Philosophy Essay Structure: Simple Intro for Beginners
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23 May, 2022

Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Essay

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Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Essay

Perhaps covering philosophical issues is one of the challenges for those used to writing about obvious things. For example, assigning the same topic like “What is the essence of life?”, a tutor will not get two identical essays. Answering philosophical questions, each student presents their thoughts from their perspective.
And if a philosophy essay structure is preserved and the writer provides philosophical arguments to support their point of view, each essay can be highly graded even if the conclusion does not correspond to the professor’s opinion.

Distinctive Features of Essays on Philosophy

Although all the essays have similar features, there are some possible differences in structuring, writing, or formatting. An essay is a type of academic writing, so it requires observation of specific rules.
However, philosophical essays require the exposition of problems and evaluation. While exposing an issue, you should explain the provided arguments. In evaluation, you share your own philosophy concerning the matter. It is obvious that you can not include your personal ideas or thoughts in exact science essays.
Moreover, you may agree or disagree with certain philosophers. Unlike other papers, writing a philosophy essay, you may not use quotes. However, you may easily paraphrase the statement and answer in your own words. If needed, you may provide in-text citations referring to a particular source.

Pre-Writing Tips

The chief point of any essay writing is theme comprehension. Philosophical negative and positive arguments should lead the reader to a logical conclusion. So, the first thing to do before diving into the philosophy writing world and becoming an expert on big philosophical questions is to explore relevant literature.
Philosophical tasks require a deep understanding of a subject, providing arguments/theories, and demonstrating critical thinking. Students should consider the logical connection of sources to the topic and carefully deliver arguments to be persuasive in their argumentative essays.

Step-by-Step Philosophy Essay Outline

A philosophy essay outline is the first thing you have to draw up for faster and more qualitative results. Look at the list-to-do to reach an excellent outcome and not go astray.

  1. Research literature. It is essential to look at the question from different angles. Do not be in a hurry while reading not to miss significant aspects or arguments. Start with well-known sources and add new tendencies.
  2. Compose your ideas. Do not neglect to make notes while studying the literature. It will help you assemble ideas and make a clear picture of the expected outcome.
  3. Arguments in the thesis. Make sure that all the opinions are represented in comprehensive statements that reveal your perspective. It is essential to inform in the introductory paragraph about the progress of your thesis. It will contribute to a better understanding of the context while reading.
  4. Demonstrate your competence. If you want to demonstrate your expert level and not confuse the reader with vague and unaugmented conclusions, logically write your statements and support them with authoritative arguments.
  5. Critical evaluation. Try to involve your critical thinking in finding all strengths and weaknesses of each theory. Find how writers supported these arguments in other papers. Do not be afraid to analyze.
  6. Philosophical answer. Philosophy essays resemble a search for truth. Answering these global philosophical questions, do not evaluate other thoughts but develop your philosophy as well.

As you may see, a philosophy essay outline is essential for acceleration and logical content presentation. Do not forget to indicate your own ideas and separate them from someone else’s vision. When presenting your arguments, be precise and straightforward. Give brief examples not to confuse your reader.

Philosophy Essay Structure

There is nothing new in philosophy essay structure. But, like any other essay, it should contain an introduction, body, and conclusion to sound like an accomplished paper.

Philosophy essay introduction

The introduction aims to give a background about the topic. After focusing on the main idea, it is worth shifting to your thesis that hints at the central research question that will be disclosed in the body. It is a part where you put a question that requires searching for an answer. Writing an exciting introduction may grab the reader’s attention to your topic and encourage further reading.

Philosophy essay body

The body is an integral part of every essay or other paper. The logical statement of main ideas with examples and proofs is crucial for body content. As a rule, there are three sections in a body.
Each section is an explanation and reasoning of a particular idea. For instance, at first, you provide a possible logical answer to the question in your introduction. Then you deliver arguments that may confirm the correctness of your statement. Finally, you should defend your point of view from the opposite. Then, making sure that your essay is appropriately composed, you may conclude your ideas.


The goal of the conclusion is to summarize your whole essay and provide the chief points and results. Then, explain the importance of your writing and add a closing sentence.
Correct organization and formatting of a philosophy essay have significant meaning for high grades and qualitative content. The length of the body depends on the scope of the paper. In addition, try not to compose too long paragraphs.
On average, 6-8 sentences would be perfect. A smooth transition from one statement to another will demonstrate your proficiency level. So, try to use linking words where it is possible.

Philosophy Essay Format

While formatting your philosophy paper, it is essential to define the citation style of your essay. There are three styles commonly used for citation: APA, MLA, and Chicago. As we have already mentioned, you may not cite in your essay but are required to use narrative in-text citations. Therefore, choosing a certain philosophy essay format is required for citing sources.
For writing essays on philosophy, the most typical styles are MLA and Chicago. However, they differ in the way they are composed. Some writing styles are more suitable for websites like Chicago, and MLA is commonly used for citing literature, philosophy, art, etc.
However, students may apply any of the three styles. The best decision is to consult your professor concerning the required style.

General Rules for Perfect Philosophy Essay

Some tips or generally accepted rules may help you improve your essay and bring it to perfection. In addition, this advice may help you to demonstrate your proficiency in academic writing. So, follow this guide to be on top.

  • Avoid direct quotations. Don’t overuse quotes. Try to paraphrase in your own words. You also have to give an explanation to terms and try to show your understanding of an issue, not repeating other words.
  • Don’t use arcane or complicated phrases. Your sentences should be short and understandable from the first time.
  • Be careful with terms. Certain terms may be used in various subjects. If you are uncertain about a particular phrase or word, it is better to look for its philosophical meaning or avoid it.
  • Use first-person pronouns. Such phrases as” I will agree/argue with…” and others will help to differentiate your personal opinion from other authors’ ones.
  • Don’t overload your essay. Never write issues that are not theme-related. By adding unneeded information, you may confuse your reader.
  • Support your thesis. Provide interesting information if it supports just written issues, not because it sounds good. Cut out materials that may be interesting but lack argumentation.
  • Avoid plagiarism. Write unique texts referring to numerous sources, but never copy somebody else’s essay. You may read them for inspiration.
  • Conclude right. FInishing your philosophy essay, don’t forget to write a brief summary of the body content. Remember, you must not add any extra information to the conclusion.
  • Proofread your essay. Read thoroughly your paper a few times after finishing. Slow proofreading will help you to find errors and make necessary adjustments.

Writing a philosophy essay of high quality requires practicing your skills. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They demonstrate room for improvement and attempt to create assignments independently.


Hopefully, you got helpful information to start your essay. Try not to fuss about writing your philosophy essay outline because a good start and streamlining are crucial for organizing thoughts. Philosophy has a broad meaning, so you have to be well-read and understand the topic.
So, philosophical matters surround us and provoke thinking,” Is it challenging to write about philosophy?”

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