Philosophy Essay Resources

two to three times per year, pwip works with faculty members to host popular exam prep or essay workshop sessions. upon arrival at oxford, first-year students from different philosophy backgrounds are quickly thrust into churning out 1-2 essays per week, without any ensured instruction in precisely what qualifies as the type of essay that translates as ‘excellent’ by oxford standards. we think some initial clear guidance is much needed based on student feedback, so that students may have some grasp of expectations to practice and from this take flight. this problem appears not only generally applicable, but also more emphatically to affect some students more than others. we have no ‘official’ data, only our own experience and word of peers’ mouths, so we act collectively to make available what students say is a much needed resource. we would much rather hold each other up, so that we can become competent enough more quickly with expectations so that we might have room to communicate in the given philosophical medium as well as question it. this demands increased clarity on both our tutors’ and students’ sides, as we seek to learn and they to teach. 

here we share with you some handouts from past workshops by Dr. Nicholas Waghorn (St. Benet’s Hall) & Dr. Rachel Fraser (Exeter College).

workshop handouts – Dr. Nicholas Waghorn

How to Write a Philosophy Essay – Dr. Rachel Fraser

What Not To Do – Dr. Rachel Fraser

A Taxonomy of Finals Questions. [work in progress] – Dr. Rachel Fraser

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