matter, only the most convincing parts should be written in your essay. Also, keep in mind that the reader will only be able to read the work you present. This means that if you omit any piece of information that influenced your writing, the writer will definitely not know about it. Do not assume the reader will interpret your work for you. This should prompt you to ensure that all points and arguments put across should be clear and easily understood. Remember that the reader cannot ask you any question so this should inspire you to be direct, coherent, and extensive with your arguments. Develop arguments that will not provoke objections from your target audience.
Remember that your philosophy paper should be clear, coherent and grammatically correct. Logic and uniqueness are vital elements of your writing too.
Mistakes you Should Avoid when Writing your Philosophy Paper
- Long introduction: your professor is most likely your target reader who knows this particular subject. Even in situations that you are writing a philosophy essay for the general audience, you are not required to use too much paper length to introduce your topic of discussion. It only comes out as a work that has too many words but not enough ideas, reason, and creativity. You are encouraged to jump into the writing of your thesis statement directly.
- Wordy citations: in many cases, students include a lot of external materials in their philosophy essay. Avoid creating an impression of padding your work. Instead, aim at the goal intended which is to give your readers your own interpretation of the topic of discussion highlighting your point of view. It is advisable to refer to external sources once in a while and only use quoted texts if really necessary. However, direct quotes should not exceed 10% of your total work. Utilize more of your space on presenting ideas and backing them up with sufficient arguments that are logical.
- Not taking a side: while writing a philosophy essay, you cannot stand on neutral ground. Then there would be no need for the essay! Keep in mind your goals are to make the reader take your side about a particular point of view which means you should create your perspective at the beginning of your work. Do not use the views of what other people have written concerning the same subject. Be unique and original to create your own idea out of the subject and convince your readers why they should support your work. Stand your ground and work on the point of view that you find satisfying for you to work on.
- Not acknowledging it seriously enough: to some point, some debates may come out as trivial, but still have in mind that each debate is triggered by a good reason. Yu not considering the importance of the debate is a sure sign that you have no idea of what the topic entails or its interpretation. If this is the case, considering reverting to your research stage and ensure you have done thorough research on the subject and become conversant with it. Never take the topic too lightly. Make an effort of having extensive knowledge about it before embarking on discussing the topic.
- Using questions: rhetorical questions can be a good way to engage the reader but should be avoided when writing a philosophy essay. You should also avoid presenting arguments in ways that they suggest an indirect question or founded on generic assumptions. For instance, if you argue that abortion is murder and immoral, you expect that the reader will share your point of view and just back it up. This is a problem that many students have and leads to them failing. You should know that all the arguments that you raise are just to prove that your point is worth consideration. What the reader is left to contemplate and agree about is their point of view.
- Attacking the Opponents: even at instances that you feel like you totally disagree with their point of view, you need to come up with a rational and logical explanation for your perspective. Your philosophy essay does not give you space to express your emotions on a particular subject you are against. Your main aim should be to clearly highlight and explain why your opponents are wrong and avoid offending them in the process. When you decide to get personal and call the opponents names, it’s a clear indication that you cannot stand your ground on that particular subject which will eventually negatively affect your final grades on the philosophy essay paper.
More Tips to Guide You in Writing a Philosophy Essay Paper
Even though writing a philosophy paper might be a bit thought-provoking, consider is as just another piece of writing. This should tell you that there are a couple of ways you can approach it just like the students before you did. Below are some helpful tips that can guide your writing of a philosophy essay effectively and help you get a good grade:
- Competent structuring and organization: – this can be achieved through crafting an outline for your philosophy essay and adapting it in your entire writing. This will help in maintaining the logical flow of ideas as per the arguments you make concerning your topic of discussion. This can only be achieved if you come up with an outline that supports your philosophical essay. Craft the outline even before you begin our writing. This will help while you brainstorm your thought about the topic of discussion and exclude any logical errors or inconsistencies that may arise in writing your paper.
- Appropriate choice of words: – slang and jargon should be avoided at all cost while writing your philosophy essay. Also, avoid using notions that you do not know the meaning of. Find their meaning from a dictionary and appropriately use them if you have to. You should create time for proofreading and editing your work before you submit it. Do not depend on the auto-correction options in your word document creator.
- Evidence, facts and figure to support your claims: – as I explained before, you should not expect the reader to comply and agree with your point of view. Base your work on a perspective that your reader constantly disagrees with your argument. It is your duty to convince them otherwise. Provide substantial evidence to support your claims and convince the reader that your point of view makes sense. Additionally, avoid structuring your paper based on generic assumptions which are quite misleading.
- Accurate referencing: – in the world of academia, plagiarism is one of the biggest offenses when it comes to writing an essay, or any other piece of writing. Situations of unintentional plagiarism arise when you provide information on a particular subject from a source and forget to properly provide both the in-text citation and the complete reference on the separate works cited page. Inconsistent paraphrasing is also a major issue to watch out for. It may lead to detection as plagiarism by a plagiarism checking software which will eventually lower your grades. Make sure you are conversant with the required formatting requirements and consult your professor on which format you should apply and stick to.
- The logical defense for arguments presented: -In simple terms, each statement you make is likely to be objected. With this in mind, you should be prepared to answer the questions that arise concerning your arguments intelligently. When you anticipate objections and provide sufficiently opposing arguments, you are bound to come up with a captivating piece of work. Always stick to an intelligent reaction to criticism and avoid taking them as threats or mocking. It is quite common that not everyone will agree with your point of view.
- Thorough editing: – you should know that you might be the worst editor of the work you wish to present. Never consider the first draft as the final piece of work you are to present for grading. This will make you go through a lot of rewriting. It is okay to cut off any piece of information that might lead to plagiarism or those that lack sense in the arguments that you have brought to the light.
If you consider the tips above, you will will write an excellent philosophy essay that is worth a higher grade from your professor.