You paper’s overall structure should conform to the following model. You should identify a philosophically interesting doctrine that Berkeley argues for or against. Set out as clearly as possible the meaning of the doctrine under discussion, and reconstruct Berkeley’s argument for or against that doctrine. It is also appropriate to briefly discuss the importance or significance of that doctrine. However, no more than half of the paper should be devoted to these preparations; the remainder should be devoted to a reasoned evaluation of the argument. A ‘reasoned evaluation’ will involve raising one or two of the best objections you can to Berkeley’s argument. (These objections might challenge one of the more questionable premises in the argument, or they might challenge one of the inferences. The objections might be original to you, drawn from your reading of the secondary literature [with appropriate credit given], or they might come from class discussion etc…) On Berkeley’s behalf, you should then offer the best response(s) you can to these objection(s). Finally you should adjudicate. Is the objection ultimately successful and the best response available a failure? Is the argument sunk? Or can the argument be successfully defended against the best available objection? Is the argument sound? So the basic structure of your paper should run as follows: (1) introduction and examination of doctrine under discussion; (2) argument reconstruction; then (3) objection(s); then (4) response(s); then (5) adjudication. Of course, it is quite possible that this basic structure also incorporate various mini-arguments, mini-objections and mini-responses along the way.

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