Skip to content
Home » Philosophy Research Paper Assignment

Philosophy Research Paper Assignment

  • by


You are to take ANY ONE of the paragraph topics (the questions/scenarios that you responded to for your paragraph assignments) from PARAGRAPHS 1-3 ONLY and write an extended response to any one of them, making use of the ideas from AT LEAST TWO readings/Lessons and citing TWO external sources, according to the following instructions and guidelines. You can use what you wrote in your original response to the topic however you want or you can start over, it’s up to you.

Papers are to be NO MORE THAN 600-800 WORDS and turned in right here on Canvas.  Remember to draw on arguments and examples used in class and from the readings. Make sure to cite any quotations or references to other works (IN A WAY THAT I CAN TRACE YOUR SOURCE). ANY form of plagiarism will result in an F and appropriate reporting. Don’t do it. If you’re unsure what constitutes plagiarism, look it up or refer to this web page for more information: Information on Plagiarism and Academic Honesty (Links to an external site.). If you are thinking of cheating, please just talk to me before you do it and we could work something out so that you don’t cheat.

You are to cite AT LEAST 2 SOURCES obtained from outside this course. While I want you to go out and use more sources, keep in mind that you do only need 2 external sources. This paper is NOT meant to be a complex research paper, but more of an analysis on the topic. However, this research is meant to help you in your analysis, which is part of the reason I am requiring that you do it. Wikipedia is not an ideal source, but you may use it appropriately as a source, mostly for factual descriptions. However, you should always try to approach Wikipedia as a great place to start some research, but it’s best left there. An easy place to begin is by looking at the articles cited in the course readings. You can also locate sources using the Internet (ie, Google Search, Google Scholar,, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, etc.), your own books (I wish!), or any of the numerous research engines available to you through the GWC Library ( (Links to an external site.) ), like the EBSCOHost (and other) Databases ( (Links to an external site.)), especially the Religion and Philosophy Collection and Academic Search Premier. You can even talk with real-life people! Talk with me or a librarian if you need any help finding sources.

Paper tips/guidelines: 

The most important thing to do is back up your arguments with good reasons. Create a clear thesis in your paper and make clear, reasoned arguments supporting your thesis. Try to keep your thoughts on point and just say what needs to be said – don’t add “fluff” unless it helps get your point across.

Example of a thesis statement: “I agree with Socrates that Philosophers should rule us.”  If you want to add more, then put your strongest and most important reason into it as well, such as by saying, “I agree with Socrates that Philosophers should rule us because they are so amazingly brilliant and kind.” These would be reasonable thesis statements in response to a question like, “Do you agree with Socrates that Philosophers should be rulers? Why or why not?” THEN you would go on to elaborate in good detail giving good reasons supporting your thesis statement.

Part of your grade will be based on how well you recognize the important philosophical aspects of the topic presented in light of what we have read and discussed in the course. You should first identify these aspects – doing so will help you organize your thoughts and make your arguments. When you proofread your work (and you should do this) you should always think that the person grading it will be constantly asking “Why?” and you should be sure you have answers to these “Why?” questions. If you need more help, read your paper aloud to a friend (seriously, despite how bad of an idea this sounds) – you’ll get some good feedback and notice problems for yourself.

Make sure you CONNECT all of your ideas to each other and always be sure that everything you say leads back to your thesis. If something you are saying doesn’t help you make your case, then you should probably leave it out.

Remember that this is only supposed to be a 600- to 800-word assignment (NO, works cited DO NOT count in this limit), so only present what is necessary for making your arguments. Be sure to properly cite any references. The most important things to accomplish in this paper are making your position and arguments clear and well-reasoned. While you will state your opinions, you must be sure to back them up with arguments. An argument is NOT simply stating something – you must say WHY it supports what you say it does.

Example of a very simple successful paper format: State your thesis. Say why you like it. Give your reasons that support your thesis and then support these reasons clearly using relevant sources. Keep it on point and use the best arguments and counterarguments you can. If you’re unsure how to structure or start your assignment, try this format.


 You do NOT need to restate the prompt. Dive straight into the problem (I suggest you start by identifying the key issues in the situation). Seriously, don’t waste space with a lengthy introduction. I know what the prompt says since I wrote it – only repeat the details of it if they’re necessary, but avoid summaries.

error: Content is protected !!