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Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays [Paperback]

Lewis Vaughn
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Writing Philosophy: A Guide for Canadian Students, First Canadian Edition Writing Philosophy: A Guide for Canadian Students, First Canadian Edition
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Book Description

November 10, 2005 0195179560 978-0195179569 10.11.2005
Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays is a concise, self-guided manual that covers the basics of argumentative essay writing and encourages students to master fundamental skills quickly, with minimal instructor input. Opening with an introductory chapter on how to read philosophy, the book then moves into the basics of writing summaries and analyzing arguments. It provides step-by-step instructions for each phase of the writing process, from formulating a thesis, to creating an outline, to writing a final draft, supplementing this tutorial approach with model essays, outlines, introductions, and conclusions. Skills essential to evaluating arguments, citing sources, avoiding plagiarism, detecting fallacies, and formatting final drafts are dealt with in detail. The final two chapters serve as a reference guide to common mistakes and basic skills in sentence construction, writing style, and word choice.
Employing a rulebook format similar to that of the classic Elements of Style (by Strunk, White, and Angell), Lewis Vaughn distills helpful writing advice into simple rules that students can easily remember and apply--and that instructors can refer to when reviewing student papers. These rules cover essay organization, sentence structure, documentation styles, plagiarism, grammar, usage, and more. Written in a clear and engaging style and incorporating samples of student writing, Writing Philosophy is an indispensable resource for virtually any philosophy course.

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Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays + Philosophy for the 21st Century: A Comprehensive Reader + Military Ethics: An Introduction with Case Studies
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 10.11.2005 edition (November 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195179560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195179569
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 7.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of several books, including: Philosophy Here and Now (2013); Bioethics: Principles, Issues, and Cases, Second Edition (2013); Great Philosophical Arguments (2012); Classics of Philosophy (2011); Philosophy: The Quest for Truth, Eighth Edition (2012); How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age, Sixth Edition (2011); Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning and Contemporary Issues, Third Edition (2013); Doing Philosophy: An Introduction Through Thought Experiments, Fourth Edition (2010); The Moral Life, Fourth Edition (2011); and Writing Philosophy: A Student's Guide to Writing Philosophy Essays (OUP, 2005).

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing Essays and Making Good Arguments January 27, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a really good book. I bought this book for my Intro to Philosophy class 3 months ago and did not sell it. I am going to keep this book since it's a really informative one. This is not really about Philosophy at all. It is about how to analyze/interpret text, write good essays, make good arguments and identify fallacious ones.

So this is a very practical book. It also helps format your essay and cite your sources effectively with the MLA and CMS citing guidelines.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mandatory for Philosophy Students January 29, 2010
I had to buy this for a class and I think this is one of the most useful books I have read. Philosophy teachers love to assign many papers and this made my papers much easier to write. There is a very different mindset required to write a philosophy paper from what you are used to and this helped me get rid of the normal English class fluff that I had learned to throw in. My grades on papers went up (I finally had the As that I wanted instead of the Bs I was receiving for "unneeded" information). Definitely suggest it. It's an easy read that really makes a difference.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for undergrads, not so great for grads. June 18, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book thoroughly in about 1.5 hours. It has the advantage of being small, easily digested. It does a fair job of explaining philosophy, and the importance of logic and argument. The other reviews are largely from undergrad students who were assigned this for their class. I do think this might be a good book for an intro level philosophy course, especially for someone who has just rolled out of high school and who may need to know how to write.

But this book does not have the depth for graduates. I bought this in part because I thought it would help me write a paper to submit with my application to a Ph.D programme in philosophy at a very respected university. This book, however, will not help you to write publishable philosophy journal articles. Mostly its advice is focused on keeping you and I from making (what should be) obvious errors in our writing - no slippery slope fallacies, no racism, double check your assumptions, no ad-hominem attacks, etc.

I should condition my criticism by saying the book does not really advertise itself to do what I wanted it to do. Its subtitle is "A student's guide to writing philosophy essays" - not "Becoming a master writer in the field of philosophy."
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised November 19, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was a requirement for a Philosophy class and I have to say it was a fairly easy read. Looks can be deceiving and when I saw how little the text was, I thought, "Wow... Philosophy in a compact book?" It was concise when it needed to be and it sparked a lot of further reading on my part. I did not re-sell this book after the semester was over. It's a keeper!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! July 12, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This well-written manual will be a permanent addition to my reference collection. As a 'Non-traditional Student', that is to say, an old guy who has gone back to school, I needed a guide to bring me back to academic writing (as opposed to the 'business' writing I've been doing for the past decade). This is book provides a valuable overview to the academic writing process, as well as excellent guidance to the standards and expectations that will be encountered in the liberal arts.
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