How to Write a Philosophy Essay

How to Write a Philosophy Essay

Mastering how to write a philosophy essay presents a difficult challenge, especially if you have no idea of how to do it. Unlike other academic papers, philosophy essays necessitate students to provide answers to the asked questions in logically structured arguments. Despite philosophy essay being a challenging task, this article will provide you with perfect guidelines for writing a philosophy essay. How to Write a Philosophy Essay:

Writing a Philosophical Essay

Before you get down to writing a philosophical essay, you should understand the specific questions you are supposed to answer. Some examples of the philosophical questions you could be asked are: is there life after death? What happens after people die?

To write an outstanding philosophical essay. You first need to practice the following;

  • Formulate answers to the philosophical questions
  • Practice critical arguments on the topics
  • Understand several pertinent philosophical concepts and theories, and questions as employed by other philosophers.

Writing a philosophy essay is a critical step in the study of philosophy. Before you begin writing a paper, you should first familiarize yourself with the assignment, go through the questions keenly, and understand philosophical terms such as describe, explain, or compare.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

What is a Thesis Statement?

Any typical reader will consciously or subconsciously go through an essay to identify one or two sentences explaining what the writer will discuss in the rest of the paragraphs. These two or one sentences explain the direction in which the entire text is to follow.

Why Should Your philosophy Essay have a Thesis Statement?

  • To offer the reader a map of what you intend to talk about
  • To help structure and build your arguments
  • To try out the ideas by condensing them in a few sentences.

The rule of the thumb is to ensure that your thesis statement matches all if not all of the above functions.

Regardless of how intricate it might seem, each assignment can always be condensed to a single question or two. The first step will be to formulate a single and specific question about your title.  For instance, if your task is to ‘ explain the benefits of making face masks mandatory in primary schools”, you can restructure questions like “ what are the benefits of making use of the face masks mandatory in primary school?”

Next, after selecting the question you seek to answer, compose one or two answers to the questions. These answers will be a thesis statement for the philosophical essay.

Pre-writing techniques

Ensure that you have read and understood all the provided instructions carefully. Even if you have already gone through the instructions before, it is always good to go through them at least once more.

Dedicate time to think about the provided questions. This way, you will only write about arguments related to the asked questions. If you don’t understand any part of the instructions, ask for help.

Writing a Philosophy Essay

Your philosophy essay depends on the provided question. You need first to acknowledge what you are asked of. Then you need to make sure their answers are complete. If the questions have several parts, ensure you address them.

Also, ensure that you only handle the relevant issues and avoid any other issues. The lecturer will mark your philosophical essay as per the questions they asked. No matter how immaculate and outstanding your essay might seem, if it doesn’t answer the question, you have failed the unit.

Philosophy essays employ evaluation and exposition

In the expository section of your paper, you should articulate the argument in question. You should ensure that your argument is as vivid and clear as possible.  The evaluation section is a chance to perfect your philosophy.

Whether you agree or disagree with the philosopher’s conclusion is not enough. You need to dissect their reasoning. You need to consider things such as: what are the weakest points on their premises, are there ways that can boost the arguments of the premises, and what criticism can be raised on the premises? Does the argument successfully get into the preferred bottom line?

Whenever you are writing, keep your intended audience in mind. Do not write as if you are communicating with one person. Write as if you are speaking to a knowledgeable person on the subject, and you need to convince them otherwise. If you use a term that is not common knowledge, always define it.

Most philosophical terminologies are quite repetitive

Do not fret about using one term many times, particularly if it is a critical term in your argument. Also, do not use intricate terms just to reuse them. Ditch the thesaurus. Some names in philosophy are used differently from what the thesaurus will define them.

Avoid using quotes

Quotes are always someone else’s words, and paragraphs of texts lined up together do not equal a well-written philosophical essay. The key reason to quote a text is to help you swiftly discuss what the text talks about and make it easier for the reader. Quotations, therefore, should not depend on answering the questions; instead, use your own words.

You are welcome to use textual references whenever you make an argument about what is said in the text and provide a particular reference to validate your arguments.

Edit and proofread your philosophical essay

Write your essay until you feel like you have reached the page limit. Confine your paper to meet the page limit and not the maximum. Normally, you can end up with a very long first draft. Later on, you will go through your work, go through your paper, and remove all the unnecessary paragraphs. For the lengthy sentences, cut them down to clear and concise sentences. You will now be able to articulate the points that are crucial clearly.

