How to write a Term paper?
- By Cathlyn H.
- March 29, 2022
- 12 Min Read
Got a term paper to write? You’ve got no time to keep looking over the internet for it. It isn’t just researching for some hours and writing down all the information. A term paper is much more than just that.
First, you have to clear off your mind from any distractions and put your entire focus into your paper. Don’t panic! It isn’t an impossible task, and you can still do it with your all.
Few things that you require for writing a good term paper include proper planning, time, above-average writing skills, presence of mind, and whatnot. If you want your paper to be the best, you need to focus on it entirely and try writing in a more academic style than your usual writing style.
Just putting your all won’t be enough if you don’t possess enough knowledge of the ways to write a term paper.
Tension not! We have all the guidelines, ways of preparing term paper structure, outline, and many more points, which we will discuss in this article. In the end, you will know all about term papers. It will also help to reduce your difficulties in writing a good paper effectively.
Term Paper Definition And What Does It Mean?
Term paper definition: A term paper is a research-based academic paper that can take research or a report. Usually, the school, college, or university assigns this paper at the end of your term. It has vivid importance in terms of grades for the subject on which the teachers assign it.
What does it mean exactly?
In a term paper, the student has to discuss a specific assigned topic elaborately. The topic can be a case study, an event description, an argument, or a concept.
It is strictly mandatory that you keep the paper free from any plagiarism. Otherwise, it can affect your grade for the subject course.
Term papers are usually lengthy, but it doesn’t come with an officially fixed length. You can ask your teacher about the paper length and then stick to it. If you are free to go on your own, you can go for the commonly accepted length, around 5000 words.
You should note that although a term paper is a research-based paper, it’s not similar to a research paper. So, to clear that confusion, we will discuss the differences between a term paper and a research paper.
What’s The Difference Between A Term And A Research Paper?
You may mix up the terms research paper and term papers. Chill, you too are human! The fact is that these two are different terms and have different meanings. The main difference between the two is the time frame.
When discussing a term paper, you have to submit it at the end of your term or semester. On the other hand, you would need some months or even years to complete a research paper.
Even the time frame for giving the assignment for both papers is different. While the teachers provide the term paper around the middle of your semester, they give the research paper at the semester’s beginning.
Another noticeable difference between a term paper and a research paper is the purpose of the paper. A term paper aims to reflect your knowledge on a particular topic elaborately. In contrast, a research paper has the purpose of finding a viable solution to a specific problem.
When talking about term papers, it includes arguments or persuasions that need facts or evidence from several sources such as academic papers, textbooks, or literary magazines. On the other hand, research papers are academic studies that require answering theoretical questions.
Another difference between the research paper and the term paper is that it is based on a hypothesis that it either supports or rejects with feasible data. Meanwhile, a term paper has a simple nature and helps an existing thesis paper in most cases.
Compared to a term paper, a research paper carries a relatively longer length due to its nature. Moreover, a research paper wouldn’t affect your final grade as much as the term paper, which can significantly affect your grades.
Term Paper Outline
One of the most vital writing processes is preparing the term paper outline or structure. You have to create the term paper structure while researching for your paper since it will also help you decide on what you will be discussing in your paper.
If you have prepared a proper term paper outline, it will be beneficial to stick to your main points, effectively increasing your term paper’s quality and credibility.
It may also happen that the teacher who is assigning the term paper to you might ask for a term paper outline before you submit the paper itself. It will help them get an idea of what you will be presenting and may also suggest some areas of improvement.
There are several templates for choosing a term paper structure, but its main parts include the introduction, the body, and the conclusion like most other academic papers. You should prepare a well-drafted and well-researched term paper structure or outline to ensure having a good paper.
Let’s get to the basic idea of a term paper outline in the points below:
- Introduction: The introduction is the starting of the term paper, and you need to start it with a statement on the topic that you will discuss in the paper. In this part, you can explain the significance of your paper topic so that your teacher will know what you will discuss in the paper. You should also add something about how you will discuss or solve the issue.
- Body: Next to the introduction comes the body paragraphs of your paper. You have to point out all the main aspects of your topics with some supporting sentences in this part. You should provide the necessary information regarding your topic so that the readers can understand what it’s all about. You can also add the analysis of your research on the topic.
