Concept from Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, or Arendt
Philosophy Essay Guidelines
Must be formatted in Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS/CMS).
Cover page including title, course name and section, student name, semester (does not count toward overall pages).
Bibliography or works cited as separate page (does not count toward overall pages).
Three scholarly sources must be used including:
At least one primary text from the philosopher under discussion.
At least two secondary, scholarly books.
Journal articles may not be used as secondary sources—only scholarly books.
Online books may be used only if they are PDFs and only if they include original
Secondary sources must be written by a scholar affiliated with a university or
Photocopies of pages of all referenced quotations must be included with your final essay, stapled together separately. (Only the page containing the specific quotation is required.)
Websites may not be used except for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP)–(both are peer-reviewed). These websites do not count toward your three scholarly sources.
If websites other that the above mentioned are used (i.e. Wikipedia, etc.) the essay will receive a failing grade.
Quotations must be referenced with footnotes. No in-text reference citations are permitted. No endnote reference citations permitted.
Essays must be submitted in hard copy format.
Pick one philosopher we have discussed this semester (i.e. Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, Arendt) and one concept, argument, or theory related to the philosopher you have chosen.
Write a short essay explaining the philosopher’s understanding of the concept, argument, or theory as if you were writing a short encyclopedia article.
This is not an argumentative essay, it is explanatory, demonstrating knowledge of the topic and of primary and secondary sources.
There should be at least two short quotations (no more than two sentences) per page.
There should be at least three direct quotations from the primary text in the overall essay.
These primary quotations should relate directly to the topic at hand.
Essays should be written in the third person.
No personal opinion should be given about the topic under discussion.
Explain the key aspects of the topic by referring to the philosopher’s primary text, and by quoting directly from this and the secondary material.
If you decide to include counter arguments, use other well-known philosophers’
counter arguments, not your own counterarguments. For example, Bertrand Russell has numerous interesting counterarguments directed at many philosophers in his History of Western Philosophy. Counter Arguments should not take up more than one page of the overall essay.