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 forefront of my interests.
I have a great love of literature, and a very thorough understanding of the grammatical and historical underpinnings of the English language. My philosophical interests are broadly ethical and political philosophy. My knowledge base is wide in all three areas.
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The best way for you to better your understanding of a topic is for you to guide me on what you are struggling with. My aim then is to give you a few new perspectives and methods in order to help you gain a rounded understanding of the things you are finding difficult. This is an approach I was taught during work experience as a teaching assistant and running theatre workshops. The goal is for you to find a way you are comfortable with approaching the difficulty – this makes it much easier to overcome.
I’m happy to give advice in essay writing and cutting. This is very much my area of expertise as a philosophy student. However, I am very happy to look at past papers and mark schemes with you in order to address more specific difficulties. Tutoring is a system which is led by you and your requirements from it.
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This is a broad question, and in the exam it is more likely that you will be asked how contextual factors affect language use in particular modes. That said, there are some universal ideas which you can apply to see how to go about answering these questions.
Whatever the mode is -- let's say it's text messaging -- you need to consider the features of language specific to this mode. Text language has nearly exclusive use of emoticons, for example. It's also a nice example because (and you can and should point this out) it is somewhat of an amalgamation between spoken and written language. So, we sometimes get orthography which is phoneticised for emphasis, or simply because it is reflecting the spoken language influence on text messaging. We also get, in varying degrees, and depending on the author, use of formal grammar constructs from written language. Other things to consider is the fact that text messaging often utilises the spoken language feature of turn-taking, and takes on a conversational, informal tenor, too.
Hopefully I'm showing how this works. You need to be able to show how the context of the language being used -- so, the mode, the function, and so on -- impact the way in which it is used. This isn't so hard as it first appears, because all these things are pretty interconnected anwyay. Our language use is always affected by contextual factors, so the thing you really need to work on is indentifying the contextual factors in the case you are given.see more
The first thing to decide is how far you do agree with whatever claim it is about whatever text. In very general terms, there will be three answers:
(1) I completely agree.
(2) I completely disagree.
(3) I'm somewhere inbetween.
If your answer is (1) or (2), your essay is going to focus very heavily on the side of the argument you agree with, but it is important to not just assert your point of view. The trick to a good essay in these cases is to also consider the other view and to explain and argue throughout your essay why it is that your view is the right one. You need to end being able to conclude that you completely agree/disagree because it would be wrong to disagree/agree. Showing awareness of other interpretations is the way to access the top marks.
If your answer is (3) then you need to basically do the same as above, but of course your conclusion will be somewhere in the middle. This requires that you agree for reasons x but disagree for reasons y. Your cocnlusion is likely to look something like this:
"In conclusion, whilst I agree that Bronte presents as a violent emotion, I also think it is shown to be tender at times, and that it is the relationship and balance between the violence and tenderness of love and other aspects of the novel which allow Bronte to use the theme of love so powerfully."
The points which I have vaguely addressed in that conclusion would have to have been argued for throughout the essay. I find a good way to pan out these arguments is to write a brief plan which includes an introduction/conclusion so that you know what you want to argue for, and then to list the relevant points and order them into a structure which will argue for your stance.
So, things to remember:
Consider both sides of the argument.
Always explain why your side of the argument wins out -- in every paragraph.
Introduce and conclude your answer very clearly (the argumentation is in the body).see more
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.see more