A term paper is a type of writing that requires analytical skills and ability to research. Any term paper is completed to demonstrate to the tutors the scope of learned material that was covered in class. It is a good way to understand how well the students are familiar with a certain problem, and how successful they are in researching and explaining it.
Term paper writing does not have a certain shape and pattern, in contrast with essay writings or research papers. Moreover, a term paper can be any of the academic genres. It is up to the professor to choose a form of writing that will be suitable for the assigned task.
However, here is an organized way to prepare for term paper writing that can be stated in six easy steps.
- Term Papers: Subject and Topic
- Term Papers: Research and Sources
- Term Papers: Notes
- Term Papers: Outline
- Term Papers: Draft
- Term Papers: Editing and Revising
Term Papers: Subject and Topic
If there is no specific topic, you can choose a subject that corresponds to the information covered in class. When choosing, be sure to pick a theme that is of particular interest to you. Any research turns out to be good and successful if it is done with desire to find out interesting facts. A subject has to be a question. Stating it as such will help you solve two problems in a row. First of all, a question will narrow the topic down to an amount of material that is manageable to research, for it will appeal to a certain point of an issue and will require specific answers to be covered throughout the term paper. Secondly, these answers will form a firm structure of the term paper and will help you analyze the problem in stages. Consider encyclopedias and textbooks used in class as your starting point in quest of the question. Having decided on general subject, feel free to carry out a more thorough research in order to select a topic for your term paper that interests you the most. Talk to your tutor. Discuss your topic with him/her to avoid possible problems.
Term Papers: Research and Sources
Internet today offers millions of possibilities to find credible sources of information. Admit it: you can write a term paper using only one article found online. But is it enough? No. A good research requires good sources. First of all, they have to be up-to-date materials. Tutors usually insist that information has to be no more than 15 years old, unless you examine authentic writing and historical documents for your term paper writing, of course. The easiest way to pass this step is to choose materials used in class. Most often, it is just enough. If you are absolutely into your question, look for additional information. Talk to librarians. Your term paper topic will be of no problem to these experienced people familiar with available researches. Ask your tutor which sources he would advise you to use. Use monographs and journal articles, for they form the basis of scientific researches. Specialized journals will also add credibility to your term paper, providing you with narrow and specific information oftentimes followed by quality statistical data to support your arguments.
Term Papers: Notes
Good old rule for effective reading says: “Read carefully and thoughtfully, and take detailed notes”. This statement is by all means true. Not a lot of students will want to go over the same material again and again looking for “that place where there is information needed for a term paper...” Wise people read and note at the same time. If you have photocopies, use a highlighter to underline important facts. Another secret of keeping good notes for term paper writing is using cards. It is amazing how many people profited from placing notes on cards and organizing them in a sequence they have to appear in their term papers. When getting acquainted with the sources, pay specific attention to quotations. Good quotes are like good facts – almost unbeatable. Finally, keep track of your sources. Be sure to note all the data about the authors of monographies, titles and addresses of information you used for your term paper writing. It is better than coming back and looking for it again.
Term Papers: Outline
Writing a term paper is not the same as writing a letter to a friend. With the last one, you never know where it brings you in the end. The term paper, on the other hand, has to be planned all the way till its end. Only this approach will help you build a strong argumentation around your thesis statement. To construct a good outline, go over your notes and reveal a logical sequence, in which the facts can be organized. Divide the notes into groups. Now you can write an outline in accordance with the groups of notes and, therefore, information you possess. Be sure to check that all facts have examples and illustrations, and vice versa – avoid plain statements that will lead more into philosophy, not into academic research. Follow the fact-example structure to succeed in writing a term paper.
Term Papers: Draft
Now that all the preparations are completed, write your first draft. There is a simple formula any tutor will urge you to follow when writing a term paper supported by an outline. Firstly, tell the reader what your term paper writing is about. If to say it in a fancy way, state your thesis. Try to keep a thesis simple to understand and short to read (no more than two sentences), and be sure to introduce it in the first paragraph. Now, say what there is to say. Write the main paragraphs and do not limit your term paper writing to only three or four. Use as many paragraphs as it is needed to cover the material. Finally, tell the reader what the primary goal of your term paper was and whether you have managed to achieve it. Write a conclusion. Avoid short sentences, childish and high school constructions, and biased language. Your first draft will help you produce a well organized and thoroughly researched term paper.
Term Papers: Editing and Revising
No matter how confident you are in the quality of your term paper, be sure to go over it and check for minor mistakes, grammar, punctuation, overall flow, and logical sequence. Put your thesis statement in front of you and see whether your paper addresses the question(s) from the beginning and up to the end or it goes sideways. Editing proves to be more effective when it is done on a fresh head. Do not go editing right after you finish writing a term paper. Give yourself some rest. If you are not sure in your editing skills, ask for friendly advice, but be careful and avoid adding someone else’s mistakes to your term paper.