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How to write essays on philosophy? Methodical recommendations

It is necessary to notice, that the essay on philosophy possesses the specificity imposed by specificity of the given subject matter: he should be perceived more likely as the research leaning against numerous sources, than their habitual making an essay. This creative task in which the student can open completely the abilities show brightness and a sharpness of the thinking, to show the ability to be the Person Having Higher education.

The essay on philosophy - term paper in a subject, the same scientific work, as well as on other disciplines, therefore its performance should be at all how in school essays, and is much more serious.

At all stages of a writing of work it is useful to consult on the teacher, the supervisor of studies of your work. It and simplification of your work (you do not make useless work) and stimulus not to postpone work performance for last day. 

The choice of a theme of research - process not single, and the earlier it will be made, the to more time remains for carrying out actually researches. Not the one who is necessary on the abilities Here "wins", and the one who is more responsible and is disciplined - having got used to constant daily work in the course of training, it here again works every day, not postponing on last day that it is necessary to make already now.

Unfortunately, in overwhelming majority of cases the picture is observed opposite. For some reason it is considered, that the essay on philosophy is something like the composition, and it is possible to have time to write it for some days. Therefore terms are postponed over and over again, time passes, and here already the student in a panic thinks not of what work to it to write, and about that how to have time to write it. Speech does not go any more about perusal, understanding, the literature analysis (instead of it is necessary to forget, that the literature serious and on its analysis time is necessary) if only only to be in time! 

Clumsy assistance is rendered by availability of a large quantity of the preparations, given by the Internet and the market of various compact discs. The student who is late on all conceivable terms, suffices almost first it on eyes a theme, at the best has time to read it once (at the press) and it hands over to the teacher in what was in the Internet. Sometimes reaches even the ridiculous: when in the essay ostensibly written by the guy, I am read «have read», «I thought», etc. 

Such carelessness and irresponsibility says that to the person still early to give independent tasks - it will not cope with it. Here also come then on manufacture such "which-kakery", «only-sdateli» and take offence, that to them do not charge any responsible affairs, hold on the roles second (at the best), do not trust. And that they in it are guilty, - about it is not thought. 

And the exit from such rather unpleasant situation one - to study to be serious and responsible always! Everywhere! Then also study at university will go easier and career on manufacture faster. The choice of a theme for the essay on philosophy can become the first step on a way of increase of responsibility.

How to approach to a theme choice?

First of all: it is necessary to be defined with a direction of your theme. Almost never happens so that the theme has been formulated at once and in an invariable kind. Anything terrible is not present, if you change and specify the name of the work in the course of a writing, it testifies that you really work over a theme. But in the beginning always it is necessary to define a direction of your movement.

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Further, very often there is a situation of a choice of several themes simultaneously (other variant of a situation - absence of interesting themes in general). What from them to choose? That best theme which is really interesting to you, but not under the name, and on a way of disclosing, on possible style of a statement. If the theme is not interesting, and to write the essay (research work) it will be very difficult, it is almost impossible: efforts will go to waste, for nothing.

And how to be, if theme choice on it has turned out? Is better not to take in that case at all an essay writing, having limited to the oral report at a seminar. To prepare the good oral report thus it will be possible, having taken advantage of corresponding methodical working out of chair of philosophy of MGTU. 

It is necessary to notice the following. The theme should be chosen on forces. Too difficult theme will not allow to open itself, to study. Too easy - will not give neither satisfactions, nor advantage. It is necessary to learn to limit a theme - something insignificant to lower, something to generalise, and on something, on the contrary, to pay more steadfast attention at theme disclosing. Process this difficult enough and very strongly depends on what image formulates your theme. On the other hand, what you will investigate, which parties of this or that problem, the name of your work will depend also. What exactly you will choose, what of two ways to prefer: at first research, and then a theme formulation, or on the contrary, at first the formulation, and then research, - to solve to you and anybody more, at one the first way is better turns out, others prefer the second. But in all cases the theme of written work on philosophy should be:

- Enough interesting to you.

- It is provided enough by the literature and the sources which are available in library (libraries) accessible to you.

- Allowing to show you all earlier acquired knowledge (on younger courses, at school, at independent studying).