Avoid writing your paper from start to finish in one sitting. You can achieve this by avoiding doing your philosophical essays on the last day. Give yourself ample time to create the first draft and come back a day later or so. It is next to impossible to write an outstanding paper in one sitting.

How to write an introduction in a philosophy essay

Do not start your philosophical essay with an obvious opening statement. Instead, inform the reader what your paper will discuss and your main thesis statement. Remember that there is a clear difference between informing the reader what your paper is talking about and what your main thesis will talk about.

A pro tip is to write your introduction after writing the rest of the paper. When you are done writing your paper, you will always have a better idea of what you will talk about in your essay.

How to write a conclusion in a philosophy essay

The conclusion of a philosophical essay does not necessarily mean that you need to summarize your findings. You already have listed your arguments, and your reader does not need to hear your arguments once more. Be creative, and find an interesting way of wrapping up your essay. Sometimes you can use your conclusion to set out problems that still exist.

Try to be as honest as possible. Do not try to conclude more than you have shown in the preceding paragraphs.

Check for Clarity

The key to virtue in how to write a philosophy essay is clarity. When you go through each sentence of your draft. You need to ask yourself. Have I expressed that point clearly? Your sentences should be direct, clear, simple, and straight.

When you go through your philosophical essay, check to see if it is logically organized. When would the paragraph be more perfect than the other? Where would it sound more authentic and professional? In most cases, your first draft will always need some overhaul and restructuring to make it more logical. Don’t forget to look for more ways in which you can improve your philosophical paper. You can add more examples and remove odd phrases, among others.

Carefully proofread your paper

Grammatical and spelling mistakes can distract readers and deflect their attention to something else.  A reader might also think that you are a quack since you don’t care about what you post and which might be fake in this case.

In most cases, the fine line between mediocre and excellent papers is the quality of the arguments and the level of research involved. A high-quality philosophical paper does not make obvious errors or lack core materials. It communicates most of its ideas as clearly and succinctly as possible.

You should always find better ways to articulate your main points clearly. Example and philosophical essay go hand in hand. Use relevant examples for both persuasive and illustrative purposes.

The Challenges of Philosophical Writing

The objective of your philosophy class assignments is to get you to practice philosophy. But what is a philosophy, and how should it be practiced? The response is complex. Usually, philosophers are inspired by what can be classified as  “tricky questions,” such as does free will exist? “How should we live? What is the nature of truth? ” How do we acquire knowledge?

While philosophers do not agree on the spectrum of valid philosophical issues or the correct procedures for answering them, they agree that it is not a philosophy to express one’s ideas on such sensitive topics simply.

Instead, philosophers stress the technique of first gaining clarity regarding the precise issue posed and then delivering answers supported by clear, logically ordered arguments. An ideal philosophical argument should bring the reader via transparent, logical processes from premises that are true to a not evident conclusion. A negative argument is an objection that attempts to illustrate that a claim, theory, or argument is false; if it is successful, it is said to refute the claim, theory, or argument.

A positive argument attempts to defend a proposition or idea, such as the notion that true free will exists or the view that humans should never consume animals. Positive philosophical arguments about the tricky questions that are perfect are extremely difficult to develop, and philosophers interested in formulating or evaluating such arguments typically find up debating other issues that may initially appear tedious or fabricated. These inquiries inspire philosophers because, upon inquiry, they appear to be logically related to the tricky questions and give light to them.

Avoid These Mistakes in Your Philosophy Essay

Long introductions

In a philosophical essay, the introduction has no impact on the reader whatsoever. You don’t have to explain to your reader how your topic is crucial and has been discussed by several philosophers. Make your introduction as brief as possible. In some cases, your instructor might recommend that you don’t include an introduction. Jump straight into the meat of your philosophical essay.

Long and complex quotes

Poorly skilled writers rely heavily on quotations and paraphrases. A direct quote should be used only when it is vital to prove another writer’s exact word choice. Even paraphrasing should be employed sparingly. It is, after all, your paper. Your tutor is concerned with your thought processes. Keep this in mind, especially if your essay topic demands you to evaluate the viewpoints of others critically.

Being indecisive

Do not present multiple perspectives in your paper before concluding that you lack the expertise to resolve the issue. Particularly, avoid concluding by stating that philosophers are still arguing on this question for as long as humans have been keeping records and that you cannot be expected to answer the dispute in a few brief pages.

