Writing a term paper that is worth a high grade always calls for more than just a couple of research hours and a few words on a paper. Adequate planning, time, and above all, excellent writing skills are some of the essential ingredients required for writing a noteworthy term paper.
Writing an A+ term paper is a learning process and can be a tough task, especially for beginners, and that’s why we can’t afford to sugarcoat and just claim it’s a straight forward endeavor. Creating academic papers and, in particular, term papers can, at times, be frustrating.
In this particular article, you will come across detailed tips and recommendations on how to write a remarkable term paper. Also, you will see how a term paper format looks like, among other exciting things.
What’s A Term Paper?
A term paper is a form of research-based writing assignment that a student is required to submit at the end of an academic semester or term and has significant value on the student’s final score. Basically, the paper is meant to evaluate and track student’s knowledge and skills he or she has acquired over the term.
In a term paper, the assigned topic could be a case study, an event description, an argument, or even a concept. Here, students are required to carry out thorough research and also be well-equipped with technical writing skills. Additionally, the paper should be well written, organized, researched, and well-analyzed as all of these skills will reflect the student’s knowledge on that particular course.
Also, of importance here to note is that a term paper has no fixed length, though on average, it’s about several pages. Furthermore, the teacher or the instructor has the authority to impose specific guidelines in terms of length, structure, etc. In such a scenario, the student must carefully adhere to such set rules.
However, the accepted length commonly is about 5,000 words, which is approximately 15 pages, with 12pt font, single line spacing, and 1nch margined overall term paper format.
Differences Between Research Paper And Term Paper
The time frame is one of the significant differences between the two; term paper and research paper. Basically, a term paper has to be handed over at the end of a term or semester, while a research paper, on the other hand, has no defined timeline. So, a research paper may take a month of years to complete.
Also, in most cases, students are asked to work on their research paper at the beginning of an academic term or semester. On the other hand, a term paper is assigned to students somewhere in the middle of a semester.
The purpose of a research paper, in general, is to find a sustainable solution to a particular problem. In contrast, a term paper, on the other hand, is meant to reflect the student’s knowledge in a specific area, a description, a typical case, etc.
A research paper has a hypothesis which by the end, it should support or reject using viable data. Term paper, on the other hand, is somewhat straight forward in nature and tries typically to support an already existing thesis paper—this the main reason why a research paper requires a significant amount of time.
Impact On Student Grade
Although a research paper is more crucial and also takes considerable time to bring it to completion, it doesn’t have that much touchable effect on student’s final grade as a term paper, which will strongly determine a student’s fate.
The General Format Of A Classic Term Paper
Before getting too deep into how to start writing a term paper and also finding the best topic, there are a couple of things you need to know.
First, the way you format a particular term paper will majorly depend on the course being studied. For instance, the way you will format an economics term paper is different from the way you would format a term paper in legal or social studies.
A well-crafted academic paper will have a clear structure. Also, a well-structured term paper will help the reader to capture the ideas from the text without any struggle. Furthermore, a good structure will help you as the writer not to get lost and end up writing a concise term paper.
A title page will contain the title, student’s name, the course title, and code, name of the instructor, and the date of submission.
In this section, where you’re required to describe your subject or state your topic, elaborate on why you chose to research that particular topic, etc. You’re also required to include any other information relevant to the introductory part.
Abstract ( Statement Or Purpose)
This section presents the question that your paper will clearly answer and also provide a precise summary of your research. In other words, an abstract is an overview of the main ideas, theoretical approaches, and findings to be highlighted in the paper.
Table Of Content
For easy navigation between the papers, you will definitely need a well-structured table of content. Here you usually include headings of every single section and page numbers.
It’s an opening paragraph that highlights to the reader the essential information. You should make sure that your term paper has a compelling introductory part so that your reader can read through, and this will definitely earn you more marks. You should also note that losing the grip of your introductory section will have a substantial adverse effect on your overall paper.
This part may contain several sections as term paper topics may vary. Elements to be included should logically follow each other to ensure there is a flow of events.
The conclusion is usually the last section that ties the paper and ensures that your paper has a logical ending. In this part also, the writer needs to restate the key findings and highlight their importance to the current situation.
