How to Write a Philosophy Essay

Philosophy essays are often very difficult to write because they require lots of organization. Still, you should look upon the task as a very rewarding one since this type of essay will teach you how to be a better thinker.

Really, a philosophical essay is about argumentation. Essay types can be misleading because there is always at least some overlap. The point is that doing philosophy is mostly about critical thinking and argumentative writing.

Let’s remember the golden rule: you need to follow your instructor’s guidelines very closely when writing an essay. That rule definitely applies to philosophy essays.

Your first question should be – “What is my argument?”

I can almost guarantee you one thing: your professor is going to evaluate your writing in terms of your ability to clarify and support your argumentative position. So make it clear and obvious.

If your philosophy essay assignment is typical, your instructor probably gave very clear instructions on how to write it. Philosophers are pretty picky about paper organization, format, and layout, so follow those rules to the letter.

Here’s a simple model you can use if your instructor did not provide instructions:

  1. Introduce the Issue
  2. State Your Argument
  3. Discuss Other Viewpoints
  4. Provide Your Rebuttal
  5. Conclude the Issue

Again, this is very general, but it should help you organize your thoughts. Since clarity is incredibly important in philosophy writing, you’ll really need to steer clear of fuzzy thinking in your essay (a.k.a. “B.S.”). This is definitely NOT a good way to develop your paper.