People very often attempt to accomplish too much in a philosophy paper. The usual result of this is a paper that's hard to read, and which is full of inadequately defended and poorly explained claims. So don't be over-ambitious. Don't try to establish any earth-shattering conclusions in your 5-6 page paper. Done properly, philosophy moves at a slow pace.
Click below Philosophy paper to enlarge.
You should write your philosophy papers as if your audience is intelligent and college-educated, but does not know about the issue you are addressing, and has not read the texts you have read. Do not write your paper for the instructor of the class, omitting important facts because you think she already knows them. One of the main goals of the writing exercise is to train students to carefully think through the issues themselves and learn to express and explain them clearly. Understanding a philosophical problem cannot be accomplished without being able to explain it simply and clearly. So in your paper you should strive to demonstrate that you understand all of the relevant issues, the steps in the arguments, and the problems associated with the arguments.
A Sample Philosophy Paper by Angela Mendelovici on Prezi
11. Explain each step of the philosopher's arguments carefully and deliberately.
New terms need to be explained and the inferences that the author makes from one step of the argument to the next should be clear. A common mistake on philosophy papers is a failure to explain important concepts and arguments.
This is an annotated sample philosophy paper
Philosophical writing is different from the writing you'll be asked to do in other courses. Most of the strategies described below will also serve you well when writing for other courses, but don't automatically assume that they all will. Nor should you assume that every writing guideline you've been given by other teachers is important when you're writing a philosophy paper. Some of those guidelines are routinely violated in good philosophical prose (e.g., see the , below). I find that making an outline is at least 80% of the work of writing a good philosophy paper. If you have a good outline, the rest of the writing process will go much more smoothly.