These resources may be helpful for philosophy students:
Further Advice on Philosophical Writing
- Jim Pryor’s “Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper”
A classic guide to writing philosophy, available online; a must-read for all students.
- Peter Horban’s “Writing a Philosophy Paper”
Some of the most useful guidance besides Pryor’s.
- Sanford Levy’s “Philosopher’s Toolkit”
This is a more extensive guide to reading and writing philosophy, as well as note-taking, career options and undergraduate journals and conferences.
- Harvard Writing Center’s “Brief Guide to Writing the Philosophy Paper”
- Angela Mendelovici’s “Sample Philosophy Paper” Prezi
In this interactive Prezi presentation, Angela Mendelovici guides you through the anatomy of a well-written philosophy paper.
Further Advice on Writing
- Cal Newport’s old Study Hacks blog.
Cal Newport used to write study advice posts, which you can still find in this archive. Check out some of the classics, like this post on how to brainstorm before you start writing, this post about making good use of office hours, and this post on emulating professional writers’ writing schedule.
Online Resources for Philosophers
The SEP is the best resource for introductory articles across a vast range of philosophical topics. It provides clear, well-written articles by respected academics, along with an extensive bibliography for each topic to follow up. This should be your first call when encountering a new topic. It easily beats Wikipedia for philosophy. Unlike Wikipedia, you can also cite SEP articles in your essays, and SEP integrates with citation tools.
A guide which provides links to a number of philosophical resources, particularly useful for those new to the field.
Google Scholar is a preeminent search engine for scholarly articles (though it is by no means comprehensive). It also integrates with your university credentials on campus to allow direct access to papers. This is a great tool to browse for relevant papers as well as to find a specific paper. It also gives you direct links to bibliographic data which you can export into most leading referencing software, or copy & paste directly into your reference list.
- The Philosophers Index (link for LSE students)
This subscription service is the largest database of philosophical articles around, allowing you to find articles and books on a specific topic quickly and easily. LSE students can access the service via the library electronic catalogue (link above)
The IEP is a less comprehensive and well-rounded alternative to the SEP, but nonetheless has some very good material.
Wikipedia’s philosophy pages can be a bit underwhelming. What’s more, you need to follow up the references on a Wikipedia page and check the authenticity of the sources before you rely upon them. Choose the SEP or IEP first. See this xkcd comic for a satirical look at the problems with referencing Wikipedia.