philosophy 175

Week 4 – Research Proposal

DUE: May 3, 2020 11:55 PM

Grade Details

Grade N/A iRubric Link
Gradebook Comments None

Assignment Details

Open Date Apr 6, 2020 12:05 AM
Graded? Yes
Points Possible 100.0
Resubmissions Allowed? Yes
Remaining Submissions Unlimited
Attachments checked for originality? Yes

Assignment Instructions

For this assignment you will choose a scientific theory and write a proposal for how you intend to research it and argue on its behalf.

Before you begin writing your proposal, it is imperative that you understand how to write a philosophy paper. First, read the excerpt by Peter Horban below (all of which can be found in the APUS library). Second, read my directions for how to format your paper as an argument. Third, read my directions for how to write your proposal.

Writing a philosophy paper:

One of the first points to be clear about is that a philosophical essay is quite different from an essay in most other subjects. That is because it is neither a research paper nor an exercise in literary self-expression. It is not a report of what various scholars have had to say on a particular topic. It does not present the latest findings of tests or experiments. And it does not present your personal feelings or impressions. Instead, it is a reasoned defense of a thesis. What does that mean?

Above all, it means that there must be a specific point that you are trying to establish – something that you are trying to convince the reader to accept – together with grounds or justification for its acceptance.

Before you start to write your paper, you should be able to state exactly what it is that you are trying to show. This is harder than it sounds. It simply will not do to have a rough idea of what you want to establish. A rough idea is usually one that is not well worked out, not clearly expressed, and as a result, not likely to be understood. Whether you actually do it in your paper or not, you should be able to state in a single short sentence precisely what you want to prove. If you cannot formulate your thesis this way, odds are you are not clear enough about it.

Directions for how to format your paper as an argument:

As stated above, THIS IS NOT A REPORT. The whole paper is one big argument. It begins with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a concise assertion of your point of view (your judgment or opinion) on an issue. In other words, you are taking a stand, pro or con, and arguing from that perspective. In the case of this paper, your thesis will be to assert that the particular scientific theory you chose is the best theory. Defend that theory by giving reasons, and then backing those reasons up with supporting evidence. That means that you’ll have to do the research to discover how that particular scientist confirmed their theory. Because you agree with him/her, it is your thesis, too.

For example, your thesis statement might be; “The heliocentric theory best explains the movements of the planets in the solar system.” You would then lay out the reasons why the paradigm shift away from the old geocentric theory was appropriate and then give supporting evidence. Your research on how Copernicus discovered the heliocentric theory, and any modern-day supporting evidence, would comprise the body of your paper.

Directions for how to write your proposal:

Once you know where you are going with your topic and have gathered the pertinent sources for your research you can begin your proposal. Start by outlining your intentions for the paper (see Supporting Materials), then write a brief overview of what you hope to accomplish in the paper, i.e. how you will defend the theory you chose, and finish with an annotated citation page.

This proposal should be 300 – 400 words, in MLA or APA format. Additionally, it should include an annotated bibliography of five resources. An annotated bibliography is a regular bibliography but with a couple of additional sentences after each entry that you write that describes how the resource will assist you in writing on your topic. It is expected that your topic and your resources will develop as you do your research and writing, and you may feel free to make adjustments as you go. You should also incorporate as much of our assigned reading/course materials as possible.

In addition to our course materials, a good place to get started is at the Philosophy Research Guide in the APUS Library (see link below). For your annotated bibliography, at least three of your references should be from the APUS Library, including two which are academically, peer-reviewed journal articles. In your annotation, make sure that you describe where you found them in the APUS Library.

Supporting Materials


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