Student Resources

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New to academic writing? It can be a bit intimidating. Luckily, there are good resources in print and online that address your concerns. Start this Guide to Essay Structure. It’s important to think of essay writing as a process — the good thing about processes is that they can be broken down and tackled piecemeal. There’s no need to try to do everything at once. I also enjoy this Turabian’s Student’s Guide to Writing College Papers for more fine-grained advice on academic writing. 

Of course writing philosophy papers is somewhat different from writing other sorts of academic papers. For more on how to write a good philosophy paper, I suggest looking at the Brief Guide to Writing a Philosophy Paper. This should get you a good deal of the way to writing a good philosophy paper. If you’ve written a couple of essays and have a grasp on the basics of academic philosophical writing, I recommend this A.P. Martinich’s Philosophical Writing: An Introduction, which covers more advanced forms of argumentation. 

Now, there is more to academic writing than form – you should also be concerned about style. For a classic introduction to good academic style see this Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style

For more resources on philosophical content, check The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Both sites feature entries on historical and contemporary topics. Pro-tip: read the bibliographies. These entries include extensive bibliographies chock-full of recent, high-quality research. Once you have the name of an article you want to read, search Philpapers or through your library. If you still don’t have access to the article, just reach out to the author — most philosophers would appreciate the show of interest!