Your instructor is aware of this. However, you are expected to take a stance based on the provided argument(s) appraisal. Dare to take a risk. When your argument is persuasive, it will support itself.


Generally, good philosophical writing has an aura of straightforward dignity. Your topic is not amusing. No author whose work you have been requested to read is an idiot. (If you believe they are, you have not comprehended them.) Derogatory terms are wrong and could never serve as a substitute for thorough arguments.

It begs the question

You are guilty of asking the question on a particular issue if you assume the reality of whatever you are attempting to demonstrate in the process of arguing for it. Here is a quick illustration. If Joseph argues that abortion is immoral because it equates to murder, he is begging the question. Joseph assumes a particular position on the moral status of abortion, which is expressed by the argument’s conclusion. Observe that the person who opposes the conclusion – that abortion is morally wrong – will not accept Joseph’s premise that abortion is equivalent to murder since murder is by default morally evil.

When arguing against other perspectives, it is crucial to remember that asserting that your opponents’ broad conclusions are erroneous is insufficient evidence of their error. Neither will the assertion that at least one of their premises is untrue to suffice. You must illustrate these ideas without presuming that your position is valid.

Tips on how to write a philosophy essay

Here are quick tips on how to write a philosophy essay.

Back your claim

Remember that your reader is continually wondering why they should accept something. If you assume that they are at least moderately suspicious of most of your statements, you will have a greater chance of crafting a persuasive paper. The majority of beginner philosophy essay attempts fail at this point. If there is reason to believe that your critics will not accept your arguments, you should provide supporting evidence.

Use the proper language

After creating your outline, you must choose the precise phrases to express your message to the reader. A dictionary is nearly required here. Do not opt for a word that (you believe) nearly conveys the intended meaning. Remember that “disinterested” is not synonymous with “uninterested,” “infer” is not synonymous with “imply,” and “reference” is not synonymous with “illusion” or “allusion.” Ensure that you can correctly utilize “its” and “it’s.”

Observe that words like “hence,” “therefore,” “since,” and “consequently” are powerful logical connectives. When you employ such expressions, you declare that specific logical connections exist between the assertions. You better be correct. Check the spelling of any word you are unsure about. There is no justification for including “existence” in any philosophy essay.

Edit with confidence

There is no single writer whose initial draft of a paper could not be greatly enhanced via rewriting. The key to good writing is thorough revision. It will not suffice to duplicate the same thing simply.

Good drafts are almost always short – not because concepts were omitted, but because words were eliminated as ideas were clarified. Every unnecessary phrase merely serves to add clutter. There is a lot of work that goes into writing clear sentences. They are the product of rigorous editing.

Organize meticulously

Before you begin writing, create an outline of your argument. There should be a logical succession of ideas that is easy to follow for the reader. Though your paper is well-organized, the reader will feel that they are following a natural progression. If you are disorganized in your essay, the reader will be put off.

Following you will require significant effort, and they may conclude that it is not worthwhile. It is advisable to let your outline sit for a few hours before writing the first draft. Does it still appear to have a natural flow when you revisit it? If not, even the finest literature in the world will not be sufficient to make it effective.

Give credit

When quoting or paraphrasing, you must always provide a citation. Express your obligation, whether for individual phrases, broad concepts, or a particular line of argumentation. Plagiarism is the showcasing of another author’s words, ideas, or arguments as one’s own.

Plagiarism is unethical and against the rules of academic institutions. It can endanger or perhaps end your academic career. Why take that chance when your paper is enhanced (it appears better, not weaker) if you properly attribute sources? Suitably citing the works of others demonstrates familiarity with some of the pertinent literature on the topic.

Prepare for objections

If your position is debatable, there are likely reasons why some individuals have rejected it. Such arguments amount to criticisms of your position. Consider one or two of the most compelling objections and describe how you can dispute them to demonstrate the strength of your viewpoint. This amounts to dismissing the reasons for rejecting your case and is akin to snatching your opponents’ ammunition before they can fire at you.

The key is to anticipate your detractors’ concerns if you did not neutralize them beforehand. The second difficulty is addressing the criticisms you have raised. You must explain that these critiques miss the mark concerning your case or that they are flawed in some way despite their plausibility. This fascinating style of argumentation requires significant practice and exposure to philosophical writing, but it is well worth the effort.

