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Compulsory Assignments: Formal requirements


Here you will find information about compulsory assignments on the seminar variant of EXPHIL03E.

For deadlines for submission, please see dates and deadlines.

Formal requirements

Length and font:

  • The first text (the analytic text) should be between 400 and 600 words.
  • The second text (the argumentative text) should be between 800 and 1000 words.
  • Give the number of words at the beginning of the document. This number should include references in parentheses or footnotes, but not the bibliography and not the topic for the assignment, which should be given at the top of the document.


Independence and relevance:  

  • The texts you submit must be your own work.
  • The texts should be answers to two of the topics which have been designated for the seminar group in which you are registered; the first one in history of philosophy and science, the second one in ethics. 
  • The assigned topic and its number should be given at the beginning of your document.
  • When you are submitting your compulsory assignment, you will not yet have a candidate number. Thus, please enter your name in the title of the document and at the beginning of the document.  


Integrity: references and bibliography

  • When you use content (facts, arguments, assertions, quotes) from other sources in your assignment, you should give a reference to the source, both for quotations (when you reproduce the exact words) and for paraphrases (when you use your own words). You should write the references in a parenthesis or a footnote. References should be given for for original texts from the syllabus, other texts from the syllabus or other sources.
  • The semester paper should include a bibliography where you list all the sources you have used in your work
  • A lack of references may at worst lead to suspicion of cheating.  
  • See further information about sources and references.


If your assignments do not satisfy these formal minimum requirements, you will not be permitted to hand it in a second time.




The following are characteristics of a good compulsory assignment. They are not formal requirements, but qualities you should strive for in your writing.



  • The assignment should show that you have knowledge of the original texts.


  • There are two kinds of topics. In part 1, history of philosophy and science, you are asked to explain or make an analytical summary of an argument or position. In part 2, ethics, you are asked to discuss, that is to argue in favour of or against, an argument or position. In both cases your text should begin with a short introduction which provides an overview of the argument or position. In the argumentative essay, the introduction should give a brief explanation of why the topic to be discussed is of philosophical interest.
  • The main part of the assignment should be systematic and its individual sections should make up a coherent whole. An analytic summary explains an argument or position from the syllabus. An argumentative essay not only presents an author’s argument, it also critically analyses its validity.
  • When you are writing an argumentative essay it is not necessary for your assignment to end with an unequivocal conclusion. It is sufficient that you show that you are able to place a claim or thesis you are presented with under critical review.


Independent thinking

  • Independent thinking is shown by your ability to problematize and discuss positions. This can be done in various ways, for example by asking questions of the text, proposing different interpretations, or suggesting more than one answer to the question you are discussing.
  • It is unacceptable to repeat what someone else has said or written without relating it to your topic.
  • Independent thinking is shown also by making all your points using your own words, and by using quotations only to illustrate, and not to explain.
  • The reader should have no trouble seeing why what you are writing is relevant for your topic.


    More information: How to write an essay



The compulsory assignments are submitted in Canvas.

If you need an extended deadline, please contact us before the original deadline expires. Under no circumstances there will be given an extended deadline beyond Friday 12:00 AM the same week as the original deadline expire

Published Jan. 15, 2019 5:37 PM - Last modified Jan. 15, 2019 5:49 PM