The following tips, advice, and resources have been compiled by UTM Philosophy’s staff and faculty. However, students may also find it useful to peruse the resources compiled by our other campus departments, UTSC Philosophy and St. George Philosophy, many of which apply to Philosophy students across the board.
The following documents are adapted from course handouts prepared by philosophy instructors. While they contain much valuable advice, they cannot and are not intended to replace the instructions you receive from your instructors in your philosophy courses.
- Writing a Philosophy Paper by Peter Horban (Simon Fraser University)
- Tips on Writing a Philosophy Paper by Douglas W. Portmore (College of Charleston)
- Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper by James Pryor (NYU)
- General Advice On Essay Writing by Ronald de Sousa
- Guide for Writing Critical Summaries by Ronald de Sousa
What is the Essay Clinic for? What will I get out of the Essay Clinic?
The UTM Philosophy Essay Clinic is an extremely useful resource for students taking Philosophy courses at UTM. The purpose of the Essay Clinic is to help you improve your academic writing, and specifically your academic writing in Philosophy courses. As such, it is focused on your success in writing Philosophy papers (and gaining other study skills that will help you in Philosophy).
The Essay Clinic will provide you with help on any aspect of writing a Philosophy paper, including doing philosophical research, understanding your assigned topic, how to structure a paper, and what sort of language to use in philosophical writing. It will also help you to evaluate and strengthen the arguments you already have, or to envision new ones.
The Essay Clinic is useful at all stages of writing, whether you are simply at the brainstorming stage or whether you have a nearly completed paper for which you would like constructive comments.
The Essay Clinic is useful for students in all stages of their Philosophy program. Students who are just beginning will learn that the process of writing a Philosophy paper is not nearly as daunting as it might seem at first. Students who have taken a few or even many Philosophy courses will benefit from the opportunity to have their arguments constructively challenged and made stronger.
How does the Essay Clinic work? Who can use it?
The Essay Clinic is run by a graduate student in the Philosophy program who has extensive experience helping students to improve their essay writing skills and who has a great enthusiasm for doing so. The Essay Clinician will make every effort to help you improve your paper and writing skills!
Anyone registered in any Philosophy course at UTM can use the Essay Clinic.
Preparing for a visit to the Essay Clinic
It is always recommended that you bring with you a copy of the assignment paper or question sheet relevant to your essay. This is not required, but it will increase the usefulness of the Essay Clinic for you by helping both you and the Essay Clinician understand the purpose and context or your assignment.