One more remark. Is better to formulate a theme at the very end of the research, this statement is as though paradoxical sounded. At first you choose a direction, and already then when the work most part is written, specification comes, you already see, that your work «not absolutely that», that you assumed in the beginning, further - it is more: only by the writing end it is visible, your work means what exactly. Here it ("what exactly") also is taken out as the theme formulation.

All written above concerns a case when the student independently chooses a theme of the work. If he prefers themes which are given by the teacher or to it it is absolutely indifferent, which theme to them will be developed (and in this case it is better not to write it), or the student all the same should choose from the list presented by the teacher. 

The teacher can describe in brief, that from itself this or that theme that is meant in them represents, but to choose to the student it is necessary most.

The plan! As it is a lot of in this word …

At first sight, in scheduling there is nothing difficult. So it also is if not to lose sight of that circumstance, that to write work, it is necessary to have at least its approximate plan, differently it will turn out as in a known saying: «wanted as better, and it has turned out as usually». Planning of the work assumes not only breakdown on introduction, the basic part and the conclusion (most often meeting division), but also concrete study of each paragraph (each chapter) basic part. And for this purpose it is necessary to know, about what to write. 

There is no sense to be engaged in material reading, in hope, that «then itself will come, will be organised». As a rule, widely-read has property to create in a head perfect porridge, unimaginable mess. To avoid it the plan helps. On the other hand, to start to plan, it is necessary to possess certain volume of the initial information, and for this purpose often it is necessary to charge extra at first a material on this or that theme.

As a rule, those themes which get out at the initial stage, are rather extensive. It is necessary to limit them. Be not afraid to limit too a theme - it is impossible to embrace the immense. What exactly to choose in this or that theme what (what) its aspect, - to solve to the student. It is possible to choose historico-philosophical aspect, it is possible gnoseological, ontologic and so forth It is possible to take comparison with other thinker, school, a direction. It is possible to think up and something, unique.

For example, the student has chosen a theme, concerning Platon's creativity. Then depending on preferences, the theme can sound approximately so:

* “Platon's Creativity and its influence on philosophy development” (historico-philosophical aspect)

* “the Problem of knowledge of Platon's creativity” 

(Gnoseological aspect)

* “Life from the point of view of Platon” (ontologic aspect)

* “Platon and ????????????” (comparison)

To continue it is possible long, the principle is clear. Already it is visible that to search for the literature it is necessary not on Platon's all creativity, and only by that its part which is expressed in a theme. But also in a theme it is necessary to make similar "inventory", that is to allocate in separate chapters (paragraphs) the primary goals of your work.

How many to allocate and by what principle? 

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Optimum for term paper on philosophy it is considered allocation from two (paragraphs) to four heads. Basically, it is possible not to make at all division, but it is very difficult to read such text - the heavy feeling arising at reading, brings to nothing all advantages of the text. Allocation of heads will facilitate perception and understanding of the text of your work. Each of heads should represent rather complete and rather complete consideration of the separate question, a separate problem.

For example, you have chosen a theme “Platon's Creativity and its influence on philosophy development” (historico-philosophical aspect). The theme can be divided into some heads: 

1 head: Platon's Short biography

2 head: Platon's Creativity and its influence on an ancient philosophy

3 head: Influence of creativity of Platon on the subsequent development of philosophy 

Now, when you approximately know, what exactly will be contained by your work, it is possible to start material gathering purposefully. Knowing about what there will be approximately a speech in each of heads, you can find the most important thing, not distracting on the insignificant and minor moments. You will not need to stir literature mountain, you can quite manage several books in which the questions declared by you in names of heads are considered.

Further. Plan at once for itself, as in what terms you will carry out. We will admit, for a writing of work for you is available two months, eight weeks. It is possible to distribute them approximately as follows:

- One week on a spadework  (Rocking and «a set of speed»),

- Week on search of the literature,

- Two weeks on reading of the literature,

- Two weeks on a writing of work,

- One on that ready work "has rested in bed",

- Half of week - on correction of subquality work,

- Half of week - «the Rate reserve».

At such mode you will not have neither overloads in other subjects, nor catastrophic works involving all hands. Will work easily and pleasantly (if seriously to concern the work) because you have planned in advance time and used it most effectively.

