Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays / Edition 1

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Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays is a concise, self-guided manual that covers the basics of argumentative essay writing and encourages students to master fundamental skills quickly, with minimal instructor input. Opening with an introductory chapter on how to read philosophy, the book then moves into the basics of writing summaries and analyzing arguments. It provides step-by-step instructions for each phase of the writing process, from formulating a thesis, to creating an outline, to writing a final draft, supplementing this tutorial approach with model essays, outlines, introductions, and conclusions. Skills essential to evaluating arguments, citing sources, avoiding plagiarism, detecting fallacies, and formatting final drafts are dealt with in detail. The final two chapters serve as a reference guide to common mistakes and basic skills in sentence construction, writing style, and word choice.
Employing a rulebook format similar to that of the classic Elements of Style (by Strunk, White, and Angell), Lewis Vaughn distills helpful writing advice into simple rules that students can easily remember and apply—and that instructors can refer to when reviewing student papers. These rules cover essay organization, sentence structure, documentation styles, plagiarism, grammar, usage, and more. Written in a clear and engaging style and incorporating samples of student writing, Writing Philosophy is an indispensable resource for virtually any philosophy course.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195179569
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/10/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 247,371
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

1. How to Read Philosophy
What Is Philosophy?
Reading Philosophy
Rule 1-1. Approach the Text with an Open Mind
Rule 1-2. Read Actively and Critically
Rule 1-3. Identify the Conclusion First, Then the Premises
Rule 1-4. Outline, Paraphrase, or Summarize the Argument
Rule 1-5. Evaluate the Argument and Formulate a Tentative Judgment
Writing a Paraphrase or Summary
Applying the Rules
2. How to Read an Argument
Premises and Conclusions
Judging Arguments
Rule 2-1. Know the Basics of Deductive and Inductive Arguments
Rule 2-2. Determine Whether the Conclusion Follows from the Premises
Rule 2-3. Determine Whether the Premises are True
Applying the Rules
3. Rules of Style and Content for Philosophical Writing
Rule 3-1. Write to Your Audience
Rule 3-2. Avoid Pretentiousness
Rule 3-3. Keep the Authority of Philosophers in Perspective
Rule 3-4. Do Not Overstate Premises or Conclusions
Rule 3-5. Treat Opponents and Opposing Views Fairly
Rule 3-6. Write Clearly
Rule 3-7. Avoid Inappropriate Emotional Appeals
Rule 3-8. Be Careful What You Assume
Rule 3-9. Write in First Person
Rule 3-10. Avoid Discriminatory Language
4. Defending a Thesis in an Argumentative Essay
Basic Essay Structure
Argument Supporting the Thesis
Assessment of Objections
A Well-Built Essay
Writing the Essay: Step by Step
Step 1. Select a Topic and Narrow It to a Specific Issue
Step 2. Research the Issue
Step 3. Write a Thesis Statement
Step 4. Create an Outline of the Whole Essay
Step 5. Write a First Draft
Step 6. Study and Revise Your First Draft
Step 7. Produce a Final Draft
An Annotated Sample Paper
5. Avoiding Fallacious Reasoning
Straw Man
Appeal to the Person
Appeal to Popularity
Appeal to Tradition
Genetic Fallacy
Appeal to Ignorance
False Dilemma
Begging the Question
Hasty Generalization
Slippery Slope
6. Using, Quoting, and Citing Sources
Rule 6-1. Know When and How to Quote Sources
Rule 6-2. Do Not Plagiarize
Rule 6-3. Cite Your Sources Carefully
Rule 6-4. Build a Bibliography if Needed
7. Writing Effective Sentences
Rule 7-1. Make the Subject and Verb Agree in Number and Person
Rule 7-2. Express Parallel Ideas in Parallel Form
Rule 7-3. Write in Complete Sentences, Not Fragments
Rule 7-4. Connect Independent Clauses Properly
Rule 7-5. Delete the Deadwood
Rule 7-6. Put Modifiers in Their Place
Rule 7-7. Be Consistent in Tense, Voice, Number, and Person
Rule 7-8. Communicate Pronoun References Clearly
8. Choosing the Right Words
Rule 8-1. Select Nouns and Verbs Precisely
Rule 8-2. Prefer the Active Voice
Rule 8-3. Use Specific Terms
Rule 8-4. Avoid Redundancy
Rule 8-5. Be Aware of the Connotations of Words
Rule 8-6. Learn to Distinguish Words that Writers Frequently Mix Up
Rule 8-7. Strive for Freshness; Avoid Clichés
Rule 8-8. Do Not Mix Metaphors
Rule 8-9. Beware of Awkward Repetition
Appendix A: Formatting Your Philosophy Paper
Appendix B: Documenting Your Sources

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