How to use this guide
Welcome to the research guide for Philosophy. The menu on the left explains what is in this guide. This site is continuously updated by Yolanda Merrill, your librarian for the Humanities. Feel free to leave comments and rate this guide.
A Philosophy paper makes a clear, concise, simple statement that you must defend. This statement, also known as a thesis, poses the writer's central argument.
If you state that "X is Y," you must also explain why you believe "X is Y" (See tips on effective language.)
"Socrates believes X; however, from the following discussion I..."
"Socrates believes X. The evidence for this claim is..."
It is perfectly acceptable to state one's opinion--a good thesis is one that takes advantage of the author's interests and beliefs--but that opinion should be reinforced with strong textual support. Be careful to choose a thesis that is both engaging and defensible.
(from the U of Richmond)
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