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  UCD SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY  PHILOSOPHY ESSAYS I.    Required Format, II. Writing Guidelines, III.  A Few Common Mistakes   I. Required Format for Essays in Philosophy: Essays must be typewritten; hand-written work cannot be accepted medical-certified reasons aside!. se double-spaced or one-and-a-half spacin#. In  Microsoft Word  $ select %&ouble' or %(.) lines' under  Format/Paragraph/ine spacing  . *he standard font si+e is (,. &o not type in ( font ecept perhaps footnotes! or in (/ font. se %*imes 0ew Roman' or some other standard font!. Don ’ t   get   fancy   with   fonts! Indent the first line of all new para#raphs about ) spaces; alternati1ely$ insert an etra space  between para#raphs and be#in the new para#raph flush with the left mar#in.2uotations of less than ,-3 lines are enclosed within quotation marks 45ary had a little lamb6! and included within the tet of your paper. 2uotations lon#er than ,-3 lines block-quotations! should be indented from the left mar#in$ sin#le-spaced$ without quotation marks: I am a sample block-quotation$ indented from the mar#ins. 7lock-quotations can be( or (, font. &o not put quotation marks around block quotations and do not italicise ecept where italics are in the ori#inal!. 8lways pro1ide a reference$ either in parentheses or by footnote or endnote 7illin#worth$ (9/: p. (!. 0umber all pa#es ecept title pa#e$ first pa#e$ endnotes and biblio#raphy.Italicise or underline! book titles; use quotation marks for articles and chapters. <o$ =eide##er's  !eing and ime  >or 7ein# and *ime? but 2uine's %*wo &o#mas of Empiricism'.Proofread your essay for spellin# errors and #rammatical mistakes. se your word  processor's spell-checker but don't rely on it eclusi1ely. It is difficult to eliminate errors completely there may e1en be some in this document@! but do try.Aou must submit two copies of your essay with the Philosophy essay co1er sheet attached to one copy. <imply staple your essay in the top-left corner; no hard plastic co1er sheets or folders are necessary.*he word-len#th for your essay not includin#   footnotesBendnotes or biblio#raphy! will be specified for your year. <trict adherence to the word limit is mandatory #    Microsoft Word   has a%word count' facility under ools on the toolbar.!8 properly presented biblio#raphy is essential. 8lphabetise the biblio#raphy by author's last name. <in#le-space each entry$ with a blank line between entries. se ed. for editor; trans. for translator. Cea1e yourself time to produce a correctly formatted biblio#raphy. (   Bibliography and Referencing: standard footnoteBendnote method!8lphabetise your biblio#raphy by author's last name sin#le space entries$ double space  between entries!. *he followin# are standard formats for the biblio#raphy. 8 book:5erton$ Robert D. he $ociolog% of $cience . hica#o: ni1ersity of hica#o Press$ (93.8n edited book:5acIntyre$ 8.$ ed.  &egel' A Collection of Critical (ssa%s . Condon: ni1ersity of 0otre &ame Press$ (9/.8n article in a Gournal:&o1e$ Denley R. %=e#el's Phenomenolo#ical 5ethod'$  Re)iew of Metaph%sics  ,3 0o. ( <ept.$ (9/9!$ pp. /()-(.8n essay or article in a book by same author!:8dorno$ *. %<koteinos$ or =ow to read =e#el'$ in  &egel' hree $tudies  ambrid#e$ 58: 5I*Press$ (993!$ pp. 9-(.8n article in an edited collection:=arris$ =. <. %=e#el's intellectual de1elopment to ('$ in he Cam*ridge Companion to  &egel  $ edited by F. . 7eiser ambrid#e ni1ersity Press$ (993!$ pp. ,)-)(.8ny claim you make in your tet that is not your own idea must be referred to the rele1ant source. Aou may do this by puttin# the reference in parentheses at the end of the passa#e or  by usin# a footnote. Aour computer's word processor will ha1e an %Insert FootnoteBEndnote' command that will take care of the numberin# and location!. Endnotes$ if you use them$ occur at the end of your main tet$ before the biblio#raphy. Aour first footnote reference #i1es the full source omittin# the publisher! and the pa#e referred to. *he author's last name comes first in a biblio#raphy; in footnotes then normal order pre1ails. (  Hohn &iamond$ he hird Chimpan+ee  Condon$ (93!