Jim Pryor shares his guidelines on how to write a philosophy paper.

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I find that making an outline is at least 80% of the work of writing a good philosophy paper. If you have a good outline, the rest of the writing process will go much more smoothly.

A TENURED PROFESSOR of philosophy at New York University, Jim Pryor has taught the subject at top universities all over the United States for quite a while, amassing over two decades of university teaching experience.

In this extensive and detailed self-published piece found on his personal website, the philosophy professor shares his guidelines on writing a philosophy paper, shedding light on the process throughout all stages of the act of it.

As an academic that specialises his research in epistemology and the philosophy of language, Pryor has written and published more than a dozen papers to a variety of journals.

The Main Takeaway

Pryor provides advice on how to write a philosophy paper, in which he states the objective of which is to defend a claim in, explicitly providing good reasons for presenting that argument.

In more detail, he covers the process in three stages, namely: the "early stages", writing a draft and lastly rewriting. Anyone hoping to learn how to write a good philosophy paper can definitely gain some knowledge from going through this set of guidelines.

Obstacles and Difficulties

Students or academics who set out to write a paper might often feel like the position they take up in the paper doesn't actually need much backing up with reasons and evidence, as it's easy to feel like it's obvious why they took that stand. Pryor, however, relates that your position can be picked apart more easily than you think, and it's thus best to expand upon the reasoning for taking your position as fully as possible.

Using an Outline

Pryor advocates outlining as a way to present the evidence that backs up your argument in a structured manner, so that the reader of the paper can wholesomely appreciate the case you're trying to make in your work.

He also says that having an outline will also allow you to have the process of writing go much more smoothly, as knowing what you'll be writing at any part of the paper is a crucial element to producing a coherent work.

As such, it could be said that the outline basically lays the core foundation for the rest of the paper. Having a detailed outline of the idea for your paper makes the rest of the task a lot more straightforward, and help you get it done with a lot more clarity.

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