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Writing Centre Resource Guide



The focus on reasoned argumentation distinguishes writing in philosophy from other types of academic writing. This page offers a variety of resources for addressing the most common forms of philosophical writing: argumentative essays, in which the writer argues a particular claim or opinion; exegetical essays, in which the writer summarizes another author's argument; or response essays, in which the writer evaluates or responds to another author's argument.

Material on this page contributed by Adam Auch, PhD, Katie Stockdale, and Christine Cooper

Writing Argumentative Papers in Philosophy

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Example Philosophy Paper

This essay, "On Locke's Theory of Ideas" by Christine Cooper, serves as an example of a response essay. The essay begins with an extended example, an illustration of the problem. The writer then briefly summarizes Locke's position. Next, the writer offers a critique and evidence for her objection. Finally, the writer concludes by summarizing Locke's view and offering a modification of his position.

Example Philosophy Paper

This paper, written by Katie Stockdale, provides an example of an argumentative essay, in which the writer argues a particular claim or opinion. Like most philosophy papers, however, the writer incorporates elements of the other essay types. In summarizing Victor Cosculluela's points she presents exegetical passages, and in considering Cosculluela's argument she incorporates a responsive element.