All the sources cited and used in the paper should be listed in this particular section in a logical manner, e.g. alphabetical order.
All the information that would be destructing in the body section is usually brought here. In the appendix, the author will include questionnaires, large tables, figures, abbreviations, and images, among other materials.
Tips For Crafting A Brilliant Term Paper
Adequate preparation will always result in quality outcomes, and the same thing applies to all academic papers. Here are some simple and practical ideas that you can easily apply in order to get a brilliant final term paper.
Read The Assignment Carefully
By reading the assignment carefully, you will realize what your instructor wants to see on your term paper.
- Highlight the keywords. Such may include words like compare, comment, analyze, discuss, describe etc. Such keywords will act as an eye-opener to what you are required to do.
- Rewrite the requirements. Here you need to rewrite the provided instructions in your own words. This will help you to pinpoint some important points you might have left out while skimming over the instructions.
- Identify some of the questions that need to be addressed.
Carry Out Thorough Research
The kind of research to be carried out should be aimed at finding enough and detailed information for the selected topic. Skills such as effective note-taking, active reading, critical thinking, among others, need to be applied at this stage.
- Find and then analyze all the relevant information related to the topic of interest. While still reading on, keep the sole question in mind. Also, try to consider the author’s key points, how he or tries to support them and then decide which sources you can use as the basis.
- While still reading, make short notes and mark important quotes and relevant information that you can incorporate in your paper.
- To get more ideas about the topic and also gather the key points in one spot, use mind-mapping, clustering, charts and diagrams.
Make An Outline
Creating a clear outline before writing gives you a sense of control. This will also enable you to know how much time you need to complete the whole paper, which parts require more time etc. More so, it allows you to keep your work flowing smoothly in chronological order.
Create A Calendar
Here, try to divide your paper writing process into a couple of sections and note them down in your calendar.
Avoid Fluff Words
In all pieces of writing, fluff words act as attention killers. Thus, such words should be avoided at all costs, especially in academic work, where the reader is seeking useful information only. This means that every single word in a given paper should be something relevant.
Citation Style Selection
Following a citation style or proper formatting is a must while writing a term paper or a research paper. You can decide to follow the MLA or the APA format. However, always make sure that you stick to a particular style and avoid a mix between the two.
Proofread Your Work
Many students will write a very excellent paper but fail to proofread their work. Even though this exercise may sound painful, it is worth carrying it out as may cost you a lot of marks on your end term paper. Trough proofreading, you will be able to correct simple grammatical and spelling mistakes.
How To Select Great Sources For A Term Paper
Every wise constructor knows that the foundation is the central part of a house. A house that lacks a strong foundation can’t withstand any storm. The same thing applies to all academic writing. Without relevant and reliable information and sources, you will definitely produce a poor paper.
When researching information at the library or on the internet, you will come across tons of information. But how do you decide which information is reliable? Here you need to apply critical thinking skills so that you can know what you need to pay attention to.
- Date – This will determine if the information is relevant or not.
- Design and layout – Here, you need to check out whether the source of your information looks professional.
- Objectivity – The source where you get your ideas should have a clear and defined objective.
- Author – Author source should be easy to find.
- Writing style – Grammatical and spelling mistakes are some of the indicators you can use to know whether the source is reliable. If you find more errors, then there is a high probability that the reference is not reliable.
- Reputation – Here, you will be checking whether the source is non-biased or not.
- Quality And The Amount Of Information – The way information is presented in a given source will tell you whether the source is reliable or not. Here, you need to look for the reference list, graphic information, numbers, etc. Also, the absence of external links and broken links may indicate unreliable information.
- Topic suitability – Check whether the source you’re looking forward to using meets the restrictions of your topic.
In order to get a general understanding, it’s recommended that you read through the text so that you can have clarity of thoughts just from the beginning.
Writing The First Draft Of Your Term Paper
Writing a brilliant term paper may take different approaches, but proper preparation is the key to success. You also need to have enough background information, a clear purpose, a thesis statement, and a clear plan to get you started.
An abstract will mainly focus on what your research is all about, and it’s usually the first section. Writing this particular section after all the subsequent parts will be a wise decision. Try to highlight the key findings in your research as this will enable people who are unfamiliar with your topic to have a clear understanding once they read it. So, always try to keep it informative and simple at the same time. A well-structured abstract should have the following sections;
- An Introduction – Here try to state the issues your paper is addressing and why the topic is of importance. Also show the practical, theoretical or scientific purpose of your research.
