This research paper will be the culmination of the research you proposed in week 4. Be sure you have followed the instructions below; Writing a philosophy paper and Directions for how to format your paper as an argument.
Writing a philosophy paper:
One of the first points to be clear about is that a philosophical essay is quite different from an essay in most other subjects. That is because it is neither a research paper nor an exercise in literary self-expression. It is not a report of what various scholars have had to say on a particular topic. It does not present the latest findings of tests or experiments. And it does not present your personal feelings or impressions. Instead, it is a reasoned defense of a thesis. What does that mean?
Above all, it means that there must be a specific point that you are trying to establish – something that you are trying to convince the reader to accept – together with grounds or justification for its acceptance.
Before you start to write your paper, you should be able to state exactly what it is that you are trying to show. This is harder than it sounds. It simply will not do to have a rough idea of what you want to establish. A rough idea is usually one that is not well worked out, not clearly expressed, and as a result, not likely to be understood. Whether you actually do it in your paper or not, you should be able to state in a single short sentence precisely what you want to prove. If you cannot formulate your thesis this way, odds are you are not clear enough about it.
Directions for how to format your paper as an argument:
As stated above, THIS IS NOT A REPORT. The whole paper is one big argument. It begins with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a concise assertion of your point of view (your judgment or opinion) on an issue. In other words, you are taking a stand, pro or con, and arguing from that perspective. In the case of this paper, your thesis will be to assert that the particular scientific theory you chose is the best theory. Defend that theory by giving reasons, and then backing those reasons up with supporting evidence. That means that you’ll have to do the research to discover how that particular scientist confirmed their theory. Because you agree with him/her, it is your thesis, too.
For example, your thesis statement might be; “The heliocentric theory best explains the movements of the planets in the solar system.” You would then lay out the reasons why the paradigm shift away from the old geocentric theory was appropriate and then give supporting evidence. Your research on how Copernicus discovered the heliocentric theory, and any modern-day supporting evidence, would comprise the body of your paper.
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