A Comprehensive Guide for writing your term paper writing assignment
If you are a student in college or university, it is likely you have come across the word term-paper in your assignments or course description. Maybe you are writing one or preparing to write one. Well, there are a few important points you may want to note before starting your term paper writing assignment. In this guide, I present everything you need to know about writing a term paper in the following order. First, I define and explain what is a term paper. In part two, we look at how to research, outline, and write the term paper. Part three explains the difference between a term paper and a research paper.
Let’s Dive Right In
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What is a Term Paper?
A term paper is an extensive writing assignment for examining learning achievements for a semester/term. Learn how to write a term paper in this full guide. According to Merian-Webster Dictionary, writing a term paper assignment allows a student to demonstrate academic achievements in a given course, module, or course during a duration of one term or semester (a “term” depends on how your school defines a term). In most cases, writing a term paper may be confused with writing a research paper but they have significant differences and similarities (We will look at this in detail later in this guide).
Part 1: Guidelines for Selecting and Developing a Topic in Term Paper Writing
#1. Have a Topic for Your Term-Paper
A topic helps you to create a context for your term paper. In other words, ask yourself this: what do I want to write about? In choosing a good topic for your term paper, you must remember that a lot of research and a lot of writing is expected. This means that you have to choose something you can comfortably write for approximately 12+ pages. Therefore, your topic should be interesting to you so that you don’t easily get bored or unmotivated in the middle. An interesting topic also ensures you don’t run out of words in the middle of writing a term paper. If you don’t have a research topic in mind, you can engage us in the chatbox and we can help you select the best topic for your term paper writing assignment.
#2. Brainstorm ideas on the topic you selected for the term paper writing assignment
Well-done! You now have a topic for your paper. But now you are wondering: where do I start? Statistics from our experience as an essay writing company is that many students who contact us for term paper writing services are at this step. This is the best place to start your term paper after identifying a suitable topic. Brainstorming the topic helps you to identify some points you already know about your topic or want to discuss in detail when writing your term paper. During brainstorming,
- write down some of the ideas you have about the topic by thinking about why this is the best topic for your term paper.
- note the key points you want to raise in your paper, and
- have a rough but genuine plan about how you may want to arrange your ideas in the paper. Which idea(s) comes first?
The goal of brainstorming is to point out your ideas on the topic before you read the ideas of other people during the research. This helps you avoid the information bias that comes from coming across ideas from other people. Through brainstorming, you state your opinions and use research to correct or improve your ideas on the topic.
#3. Conduct Enough Research on your Topic
Let me begin by saying that ‘enough’ research depends on how much (or how good) you know about the topic you are writing. The goal of the research process is to help improve and develop your ideas on the topic. Researching the term paper topic, also helps you discover new points and ideas you can add to your term paper. A good research on the topic should include information from reliable sources. You don’t want to include information that can be dismissed as hearsay or rumors in your paper. Reliable sources include:
- scholarly and peer-reviewed articles,
- academic sources such as lesson notes and in-class materials provided by your instructor,
- reports published by reputable institutions and annual reports by companies,
- books and book chapters, and
- data from organizations such as WHO, UN, EU, government websites, or other verifiable news companies e.g CNN, etc
The key point to remember when deciding if a source is reliable is making sure that you or someone reading your term paper can verify the information you have cited. After identifying and reading the sources you have selected for your term paper writing assignment, make sure you note down the main points you have identified from each source.
Now that you have done successful research and you know in detail what you want to write in your paper, let us now address the elephant in the room. How or where do you start writing a term paper?
Part 1 Recap – Preparation is Key:
- Have an interesting topic you can comfortably work with for your Term-Paper
- Brainstorm ideas on your selected topic and know the ideas you are really interested in.
- Conduct Enough Research on your Topic
Next, we look at how to write a term paper.
Part 2: How to Write a Term Paper Assignment (The actual writing process)
#I. Create an Outline
Creating an outline is a very important step in any academic writing activity. Whether you are writing an essay or preparing to write a term paper, creating an outline is the first thing you want to do. An outline can be considered to be your blueprint in the writing process. By creating an outline, you are able to map your ideas and main points that you will discuss in the term paper. There are two main benefits of creating an outline:
- To clearly understand the main focus of the paper and also reflect on the main points
- Helps to organize points for coherence – creates a good flow of ideas
- Visualize the relationship between ideas
An outline should contain a thesis statement that precisely identifies the main focus of your paper. Also, the outline should have the main points organized into different subtopics and headings. These subtopics and main points will be distributed in a coherent way throughout your paper.
Remember that creating an outline is all about planning for the actual writing activity. As an important part of planning to write your term paper, the outline should help you create the most logical way to present your ideas, suggestions, or argument so that someone can easily follow your reasoning.
#II. Writing A Term Paper: The Writing Process
After creating an outline, the next step is to start the actual writing of the term paper. At this point, start with a good introduction, followed up by body paragraphs, and finish with a conclusion. Let’s explore what should be included in each of these parts.
Introduction paragraph of a Term Paper
The introduction paragraph provides the reader with a highlight of what to expect from your term paper. Therefore, the rule of thumb here is to be direct, precise, and thorough because “you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression”. Therefore, the introduction should be general to specific. That is, start by introducing the general scope of the topic to provide the reader with a context, before highlighting the specific position and line of argument you will use. This way, the reader understands the background of why your topic is necessary to research, and clearly notes your argument even before diving into the body of the term paper. A good introduction paragraph for a term paper should have three parts including.
- Context/Background – Start your introduction with a compelling statement to hook the reader and grab their attention. The first sentence could be a fact, a rhetorical question, or a statement providing some background on your argument. The next one or two sentences of the introduction should be to provide more information on the first sentence. Always provide evidence or cite these sentences.
- Your Position/Argument – Develop a single sentence that fully demonstrates what position or argument is discussed throughout the essay. In most cases, this sentence is referred to as a Thesis Statement. It should clearly state your claim or argument in a complete way. Once the reader comes across your thesis statement, they should automatically identify why and how you build up your argument. Keep in mind that a thesis statement is a brief overview of the essay or Term Paper. If you are not sure how to write a thesis statement, check out our complete guide here. After writing the thesis statement, you can write an extra sentence to back up your main argument.
- Main points/Overview of the Term Paper – Write down a small overview of how you present your points or subtopics to support the main topic of the term paper. Here, your goal is to give the reader a small highlight of what you are going to cover in the remaining part of the paper. This should be the last part of the introduction paragraph.
Writing the Body Part of a Term Paper
In many papers especially essays, the body consists of various points supporting your main argument. However, in long papers like a term paper, a research paper, or a literature review the body consists of multiple subtopics that contribute to the main topic. The subtopics help subdivide the topic into smaller themes that are interconnected and contribute to the main topic of your paper. Each subtopic should only carry one theme. The subtopics consist of various body paragraphs. The best way to organize each paragraph is using the TEEL Structure of writing body paragraphs. The number of subtopics, words, or paragraphs in the body section depends on the expected length of your body. The thumb rule of writing the body paragraphs of an essay is keeping one main point per paragraph.
Writing the Conclusion Paragraph
Writing a good conclusion paragraph for your term paper helps tie your argument and topic stated in the introduction to the different themes and main points discussed in the body. As a result, the concluding paragraph should use the specific-general formula which is the opposite of the introduction paragraph.
Start the conclusion by restating [remember to paraphrase] the thesis statement or main argument of your term paper. Show how the different themes or subtopics connect together to prove your argument or perspective. At the end of the conclusion, comment on the significance and implications of your research on the topic. Significance should be making a prediction about the future of the issue, or a recommendation to deal with the problem or issue you explored.
PART 3: Difference Between a Term Paper and A Research Paper
The difference between these two writing activities is often confusing especially if you have not written both in the past. First, it is important to highlight that the two types of writings are academic and utilize almost similar writing styles. Both papers investigate specific topics but for different reasons or purposes.
The research paper is an academic style of writing that requires the student to answer a significant, methodical, and theoretical level of questioning. Similarly, a term paper requires the student to interpret what he or she gathered from the subject matter to display a clear understanding in the form of a paper. Therefore, the main difference is that a term paper aims at assessing the knowledge of a student and their ability to defend or prove a concept based on the overall learning from a term. On the other hand, the research paper seeks to undertake a methodological inquire into a problem in society through a comprehensive, verifiable, and reliable approach.
In writing a term paper the student provides arguments and persuasions that must be supported with facts taken from a variety of reliable sources, such as academic papers, scholarly magazines, or textbooks. On contrary, writing a research paper involves conducting a thorough academic study to provide answers to theoretical questions.
When writing a term paper, the students focus on supporting the thesis statement through reliable research findings collected from secondary sources and other scholarly resources. In a research paper, the student seeks to test hypotheses through the use of actual and evidence-based inquiry.
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Through custom writing, the writer will read your term paper instructions and write the term paper from scratch. By requesting a plagiarism report, you can double-check to confirm this fact.
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