Essay Writing

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I. Required Format, II. Writing Guidelines, III. A Few Common Mistakes  
I. Required Format for Essays in Philosophy:
Essays must be typewritten; hand-written work cannot be accepted (medical-certified reasons aside). Use double-spaced or one-and-a-half spacing. In Microsoft Word, select ‘Double’ or ‘1.5 lines’ under Format/Paragraph/Line spacing. The standard font size is 12. Do not type in 10 font (except perhaps footnotes) or in 16 font. Use ‘Times New Roman’ (or some other standard font). Don’t get fancy with fonts! Indent the first line of all new paragraphs about 5 spaces; alternatively, insert an extra space between paragraphs and begin the new paragraph flush with the left margin. Quotations of less than 2-3 lines are enclosed within quotation marks (“Mary had a little lamb”) and included within the text of your paper. Quotations longer than 2-3 lines (block-quotations) should be indented from the left margin, single-spaced, without quotation marks: I am a sample block-quotation, indented from the margins. Block-quotations can be 10 or 12 font. Do not put quotation marks around block quotations and do not italicise (except where italics are in the original). Always provide a reference, either in parentheses or by footnote or endnote (Billingworth, 1968: p. 104). Number all pages except title page, first page, endnotes and bibliography. Italicise (or underline) book titles; use quotation marks for articles and chapters. So, Heidegger’s Being and Time [or Being and Time] but Quine’s ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’. Proofread your essay for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Use your word processor’s spell-checker but don’t rely on it exclusively. It is difficult to eliminate errors completely (there may even be some in this document!) but do try. You must submit two copies of your essay with the Philosophy essay cover sheet attached to one copy. Simply staple your essay in the top-left corner; no hard plastic cover sheets or folders are necessary. The word-length for your essay (not including footnotes/endnotes or bibliography) will be specified for your year. Strict adherence to the word limit is mandatory. (Microsoft Word has a ‘word count’ facility under Tools on the toolbar.) A properly presented bibliography is essential. Alphabetise the bibliography by author’s last name. Single-space each entry, with a blank line between entries. Use ed. for editor; trans. for translator. Leave yourself time to produce a correctly formatted bibliography.  

Bibliography and Referencing:(standard footnote/endnote method) Alphabetise your bibliography by author’s last name (single space entries, double space between entries). The following are standard formats for the bibliography. A book:

Merton, Robert K. The Sociology of Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973. An edited book:
MacIntyre, A., ed. Hegel: A Collection of Critical Essays. London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1976. An article in a journal:
Dove, Kenley R. ‘Hegel’s Phenomenological Method’, Review of Metaphysics 23 No. 1 (Sept., 1969), pp. 615-41. An essay or article in a book (by same author):
Adorno, T. ‘Skoteinos, or How to read Hegel’, in Hegel: Three Studies (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993), pp. 89-148. An article in an edited collection:
Harris, H. S. ‘Hegel’s intellectual development to 1807’, in The Cambridge Companion to Hegel, edited by F. C. Beiser (Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 25-51. Any claim you make in your text that is not your own idea must be referred to the relevant source. You may do this by putting the reference in parentheses at the end of the passage or by using a footnote. (Your computer’s word processor will have an ‘Insert Footnote/Endnote’ command that will take care of the numbering and location). Endnotes, if you use them, occur at the end of your main text, before the bibliography. Your first footnote reference...
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