It is clear that here important not so much precisely to observe schedule, how many approximately to adhere to it. It is possible to make and other schedule is already depends on your working capacity, your temperament and your congestion. Is inadmissible to concern only it irresponsibly, to neglect the obligation taken on.

Literature selection 

What familiar picture: 

The student comes to library and asks: “Give me something on …. (The name of the philosopher or any problematics)” follows. The librarian, of course, brings that it remembers also that costs more close (the librarian too the person and, day is a lot of kilometres, naturally, wishes to facilitate to itself a problem). To speak here about any completeness of representation of the literature on a theme it is not necessary, - give the God if at all will bring that is useful. And often bring absolutely unsuitable, and the student, not troubling itself viewing, uses such literature in the essay. 

Isn't that so and you arrive also? 

If yes, you "play" blindly, and agree that the teacher will put you an estimation too "blindly", at all not considering your work (sometimes simply unbearable), your efforts (sometimes titanic). What here justice, is a simple set of accidents, as in dicing. 

How it will be better?

It will be better, if preliminary you thoroughly work a library catalogue, about presence of books on the given theme: how many they what it is books, whether are books on accompanying questions etc. Write out all necessary data on the book - to the librarian to find to you the book if data are full (sometimes, at incomplete data much easier, the librarian "does not find" the book even then when it costs on a regiment).

Be not afraid, if books it will appear much. It is good. Normal it is considered, if from ten chosen two - three appear you in the catalogue of books suitable. Much worse if it is not enough books. Sometimes it is necessary to refuse an interesting theme because of a lack of books on it.

But under those poor data which are presented in a catalogue card, it is difficult to solve, whether this book approaches really to you. Be not too lazy, take it in hands, see the maintenance to make fuller opinion on it. If it approaches - take, is not present - postpone and look another. 

What it is books?

First, undoubtedly, primary sources. If you have chosen, for example, a theme “Platon's Creativity” Platon's dialogues will necessarily be necessary for you, and not one, and at least a little. Which - depends on your taste, your assiduity and responsibility (and it is final, from a theme direction). Use of several (different) editions will be rather effective, especially it concerns the translation literature. There are no two identical transfers of the same text, each translator introduces in the text translated by it something, unique. Compare, for example, the same Platon made under edition of A.Losev and transfer by V.Soloveva's the transfers.  

Certainly, there can be difficulties. It is impossible to find, for example, Socrat works - he simply did not write them, considering, that any record deforms thought, true. But there are memoirs of pupils, there are instructions on Socrat creativity at other thinkers; in general, desperate positions are not present.

Secondly, the critical literature devoted to this or that philosopher, this or that problem. Reading of the critical literature will allow you to understand better thought of the philosopher what exactly he wished to tell. 

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Thirdly, the educational literature: various textbooks, grants and so forth the Material submitted here, is as much as possible explained and facilitated for understanding. But in it and a minus: behind ease of a statement there is no depth of the primary source, its power. Besides the explanation of this or that concrete doctrine, its problem does not enter into a textbook problem - acquaintance.

Fourthly, the most different directories, dictionaries and encyclopaedias. Not only on philosophy, but also on other disciplines. Ability to use dictionaries and encyclopaedias testifies to width of knowledge and quality of use of terms. (To know what to tell and know, what words to tell)

Fifthly, the historical literature and eclecticism. As a vivid example of such literature Diogena Laertsky's work “About a life, doctrines and sayings of the well-known philosophers” - the book, irreplaceable serves by working out of any theme on an ancient philosophy.

Use of all these sources will help to make your work interesting, serious, competent and finished.

Substantial requirements

The theme is chosen, the literature is picked up and partially even is read. It is time to sit down a text writing. How this text, in what style will be submitted? One wish «to flash erudition» - to mention as much as possible literature. Others, on the contrary, consider, that the less they will deviate this or that authoritative book - the better. Therefore it makes sense to think not only that will be in the text, but also, how its tax to the reader that it was better clearly.

Depending on style of work with the collected material and its subsequent analysis it is conditionally possible to allocate two variants, two categories of workers: "rationalists".

Rationalists », on the contrary, do from the very beginning an emphasis on the theoretical concept, selecting the facts for its illustration. They logically build in the beginning problem vision, and then decorate turned out theoretical scheme the bright facts - as if a New Year tree toys. In their works a lot of attention is given to careful definition of concepts and the analysis of their interrelation. Citations and references are shown to a minimum. 

