First Paragraph: Introduction In the introduction, you should set up the topic of your essay in a way that engages your reader. Since the essay is an analysis of a ethical/philosophical question, your introduction should convey this; your introduction should contain your thesis (if you are unsure of how to write a thesis, read this advice on developing a thesis), should let the reader know the ethical/philosophical question you intend to analyze, and should mention the article you are writing about (the article related to the topic you choose). See this VERY helpful advice on how to write your intro/begin your essay. Second Paragraph: Summary of the article given with the topic you chose When you refer to an article, you should give the title, author, and publication. A summary should be a brief, objective overview (meaning no opinionated or evaluative comments) of the main ideas of the original. In the summary paragraph, you should periodically use author tags to indicate that you are summarizing, that you are conveying someone else’s views. So you should say things such as, “According to Jane Doe…” or “The author points out that…” Also, in a summary, use transitions to convey to the reader the order of ideas presented in the original, to connect the summary’s ideas and make it coherent, things like, “First, the author discusses the problem of….”, “Furthermore, he addresses the issue of….” “Doe concludes by pointing out that…” The summary should be written as such, meaning you are continuously referring to the text and the author. A few more things about a summary: it should not contain quotations, it should be only one paragraph, and it should accurately and succinctly give the main ideas of the original. Read this helpful advice on how to correctly summarize a text. Third Paragraph: A thorough discussion/explanation of the philosophical question to be analyzed in the essay Here are some points you should address in this paragraph: How does the topic of the article you chose relate to this question? Why is this question of concern from a moral perspective? In other words, WHY is this specifically a MORAL question? Why does it matter how this question is answered? In other words, what is at stake in this question? Why do we care about it? Why is it important for everyone, not only philosophers? What other philosophers have addressed the question? (only mention those you intend to discuss in your essay) What ethical/philosophical theories or positions might help us discuss this question? (also, only mention those you intend to discuss in your essay) Body Paragraphs The number of body paragraphs is your decision as the author, but each paragraph should thoroughly discuss the ethical/philosophical question you are analyzing. Possible ways to go about this: one or more paragraphs about how another/other philosophers have answered/written about the topic your question relates to; one or more paragraphs about a philosophical concept, problem, or theory that relates to this question and perhaps helps us look at this question. Helpful tip: often, the articles given above as topics refer to philosophers and/or philosophical theories or concepts. These might be good places to start your research. Similarly, our text refers to philosophers and theories that deal with many of the topics related to the questions on the list. You may also include a paragraph on your response to the question you are analyzing, but the majority of content in your body paragraphs should be from your research. You must include research (incorporated through quotation, paraphrase, or both) from at least 3 sources. One of these must be a philosophical journal in the DCCCD databases) if you are not sure whether the journal you want to use IS a philosophical journal, google the title and you will be able to find a description of the journal’s focus. Typically, you can tell by the title of the journal, e.g., The Journal of Philosophy, Journal of the History of Philosophy, The Review of Metaphysics. Other allowed sources are below (any sources not listed here will not count): Our textbook for the course, Problems from Philosophy The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy If you need help using the databases, you can get help in person in the library or online using the ‘Ask a Librarian’ tool. When incorporating sources into your work, they must be present so as to serve your position/argument/discussion. In other words, they should not be there just to be there; they should be incorporated AS part of the discussion/argument, in a meaningful, substantial way. Conclusion Since your essay is an analysis of an ethical/philosophical question, your conclusion should effectively bring that discussion to a close. Avoid simply repeating yourself in the conclusion. See this VERY helpful advice on how to conclude your essay
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