Argumentative Philosophy Essay Headings

  • A scientific approach to religion.
  • The theory of feminine dress and how it affects the concept of masculinity.
  • The Nihilist philosophy is a path to damnation.
  • A philosophical perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of competition in sports.
  • Idealism is difficult to attain in actual life.
  • Being cruel to younger siblings constitutes nurture.
  • The foundations of utilitarianism are violence and social rejection.
  • The reasons for religious conflicts.
  • Is limitation a technique for producing forbidden fruit?
  • What philosophical beliefs motivate people to gamble?

Ethics Argumentative Essay Headings

  • Is science suitable or contradictory to religion? (Think particularly of origin and evolution)
  • The findings of this study indicate that innate abilities significantly predict educational performance. Should this have an impact on education? Does this justify the existence of a class system?
  • Should suicide be legal?
  • Explain moral facts?
  • Do moral standards persecute people? Can individuals violate moral standards for the greater good? Examine the theories of Machiavelli with criticism.
  • Are people by nature good or evil?
  • Is there a correlation between morality and education?
  • Defend or oppose psychological and ethical egoism.
  • Defend or oppose utilitarianism.
  • Are values culturally or societally relative?
  • Does belief in God alter an individual?
  • Which theory about the causes of human behavior is the most persuasive?
  • Should philosophers be asked to evaluate the future of technological advancement?
  • Is abortion ethically acceptable?
  • Does willpower exist? Should the concept of free will be examined again?
  • Should human genetic engineering be legal?

Exceptional Philosophy essay headings

Below are some exceptional philosophy essay topics:

  • Should the state consider the policy’s moral implications when adopting it? Which should take precedence: morality or financial advantages?
  • Assessment of harmful and violent content? Should it be taken off the Internet? Who decides what content constitutes offensiveness?
  • Would white Americans be held accountable for the disadvantages faced by black Americans?
  • Is it morally acceptable to use embryos in genetic engineering research?
  • Should patriotism be considered a virtue?
  • Is it ethical to produce “designer babies”?
  • Should people face a legal obligation for failing on the moral rules?
  • Is it moral to invest in pet surgeries when people in underdeveloped nations lack access to basic health care?
  • Is the usage of animal fur and skin morally acceptable? Should the entire fur industry be regulated or banned?

Best Philosophical essay topics

  • Is cloning morally justifiable?
  • What Does Being Alone Mean to You?
  • Is Ethics Linked to a Person’s Educational Background?
  • Is it possible to live our lives multiple times?
  • How Would You Describe Happiness?
  • Is it possible to live without laws and regulations in our world?
  • What is Your Definition of Love?
  • Do you concur that life is difficult?
  • Do humans always pursue their greatest desires?
  • Do you believe in life after death? Should abortion be legalized?
  • Could Social Media Influence Our Morality?
  • Do People Share the Same Definition of Right and Wrong?
  • Is it possible for a person to increase his IQ?
  • Are humans inherently good or evil?
  • Do you concur that the most straightforward explanation is the best?
  • Does a Person Choose Suffering?
  • Are Parents Responsible for Their Children’s Behavior?
  • Does Everyone Possess Positive and Negative Traits?
  • Is It Possible for a Society to Achieve Peace?
  • Do you concur that a person should have the right to commit suicide?
  • Exists a Perfect World?
  • Is It Right to Maintain Zoos and Circuses?
  • Are You of the Opinion That Euthanasia Should Be Legalized?
  • Can Happiness Only Be Obtained Through Moral Conduct?
  • Can the Present Leaders Have a Positive or Negative Impact on the Youth?
  • Consider morality subjectivity or objectivity?
  • Is It Possible to Accomplish Happiness Without a Family?
  • Why Do Some People Experience Unhappiness?
  • What Is Your Life’s Purpose?
  • Why Are They Dying?
  • Is There Inner Beauty?
  • Should We Allow the Convict to Choose Between the Death Penalty and Life Imprisonment?
  • What Are the Common Reasons for Lying?
  • Do You Have Faith in the Supernatural?

The Bottom Line

Congratulation on reaching the end of this blog. You are now an expert on how to write a philosophy essay.  You only need to understand the questions and answer exactly what you should deliver.  Keep in mind that a philosophical essay is not just any typical essay. You must provide your answers in logically structured arguments. And if you still find it challenging to write a philosophical essay. You can always get help from experts. Simply place your order now.

Related Posts: