The second major goal of the department is to apply philosophy's analytical approach to people's most basic assumptions about the world and human experience. For example, many people think they can tell reality from unreality, knowledge from ignorance, sense from nonsense, mind from matter, and persons from things. They think they know the fate of a person after death, what counts as a good society, and what counts as a good life. Philosophy scrutinizes basic assumptions such as these and tries to arrive at the conclusions best supported by reason.
However, most instructors, especially for philosophy courses, will allow you to deviate quite a bit from such formal citing styles. For example, if you are only supposed to be writing on and using information from a single philosopher’s work (such as Descartes’s Meditations or Nagle’s “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”) or just from a few sources that are in the textbook for the course, then the instructor may ask you simply to cite the author and page numbers within your paper and relieve you of the need to attach a bibliography or references page. Training you to cite using some specified style is not one of the main goals of philosophy (even though it is an important one in, say, English). We want train you primarily to explain and evaluate philosophical arguments and theories in a clear, rational, and rigorous way.