Guidelines About Writing The Essay
Writing an essay is the key test of a philosophical thinker, since most deep thoughts cannot be conveyed easily by verbalization and the arguments needed to convince the "audience" are usually intricate. Here are some guidelines about how to write an essay especially for the Olympiads.
Philosophy progresses via debates. These debates not spoken, but penned down by philosophers to argue and counter-argue about the work of other philosophers. Thus the primary aim of writing the essay is to discuss the thoughts of the philosopher presented in the topic, with the view to either approve or disapprove of them. Hence the student must first try to explain the philosophers point of view and then put in their own perspectives.
The student is free to disagree with the topic, however, agreement or disagreement should be rational and clear reasoning and examples should be presented for either point of view.
The criteria of evaluation are:
Relevance to the topic
Philosophical understanding of the topic
Persuasive power of argumentation
Students are expected to:
present an argument in an organized way
use clear, precise and appropriate language
identify any assumptions in the topic
develop a clear and focused argument
identify the strengths and weaknesses of their argument
identify counter-arguments and address them if possible
provide relevant supporting material, illustrations and/or examples where appropriate
conclude by making a clear, concise and philosophically informed personal response