References for Writing PHIL1001 Philosophy Paper 1 How to Write a Philosophy Paper

  • A good philosophy paper often focuses on a small point, but it presents that point clearly and straightforwardly, providing reasons to support it. Many people try to cover too much in a short paper, resulting in a difficult-to-read paper with poorly explained claims and inadequate defenses. It is important not to be overly ambitious. A well-done small point can go a long way.

    • I see, it’s important to focus on making a solid argument with clear evidence, rather than trying to make grand claims.
  • Rewriting is crucial for good writing. The only way to improve your writing (and your thinking) is (1) to carefully and critically reread your work and (2) to rewrite it to make it clearer and more coherent. The first draft of a paper is rarely the best draft. Write your paper (or a part of it), then set it aside, maybe sleep on it. Then revisit it. Imagine that someone else wrote it or that you are someone else reading it. You’ll be amazed at how much you can improve it just by gaining some distance from it.

    • That makes sense, it’s very important (blu3mo).

  • An ideal philosophical argument should lead the reader in logically undeniable steps from obviously true premises to an unobvious conclusion.

20230503 Office Hours

  • Divide the problem into smaller parts.

    • For example, in PHIL1001 Philosophy Paper 1, the prompt “What is Pascal’s wager? What does it try to demonstrate? What does it not try to demonstrate? Is it convincing? Why or why not?” already divides the problem.
      • However, even if the prompt only asks “Is Pascal’s wager convincing,” it should still be divided into these five questions.
        • This way, the tasks become clear.
    • Introduction
      • Avoid unnecessary information.
  • The key is to actively eliminate unnecessary sentences and tasks.