How does one identify the points for discussion in that paper? And how do I make a skeleton paper work of the topic to present infront of your mentor? What is the structure of a philosophical paper? How do I write a criticism?
In academic philosophical writing, you start by identifying a topic of interest to you, and a philosopher who has written on that topic. In general, the academic expectation is to make your focus narrow. Examples of topics might be Plato's "Theory of Recollection," Kierkegaard's idea of "Repetition" or Peter Singer's statements on the rights of animals (although those might all still be considered too broad, and in need of further focus and refinement).
In your paper you would examine what the person actually said, and what some of the best-known secondary commentary is on their writing. You would finish by offering your own critique of the original writing, and potentially on the commentary as well. If you have your own independent thoughts on the subject, the expectation is that you will outline that as part of the critique (rather than separately).
A philosophy paper isn't fundamentally different than other forms of papers such as research papers and essays depending on your goals. The topic of course is different. For instance, if you are doing research into a topic, like Kant's categorical imperative, you would start with a tertiary source, and begin to shape your thesis and potential sources for the paper. Some tertiary sources for philosophy are:
- The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), online)
- The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP), online
- The Encyclopedia of Philosophy
When you have your thesis and you have done your work, then you draft it just any other, eventually submitting for peer review in one form or another. After refinements, you are free to move on an select another thesis.