extended essay.

extended essay.
Discipline of Philosophy
Extended Essay
The extended essay is intended to allow you to demonstrate the full range of your understanding of
some of the major themes of Philosophy that you have been studying for the past three years. While
you should, therefore, not be afraid of being ambitious in terms of scope of the argument that you
present, you should not forget that you are by now expected to maintain high standards in supporting
and documenting the argument that you make.
A central aim of the extended essay is to enhance students’ research skills in the discipline of
philosophy. These skills range from the decision process in choosing a relevant research topic,
through argumentative skills in exploring, developing and evaluating the research topic, to
methodological skills of organization and presentation.
By the end of the exercise students should:
Gain some relevant experience in choosing and specifying a research topic from their reading
in philosophy.
Learn to take appropriate notes from primary and secondary materials.
Learn to draw up a provisional plan using sections
Learn when to quote as distinct from referring in footnotes
Learn to develop the topic by using secondary material to engage the primary text/thesis
Learn to compile a bibliography
Learn to write a first draft and then to rewrite a final version
The choice and supervision of the Extended Essay
You should choose an essay title reflecting the main research interest you developed in Philosophy
during the years of your study. You are required to discuss the choice of essay topic with a lecturer.
You are also required to obtain supervision of your essay from a full-time member of staff. The
principle reason for this is to assist students in reaching their full potential in philosophical research
and to benefit from the academic experience of a supervisor. Finally, supervision will be provided only
during term. Therefore, it is important to choose your supervisor by the end of the first week of
Semester 2.
How to find Literature
You are advised to use the computer service information available in the NUIG Library for an updated
bibliography of books/articles on the subject you have chosen. The Philosophers’ Index is particularly
Advice on writing the extended essay
By selective reading identify a problematic
In the Introduction state how problematic will be developed. This will include section headings.
Also a brief outline of conclusion proves useful here.
The Extended Essay must be well grounded in secondary texts. This displays the author’s skill
and originality in using this “evidence”.
Work towards one’s own position by engaging the primary material through of secondary
material. This may be done by a SWO (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities) analysis. This has 3
(a) Identify strengths of a position, either in primary or secondary literature and show how it
is a strength.
Identify weaknesses of position by (i) exposing presuppositions; (ii) looking at
Implications; (iii) comparing and contrasting primary and secondary materials; for instance examine
how well a secondary source does justice to a primary source; (iv) engage in internal and external
In this way display philosophical subtleties and use materials as opportunity to construct
your own position.
Conclusion: This may be a
qualified yes
qualified no
Develop you own position by constructing new arguments or restructuring arguments from primary
and secondary sources.
Compile, according to some recognized standard. Organize it in alphabetical
Use some standard reference procedure.
Proof read: Remember clear confident, concise writing, displaying awareness of philosophical
subtleties, is a clear indicator of clear, critical thinking.
Some formal criteria for writing an Extended Essay
The essay should have a length of 5,000 words words.
Essays will only be admitted if they are typed (A4 pages, double spaced)
Submission of Extended Essay
The Extended Essay will be due for submission to the Secretary, Department of Philosophy, by the
date displayed on the notice board of the Department. The date will be after the end of Semester 2.
No extension will be granted except on receipt of a medical certification which excuses failure to
submit on time. Do not forget to put your name and the name of your supervisor on the front page.
You should obtain and retain a receipt for the essay, stamped by the Philosophy Department.
Otherwise, no queries relating to it can be dealt with.
Essays submitted by post should be sent only by registered mail and the certificate of posting
Keep a copy of your Extended Essay. You will not receive the Extended Essay back after the
examinations are completed.
Plagiarism means presenting the words of another writer as if they were your own. This is a serious
matter, and if it is detected in your essay it may result in an automatic failure mark. The way to avoid
plagiarism is very simple: always put quotation marks around someone else's words and credit them
to their source. If you also borrow ideas from another writer, say so. In this way you can impress an
examiner by showing that you have done some research. You do not always have to appear utterly
Always avoid the use of language which is sexist, racist, or otherwise offensive.
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