However it is necessary to try to counterbalance similar ???????????????: «???????» should be more courageous in theoretical conclusions, and "rationalist" should keep itself from aspiration to build purely speculative designs, from desire to ignore the facts which do not keep within its logic schemes. To reach such equilibration it is possible if constantly to correct itself, the vision of a problem over which it is necessary to work. Consultations of the teacher which just for this purpose and are spent are very effective here.

It is possible to give some more councils, concerning the substantial party of your written work.

Architecture. It is necessary to distract temporarily from the maintenance of the work and to look at it the discharged sight, paying attention on its form, on its architecture. Above it was already spoken about preferable splitting of all work into some heads. How many and which - you can solve only. But heads should be among themselves proportional: agree, it is dishonest to do, let us assume, chapter 1 in volume in 15 pages, and the others - on two-three. 

If you at all do not know how to divide the basic part into chapters, can take advantage of division by a principle: “the general - especial - individual”. For example:

1 head - the general: "German" philosophy of a life ”: general characteristics and features of a current”

2 head - especial: “F.Nitsshe's Doctrine in a context German“ life philosophies ””.

3 head - individual: “the Problem of revaluation of values in philosophy:“ 

The use of terms. At use in the text of the work of those or other special words, terms, it is accepted to observe following rules:

1. Always use the clearest and unambiguous terms.

2. Never use the words having two (and more) sense, not having defined in what of them it will be used by you.

3. Never use one word in two values.

4. Never use different words in one value.

The use of words - "parasites". Very often in texts, especially in essays, there is an abundance of certain group favourite the author of words which are inserted literally everywhere. To read such text - torture. Therefore it is necessary to aspire to clarification of the speech, the language from often repeating words, replacing from synonyms, reconstructing the offer so that other words were used. Difficulty consists that the scientific text (and written work carried out by students on philosophy applies for this rank) does not welcome the use of synonyms. And nevertheless, it is necessary to aspire to that your text possessed good ease of reading (but not at the expense of gravity of a statement).

The text should "rest in bed". To have possibility to distract from the maintenance and to pay attention to the form (architecture), it is necessary to postpone for some time written (or written) work aside, in a table, for a shelf. By the way, the given reception if there is time, it is useful to use at a text writing: there is the thought sharpening, each thought finds the symmetry and capacity, the text becomes sustained, elegant and pleasant for reading.

About style. At a statement it is necessary to watch sequence, logic severity of put forward positions. It is useful to watch thus also unity of language: all heads should be written in one style.

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And once again. Primary source perusal is obligatory! 

Without this condition no work on philosophy can be considered 

Work on philosophy.

Formal requirements

Observance of formal requirements at a writing of scientific work not is formalism display, this certificate of accuracy and gravity of research. 

Aesthetic requirements: from that, your work how looks, also the estimation its teacher substantially depends: it is much more pleasant to hold in hands beautifully and aesthetically issued work, rather than a set of the isolated leaflets fastened by a paper clip by careless handwriting. And to read tidy work it is more convenient. 

Requirements on volume: restrictions, basically, are not present. The main thing that the theme has been opened, and on pages it is not so important. However practice shows what to open a theme less than on 8-9 pages extremely difficultly, no less than on 80-100 (it already the dissertation). The optimum volume, besides on practical supervision, makes 20-25 pages of format ?4. 

Approximate distribution on pages:

Introduction and the conclusion - on 2-3 pages 

Each of heads - on 6-8 pages

The title page, the maintenance, the literature list - on 1 page 

Requirements on structurization: 

1 Obligatory presence of paragraphs - usually 3-4 on page. Imagine, that you read "paragraph" stretched on 3 pages. You reach the second, and you distract (has come to complain the neighbour, that you to it have filled in ceilings on kitchen). In half an hour of findings-out and trials you again come back to the interrupted reading, begin, is final, at first, because the person renews the interrupted reading from the paragraph beginning. You again distract (it is necessary to descend in shop). You read from the beginning in third time, beginning silently to hate the author for its inability to write more short. Not to be such "unfortunate author", is better to write by a principle: each finished thought - the paragraph. However it is not necessary and to crush: too the considerable quantity of paragraphs makes impression, that the author is distinguished by some levity.

