How to Write a Philosophy Paper for High School

High school students often question how to write a philosophy paper. It is common for students to get the assignment and then their teacher or instructor may not offer complete details of what is expected. In other cases, a student may receive guidelines to follow but may not have an idea on how to get started. Keep in mind, if you are given instructions it is important to follow through and talk with your teacher for additional guidance and clarification. This is important since philosophy papers vary in format structure, page length, topic selection and more. The following tips may give an idea of the creative writing process for the assignment.

  • Take time to research your topic thoroughly before you begin writing. As previously mentioned, refer to your guidelines given by your teacher. This may give insight on the type of content you need to include in the paper you should look out for or note during research.
  • Use your school library to use books and publications to research your topic. You may need to review with your teacher acceptable resources you can use for the assignment. Take good notes when gathering data and bookmark your materials (use a place marker or sticky note tab to reference your information instead of marking in the book).
  • Use the data you gathered during your research to create a thesis statement or the main idea of the paper. It is often an arguable statement with common sense by with a unique viewpoint of the subject.
  • Create your outline which helps you breakup your paper into sections. This will help you separate and organize your data. This should include supporting evidence that will prove or provide evidence for your thesis statement. You will use your outline to help you write the paper. Review necessary sections your paper will include such as the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.
  • If you are required to cite your sources you may need to review common formatting styles such as APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association.). There are examples of each that can be research online or in workbooks at your school library.

Try to give yourself a good amount of time to research your topic. If you are given a topic and feel you are struggling to write about, ask your teacher or guidance counselor for advice. Another idea to consider is reviewing sample papers previously written by alumni of your school to learn more about writing expectations.