$ p. (99.here no confusion can arise for eample$ where references are on the same pa#e!$ subsequent references to the same book use %ibid.' %in the same place'!$ followed by the pa#e number. If inter1enin# references to other works occur$ use %op. cit.' %in the work quoted'!; howe1er$ do not send the reader back too many pa#es - if in doubt$ use a full reference. Instead of usin# %ibid' and %op. cit' it is permissible to use an abbre1iated 1ersion of the full reference$ e.#. &iamond$ p. 3(.<amples:  ,  ibid.$ p. (3. >this is a reference to &iamond's book$ abo1e.?  3  =arry Coner$ %Hustice in a Conely orld'$  Philosoph% and Pu*lic Affairs $  3! Jct. (9!$ p. .    Hohn &iamond$ op. cit.$ p. )/. )  &iamond$ p. 3( 8ll I0*ER0E* references must be cited usin# the full and accurate address@ ite the author's name if known!$ document title in quotation marks$ the date 1isited$ and the full =**P or RC address: e.#.$ 4http:BBwww.ccs.neu.eduBhomeB(pbBmud-history.html ) &ec. (99!.6 ,  II. Keneral Kuidelines for ritin# Essays in Philosophy (. *he E<<8A *I*CE and your *=E<I<; the I0*RJ& *IJ0 and the J0C <IJ0If the assi#ned essay title is in the form of a question$ your essay must answer the question. =ere is a useful strate#y for many philosophical essays: before you be#in your essay$ write down % herefore L' and complete the sentence as what will be   the  final sentence of %our essa% . *his will be the thesis  you are defendin#. 0ote: some essay titles may require more eposition and interpretation rather than ar#uin# for a thesis of your own; but e1en in these cases it is always a #ood idea to ha1e a clear focus for your essay$ for eample$ an aspect of the topic you will critically eamine.!<uppose the essay title is: 4Is <artre's conception of freedom defensibleM6 7e#in with your hunch that$ on balance$ it either is or is not plausible. Aour essay mi#ht end: N*herefore <artre's conception of freedom$ all thin#s considered$ is not plausible.N *hat is your thesis. Aour concludin# para#raph will sum up the ar#ument you ha1e mounted in support of your thesis. *he openin# para#raphs! of your essay should:(! Introduce the topic. 81oid 1a#ue #eneralities. Ket ri#ht to the main issue. ,! <tate your thesis. %In this essay I will ar#ue >contend$ show? that <artre's conception of freedom is not plausible.' Aour thesis statement is crucial. 3! Jutline your strate#y. <tate eplicitly how your essay will de1elop$ step by step. Aou won't know this precisely until after    your net-to-last draft.! <o$ for eample$ NFirst$ I clarify <artre's conception of freedom$ focusin# on soOso. <econdly$ I raise two familiar but mistaken obGections to <artre's 1iew and su##est how <artre could respond to them. Finally$ howe1er$ I will raise what I consider to be the stron#est obGection to <artre's position: his conception of soOso is inconsistent.NE1en if your essay is lar#ely epository e.#.$ if the essay title was: % What   is <artre's conception of freedomM'!$ you should still ha1e a thesis: a particular slant$ or focus or strate#y. For eample$ NIn this essay I shall hi#hli#ht the underlyin# role of soOso in <artre's analysis.N,. J0*E0* and P=ICJ<JP=I8C 8RK 5E0*<Philosophical essays of all kinds consist lar#ely in pro1idin# reasons for belie1in# your thesis or interpretation to be true: yours is the correct 1iew or interpretation of the issue or  philosopher under consideration. It's about ar#uments: reasons or e1idence for conclusions. hy$ for eample$ is <artre's conception of freedom supposedly implausible or plausible!MAou should look for reasons both for and a#ainst the thesis you are defendin#. Aou will find ar#uments in primary sources$ secondary sources$ the lectures$ and in your own reflections. E1en if your essay is lar#ely epositor%  eplainin# a philosopher's 1iew$ for instance!$ you will still be presentin# e1idenceanalysin# passa#es$ for instancefor your particular interpretations.