have to write a philosophy paper for class has to be 1300 words max

As indicated in the syllabus, this paper would ideally run between 800 and 1000 words, though it can be (a bit) longer (no more than 1300 words). In your paper, you should focus on one or two authors/texts we studied. In addition, you should discuss one idea or theme related to this/these author(s)/text(s), or, at most, two closely related topics (e.g. Skepticism in Descartes or Skepticism in Montaigne’s Apology vs. Descartes’ skepticism in the Meditations or the Skepticism and the aims of First Philosophy in Descartes’ Meditations; these would all be acceptable prompts). Additionally, your paper should lay out explicitly in the first paragraph what your question is (e.g. “In this paper, I will concentrate on discussing the connection between the aims of First Philosophy in Descartes’ Meditations and his skeptical method of radical doubt). In the introduction you should also state what your own position is regarding the idea/text/author you will discuss (e.g. “As I will demonstrate, Descartes’ aims for first philosophy require him to pursue the project of radical doubt. I will show how in the following ways…”). The bulk of your paper, that is, the body of your paper should concentrate on arguing the case you made in your introduction, providing evidence that your claim is supported by the text itself. This means you must provide textual evidence in the form of citations or paraphrases from the texts you are writing about. Even if you paraphrase, you must provide the citation from the book. If you are writing about Descartes, refer to the numbers running beside the paragraphs themselves, and not the page number on the upper right hand corner of the page itself; these are the “page” or paragraph numbers we use commonly in the Descartes scholarship. If you’re writing on the Enchiridion, refer to the chapter of the Enchiridion you’re referring to; if you’re also writing on the Discourses refer to the actual page number. If you’re writing on the Apology for Raymond Sebond, please refer to the page number of the text you’re citing or paraphrasing. If you’re writing on Pascal’s Pensées, refer to the text fragment and not the page number. You should refer to the text fragment by indicating the fragment number after a capital letter “S” (e.g. Pascal, Pensées, S680). If you’re writing on the Meno, refer to the paragraph number and letter (e.g. Plato, Meno, 90b). Please do not consult or refer to secondary literature or any outside sources beyond those which we looked at in class.

In your conclusion, that is, the final paragraph of your paper, you should be able to restate what you promised to do in your introduction by indicating that you have done it. Refer to the ways in which the body of your paper successfully addressed the question or issue that, in the introduction of your paper, you stated your paper would deal with.


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