Introduction: Introduce the entire paper. Imagine you are introducing a friend to an acquaintance.
In this case you are introducing your thesis to your reader. You should mention both
philosophers you will be contrasting as well as the third philosopher you will be looking at to
bolster the claims of your thesis or to provide a modern context for your discussion. There
should be an easily identifiable thesis included in this introduction.
1. Primary philosopher- You will be expected to show an understanding of a philosopher
and be able to reference the original article from which we derived our basis of
understanding, i.e. rationalism via Descartes or empiricism via Hume.
a. What is the name of your primary philosopher?
What is the title of the article
c. What would an exhaustive discussion of key vocabulary words or phrases that
must be included when discussing this framework look like? (This is where you
should highlight the items from our course which I have starred, happy-faced, and
otherwise mentioned that one should be able to recall at a hypothetical cocktail
party twenty years from now. Please do not refer to my starring or the cocktail
2. Second philosopher- Choose a second philosophical outlook. This framework similarly
will be explained to your reader as the above but should be seen as separate such that you
provide them their own space and time.
a. What is the name of your second author?
b. What is the title of the article?
c. What are a few key vocabulary words or phrases that must be included when
discussing this philosopher’s ideas? (Keep in mind this is an essay not a shopping
list. You should be discussing these ideas to show your understanding not just
3. Contrast of philosophical Frameworks- In the third section of your paper you should be
able to develop a clear set of differences between your two above frameworks. You may
mention any important similarities briefly but your concentration should be in explaining
what separates the two.
4. Contemporary academic discussion- Our third bibliographic entry will come from a peer
reviewed journal. (You might consider using the journal of
right here at UNT at The Center for Environmental Philosophy.) You will use this source
to show how the above two lenses can be used to discuss and even participate in
academic debates surrounding an ongoing contemporary issue of your choosing.
a. What is the issue?
b. Who is the author associated with this issue?
c. What is the title of the article?
d. Does the author themselves rely on a particular framework from above?
e. What are the sides of the debate?
f. What can we achieve by framing the debate using the philosophical frameworks
(of your above philosophers at 1 and 2 of this outline) as lenses to see the issue at
hand? (This should help make your contrast above more explicit.)
Conclusion: You should reacquaint the reader with your thesis. Give them a brief summary of
the paper. Offer where your thinking and writing might contribute to further a discussion on this
topic based on what you have learned in the process of researching and writing. Give the reader
something to walk away with.
Avoid rhetorical questions throughout your entire paper
You are expected to write a Research Paper, no longer than 5pages (around 1250 words),to be turned in via a link provided. The paper is evaluated on structure (esp. clarity of thesis and path statements), and appropriate, critical, informative use of independent research. The paper must include references and a bibliography formatted using Chicago style. There will be more on this to come
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