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Michael J. Augustin

I'd like to follow up on Macrus' second point by sharing that, in my experience, many undergraduates just don't know how to write the sort of paper we're looking for in a philosophy class. In addition to what Marcus recommends, which I think is right, you might also show your students this little video: http://prezi.com/z4h1_fwilbxj/a-sample-philosophy-paper/

Many of my students report that they find it helpful.

Kenny Pearce

I find that when students come in, they often think that a 'good' argument is one where they agree with the conclusion, and a 'bad' argument is one where they disagree with the conclusion. One of the main aims of a philosophy class is, of course, to give students tools for evaluating arguments in other terms. But it can be hard to get them to see the point of this. What else, after all, can it mean for an argument to be good besides that it gets the right answer? This, I think, can be a pretty serious bottleneck. It can also, of course, be difficult to break students of various incoherent forms of relativism which prevent them from really arguing since they (incoherently) think both sides are right.

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