2 For ease of reading, according to the French fiction writers, in each of offers should be no more than 5-7 words. Certainly, the philosophical text - not a fiction: five words you will not get off. But if to aspire to write more shortly - then offers leave long and if to allow to write to itself long offers, they will be very long. Creativity of classics of German philosophy is indicative in this respect: For example, I.G.Fichte's work “Clear, as the sun, the message to general public about original essence of the newest philosophy. Attempt to force the reader to understanding”.

All positions and the conclusions resulted in work, should be demonstrative, the disputable positions which are put forward by the author, it is necessary to stipulate specially.

Use of terms: If in your work there is any scientific term, the teacher has the right to consider, that you know, that it means, and be able to distinguish all shades and nuances of use of the given term. Therefore it is not necessary to overload the work it is artificial the complicated terminology. Everything, that can be told simply, should be told simply. Certainly, without scientific terms not to manage. In that case, it is useful to remember two rules: 

The first: for the first time using in work any important term for you, by all means make its definition even if the term is known enough. For example, exists over 500 definitions of concept "culture". What of them you mean, at use in the work?

The second: use "razor Okkama" principle (it says: “excessive essence should be cut”). That it is possible to transfer to the reader by means of one concept, it is not necessary to transfer by means of two.

Citing. The citation - inclusion of a fragment from other text resulted literally. The main condition citing - absolutely exact reproduction of the citation. The conclusions received by researchers, and also the brightest expressions, statements are quoted or parts of documents, important for understanding of their sense, or. It is impossible to put into operation the citation without instructions of a source, its author. It is impossible to connect two citations or their parts in one. All citations are quoted, and use of one kind of inverted commas under all document is desirable. To use other kind of inverted commas it is possible only in a case «citations in a square» when you quote that part of the document where already there is a citation, internal in relation to a fragment quoted by you.  

References. The bibliographic reference - an integral part of scientific work. It is applied at citing, a statement close to the original, at loan from other sources of ideas, names, figures, examples, at a mention or the analysis of works of this or that author, in need of sending of the reader to works in which the given question is considered.

For text references: After a mention of product or the citation in square brackets number corresponding to number of the document (the book, article and so forth) in the list of the literature is written and pages are specified. Thus in introduction or the first interlinear note the explanatory, for example becomes:

In introduction:

In brackets in the text references to the used sources, thus the first figure - the work serial number, the second - page number are given. 

In the text:“Game not simply kaleidoscope of game certificates, but first of all the basic way of human dialogue with possible and valid” [3, 363]

In the list of the used literature:

3 ???? E.Osnovnye phenomena human the Problem of the person in the western philosophy., progress, 1988, p. 357 403

. The basic phenomena human the Problem of the person in the western philosophy., progress, 1988, p. 357 403

Under the maintenance of the reference can be several kinds:

Electronic sources:  

To use the documents which are in electronic form it is possible, but under condition of correct registration of the bibliographic description of the document. Positions practically the same, as for documents in printing: Heading (the basic title), Data concerning the title, Data on responsibility, Data on the edition (about a resource kind), the Electronic address, Date.

As standard standard of the bibliographic description of the document received in the Internet, no, it is recommended:

- In the data concerning the title to specify the name of electronic page or a server.

- In data on responsibility - names of the publisher, the manufacturer and the distributor.

- The electronic address is an analogue of a place of the edition and the publishing house name in printing documents.

- In the absence of date of drawing up of the document it is possible to name date of the reference to it.

The big request: 

Please, do not take another's essays from the Internet!

In overwhelming majority of cases, quality of their "manufacturing" leaves much to be desired: round phrases about what, illiterate stylistics, unchecked data, incompetent conclusions … and so indefinitely. 

You about yourselves, about the work wish to have such opinion?

Requirements on registration:

On the title page should be: the HIGH SCHOOL name; the name of the chair conducting a subject matter; the full name of work;, group of the student;.

After the title page there should be a maintenance of work with instructions of pages. 

All pages, except the title page should be numbered.

Introduction and conclusion presence is obligatory.

Appendices (if is) go after the conclusion.

It is very useful to represent the list of philosophical concepts and terms which have met to the author of work at primary source (primary sources) perusal in the appendix. 

The list of the used literature settles down on last page.

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