Philosophy Paper Introduction

Philosophy Paper Introduction-28
need reference works in these areas) I recommend a few of the many helpful books available in the campus bookstore. Another good book, more general in scope, is William Zinsser's, On Writing Well.

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Another common mistake is to think that your case will be stronger if you mention, even if briefly, virtually every argument that you have come across in support of your position.

Sometimes this is called the "fortress approach." In actual fact, it is almost certain that the fortress approach will not result in a very good paper. First, your reader is likely to find it difficult to keep track of so many different arguments, especially if these arguments approach the topic from different directions.

For better or for worse, your paper is all that is available. The responsibility for ensuring the accurate communication of ideas falls on the shoulders. Can he or she read your entire paper through without getting stuck on a single sentence? In general terms, do not be content simply to get your paper out of your hands. Clear writing reflects clear thinking; and that, after all, is what you are really trying to show.

You must say exactly what you mean and in a way that minimizes the chances of being misunderstood. There is no such thing as a piece of good philosophical writing that is unclear, ungrammatical, or unintelligible. A poor writing style militates against both of these.

Like most important philosophical questions, this one has reached the stage at which its discussion is bound to proceed piecemeal, in terms of particular examples, arguments and counter-arguments.

This article is intended as a contribution to one such controversy.

It is common to overestimate the strength of your own position.

That is because you already accept that point of view. It is safest to assume that your reader is intelligent and knows a lot about your subject, but disagrees with you.

Third, including many different arguments will result in spreading yourself too thinly.

It is far better to cover less ground in greater depth than to range further afield in a superficial manner. In order to produce a good philosophy paper, it is first necessary to think very carefully and clearly about your topic.

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