Monday, February 09, 2009

Paper 1

Intro to Ethics PAPER 1:

How do you write a philosophy paper?

4-5 pages, typed (i.e., word-processed), double spaced, 12 pt font Times New Roman, 1” margins, stapled

Due Wednesday, February 18, 2009 in class and submitted via the Turnitin system:

You need to BUY a card with account from the bookstore: this will give you your PIN to make an account. The class ID # is 2571740 and the password is ethics. If you have trouble registering your account, Sarah Adams is the new Turnitin Lead in Cengage Higher Education Tech Support. Sarah will be available to assist students with any pincode issues and account questions. Her current office hours are Monday through Friday from 1:00pm to 9:00pm EST, and her email address is

No late papers will be accepted since have had 4+ weeks to get the Turnitin account; you need to get the PIN card and do the paper before the due date. No excuses. If the bookstore doesn’t have the cards, you need to get them to order one for you.

There are two main writings on how to write a philosophy paper that you need to carefully read and study:

1. Read and study Vaughn Ch. 3. Rules of Style and Content for Philosophical Writing, Ch. 4. Defending a Thesis in an Argumentative Essay and Ch. 6. Using, Quoting, and Citing Sources

2. Read and study an online article by Jim Pryor called "Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper":

The assignment is this:

A friend knows that you are in a philosophy course. This friend asks you to come to her group to give a little presentation on what philosophy essays are like and how to effectively write them. Your job is to carefully read the readings below on how to write philosophy and then effectively summarize them for this person. Write up the text that you could read -- or pass out -- to this audience so that they can learn from you. Write so you teach them how to write a philosophical essay: pass on what you learn from Vaugh and Pryor! This assignment requires you to summarize advice from a number of different sources and explain this advice to other people in your own words.

Papers must by typed and carefully written: put your name, email, the date, course # and time at the top of the first page; DO NOT USE A COVER PAGE. And give your paper a title.


9-10= excellent

8 = good

7 = fair

6 = poor

5 or below = very poor

They will be graded on clarity, organization, thoroughness, grammar and spelling, and, most generally, whether your reader would get a good sense for what philosophical / argumentative essays are like and how to write them.

Although citations -- i.e., direct quotations -- are not necessarily needed for this paper, if you use them you should use an official citation method that you learned in introductory English. These are presented in Vaughn as well.