- Body – State the key points of your research and what strategy of investigation you have chosen. Also, try to describe the nature of your results.
- Conclusion – Show how the obtained outcomes can be implicated
To have an informative abstract, you will have to reread through your paper underlining the main statements about your research aims, methods, outcomes, and conclusion. All these will now give you a copy of your first draft.
Writing The Introduction
A strong and a well-crafted introduction will have the ability to capture the reader attention and also will help him, or her create a general picture of your whole paper. A good introduction will:
- Grab The Reader’s Attention. A brilliant introduction will start with a surprising statement, an interesting fact, a contradiction or a short statement that clearly show the importance of the topic.
- Give An Overview. An introduction should give a short description of the problem and also highlight the aim of the paper. It’s also crucial to state how the topic meets the wider context.
- Mark Thesis Statement. This tries to tell the reader what your argument is or the question of interest you’re trying to address. Don’t show your intention here.
Write The body By Creating Ideas
After carrying out the research and you have touchable outcomes and notes, now weigh what you have at hand. Then note down the results of your findings and leave out unnecessary information.
Drafting topic sentences while still referring to your outline is one of the most excellent ways of writing your body section. Also, the length of your body section will depend on the subject matter, and the instructions provided. Here are some general ideas on how your body section should be written:
- The paper should be well-crafted and fragmented into various sections and sub-sections. Also, every single chapter should have a title focusing on one specific idea.
- Give points priority depending on your assignment instructions and goals, i.e. sources should be analyzed accordingly; primary and secondary sources.
- You should have enough evidence to support your ideas eg data.
- Always add citations to prove your ideas and also avoid short summaries of any existing information.
- You should gradually develop your ideas from general ones to specific.
- Strike a balance between your ideas and the existing sources. Try not to depend much on already existing sources.
- Try to keep body paragraph short.
In this section, this is where you summarize all the information and ideas you have discussed in detail in the main section. So, when writing your conclusion, there are a couple of points you need to consider:
- Never introduce any new idea in this particular section
- Reintroduce the ideas you have already discussed in the body section and then reaffirm the thesis statement.
- In just a few words, discuss the final outcomes of your research.
- Elaborate the implication for future learning.
Do A Thorough Revision And Polish The First Draft
If you have successfully written your first draft paper and you still have some time left, now it’s time to polish your text. Unfortunately, many of us tend to ignore this step, and it may cost you a lot. Many instructors tend to consider some of the silly mistakes they find on your paper as an insult. If such errors dominate, they may draw significant attention to your reader than your main ideas.
Reading through your first draft will help you know how you can make your term paper more convincing and clean. Check for points that do not fit well and either fix or remove them. Also, to connect your ideas and have a flow, try to add more transition words or phrase.
Finally, check your paper format and layout to know whether you have used the right one.
Key Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Your Term Paper
- Choosing A Broad Topic. – By doing so, it will be hard for you to analyze your topic or achieve the word limit. Most likely, you will also end up having excessive information about the subject. It’s thus wise to select a narrower topic.
- Failure To Support Your Statements – This can be done by supporting your ideas with excellent references or with personal findings.
- Uses of unreliable sources – Always make sure that all the sources you use are professional. Sources such as Wikipedia, personal blogs, YouTube, Fox News, and most websites with a “.com” domain should be avoided.
- Failure to proofread your paper – According to experts, proofing your paper just one time is never enough. Never rely on spelling checking tools but always go through word by word.
- Grammar errors – Issues like passive voice, repetitions among others should as well be fixed.
- Plagiarism – Reusing someone else’s ideas and trying to make them appear as if they’re yours, is considered as plagiarism. Every idea you borrow from a different source should always be cited correctly.
We know writing a brilliant term paper isn’t that easy. Missed deadlines, lack of proper preparation, tons of homework, sudden ailment, and lack of enough time among others are some of the major challenges you might encounter which may end up spoiling your writing plan. So, in case you find yourself in such a situation, don’t worry since you now have the term paper writing services at your disposal.