Call for Philosophy Peer Mentors

Dear fellow philosophy majors,

Hope you’ve settled into Week 3. We wish to invite you to join us as peer mentors in this semester’s continuation of the philosophy essay-writing peer mentoring project!

Last semester, our project broke the inertia against student-run academic activities in our major. The need for a platform for mutual sharing and learning was heartfelt and urgent. New students of philosophy, many from outside our department/faculty, are often thrown off course by the demands of a philosophy term paper. Philosophy’s introduction module no longer demands weekly summaries, so new majors embark on higher-level modules with less writing experience. Experienced writers get stuck on tried-and-tested styles of writing without actively seeking the benefit of peer perspectives and criticism. Graduate TAs are overworked and cannot be expected to coach too many disciples.

Even more importantly, our major is small and has the potential to be much more close-knit. Stereotypically, our major houses isolated individuals who take too long to get to know each other. What better way to ameliorate this situation than to tackle (rant about) writing together! New friendships to be formed, and people to feel less alone in intellectual pursuit – let our programme be a stepping-stone towards that end.

Our professors have been extremely supportive, and FASS has recently commended our project via the FASS Student Leadership Award. We’d like you to join our collective will to grow our project into a sustainable and far-reaching one.

This semester, we envision our sessions in the following manner:
–        Stage 1a, where basic (informal) logic is introduced to first-timers: several sessions to run starting around week 5.
–        Stage 1b, where the demands of philosophy essay-writing are introduced to first-timers: several sessions to run starting around week 5.
–        Stage 2, where participants gather to share their past graded essays for mutual peer criticism, guided by mentors familiar in the particular module/topic. This will happen on a rolling basis, based on mentor availability and registration through a Google Form or similar system.

Scheduling is flexible, and mentors’ comfort and availability are our first priority. Let’s talk and get to know each other if we haven’t already, and then find a mutually favourable fit. Let us know by email if you’d like to join us, mentioning:
–        Which stage(s) of the project you are interested in (feel free to elaborate)
–        Your year of study, roughly how many philosophy modules you have taken, and at what levels
–        (For Stage 2) Which philosophical sub-domains (ethics, epistemology, etc) you are interested to facilitate peer criticism in
–        Your mobile contact details, if you’re okay sharing

Please RSVP to . Hope to hear from you by Friday 26th August!

Will Zhang, Ivan Lee, Edison Oh, Rachael Yap, Tan Si En

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