- Results: During your paper, you should also add how your research has affected your beliefs regarding the subject. How has the research changed your views on the subject? If your thoughts are the same, then why is it like that? These are some questions that you have to answer in this part.
- Conclusion: The last part of your paper would be the conclusion, where you will add a summary of your paper correctly. You also have to explain the topic in question. You can end your paper with a question that will prompt your audience to research more on the topic through a discussion.
Term Paper Format
The term paper format depends on the teacher who’s assigning the topic or the subject. If the teacher gives you a specific format such as APA or MLA, you should stick to the same.
However, if they choose to choose it yourself, you can go with a format based on the subject. If you are writing a paper on social science-related subjects, you can go with APA style, and if it’s an art and humanities-related subject, you can go with the MLA format.
Thus, MLA and APA styles are the most commonly used term paper formats for other academic writings. Let’s see how you can write your paper in these formats:
APA style format:
APA is the short form for the American Psychological Association, a type of document format primarily used for academic papers. If you have a term paper in subjects related to social sciences, you should use this style for your term paper format. This format requires referencing in the following ways:
- The author’s name
- The book’s title
- The publication year
- The publication location
MLA style format:
MLA is the short form for the Modern Language Association, a document format style used in subjects related to arts and humanities. Hence, if you have a term paper on humanities-related or literary subjects, you should go for the MLA style for your term paper format. The referencing for MLA style papers requires the following details:
- The publication name
- The publication date
- The publication location
Note: In APA style format, you have to include a title page, whereas MLA only requires your information on the header of your first page for the assignment. Moreover, both styles need a 12 pt Time New Roman font with 1″ margins on all sides and double spacing. The only difference is on the title page, referencing, and quoting styles.
Parts Of A Term Paper:
As you already know about the term paper structure and term paper outline, you would see that it has three main parts- the introduction, main body, and conclusion. However, these parts won’t make your paper complete.
To make your paper complete, you have to add several more small parts. Let’s check out all the parts included in a term paper:
- Content: The content that you will include in your term paper.
- Title page: The title page is a separate paper that includes your name, course title, instructor’s name, and the submission date.
- Acknowledgment: This part includes the inspiration for your subject and other relevant introductions.
- Abstract: This part includes a brief overview or summary of your paper.
- Literature Review: This part includes the discussion on your previous related research works and studies that assisted you in constructing your methodology and approach.
- Methodology: This part of the paper includes a description that explains your research and experimental approaches in steps.
- Results: In this part, you have to conclude your research and your findings through it. You can also show some measurable results (if applicable to your topic).
- Future recommendations: You can suggest new ideas that one can work on in the future through future recommendations.
- Reference list: When you write a term paper, you will collect the resources from several references. This part includes the list of your references.
How To Write A Term Paper?
If you want to prepare a good term paper writing, you should know how to write one effectively. If you aren’t aware of it, then this article will assist you. Let’s read some of the ideas to help you write the best term paper to attain good grades.
- Research well: Without having adequate knowledge of your topic, how do you plan on writing the best paper? Starting right away without proper research will only result in long wasted hours trying to develop creative ideas. In addition to that, you should spend some pleasant hours researching your topic.
- Prepare an outline: Once you have done a good amount of research, you have to outline the term paper structure to put your points properly. It will even hint at what you need to write and how long it will take. Moreover, you can ensure that you add everything in chronological order and the outlines to avoid mistakes.
- Write an impressive introduction: No matter what academic paper you write, an introduction will be similar to term papers. The introduction can decide whether your reader will read your paper with interest or not. Hence, try to make it exciting and compelling. To do that, you can add a hook sentence such as a question, fact, quote, or anecdote.
- Create a compelling title: When you are aware of your topic, you should start thinking of a title for your paper. It would be good to create an eye-catching title if you want your paper to be perfect and impressive.
- Add an impression on the readers: You might want to write a term paper that will keep the reader thinking even after they have done the reading part. How can you do it? The answer lies in the concluding part of your paper. You should restate your topic standpoint in your conclusion and even add a question or s statement which will keep your reader thinking about the topic in discussion.
- Edit and proofread your paper: In the end, it’s very crucial to proofread and edit your term paper. Proofreading will let you know if you need to change or grammar mistakes are prevalent in your paper. Editing will help you to solve these errors so that your paper turns out well.
How To Choose References For The Term Paper?
Now that you know the correct way to write and outline your term paper, you would like to see how you can find sources from which you can take references for your paper topic.
Finding the correct source will lead to effective research. It will also help you to write your term paper without any difficulties.
Moreover, if you don’t have a reliable source of your topic’s references, your paper won’t be good enough to get high marks. Hence, it’s crucial to find reliable and quality sources for your topic.
The question is, how? How to find reliable sources for term papers? It’s not that tough to look at. You can take the help of the internet or the library for finding references.
But just the internet or library doesn’t mean everything there would be reliable. You have to look through the sources to understand whether they would be reliable or not. Some details to pay attention to for understanding the reliability of sources include:
- Design: It’s most likely that if the source doesn’t appear professional or reliable, then it isn’t.
- Date: You should also determine whether the information is relevant or not by checking its dates.
- Author: You can check for the author’s name on the source. Then, you can check whether the works of that particular author are reliable or not.
- Objectivity: Check whether your selected source has an educational or professional purpose. If the source tries to sell something, it won’t be reliable, and you shouldn’t use it.
- Writing style: If the source you consider comes with any typos or grammatical errors, it’s likely to be unreliable.
- Suitability to your topic: Before using any source as a reference for your term paper, you have to ensure whether it’s suitable to the limitations of your topic or not.
- Reputation: If you go with authoritative websites that are unbiased, then it would be perfect for a reference. However, you should avoid any biased sources.
Note: Some of the examples of acceptable term paper sources include articles/publications (.edu), government official research results, statistical data, etc. (.gov), open educational resources (.org), books, journals, textbooks, conference recordings, etc. Some examples of unacceptable sources include Wikipedia, YouTube, personal blogs, websites having .com domains, etc.
Ways To Write A Term Paper Proposal
Before writing a term paper, most instructors want the students to give in a proposal to help them decide whether they approve of it.
Through a term paper proposal, you have to defend your topic to your instructor. You will be able to write your paper on the selected topic. Hence, you should ensure that you write your term paper proposal correctly.
In a term paper proposal, you have to include your paper topic’s recent studies or research. Also, it’s crucial to add proper referencing. It’s kind of a short article that states the relevance of your topic to your course and contains a clear explanation. Hence, in the proposal, you have to add your objectives and organize your points by properly adding your ideas.
Mistakes To Avoid While Writing A Term Paper:
When considering the guidelines for writing your term paper, there are also some mistakes that you should consider avoiding. If you avoid such mistakes while writing your paper, then you can make it perfect. Hence, below are some of the mistakes that you should avoid:
- Using unreliable sources: You should always avoid using sources that aren’t professional and are unreliable. Such sources can degrade the quality of your term paper.
- Plagiarism: When using sources to take ideas for your term paper topic, ensure that you only get ideas from it and avoid copying their concepts entirely. You can also pay attention to adding proper citations to the references and quotations.
- Using repetitive sentences: You should avoid using repetitive sentences as it degrades the value of your work. Also, using passive sentences will result in a low-quality paper.
- Unsupportive sentences: If your supporting sentences don’t back up your point of view, those sentences will seem against your main point, which will seem negative. Hence, you should add sentences that are supportive and give evidence to your points.
- Not proofreading: If you fail to proofread your blog, then the chances are that your paper would contain some mistakes that the readers may notice. Hence, you should avoid not proofreading your term paper.
- Selecting a broad topic: If your term paper’s topic is broad, you would have difficulties adhering to the word limits. It can turn out to be problematic for you. Hence, try avoiding broad topics for your term paper.
As you know already, a term paper is one of the most complex forms of academic paper that you will get to write. However, your semester or term final grades will depend upon it.
Thus, you have to work hard on it and achieve the best results to get good grades. You can get good grades by writing it correctly using the proper techniques, guidelines, and outlines.
Thus, you can start with your research more elaborately once your professor or teacher accepts your term paper proposal (which we have discussed how to write). You can perform extensive research on the topic so that you know all about it before writing it.
When you get adequate knowledge, you can start preparing the term paper outline or structure. After the outline, ensure that you follow the correct term paper format as per the guidelines, then you can write it effectively.
After writing, ensure that you perform a proofread and edit any mistakes. And there you go! You have completed this complex task of writing a term paper to get high credits in your course.