Instructions for Writing the Essays
The general format of the essays is free. Please adhere to good academic practice. The scope of the essays should be as follows:
- Short essay (2–3 pages 11px font such as Times New Roman, spacing 1, or 600–900 words)
- Long essay (5–7 pages 11px font such as Times New Roman, spacing 1, or 1500–2100 words)
Each essay must include your name, email and student number.
Submit the essays through the links below by the given deadlines.
Deadlines and topics for the essays are:
- Short essay: an evaluation of a philosophical book or essay that is meaningful to you personally. Deadline 30.10.2020 at 16:00.
- Long essay: an original development of a philosophical idea relevant to you as the writer. Deadline 30.11.2020 at 16:00.
For the short essay, please choose a book or essay of original philosophy (not a scholarship work on a philosopher or a historical work reviewing philosophical schools). Try to find a book or essay that is personally meaningful to you. Visit a library well-stocked with philosophy books, such as the Alexandria library in Kaisaniemi, leaf through books and choose one that appeals to you. Write a personal essay about what you find interesting in the book and what learnings you can take from it in your life. In this essay you will review a work of original thought.
For the long essay, please choose a philosophical idea (for example “what the mind is”, “why we exist”, “what is the good life”) that you find personally relevant and discuss it in more depth, using the tools and concepts learned on the course, but expanding beyond them. The tone of this essay should be more similar to actual philosophical writing. In this essay you will be practicing original philosophical thought.
Please keep in mind that while the scope of each essay is quite short, being able to discuss such questions at depth, producing such an essay will likely take a lot of thought and time. It is advisable to write first a longer piece exploring the topic at depth and then honing in on the essentials to crystallize the argumentation and the train of thought presented in each essay.
Especially for the long essay, please keep in mind the principles of writing original philosophical essays:
- Do not hide behind bearded busts; refer to authorities only when it is critical to your argument.
- Use technical terminology sparingly and only when a non-technical expression does not serve the purpose of expressing the nuances of what you have to say.
- Focus on clarity of argumentation and the relevance of each part of the argument for your conclusions.
- Write about a topic you truly care about.
- clear presentation of the chosen topic
- logical structure of argumentation and writing
- insightful use of reference material
- ability to reflect on the chosen topic from different perspectives
Instructions for the Learning Diary
Write 0.5–1 pages of each lecture, highlighting key learnings and reflecting on both the lecture content and the discussion. Submit the Learning Diary through the link below.Deadline for the Learning Diary is 2.12.2020 by 16:00.