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Philosophy: PHIL 133 – Sources for the Essay

PHIL 133 – Philosophy and Human Nature

Choose the Right Sources

Your essay is joining an academic conversation – most of the Internet (social media, etc.) differs from academic culture – acknowledge sources you use (reference and cite) and avoid plagiarism

Reading List

PHIL 133 > Ngā Whakamārama | Course InformationPHIL133 2023 Course Information

  • Note: Your lecturer has put these here!
  • Section II: Identify sources under your topic
  • Scroll down to Section III Reading List for details


Search the library catalogue

Reference Sources

  • Philosophy Writing Guide: Task 16. Online Philosophy Encyclopedias
  • Excellent sources for an overview of a topic
  • NB. Wikipedia may help you initially – but it is not reliable enough to use directly, do not cite it!


  • for example, “Plato”
    – use Find on the webpage for discussion of “forms”

Journal Articles

  • Philosophy Writing Guide: Task 15. Finding articles in academic journals
    • Avoid: off-topic – too technical – too old
    • Identify and read: one or two good ones that you can understand
      • Focused usually on a very specific topic or aspect
      • Peer-reviewed (scholarly)relevantwritten in English – full textnot too old
        • peer-review = subject experts act as referees after a paper is submitted – quality assurance – may suggest changes or reject the paper
      • Book reviews: usually don’t cite directly; may lead to a good book.



Example searches


  • comprehensive for philosophy – searching – browsing
  • direct download often works for full text
  • if you see “purchase article”, don’t – unnecessary to pay for an article – ask John to check instead!


Example searches

  • Browse: there may be a curated listing of articles...
    start the search plato > Categories drop-down > Plato: Metaphysics –  Plato: Forms (Restrictions: online only, published only)
  • Advanced Search (small blue down-arrow at right of the search box)
      with all the words = plato
      with exact phrase = theory of forms
      Other = professional authors only, online only, published only




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