Writing a term paper is much more than a couple of hours spent on research and several lines on paper. Before we dive deep into the term paper structure, let’s first define what it is and look into the objectives of this writing assignment.
- What Is a Term Paper
- How to Start
- Term Paper Outline
- How to Write a Term Paper Proposal
- Term Paper Example
- Writing Help from Experts
What Is a Term Paper
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 must be well-written, analytical, organized, and well-researched as this reflects your knowledge of a certain course.
Watch our video guide to get more information about that type of research paper and get back to reading. Our next step for writing a term paper is choosing a topic.
Term Paper Topics
Instructors usually provide topics related to your course. However, sometimes you are free to choose your own paper topic. Try surfing the web, reading 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 interests 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 10 pages long or 5 pages 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 the experts. Have your professor explain certain areas in your topic that you don’t feel you’ve fully grasped.
Take a look at best essay topics & ideas
How to Start a Term Paper
Before starting, make sure to follow the instructions given to you. Clarifications should be made with your instructor before doing any research or writing work. Don’t wait until the last minute before you start writing a research paper. 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.
Term Paper Outline
The outline of the paper should be produced before researching and writing a term paper because it will serve as the basis around which you will build your work. There are a lot of paper templates to choose from, but most of the time your instructor will require you to follow a certain essay format. The main parts should include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
The structure should be organized and well-researched. 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, the abstract describes your paper. 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. Write about how you plan to resolve the issue.
- Body: The body of your text should contain the synthesis of your research. Provide information about the topic so that the reader can further understand what is being discussed. Don’t forget certain positions pertaining to the issue and the analysis of the research you have done.
- Results: Explain why your research has led you to believe certain things about your subject. 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: End with a summary and a conclusion about the topic in question. Finish by stating an opening question or by prompting the reader to continue his or her own research on the subject through a discussion.
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How to Write a Term Paper 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 on your topic. Don’t forget to insert proper referencing. 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.
You might also be interested in getting detailed info on 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. Make it clear and comprehensible.
- Objectives: This part should define your outcomes after your research.
- 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 the main points and objectives.
Term Paper Format
In arranging the format, consider first the length and the citation style to be used. When you have researched 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 author’s name, the book’s title, the year of publication, the publisher and its location are needed. So make sure to take note of this during your research.
- The MLA (Modern Language Association) format is most commonly used in liberal arts and humanities. The publication name, date, and location are needed in this format as well.
Term Paper Example
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Get Help from Experts
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