If you look at most major works in Philosophy, you will find a broad selection of essays on all sorts of topics. One example would be An Essay on Criticism and Essays in Various philosophical Areas. These vary widely in style and length of about 80 pages to nearly three hundred pages. But do they all talk about the same philosophy, and are those really “essays?”
There’s no reason to think of yourself as a philosopher if you don’t write Philosophy textbooks. In fact there’s reason to think of yourself as a philosopher if you can’t write an essay of less than one page. Some topics are much simpler to discuss than others, and thus require more or less specialized writing. For instance, the topic of Intelligent Design is not controversial, but we still have different opinions on it. Yet those involved in this debate know enough about it to write an intelligent piece that is coherent and accurate.
There are, however, many great essays on a wide variety of philosophy topics that don’t get enough attention. A good place to start is with an overview of the entire essay. First, write a general introduction. Then give a short description of your topic. Do not use technical language unless it is absolutely necessary, and don’t make yourself sound too expert. Be honest, as a student you know little about your topic, so make yourself sound knowledgeable by using common and easy-to-pronounce words.
Give a good summary of what you have written in your introduction. Review the topic and explain its main arguments. Expand on those main arguments to reach your conclusion. Repeat these points a few times, drawing attention to any additional research that you’ve done that supports your main point. Write a conclusion regarding your topic, summing up all the main points. Make sure that you also include a page or two discussing any further issues that may arise from your thorough review.
There are many ways to approach and organize your essay. The most important part of writing a philosophy essay is thinking of the big picture. This will allow you to see the whole idea in a new light, as well as bringing fresh insights and new ideas into the philosophical discussions that you have begun. If you only look at one side of the coin, you may miss important details that will cast you in a completely new light regarding the issues raised in your essay.
One way to bring fresh ideas to the table when you write an essay on philosophy is to re-read what you’ve read throughout the years. Take a look at some of your older works to get some of your thoughts on the same issues fresh in your mind. This will give you a chance to look at the ideas in a different way and consider them anew. It will enable you to see how your thoughts have changed over the years and how they compare to those of other philosophers throughout history. By looking at older works, you will be able to see how different your own ideas have become over the years. You can then develop a stronger appreciation for your own ideas by comparing them with the more original works of other philosophers.
The topics and ideas that you will use in your own essay will determine just how long your essay should be and how complex it should be. If you choose to just tackle one issue in an essay, such as objectivity, you may find that you don’t have enough material for a lengthy philosophical essay. However, if you choose to write several essays addressing various topics, you may find that you need to employ more complex sentences and more descriptive words. Regardless of how long you decide to write your essay, it is important to keep in mind that the goal is to make your reader think. So, it is necessary to use the best tools that are available to you in order to make sure that your essay is something that they will never forget.