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How to Write a College Philosophy Essay: An Ultimate Guide 2023

Writing a philosophical essay is not a typical assignment where you summarize the ideas of professional philosophers and indicate whether you agree with them or not. Rather, engaging in philosophy necessitates assuming the role of a philosopher for the duration of the writing process, engaging in analytical and critical thinking, contemplating profound questions, and asking “WHY?”. This requires time and energy, as well as a lot of critical thinking on your part.

But what exactly is a philosophical essay? If you are assigned to write a philosophy essay, you are required to select a thesis in the philosophical field and argue for or against it, drawing on the works of other professional philosophers to support your argument. However, it must also include your unique philosophical contribution. (But of course, this is only one interpretation of what a philosophical essay entails.)

Writing a Compelling Philosophy Paper Outline?

Before you write a philosophical essay, it is important to understand the questions that you are required to answer. First step, is writing an outline for the paper. Think of it as a blueprint for your philosophical paper that briefly outlines the main idea of each paragraph.

Read some helpful tips on how to write a philosophy paper outline,

  • Begin by formulating your thesis statement, what you will be arguing for or against in your essay?
  • Read and analyze relevant philosophical theories, and make note of sources that may support or counter your arguments.
  • Determine the definitions of fundamental concepts, so that you can use precise philosophical terminology in your essay.
  • After thorough and extensive contemplation, structure your ideas according to the format described below.

How to Structure a Philosophy Essay?

Similar to other types of essays, a philosophical essay comprises an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Adhering to this traditional structure for philosophical papers can prevent unnecessary anxiety.

Here is a brief guide on how to structure a philosophical paper:

Introduction: You need to clarify the question being addressed by your philosophy essay. Present your thesis – that is, the answer you are supporting. It is also necessary to explain fundamental philosophical concepts.

Introduction: You need to clarify the question being addressed by your philosophy essay. Present your thesis – that is, the answer you are supporting. It is also necessary to explain fundamental philosophical concepts.

Main body: The essay should begin by presenting arguments in support of the thesis and then refuting potential objections to those arguments. Subsequently, other conceivable answers to the question should be presented along with their reasoning, and their principal arguments should be supported.

Conclusion: Summarized all possible answers to the question, and state why argument is the most viable one.

What’s the recommended Philosophy Paper Length?

In our experience, writing a philosophical essay that is 2,000 to 2,500 words in length is reasonable to cover the topic comprehensively while maintaining high-quality writing.

Nonetheless, it is important to check if there is a specific word limit that has been assigned before beginning to write. If the word limit is shorter or longer than our suggested range, it is advisable to adhere to the specified limit when composing your philosophical essay.

Philosophy paper writing format: APA, MLA, and Chicago

As an essay writing service that deals with philosophy and psychology papers, we have observed that the majority of students opt for the APA guidelines as their preferred format for writing philosophical essays. Nonetheless, it is ultimately the decision of the educational institution to determine which format should be followed.

Occasionally, students may be instructed to use a different format for college-level philosophy essays, such as MLA or Chicago. If the choice of format is left to the student and they are unsure about which one would be suitable for an argumentative philosophy essay, we will provide an overview of the most commonly used formats.

APA format

The most common citation style for philosophical essays is the APA (American Psychological Association) format. When using APA, the author’s last name is written first, followed by the year of publication, the book title, location, and publisher. For example, a book by Maxwell published in 2011, titled “Philosophical writing made Easy,” would be cited as:

Maxwell (2011). Philosophical writing made Easy. New York: Tender Prints.

MLA format

The MLA (Modern Language Association) format is also frequently used in philosophical papers, and it involves double-spacing the text and including only the relevant elements of the source. The citation includes the author’s last name, first name, title of the source, title of the container, other contributors, version, publisher, publication date, and location. For example, a book authored by William Kennedy titled “Programmer,” published in 2001 by TWF Press and located in New Jersey, would be cited as:

 William Kennedy. Programmer. Coding basics: Wilford R., Joseph W., v.2, TWF Press, 2001, New Jersey.

Chicago format

The Chicago Manual of Style is commonly used in philosophical and historical works. To cite a book using this style, the author’s last name is written first, followed by the first name, book title, city of publication, publisher name, and year of publication. For example, a book titled “The Elements of Law,” authored by William Catherine, published in 2005 by Twin Than, and located in Los Angeles, would be cited as:

William Catherine. The Elements of Law. Los Angeles: Twin Than, 2005.

In conclusion, writing a philosophy essay requires careful planning, research, and analysis. Start by understanding the question you need to answer and crafting a clear thesis statement. Use credible sources and define key concepts to support your arguments and counterarguments. Follow the traditional structure of an introduction, main body, and conclusion. Pay attention to word count and adhere to the required format. Reading and analyzing texts with curiosity and critical thinking can help you gain a deeper understanding of philosophical concepts. Writing a philosophy essay may be challenging, but with practice and these tips, you can develop your skills and produce thoughtful and engaging essays.

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