additional philosophical writing advice :· https :// prezi W r i t i n g

additional philosophical writing advice :· https :// prezi W r i t i n g

Paper Assignment (2-4 pages double spaced):

1. Find an editorial, news article, or some other written medium that contains a moral argument. The topic of the argument should be related to the topics discussed in class (e.g. ethical issues in love and friendship).

2. Give a premise-conclusion formulation of a moral argument raised by the paper.

3. Identify the moral theory or principle that is employed in the argument.

4. Assess the validity and soundness of the argument. This can include evaluating the moral theory or principle it relies on or questioning the empirical premises of the argument.

5. Give your verdict. If you’ve defended the argument against obvious objections, address more sophisticated ones in the paper. If you’ve criticized the argument, consider what its defenders might say in response to your criticisms.

6. Please attach the article to your assignment and tell me where the argument resides in the article. If you have any doubts about your article, let me take a look at it.



4.0 Outstanding (A =94-100, A- =90-93)

Writing: (i) Goes in depth to show outstanding insight into the issue at hand. (ii) Offers compelling, thorough, and internally consistent philosophical arguments, with attention to possible objections. (iii) Is well-structured, reads smoothly, and contains almost no grammar / spelling errors.


3.0 Good (B+ =87-89, B =83-86, B- =80-82)

Writing: (i) Provides solid standard analysis, hitting all the main points accurately. (ii) Provides solid arguments, with occasional minor lapses in consistency or thoroughness; addresses objections but does not always recognize their full implications. (iii) Despite the occasional lapse in grammar or spelling, reads fairly smoothly on the whole and has a clear, coherent structure.


2.0 Adequate (C+ =77-79, C =73-76, C- =70-72)

Writing: (i) Demonstrates mostly accurate application/analysis, but there are a couple of significant errors, or one or two important dimensions of an issue are neglected. (ii) Supports contentious claims with arguments, but some of these have significant weaknesses or inconsistencies. (iii) Commits frequent lapses in grammar or spelling, but paper is still readable and relatively organized.


1.0 Poor (D+ =67-69, D =63-66, D- =60-62

Writing: (i) Demonstrates significant lack of comprehension of the problem/theory/text at hand, with cursory application/analysis. (ii) Little attempt to express own ideas; or makes claims unsupported by arguments. (iii) Makes frequent grammar and spelling errors and reads awkwardly.


0.0 Failing (F =59 and under)

Writing: (i) Demonstrates little to no comprehension of the theory/text in question, and/or misses the point of the problem; application/analysis is non-existent, irrelevant, or seriously flawed. (ii) Gives little evidence of independent reasoning. (iii) Makes constant grammar and spelling errors, so that it is hard for the reader to understand the author’s point.


1. Choose articles with a clear argument or arguments. It should be something that can be identified fairly quickly in the article.

2. Spend about 1 page on argument summary. The next 1.5-3 pages of the paper should be devoted to argument analysis and stating your position.

3. Write succinctly. Don’t include verbose introductions. Introduce the argument. Examine its validity and then find the strongest objections to its premises. Either defend the premises against those objections or develop the objections as forcefully as possible.

Additional Philosophical Writing Advice: