Philosophy students must write papers which present their own ideas. Yet in order to develop those ideas and situate them in context, students make extensive use of the philosophical community and its shared research program. The ways in which this research program is utilized by students varies — they may incorporate portions of others’ arguments into their own; put familiar arguments to new uses; criticize, improve, or extend the ideas of others; bring new concepts to bear on old problems; and so on. This process allows students to work with sources from a variety of perspectives and towards a variety of ends, while not losing sight of the (sometimes contrary) purposes which the original authors had in mind.