Philosophy Term Papers: Literature Review

Writing on philosophy; is there any such thing as a wrong answer?

If you have chosen to study philosophy then you better get used to writing critical literature reviews on everything that you asked to read for class. A literature review, in case you don't know already, is when you read something (a piece of literature) and they write your opinions on it while also examining content thoughtfully. For example, you may be assigned a certain piece of philosophy text perhaps something by Confucius and then after you finish read it you need to write an extensive paper commenting on Confucius theories while including your own insights and evaluating the material. In some instances this can be a lot easier said than done because the material that you are evaluating is hundreds and thousands of years old. How are you supposed to relate to it let alone review it for your term paper?

Even though the material is old, the content is not outdated. The reason why many philosophers’ theories are still studied today is because they are still believed to hold relevance in our modern day world. Understanding this can give you a great angle for your literature review because you can critique the material from a modern perspective. The way that we do this is by reading the content with an open mind and considering it in application to our own lives. Typically when you do this you are able to draw at least a handful of parallels to our own lives that can make for an interesting thesis for the term paper assignment. If you can't think of anything, try to write about why, or how the philosophy ideas that you have read about might be outdated or no longer relevant. Anything goes as long as you are fairly examining the literatures content and considering it within your writing.

Just One Last Thing...

Some other things that are important to remember when you write a philopshy themed literature review, is a thesis, evidence from the document that supports your thesis and a strong conclusion that summarizes your findings. Just because it is called a review and not a term paper, it still needs to have all of the formal elements that you would include in any research or analysis paper on any piece of writing.

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