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Writing A Dissertation In Philosophy: Step-By-Step Instructions

Philosophy may be a tricky subject to write a paper on. Some say it’s the ability to make and assess arguments. It can also help a person become a better reader or writer. A dissertation in philosophy can be a large undertaking. Keep reading for some step by step directions to make the process much easier to follow.

  1. Find your topic and narrow it down sufficiently. You already have your subject, but you need to find a topic idea within it and then find a research question or problem to focus on. This is one step where students may struggle to find exactly what they want to study and write about for approximately two years of their life.
  2. Make sure you know everything that’s required. This could include but not be limited to number of pages, sections, style, etc. You will probably be required to have at least the following sections:
    • Title page
    • Abstract
    • Acknowledgements
    • Table of contents
    • Introduction
    • Methods, materials or lit review
    • Results or sources
    • Findings or discussion
    • Conclusion
    • References and appendices
  3. Make a schedule for yourself. Use a planner of some kind, as well as a calendar to put up on the wall so you see it every day. You can carry the planner around with you. Organize your time and use it wisely to get your work done. Have daily, weekly and monthly goals that all contribute towards the final end product, a completed dissertation in philosophy.
  4. Write every single day. This is a strategy used by many past successful students. If you don’t write every day, you may fall into the habit of only writing when you’re in the mood to do it. Weeks can go by before you realize you are way behind schedule and you’re not sure how to catch up.
  5. Have a quiet desk and chair you can use for your work time. The fewer distractions, the better. As you complete each step of the writing and researching process, check them off as complete. Don’t try to do your very best writing right now, it will only slow you down. Leave the proofreading and editing until the last phase.
  6. Putting everything together and then proofreading and editing is the final step to completion of your paper. Once you have gone through your written work to look for errors, ask someone else to do it as well. You don’t always see your own mistakes.

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