Format and general guidelines
A. Double-spaced, 12pt font, 1-inch margins
II. The content of the paper
A. The main task of the paper, is to critically examine an argument from one of the assigned readings. This
task involves several steps:
1. Identify an argument in a reading. For example, let’s say you want to write about the Transcendental
Aesthetic (where Kant defends the view that space and time are forms of sensibility, not properties of things
in themselves). Your first task would be to identify an argument from that section and to tell me in your own
words what the argument is (e.g., the argument from geometrical principles). What are the premises? What
is the conclusion?
2. Fill in the details of the argument. Why does the Kant think these premises are true? Can you provide
examples to illustrate the truth of these premises?
3. Provide some kind of critical analysis of the argument. One way to do that would be to criticize the
argument by raising an objection. Another would be to provide additional support for the argument by
bringing up ideas, examples, or points that Kant did not.
III. General points about effective writingbury your thesis. Tell me right away what your paper is about. Start off with a clear statement of
B. Write with clarity and concision
1. Avoid wordiness. Don’t tell me a bunch of unnecessary stuff.
2. If you use any technical terms or jargon, explain them. Of course, since I am your audience, I will know
what you mean by “forms of sensibility” or “synthetic unity of apperception” but I want you to write as if your
reader needed to have these terms explained.
3. Make the structure of your paper easy to follow. Don’t jump around randomly. Help the reader see how
you are moving from point to point. What ties this paragraph to the one before it? How is the point you are
making now related to what you said above?
C. Writing style
1. Avoid saying things like “Since the dawn of time, man has wondered about moral rightness.” Statements
like this add nothing to your paper.
2. Try to vary your sentence structure. If your whole paper is just a string of short sentences that contain a
single independent clause, it will sound really choppy and bland. But also avoid writing nothing but long,