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Evaluating Qualifying Papers

Evaluating Qualifying Papers


The following list of questions represents the kinds of questions that readers have in mind when evaluating qualifying papers. It is offered here only as a guidance to students, questions that they might have in mind when composing their papers. It is important to note that different qualifying papers might have different philosophical ends and styles, and this means that for different papers different kinds of questions will come to the fore while others recede into the background. It is also important to recognize that this set of questions is not exhaustive. Nor does this list—or any subset thereof—identify a set of sufficient conditions for a paper to receive a grade of High Pass.

With those caveats, here is the list of questions:
  1. Does the paper address an important problem or issue in current philosophical scholarship?
  2. Does it develop a clear philosophical approach or method in discussing the problem or issue at hand?
  3. Is it well organized and clear?
  4. Is the reasoning in the paper sound?
  5. Is the textual and historical scholarship sound?
  6. Does it take into account relevant existing scholarship and publications?
  7. Does it make a significant contribution to current philosophical scholarship?
  8. Does it use proper scholarly format and style?
  9. Are there any other comments about the paper relevant to the issue of its readiness for submission to a professional journal?

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