Discipline of Philosophy Extended Essay l. General 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. 2. Aims/Objectives 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 · Proofread. 3. 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. 4. 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 useful. 5. · 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 steps: (a) Identify strengths of a position, either in primary or secondary literature and show how it is a strength. (b) 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 critique. (c) In this way display philosophical subtleties and use materials as opportunity to construct your own position. Conclusion: This may be a (a) qualified yes (b) qualified no Develop you own position by constructing new arguments or restructuring arguments from primary and secondary sources. Techniques Bibliography: order. Footnotes: 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. 6. Some formal criteria for writing an Extended Essay (a) The essay should have a length of 5,000 words words. (b) Essays will only be admitted if they are typed (A4 pages, double spaced) 7. 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 retained. Keep a copy of your Extended Essay. You will not receive the Extended Essay back after the examinations are completed. 8. Plagiarism 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 "original"! 9. Language Always avoid the use of language which is sexist, racist, or otherwise offensive.
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