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Syllabus & Paper Guidelines

Paper Outline

This paper should be 8-10 pages in length, and you should cite 8-10 resources. The Paper can be written and cited in the style of your choice, as long as you are consistent.

Possible strategies for writing the paper include the following:

1. A critical analysis (outline of the argument with explanation of crucial terms and an evaluation - what's good, what's bad) of an article, book, position, or argument of a particular person. This is usually the easiest to do.

2. Critically compare and contrast two authors on a topic. This is like (1) except more complicated since you are working with two authors. The goal of your paper should be to find out what's the best thinking on the topic.

3. Defend one author against one or several criticisms made by another author. You might, for instance, defend Rolston against Rollin (or Rollin against Rolston), or deep ecology against Bookchin's criticisms.

4. Chose a topic and present an analysis and argument of your own. This is the most difficult since it requires creativity and lots more research into what others have said on the topic.


Helpful books on writing philosophy papers are:

Martinich, A. P. (1989). Philosophical writing: An introduction. Englewood Cliff, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Woodhouse, M. B. (1994). A preface to philosophy. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Subject Guide

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Dieter Ullrich
406 Camden-Carroll Library