Dec 28, 2014

InPO Stage 2 - Essay Writing (Rules)

The student should follow the general instructions given below while appearing for this round.
  1. The competition begins at a specific date & time. (as is informed to the students chosen, via email / text message) The student should connect to the internet at his home / school / cyber cafe at least 15 min before this time.
  2. The student gets 3 hrs to write the essay and 15 min more to submit the same by email. Student must ensure that there is no power outage in this period or if there is then he/she can resume their work within a few minutes of the outage.
  3. Given the power fluctuations or random reasons why the PC may crash, student must keep saving the essay every few minutes.
  4. The essay topics will be emailed to the students selected from Stage 1.
  5. The essay should be submitted by email to director@abhinav.ac.in
  6. If a student is unable to write the essay on the PC, he/she may write on paper in a neat handwriting, then either photograph or scan the pages with good resolution and send the images via email.
  7. The student may use the internet or dictionaries during the exam to read about or understand certain issues / terms. However, directly copying content from the net or inserting quotes of other philosophers verbatim (which the student is not likely to know before hand) would be grounds for disqualification.

About The Essay

Writing an essay is the key test of a philosophical thinker, since most deep thoughts cannot be conveyed easily by verbalization and the arguments needed to convince the "audience" are usually intricate. Here are some guidelines about how to write an essay especially for the Olympiads.
  1. Philosophy progresses via debates. These debates not spoken, but penned down by philosophers to argue and counter-argue about the work of other philosophers. Thus the primary aim of writing the essay is to discuss the thoughts of the philosopher presented in the topic, with the view to either approve or disapprove of them. Hence the student must first try to explain the philosophers point of view and then put in their own perspectives.
  2. The student is free to disagree with the topic, however, agreement or disagreement should be rational and clear reasoning and examples should be presented for either point of view.
  3. The criteria of evaluation are:
    1. Relevance to the topic
    2. Philosophical understanding of the topic
    3. Persuasive power of argumentation
    4. Coherence
    5. Originality
  4. Students are expected to:
    1. present an argument in an organized way
    2. use clear, precise and appropriate language
    3. identify any assumptions in the topic
    4. develop a clear and focused argument
    5. identify the strengths and weaknesses of their argument
    6. identify counter-arguments and address them if possible
    7. provide relevant supporting material, illustrations and/or examples where appropriate
    8. conclude by making a clear, concise and philosophically informed personal response