=ere is an in1aluable strate#y for #ood philosophical essay writin#: whene1er your essay makes a claim$ reflect on how an opponent mi#ht obGect to that claim. If you raise an obGection to <artre's 1iew$ de1ote a para#raph to how he mi#ht attempt to respond to your obGection; and then e1aluate whether and why such a response succeeds or fails. 3  3. J*=ER *IP< and <*R8*EKIE<5ake your essay as concise and incisi1e as possible. rite a first draft that is lon#er than the required len#th and then delete anythin# irrele1ant or superfluous to your main purpose.Aou need to #o beyond simply reportin# or paraphrasin# what a philosopher said. If you assert that a philosopher holds a specified 1iew$ establish your claim on the basis of e1idence detailed analysis of passa#es is useful!. 8nd you need to #o beyond simply reportin# how you yourself feel about the matter: back up your claims with reasons and e1idence$ and fend off possible obGections. Finally$ you need to #o beyond simply displayin# what 1arious commentators think about the topic. &o use secondary sources$ of course$ but ultimately your tutor or lecturer is interested in  %our   best reasons for adoptin# your conclusion. If you quote be careful to use the eact   words and punctuation of the ori#inal tet@ Ki1e the appropriate pa#e references. If you add italics that are not in the quote itself$ insert %emphasis >or italics? added' after your pa#e reference; for eample: N L N Putnam$ (9)a$ p. (; italics added!. If you insert a clarifyin# phrase in a quote$ use square brackets: %>clarifyin# phrase?'   to indicate that the addition is not in the ori#inal. se ellipses for omissions: % … ' 3 dots only$not %LL..'; howe1er$ use  dots if the omitted material includes a full stop!. hene1er you use a quotation from an author$ always eplain$ analyse$ or comment upon the claims made in the quote. 7etter still$ put the philosopher's ideas into your own words   and then relate the ideas to your wider ar#ument.. Features that make a KJJ& paper i! larity. 8ssume that the reader of your papers knows less than you. *ake pains to make your meanin# as clear as possible. It is helpful to pro1ide rele1ant eamples that illustrate your points. se your own words; a1oid artificial$ technical or con1oluted lan#ua#e.ii! 8ccuracy. 7e sure that you know and render the precise claim or ar#ument or 1iew that a  philosopher intends or is committed to before you #o on to e1aluate it.iii! Reflection. Aour writin# should manifest careful$ reflecti1e thinkin# carried on in an ima#inati1e and critical frame of mind. Probe the issue at hand so as to stretch yourself intellectually. It is better to del1e deeply into one aspect of a problem than to address se1eral aspects superficially.i1! Jr#anisation. *ry to order the epression of your thou#hts in such a way that they build upon what comes before and support what comes after so that nothin# irrele1ant to the matter at hand remains to interrupt the flow. Ensure that it always is clear to the reader Gust what the current point is and how it relates to what you'1e done and are about to do.1! 8r#ument. *his is the most central feature of a philosophy paper. *ry to satisfy yourself that you ha1e succeeded in showin# that e1eryone ou#ht to belie1e what you in fact do  belie1e and where you do not feel satisfied$ say so$ and try to indicate why!. *o accomplish this$ always establish your points by pro1idin# #ood reasonsthe most rele1ant and  persuasi1e ones you can think of$ structured as ri#orously and incisi1ely as you canin support of your 1iews. ). AJ R E<<8A 58RD  Aour mark will reflect the tutor's or lecturer's estimate of your success in thinkin#  philosophically. 8 properly formatted essay with #enerally correct #rammar$ spellin# and  punctuation$ and with #enerally concise$ clear writin#$ epressin# a #enuine effort to #rasp therele1ant ideas is the minimum necessary for the award of a Pass mark. *o achie1e a second-class honours lower di1ision ,.,! your essay must additionally ha1e a well-or#ani+ed structure$ include #enerally correct interpretations of philosophical positions and ar#uments$ and make a #ood attempt to ar#ue your case. 8 second-class honours$ upper di1ision$ ,.(! 
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