Grading Rubric and Writing Guides

These are guides I've written for students in my courses. They provide some basic information about the standards I use when grading, some tips on writing philosophy papers and some basic definitions of key concepts related to evaluating arguments.

Other Writing Resources

These are guides written by other philosophers around the web for papers in philosophy. These are some great resources for the actual writing process. [top]

Resources for Finding Scholarly Articles

These are useful places to begin looking for scholarly articles in philosophy. The links I've provided to the Philosopher's Index and to JSTOR run through the St. Lawrence University library. If you are not a SLU student, please look for these resources on your school's library website.
  • Philosopher's Index
  • The Philosopher's Index is the premier search engine for papers in philosophy journals. This is the best place to start, make sure to use specific search terms and read the abstracts to find articles that are relevant for your project.
  • PhilPapers
  • This is a relatively new resource for philosophers, containing a database of easily searchable papers. This resource also has bibliographies setup by editors for certain topics, which can be a great place to find new literature.
  • Google Scholar
  • The general usefulness of Google, applied to scholarly material.
  • JSTOR is a collection of online journals, all of which have ready PDF access. It includes a number of philosophy journals, which can be browsed through or searched.
  • ODY Philosophy Resources

Philosophical Encyclopedias

The two encyclopedias listed here are great places to begin research into a new and unfamiliar area. The articles are all written by professional philosophers, and include useful bibliographies to get your research started. [top]

Contemporary Political and Moral Arguments

These sources will be of particular use to you if you are looking into current opinion on the issues of the day.
  • LexisNexis Academic
  • LexisNexis can be used to search through newspaper opinion pages for relevant editorials.
  • New York Times Opinion Page
  • As the paper of record, the New York Times opinion page is a good place to start for editorials on current issues. Of course, the Times is only of many possible newspaper opinion sections you could use.
  • Practical Ethics
  • This blog contains timely posts analyzing the ethical implications of current events, which are written by professional philosophers at the Centre for Practical Ethics at Oxford.

Classic Works of Philosophy

A number of the classic works are in the public domain, and you can be accessed for free via the internet. All translations, however, are not created equal, and editions assigned for classwork might be superior to some of the translations linked here.
  • Early Modern Texts
  • Jonathan Bennett's translations are designed to make texts in early modern philosophy clear and more easily readable for contemporary readers. Advanced readers and those focusing on these texts would do well to look into other translations in addition to Bennett's, but his work is an extremely valuable way to look into texts with which you are unfamiliar (especially if you are relatively new to philosophy).
  • Project Gutenberg
  • On this site you will find a vast archive of classic texts in a wide number of fields. Since all of the works posted here are in the public domain, the English translations tend to be out of date.
  • Google Books
  • Google Books catalogs many books which you can only preview online (though this is a great way to take a look at tables of contents!), but also a wide range of books which are in the public domain. Simply switch over to the advanced search to look for full length books which are freely available.
  • Cathal Woods' Plato Translations
  • The editions of Plato's works available in the public domain are typically out of date translations. This website contains a few, freely available, contemporary translations of Platonic dialogues (Euthyphro, Apology, Crito and part of the Phadeo).


A great deal of exciting philosophy happens on blogs these days, as it provides a venue for geographically distributed philosophers to carry on conversations about topics of shared interest. There are more blogs than I can profitably list here, so I've stuck with the ones that I read. The first link, however, will take you to David Chalmers' list of philosophy blogs on the internet if none of those I read catch your fancy.
  • List of Philosophy Blogs
  • Here you will find a fairly comprehensive list of blogs focused on philosophy and written by philosophers, the list was compiled by David Chalmers.
  • The Brains Blog
  • The philosophy and science of mind from a range of contributors.
  • The Splintered Mind
  • This blog is run by Eric Schwitzgebel, and focuses on the philosophy of mind.
  • Experimental Philosophy Blog
  • X-Phi is a recent philosophical movement aimed at both bringing more empirical evidence to bear on philosophical issues and conducting philosophical experiments. If you are curious what that might be, this blog is a great place to get started.
  • Daily Nous
  • This blog touches on both issues of philosophical interest and news from the discipline.
  • Certain Doubts
  • Certain Doubts covers matters related to epistemology, or the theory of knowledge.
  • NewAPPS
  • In this case, APPS stands for "Art, Politics, Philosophy and Science" and this blog covers a wide range of philosophical topics from a wide range of perspectives.
  • It's More Important Than That
  • David Papineau's blog covers the philosophy of sport.
  • PEA Soup
  • This group blog focuses on issues in ethics and ethical theory.


There are actually a number of really high quality philosophy podcasts out there, and they are a fun and helpful resource.
  • Philosophy Bites
  • In these podcasts, Nigel Warburton and David Edmonds interview a famous philosopher about that person's work. They are short (approximately 20 minutes) and very accessible. I recommend these to get a sense of the various issues and ideas that philosophers work on.
  • A History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps
  • Telling the history of philosophy without any gaps is a daunting task, but that's the task Peter Adamson has set himself in this podcast. In short but informative episodes, he is slowly working through Ancient philosophy. There is lots to learn here about major figures like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, but also about influential even if less famous figures.
  • Philosopher's Zone
  • This podcast features interviews with philosophers on various topics. This series tends to cover both serious academic philosophy and applications of philosophy to popular topics.
  • New Books in Philosophy
  • This podcast is a bit more in-depth than some of the others here, as a typical episode features an hour-long conversation with a philosopher about a book they have just released. Not only are the topics interesting, it also gives a nice glimpse into what people are thinking about in philosophy these days.
  • Very Bad Wizards
  • In this podcast, a philosopher and a psychologist discuss topics and new results in moral psychology and the nature of morality.