Students learn to organize complex bodies of information from widely varying sources, which they encounter in class or in their readings. Just as importantly, they learn to take this information and present it in a clear way to an audience. Due to the abstract nature of many topics in philosophy, courses pay significant attention to presenting abstract material simply and succinctly. After learning these skills, students are more than able to organize and present more concrete information, or information from sources which are less varied.
In addition, the papers that students write have a variety of parts, with each part containing its own structure, a variety of sources, and different layers of exposition and argument. Writing such papers teaches students how to plan and structure long-term research projects into manageable and coherent parts.