MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

342 views

How should I approach a question which asks me to assess a claim?

These questions are typical of the longer essay we find in philosophy papers. The way to write a good philosophy essay is to have a stance, an opinion, on the subject you are assessing, and then to argue for your stance throughout your essay. You will have been studying the pros and cons of particular claims and systems of thought, and this is the time to get down as many of these as you can. However, listing them is not enough -- this is not assessing.

So, to plan this answer, write up two quick lists for the pros and cons. Overall, you will agree with one list over the other. Let's say you agree with the 'pro' list. So, draw some arrows between the points in the lists, or number the points, to show the order that you will talk about them in. This should show how they relate to one another, so that in your answer you can give a point from the con list, then counter it with a point from the pro list.

The assessing is what gets you the top marks, so these relations are really important. Your answer's structure will be based on all of this: your introduction will state your stance, an then each paragraph will go on to support it, by arguing for the relations you have identified. A good way to start is to make a claim for your own argument, offer a counter to yourself from the other list, but then counter that again to end the paragraph on your stance again. The way you start a paragraph may come either list but it is very important that each one ends with something from your stance, your list of choice, so that a reader can see throughout that this is what you are arguing for.

It is also very important to not just say that 'claim x is countered by claim y' but to explain why the counterclaim works to perform the refutation. This, really, is the assessing. 

So, key points to remember:

Have a stance.

Plan your answer (even briefly).

End each paragraph showing that it adds to your argument/your stance.

Explain why your points refute the other points.

Oliver W. A Level Philosophy tutor, A Level English tutor, A Level En...

11 months ago

Answered by Oliver, an A Level Philosophy tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

19 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Alexander P.

Degree: Philosophy (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Philosophy, Classical Civilisation+ 1 more

Philosophy
Classical Civilisation
-Personal Statements-

“About Me: I am a Combined Honours student, studying Classics and Philosophy at Durham University. I have agreat enthusiasm for both subjects, and I hope to pass on some of this passion! I am patient and friendly, and happy to answer ...”

MyTutor guarantee

£30 /hr

Daniel D.

Degree: Philosophy (Bachelors) - York University

Subjects offered: Philosophy, Philosophy and Ethics+ 3 more

Philosophy
Philosophy and Ethics
History
English Literature
-Personal Statements-

“Recent graduate with lots of experience. Excellent credentials. Fun too!”

£20 /hr

Anna S.

Degree: Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Bachelors) - Warwick University

Subjects offered: Philosophy, Religious Studies+ 4 more

Philosophy
Religious Studies
Philosophy and Ethics
English
Economics
-Personal Statements-

“Hi my name is Anna, I am an undergraduate at the Universtiy of Warwick studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics.  Having just done my A-Levels I am very familiar with the A-Level exam and exactly what it is you need to do to pass, ...”

About the author

£20 /hr

Oliver W.

Degree: Philosophy (Bachelors) - Warwick University

Subjects offered: Philosophy, Philosophy and Ethics+ 4 more

Philosophy
Philosophy and Ethics
English Literature
English Language
-Personal Statements-

“About Me: Hi! My name is Oli. I’m a current undergraduate studying Philosophy at the University of Warwick. My life is a concoction of academic interests, but language, literature and their philosophical applications are at the forefr...”

You may also like...

Posts by Oliver

How do contextual factors affect language use?

How do I write a good 'How far do you agree' essay answer?

How should I approach a question which asks me to assess a claim?

What is the difference between what is presented and how it is presented?

Other A Level Philosophy questions

Explain Hume’s Argument Against Miracles

How would I create a strong argument in a philosophy essay?

How qualified are you to help me

What is the logical problem of evil?

View A Level Philosophy tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok