How To Write A Term Paper For College

What is a term paper for you? Generally, it is a written assignment of reasonable length in which it is necessary to analyze and interpret the obtained information concerning a specific topic. In real life, it is a stressful and troublesome process, especially for dummies. Every semester college and high school students are required to prepare term papers on a research topic relevant to the subject covered in the class. Writing a concise text is the aim for many students as mediocre results cannot bring academic success. Want to take your term paper to the head of the class? Follow the simple steps of our guide and learn the peculiarities of preparation and creation of the term paper outline, introduction, body, and conclusion: 

Step1 Selection of a Topic

There are two possible situations: a professor gives you a topic or you have the opportunity to choose it on your own. Be specific. On the one hand, you may visit the school library and begin finding the sources. In the latter case, you have to brainstorm the ideas and take over the responsibility for choosing the proper theme. Take advantage of the situation in any situation. It is the most common problem to find a suitable topic as the decision may influence the whole working process. If you ignore this part of the assignment, the absence of the needed materials and inspiration will spoil the whole quality of your college term paper. Just ask yourself several questions:

  • Am I interested in the subject?

  • Which topic may be useful for me in future?

  • Does the topic fit the format?

  • Is the subject likely to be covered in articles and books?

Have you answered “YES” to at least three questions? It is proved that if a student is interested in the theme, the process flows quicker and the knowledge absorbs better. 

Step 2 Research Process

Once you’ve chosen the topic, it is high time to start the research. Every academic text should be organized according to the needed formatting style. Check the available samples of the similar papers on the Web and sit down to your work with a clear plan in your mind. Make a list of keywords that will be helpful for both online and offline searches and read fluently every article, journal or book related to the subject and take special notes from solid references. Look for information on your topic in the library, the major department, and other sources appropriate for it. 
Grab all the materials and get down to work in a quiet place where nothing can disturb you. Scholarly books contain information that is more specific while books are for a more general audience. Additionally, use reviews as they contain helpful references and leads to primary sources.  Write out the page where the passage you intend to quote takes place, note important statistics, proper names, and definitions. 

Step 3 Structure

How to draw up a term paper? It is needed to follow the simple structure that includes:

  • Title page

  • Contents

  • List of abbreviations

  • List of figures

  • Intro

  • Body

  • Conclusion 

  • References

  • Abstract

Talk to your instructor in order to know the exact text length for your assignment. Generally, it doesn’t exceed 3500 words or 8 – 10 pages. Indicate the name of your school, the name of the lecturer, title of your term paper, year/semester and contacts on the title page. What do you want to write about? 
Write a statement outlining the main peculiarities of the paper (prospectus). The guiding question and the argument why it is interesting should be presented in the introduction. Argue your points or answer the central question by providing with the needed evidence in the main section that can be subdivided into subchapters. The conclusion is the type of summary where you may support your point and answer the central question. Sometimes the question remains open and suggests points which deserve further research. 

Step 4 Write a Term Paper!

Organize the information you have gathered according to your outline and check it for reliability, currency, and accuracy. Don’t waste any minute and proceed to the writing process! Information that is not relevant to your topic or hard to your understanding should be removed. Be able to communicate your ideas, insights, and thoughts in your first draft. In this case, you can write fast without paying attention to the grammatical correctness of the text. Prepare everything for writing your well-organized term paper exactly as outlined. 

Step 5 Edit and Write a Final Paper

Doesn’t matter if you are working on the term paper in History or Engineering, the most pleasant and the most critical part of the whole process is writing a final draft. Read your rough draft written previously and analyze whether it captures the essence of your idea. Plagiarism is out of the question. If you followed the previous steps, your text must be unique. You should detect any content errors personally and with the help of special online grammar and proofreading checkers and reorganize your outline if necessary. Final paper with proper spelling, punctuation, and structure makes your term paper attractive and meet the requirements specified by your lecturer. Finally, before submitting your assignment ask yourself: "Is this the best version of the term paper that I can do?"

Before we delve into the structure of a term paper, let’s first define it and look into the objectives of this writing assignment. A term paper is a research paper required at the end of a school semester. It tracks and evaluates the students’ knowledge about the course. Usually a scientific report or a discussion of an assigned topic, the term paper requires a lot of research and technical writing expertise. This academic writing assignment as this reflects your knowledge of a certain course.


Table Of Contents


How To Outline a Term Paper

The outline of the paper should be made before researching and writing because this will serve as your skeleton as you continue on your work. There are a lot of paper templates to choose from, but most of the time your instructor will require a certain essay format for the whole class to follow. The main parts should include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

Sample Topics

Instructors usually provide topics related to your course. However, sometimes you are free to choose your own paper topic, read articles, news, magazines, and blogs to get ideas for a term paper topic. Make sure that the topic you choose will fulfill the objectives of your course and will interest you. If a certain topic interest you, researching and writing about it will be easier and more fun.

The following should be considered when choosing a topic:

  • Length: Consider the length of the required paper. Will it be a 10-page long or 5-page short? How many words are required? Considering the length will help you choose a certain topic because you will be able to decide how broad your subject will be.
  • Resources: Check out your school or community library for available resources. Go through available online research resources and make sure you will have hands on books and other materials needed for reference.
  • Complexity: Make sure that you will be able to explain your topic no matter how complex it may be. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask experts. Let your professor explain a certain area in your topic.

How To Start

Before starting, make sure to follow instructions given to you. Clarifications should be made with your instructor before doing any research or writing work. If you want quality work and a high grade, plan ahead and make time every day for writing your paper. Allot time for proofreading your work before handing it to your professor.

A good way to start is by creating a compelling and creative title. Your title page is the first impression of your work so make sure that it will capture your reader’s attention. Take note of the parts as you research and write away.

Structure Example

The structure should be organized and well-researched. Our academic writer reminds that technical writing skills should be crucial in organizing your ideas. The following is the term paper rubric, abstract, or layout that you should follow in presenting your argument or topic:

  • Cover page: Align the text containing your name, course number, your teacher’s name and the date of the deadline.
  • Abstract: Usually less than a page long, It lets the readers know where the paper is headed, the issue at hand and why the subject was interesting or important enough that you decided to write about it.
  • Introduction:The introduction should begin with a statement on the topic to be discussed. Give current social events that are linked or explain the significance of the problem at hand.
  • Body: The body of your text should contain the synthesis of your research. Provide information about the topic so that Don’t forget certain positions pertaining to the issue and the analysis of the research you have done.
  • Results:. How has your view changed from when you began the project? Has it stayed the same, and why? Tie everything you’ve been explaining into what you started saying in your introduction.
  • Discussion: Finish by stating an opening question or by prompting the reader to continue his or her own research on the subject through a discussion.

Download: Term Paper Example

How to Write a Proposal

Before researching and writing, you should know what a term paper proposal is. Basically, you should be able to defend your topic to your instructor through this proposal. This proposal must be handed in and approved before writing the actual term paper.

Include recent studies or research about your topic. Show relevance of your topic to your course effectively by submitting a short article with a clear explanation. Provide your objectives and observe organization in the flow of your ideas.

Related: How To Write a Research Proposal

If your professor didn’t provide a proposal template or sample, you could follow this format:

  • Title: This is a draft title of what you want to research on. Make it clear and comprehensible.
  • Objectives: This part should define your outcomes after your research. You should be able to answer questions above all, in a term paper.
  • Relevance and Importance: Include recent news, social events, articles, and blogs leading to the importance of the topic. Your topic should be up to date and capture the attention of the reader.

There are many examples available online including formats and templates. You can follow these formats but make sure that you maintain your proposal’s organization and don’t forget to highlight main points and objectives.

Format

In arranging the format, consider first the length and the citation style to be used. When you have researched on a certain topic, you are required to use a specific citation style. If you forget to reference properly, you might be accused of plagiarism. Also, a term paper is an academic writing assignment therefore, APA or MLA citation styles are commonly used.

  • Use APA (American Psychological Association) term paper format for social sciences. To reference a book in an APA style term paper, the publication name, date, and location are needed. So make sure to take note of this during your research.
  • The MLA (Modern Language Association) term paper format are used for liberal arts and humanities. The publication name, date, and location are needed in this format as well.

Good Term Paper Example

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

Tutor Joseph, from EssayPro

This article is very helpful. However, I would like to add my advice to the topic selection process. When you select a topic, choose one that enhances your understanding of the subject. Usually, I would advise choosing a topic that one finds interesting, but with this kind of paper, demonstrating knowledge as opposed to finding something particularly interesting to write about. To begin, get an idea to act as the foundation of the term paper. The idea should relate to the text and the subject. If this is written for a particular class, note down some of the class discussions that you had while taking the class and consider writing about those. That will get you brownie points with the professor. That being said, avoid general topics. Narrow it down according to the article’s directions. Before finally choosing the topic, clarify it with your professor if possible. Go during office hours and ask if they have any advice for in what direction you can take the term paper.

Get Help from Experts

Researching and writing really take a lot of time and effort. Also, school assignments and examinations usually pile up at the end of the semester. If you need custom writing help, don’t hesitate to use EssayPro. This is your number one go-to site for term paper writing service. Experienced writers from all around the world will attend to your writing needs immediately. These writers can proofread and improve your academic paper. They can also help you choose a topic and edit your referencing into an APA or MLA format. What are you waiting for? Head on over to EssayPro!

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