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How To Write Term Paper

How to Write Term Paper

It is quite important for you to know how to write term paper because it is a common form of assessing your knowledge levels, your comprehension levels, and your articulation skills in the course of a college term. Term papers contribute significantly to your final grade and it is quite unfortunate that many students are not clear about how to write term paper.

Why are term papers assigned?

Knowing the answer to the above question will enhance your seriousness and enthusiasm with regard to writing a term paper. Here are some reasons why term papers are assigned to students:

  • Writing a term paper will increase your expertise and knowledge in the specific subject.

  • When you work on completing a term paper, your learning curve increases significantly and your learning horizon expands too.

  • Writing a term paper will compel you to go into details of the subject which are far more than what can be achieved by attending classroom lectures or doing an exam.

  • Writing a term paper will increase your analytical and thinking skills immensely.

  • As you gather data and read it critically, you will find many questions being raised in your mind. As you delve deeper into the subject, you will find many answers too.

  • And, if you don't find the answers from the sources already at your disposal, you will be compelled to go beyond them.

  • Critical analysis skills will always be of help to you no matter which career you choose.

There are various processes in writing a term paper and some of the important ones are discussed in a little bit of detail here.

Getting started

Understand and follows instructions correctly – Your professor will give you a fair idea of what he or she expects from your term paper. If the instructions are not clear, please speak to the teacher and get your doubts clarified. It is better to ask questions in the beginning itself instead of handing over a term paper that does not meet the professor's expectations.

Start working early and avoid last minute rush – The instructions will clearly give you the deadline date. Work backward and make a well-laid out timetable which includes all the activities needed to complete the papers. These activities include doing research, brainstorming for ideas, critical analysis, formatting the structure, note making, the actual writing of the paper, edits and revisions, and final editing.

Research Work

Good and sound research work is the basis of a well-crafted term paper. First, read a general study of the topic which will give a broad idea of what it comprises of. Jumping into the details straight away can lead you astray. Getting an idea of the broad topic will help you decide which of the subtopics are worthy of your paper. It is important that you choose a topic that has ample data so that you will not fall short of information.

Treat your research work like an investigative story. Look under different headings and different keywords. For example, if your term paper is a topic under the Vietnam War, do not restrict your searches to Vietnam. Look under South East Asia or Asia-US relationships or Ho Chi Minh or Henry Kissinger, etc. The more searches you do the more expansive your collective data will be.

Start with the latest information first. The most recent journals and books should be your first reading. This is a prudent way to gather information because these books and journals will invariably have a reference/bibliography of earlier works which will be easy to retrieve.

Use index cards to make notes. This will make retrieval of data easy while the actual writing process. Make sure you have all the details of the source materials. Citing of information accurately in your term paper is a critical aspect the importance of which cannot be understated. If you can, photocopy materials instead of writing them down. This will make research work easier as well as reduce your workload.

Use only valid and approved sources of information for your research. Books and journals from your college library are great sources of reliable information. Government publications, newspapers, newsmagazines etc are most commonly accepted. For the last two types, please check with your instructor once before you choose to do your research from them.

When you use information from the World Wide Web, ensure that the website is a reliable source that will be accepted by the academics in your college. For example, Wikipedia is not considered as a reliable academic source by nearly all colleges across the globe.

Organizing your term paper

First, write the outline and arrange the data in the structure you would want the final paper to appear as. In the outlines, specify details of each part and make notations about the information you would fill in each of these parts. The outline must clearly state details starting from the introduction right up till the conclusion so that you are sure of the outcome of the final paper.

The outline of the paper is critical because any missing parts or information can be plugged in if you know about them earlier on. If the outline is left out and you went straight to the paper, then at the time of writing it, you could find missing data and researching for the data at that time will be a huge challenge.

Make sure you get the outline of the main body clearly structured here so that you know exactly which point will be discussed in which paragraph. When you structure the outline, do not assume that your reader will know anything about your topic. Assume the reader to be reasonably intelligent but write the paper as if he or she is new to the subject. So, include detailed explanations of the points of evidence.

Writing the paper

Once the outline is clearly defined, sit down to actually write the paper. The first draft need not be a perfect one. But write it in such a way that it is the perfect one. What I mean to say is, don't try to edit as you write. Write as per the outline you had decided and stick to it in the first draft. If you try editing as you write, you are bound to do both jobs badly. Editing is for later. Now, just write the first draft using the data that you researched and as per the outline you structured for yourself.

Edit the paper and do revisions

After you have completed the first draft, take at least a one-day break from the term paper. After being away from the subject of the term paper for an entire day, you will feel refreshed again. Now, look at your first and see what changes and edits need to be done. Don't worry about the number of edits that are needed. Most term papers are made perfect only after repeated revisions. Continue your revision work until you are completely satisfied with the final copy of the term paper.

Proofread your term paper before submission

Ensure your paper is totally free from all errors including spelling, grammatical, syntax, and mechanical errors. Make sure your sentence structure is perfect and there are no ambiguities in them. There is no point if the content is great and your paper is rife with mistakes. It is imperative you take care of this aspect of your paper.

Final Notes

As I said earlier, your term paper contributes significantly to your grades and it is important that you allocate time and energy towards completing it well. Remember to keep the tone of your paper academically formal and avoid slang language, complex vocabulary, and clichés such as "They fought like cats and dogs over the admission of the evidence in court."

At Prescott Papers, our team of term paper specialists will be happy to help you with regard to all aspects of your term paper.

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