Some college assignments are more challenging than others, and a term paper is definitely one of those. It’s an extensive piece of writing typically written at the end of a semester. By assigning it, teachers aim to check what students have learned over the entire course.
Writing a compelling term paper takes a lot of research. Students need to study primary and secondary sources and present a comprehensive overview of their findings. This involves the use of analytical and critical thinking skills. You also need to be attentive when outlining, formatting and editing your paper. Even though the process is more demanding than writing an essay or discussion post, it’s also more rewarding because a term paper usually makes up a large part of your final grade.
The only way to write a commendable piece is to stay organized and focused on every step of the process. Here are five tips that will help understand what teachers are looking for in submissions and write a winning term paper.
A term paper is meant to show how well you know the course material. That’s why you need to spend some time brainstorming and reflecting on what you’ve learned. The process leads to new insights and perspectives, which allow you to show that you can actually apply the information and have an in-depth understanding of the matter.
The main purpose of brainstorming is to organize your ideas during the prewriting stage. However, the other benefit of it is that it allows you to realize whether you need to get papers writing help to write a term paper. Sometimes it’s better to delegate the task if you feel like you don’t have enough time or energy to complete it by yourself. This way, you’ll avoid the stress and frustration of dealing with such a challenging assignment.
Writing a term paper is impossible without in-depth research. Remember to approach every source critically:
- Be clear about what information you want to find.
- Determine how the information relates to your research objectives.
- Identify the main message of each source.
- Evaluate the credibility of sources.
- Consider the context.
- List the sources you quote, paraphrase, or summarize to acknowledge the ideas of other people.
Working with sources isn’t easy. You need to know how to find trustworthy and reputable publications. Besides, you must be meticulous when documenting every source you use to make sure your term paper is plagiarism-free. A lot of students choose to entrust the task to a paper writing help. It saves a lot of time as you can get your term paper done without being dead tired after reading countless journal articles and reports.
- Outlining and Drafting
A term paper should be balanced and cover all the required questions, and an outline serves to make it happen. A typical outline includes:
- The title page introduces the title of the paper, author, and educational institution.
- The abstract (optional part) is a 150-word summary of a term paper that contains a problem statement, purpose, methods used, results, and conclusion.
- The introduction provides a brief overview of the discussed problem and highlights its relevance. Don’t forget to end it with a strong thesis statement that expresses your main message.
- The body of a term paper includes your major points, evidence, and supporting ideas. They build on each other, explaining your thesis statement and providing comprehensive argumentation. You should show your contribution to the body of research by introducing your findings. If relevant, mention research methods with comments on usage and relevance of the collected data.
- The conclusion serves to summarize your findings and underline their relevance and importance in the broader context.
- The references list all the cited sources.
- The appendix (optional part) provides any relevant information that doesn’t fit in the body, like large tables, images, etc.
The format of a term paper might vary depending on the task and academic discipline. While in most cases, it should be organized like a proper scientific paper, it can also take a simple question and answer format if your instructor specifically requests it.
Some of the technical requirements to formatting a term paper are:
- Legible and consistent font like 11-point Arial or 12-point Times New Roman;
- Double spacing;
- 1-inch margins on every side of the page;
- 1/2-inch paragraph indentation.
You should also observe the word count requirements. A typical term paper includes 5-7 pages. Note that the title page, abstract, references, and appendix aren’t included in the word count.
To turn a good paper into a great one, you need to edit your initial draft. The key here is to stay critical even though it might be difficult to evaluate your own writing.
The editing process isn’t limited to correcting grammar errors. View it as a chance to:
- Reconsider your major points.
- Add or substitute evidence.
- Improve the structure or organization of the paper.
- Rethink the purpose of your piece.
- Strengthen the thesis statement.
- Proofread the term paper.
- Adjust the focus of the paper.
- Eliminate irrelevant information.
- Check transitions between ideas and the overall balance within the paper.
The task will be much easier if you give yourself some time away from the term paper and return to it with fresh eyes.
To Sum Up
A term paper is one of the most complex academic assignments. As it requires you to show your knowledge of the entire course, be ready to spend hours researching and planning its content. It’s also crucial to take care of the outline and make sure you follow the formatting requirements. Organization and attention to detail are key to crafting a top-notch term paper.