How to Write an Essay on Epistemology

Updated February 21, 2017
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Epistemology provides a broad and rich topic about which to write an essay. Indeed, it's easy to argue that an essay about anything which requires the author to broaden or refine his knowledge about a given topic, is itself an example of epistemology. Epistemology is narrowly defined as the study of knowledge and justified belief, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. More broadly, epistemology concerns the way we create and disseminate knowledge in a variety of particular areas.

Select an epistemological area about which you want to write. Choose an area of particular interest to you and one which you would like to learn more about since it will likely require you to read the works of others on the topic. Consider a specific way that knowledge is created or disseminated, such as discussing an ontological argument, cosmological or design-oriented argument for the existence of God, which falls under the category of religious epistemology.

Further refine your epistemological essay topic by selecting something specific that you can write about. For example, if writing an essay about religious epistemology, consider how a particular religion generates beliefs about God, or how it communicates those beliefs to its adherents once they have already been generated.

Create an outline for your essay that includes an introduction, three or four main points, a conclusion and a bibliography. For each main point, identify which authors' works you will present to illustrate your point.

Write your essay, covering all of the points in your outline. Organize your bibliography alphabetically according to the style standards chosen by your instructor. Edit your essay for spelling, grammar and consistency. Give your essay to a classmate and ask him to review your essay. Review your paper a final time, checking it for errors before turning it in.

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