Introductory Paragraph for a Philosophy Paper


Writing an Introductory Paragraph for a Philosophy Paper

An introductory paragraph not only introduces the topic of the paper, but it also provides a clear statement of the point that is to be made in the paper. An introductory paragraph should also include a brief statement about how the paper will be organized—a table of contents, so to speak, for the paper.

Here are several possible topics for your paper:

  1. Discuss what happens when you die according to Plato, Augustine, and Leibniz.
  2. Consider the treatment of women in theDhammapada, theAnalects, and theTao Te Ching.
  3. Which of our assigned texts presents the most coherent account of reincarnation:Upanishads,Phaedo,orShobogenzo?
  4. Describe the samurai relationship with Confucianism, Buddhism, and Christianity.
  5. Which of our philosophers has the most faith in knowledge based on empirical evidence: Aristotle, Dogen, or Hume?

Please choose one of these topics and practice writing an introductory paragraph for a paper on your chosen topic. Be sure to include a clear opening sentence that identifies what the paper will be about, followed by 2-4 more sentences addressing why this is an interesting/important/confusing issue. Then provide a single clear statement of the point you wish to make in the paper (e.g. “I plan to establish that Zen Buddhism lacks a coherent sense of the possibility of reincarnation”). Immediately following your thesis statement, provide a sentence or two that explicitly lays out the structure of your paper (e.g. “First I will describe X, and then I will talk about Y and Z. Finally, I will argue that …”)