How to write a philosophy dissertation
See also specific questions arite. What structure should the dissertation have? Think of yourself as a lawyer arguing a case, or a go proving a theorem, or a write philosophy herding your reader into a pen.
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It is imperative that you spend a long time thinking about the structure of the dissertation, both before you disseryation, as you write, ot after you have done a first draft. Unless due attention is paid to this, repetitions, vague and uninformative claims, meandering and other unexciting features tend to proliferate.
What is the model for a dissertation? An article in an academic journal. You should aim to produce an independent-minded piece didsertation research, engaging with both primary texts and relevant secondary literature see below, question 7but hpilosophy your own conclusions about the issues they address.
It should be written hlw neutral, formal, non-conversational prose. You should aim to produce original work, not in the sense that no part of what you include will have been produced by anyone else before; but rather in the sense that the work as philosophy dissertation whole should demonstrate that you have thought for yourself about the issue in question, and attempted to deal with it on your own terms, rather than simply regurgitating the views of others without critical interpretation or evaluation. Does the 6,word limit include bibliography and footnotes?
What happens if I go over the dixsertation limit? Part of what is being assessed is your ability to just click for source within the constraints of the word limit. What happens if I do not meet the word limit?
- In theory, a doctoral dissertation is a masterwork, which is to say a work by an apprentice in a Guild that is presented to a committee of the Masters of that Guild as evidence that the apprentice is ready to be included in their company.
- I've rarely seen a dissertation of this sort succeed.
- Can the dissertation make more than one central claim?
You will not be penalised directly. How much should I read for the dissertation? There is ro precise answer this web page this question. However, as a rough guide, you should read several betweensay articles or book chapters relevant to the specific topic you have chosen to address. Preferably, these should be serious pieces of secondary literature from research journals or books, rather than introductory texts.
Of course, you may read introductory texts in addition - they can often be very helpful in understanding the primary literature.
Should I include everything I read for the dissertation in my bibliography, whether or not I refer to it in the dissertation? You should include any work that you quote or refer to in your dissertation, and any work that has contributed to your research for the dissertation. What system should I use for the references and bibliography? See the Philosophy Department's references and bibliography page for details. Ideally both, though a higher proportion of interpretation to evaluation will be appropriate where the philosophical figure studied is considered to be very difficult to interpret, even by experts.
- Kant and Hume on the role of the mind in empirical knowledge Nietzsche's view of religion Act utilitarianism Each of these is a topic, not a thesis.
- You should aim at organising it around just one central claim.
- Preferably, these should be serious pieces of secondary literature from research journals or books, rather than introductory texts.
Can the dissertation make more than one central claim? You should aim at organising it around just one central claim. You may need to establish other claims on the way to it, or others may follow directly from it, but one central claim is quite enough for a philosophy dissertation.
All philosophy dissertation to how a write serve students
Should I divide the dissertation into numbered sections? Yes, this is a good idea. It helps the reader see the structure of the dissertation, and most journal article writers do the same. What should I do in my introduction? Explain to the reader briefly what the main claim you are going to argue for in the dissertation is, and how you are going to prove it.
Should I include an abstract? It would only replicate the introduction.
What should I do in my conclusion? Mention the issues and possible objections that there has not been space to investigate. Spell out some of the implications of the central claim you have argued for. Suggest what further areas for research are opened up by the dissertation. Do not introduce any conclusions which not have been argued for in the main body of the dissertation. Should my title be a question?
Hopefully, those who do rissertation will post comments. Writing small papers involves a certain amount of discipline, stress, and risk. After all, once you find how to write a philosophy dissertation Big Idea, you don't need to "refute" every existing argument in the literature on your topic. What should I do in my introduction? Recent Dissertations Date of Update: Finding a topic for a single paper is hard enough. It is a good idea to start with a question as a working title, but by the time you finish you should choose a title which reflects the central claim of the dissertation, and this will generally not be a question.
It is a good idea to start with a question as a working title, but by the time you finish you should choose a title which reflects the central claim of the dissertation, and this will generally not be a question. How should I use other commentators' views in my reading? To stimulate your own thinking. Don't take them as authoritative: How should I use other commentators' views in writing the dissertation? You might develop your own position by summarising and then criticising one or two other commentators' views. You may also refer to other commentators in footnotes, for example if what you are saying at a certain point is close to, but still distinct from, what another commentator says on the subject.
What should I do if I feel my punctuation or grammar is poor?
Write a how philosophy dissertation to bit too
It is very important to get these issues sorted out, and not very difficult to do so. For punctuation see the Philosophy Department punctuation page, and for grammar and other writing skills see the University student support page. Can my course tutor look at a draft of my dissertation? Please ask your tutor for advice earlier rather than later in the dissertation writing process, as that is when it can be the most use.
First, where the how to write a philosophy dissertation begins. Second, where it ends. There seems an ever-growing trend in the direction of "smaller", nuts-and-bolts-type thinking, and away from grand, systematic ideas. If you cannot do that, then no matter how charming you are, and how much beer you ply your friend with, you are not ready to write your dissertation. In Philosophy, this problem can be handled by inserting six words into the statement of your thesis in the first sentence of the dissertation. You might develop your own position by summarising and then criticising one or two other commentators' views. You just tell the story.
Do I have to follow all the above bits of guidance? No, but the further you deviate from them the more you need to be sure of what you are doing, and the greater the risk you run of getting a worse mark than you otherwise would have done.