Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Reading and Writing Philosophy Essays

Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Reading and Writing Philosophy Essays

by Lewis Vaughn

Paperback(New Edition)

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Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Reading and Writing Philosophy Essays, Second Edition, is a concise, self-guided manual that covers how to read philosophy and the basics of argumentative essay writing. It encourages students to master fundamental skills quickly—with minimal instructor input—and 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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190853013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 01/22/2018
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 422,479
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Concise Guide to Critical Thinking (OUP, 2017), Living Philosophy, Second Edition (OUP, 2017), The Moral Life, Sixth Edition (OUP, 2017), and Bioethics, Third Edition (OUP, 2016).

Table of Contents

*=New to this Edition
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
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
Exercises: Writing Effective Sentences
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 Clich s
Rule 8-8. Do Not Mix Metaphors
Rule 8-9. Beware of Awkward Repetition
* Rule 8-10. Spell Correctly
Exercises: Choosing the Right Words
Appendix A. Formatting Your Paper
Appendix B. Documenting Your Sources
* Appendix C. Answers to Exercises
* Appendix D. Researching a Philosophy Paper

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