You can divide your paper into three main sections: For the introduction section, you will need to do two things: introduce your topic and provide a thesis statement.Typically, these two tasks should be accomplished using only one paragraph for a short paper, but can be longer for longer papers. The introductory paragraph(s) should briefly orient the reader to the topic and provide a conceptual map of the rest of the paper. Make sure your thesis statement is clear, specific, declarative, and on-topic.
Note that what I provide here are only If you need help figuring out how to write an essay in philosophy specifically and at the college level, see my “Writing in Philosophy.” If you want to know how I evaluate students on a paper assignment, see my “Grading Rubric for Paper Assignments.” The first thing to notice is that the basic form of an essay is quite logical.
Let’s look at the standard structure of an essay starting with the most general.
A good way to tie all the points together throughout the body section is to have them all clearly state how they support the thesis statement.
That way it is obvious that all of your paragraphs tie together.
Although writing an essay is daunting for many people, it can be pretty straight-forward.
This page is a general recipe for constructing an essay, not just in philosophy, but in most other humanities disciplines (such as English, History, Religious Studies, etc.) and perhaps the social sciences.The body section should consist of at least several paragraphs where you will provide support for your thesis statement in the form of reasons, evidence, arguments, justification, and so on.That is, you have something you want to communicate or argue for (your thesis) and here is your chance to explain it in detail, support it, and defend it.You should be able to provide the thesis statement in one or two sentences (most instructors prefer one, concise sentence) for a fairly short paper (about 1-8 pages).It is usually best stated at the end of your introduction section (the end of the first paragraph if your introduction section is only a single paragraph in length).You won’t be able to write much if you don’t have anything to put on the page.Think about your paper topic as soon as you get the paper assignment prompt from your instructor. A great way is to discuss the issue with your instructor or teaching assistant.You can even try talking about it to a friend or family member. For most people, writing their rough ideas down as rough drafts helps them see their ideas more clearly than even thinking about them.Then take a break from the essay (this usually requires at least a half, if not full, day).Each paragraph in the body section should have a topic sentence and, perhaps, a transition sentence.The topic sentence is the particular point you are trying to make in the paragraph. It should usually be the first sentence of the paragraph, though in some cases it is appropriate to be the second sentence.