How To Write A Philosophy Paper: What Is The Key Difference

Even though most essays are crafted with the similar features, some courses require a few differences in the content and structure. Most math and science courses have special requirements due to the factual nature of the topics. In the liberal arts genre of courses, philosophy courses often have a few different requirements when compared to others. Like most other essays, the point of a philosophy paper is to point out your stance on an issue and support it; but unlike other papers, this is done with sentences that directly address the reader.

Writing the Introduction

When writing an introduction to a philosophy paper, it is best to put the thesis near the end of the paragraph, like in a typical essay. The hook of the paper should not be overly creative, but should simply provide some basic introduction to the philosophical idea that will be developed in the paper. Once you get to the thesis, you will notice another big difference; you can actually write in a conversational tone. You can actually begin your thesis with words like: “I will argue…” or “I believe…” In any other course, this type of thesis would be marked down significantly for its elementary sentence beginning. To make the introduction even more unusual, you can also write about how you will argue your thesis with sentences that begin with “I will show…” or “I will demonstrate…”

Moving to the Body

The body of the paper is structured like every other essay. You will write paragraphs with topic sentences that refer back to the thesis. You will also use logical support that includes examples and explanations. Like the introduction, you will use pronouns that might seem awkward because they will also directly address the reader. Your transition phrases will show direct relationships between what you have written and what will be coming in the next sentences and paragraphs. For example, you can use transitional phrases like:

  • In the next section, I will…
  • Although I have shown…., I will also show…
  • My first argument is ….
  • These are some rival views…
  • I have already argued...but I would like argue...

Breaking the Rules of Voice

Since most writers have been told repeatedly not to directly address the reader, so writing a philosophy paper will feel awkward at first. However, after a few assignments, you will find that the obvious voice is quite easy to craft. The idea behind the philosophy paper is that the power comes in the ideas, not in the craftiness of the language.

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