How to Write a Term Paper
Term papers, usually referred to as research or academic papers, are a type of assignment that causes many students struggles. Writing an A+ term paper takes much more than a couple of hours spent on research and several lines on a paper. Usually, there are occasions when you're not exactly sure where to begin. Therefore, we included the most crucial elements and standards for term papers, and their writing process in a broader context, to help you avoid feeling helpless and underprepared.
Before we dive deep into the term paper format, let's first define what it is and look into the objectives of writing term papers with our research paper service.
What Is a Term Paper
A term paper is a research paper required at the end of a school semester. It tracks and evaluates students' knowledge about the course. Usually, a scientific report or a discussion of an assigned topic, a term paper, requires a lot of research and technical writing expertise. Therefore, this academic writing assignment must be well-written, analytical, organized, and well-researched, reflecting your knowledge of a certain course.
Watch our video guide to get more information about this type of research paper, then get back to reading. Our next step in writing a term paper is choosing a topic.
Term Paper Topics
Instructors usually provide topics related to your course. However, sometimes you are free to choose your own topic. Try surfing the web, reading articles, news, magazines, and blogs to get ideas for your term paper. Make sure that the chosen topic will fulfill the objectives of your course and will interest you. If a certain topic interests you, researching and writing about it will be easier and more fun.
The following should be considered when choosing a topic:
- Length: Consider the length of the required assignment. Will it be 10 pages long or 5 pages short? How many words are required? Considering the length will help you choose a certain topic because you will be able to decide how broad or narrow your subject will be.
- Resources: Check out your school or community library for any available resources. You can also look for any available online resources. Make sure you have hands-on books and other materials to reference for your paper.
- Complexity: Make sure that you will be able to explain your topic—no matter how complex it may be. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask experts. Have your professor explain certain areas in your topic that you don’t feel you’ve fully grasped.
Eliminate overused topics
Avoid being swayed by concepts that are very trendy and overused. Mainstream subjects do not pique the interest of readers or teachers. Even if it was not your intention, you can find yourself creating identical material if you chose this topic.
Select a Doable Topic
Select a subject that you can convincingly discuss in the allotted time. Sometimes our passion leads us to choose a term paper topic that is challenging to handle with the resources at hand. To make it manageable, you need to scale down a topic that is both intriguing and motivating to you.
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How to Start a Term Paper
Before starting, make sure to follow the instructions that were given to you. Clarifications should be made with your instructor before doing any research or writing work. Don't wait until the last minute before you start writing a research paper. If you want quality work and a high grade, plan and make time every day for writing your assignment. Allot time for proofreading your work before handing it to your professor.
A good way to start is by creating a compelling and creative title. Your title page is the first impression of your work, so make sure that it will capture your reader's attention.
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Term Paper Outline
The outline should be produced before and while researching and writing a term paper because it will serve as the basis around which you will build your work. There are a lot of templates to choose from, but most of the time your instructor will require you to follow a certain essay format. The main parts should include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
The structure should be organized and well-researched. Technical writing skills should be crucial in organizing your ideas. The following is a general term paper format or layout that you should follow in presenting your argument or topic:
- Cover page: Align the text that contains your name, course number, your teacher’s name, and the date of the deadline in the center of the page.
- Abstract: Usually less than a page long, the abstract describes your work. It lets readers know where the term paper is headed, the issue at hand, and why the subject was interesting or important enough that you decided to write about it.
- Introduction: The introduction should begin with a statement of the topic to be discussed. Explain the significance of the topic or problem at hand and write about how you plan to discuss or resolve the issue.
- Body: The body of your text should contain the main points from your research. Provide information about the topic so that the reader can further understand what is being discussed. Don’t forget certain positions pertaining to the issue and the analysis of the research you have done. Read more about critical analysis essay .
- Results: Explain why your research has led you to believe certain things about your subject. How has your view changed from when you began the project? Has it stayed the same, and why? Tie everything you’ve been explaining into what you had stated in your introduction.
- Discussion: End with a summary and a conclusion about the topic in question. Finish by stating an opening question or by prompting the reader to continue his or her own research on the subject through a discussion.
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How to Write a Term Paper Proposal
Before researching and writing, you should know what a term paper proposal is. Basically, you should be able to defend your topic to your instructor through this proposal. This proposal must be handed in and approved before writing the actual term paper.
Include recent studies or research on your topic. Don't forget to insert proper referencing. State the relevance of your topic to your course effectively by submitting a short article with a clear explanation. Provide your objectives and organize the flow of your ideas.
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If your professor didn’t provide a proposal template or sample, you can follow this format:
- Title: This is the draft title of what you want to research. Make it clear and comprehensible.
- Objectives: This part should define your outcomes after your research.
- Relevance and Importance: Include recent news, social events, articles, and blogs that convey the importance of the topic. Your topic should be up to date and capture the attention of the reader.
There are many examples of term paper proposals available online, including formats and templates. You can follow these formats, but make sure that you maintain your proposal’s organization and do not forget to highlight your main points and objectives. Take a look compare and contrast essay example .
Term Paper Format
For the format, first consider the length and the citation style you will use. When you have researched a certain topic, you are required to use a specific citation style. If you neglect to reference properly, you might be accused of plagiarism. Also, a term paper is an academic writing assignment, therefore APA or MLA citation styles are commonly used.
- Use APA (American Psychological Association) term paper format for social sciences. To reference a book in an APA style term paper, the author’s name, the book’s title, the year of publication, the publisher, and its location are needed. So make sure to not forget to include this information during your research.
- The MLA (Modern Language Association) format is most commonly used in liberal arts and humanities. The publication name, date, and location are needed in this format as well.
Term Paper Example
Click on the button to open our term paper example.
The timeline of events from 1776 to 1861, that, in the end, prompted the American Civil War, describes and relates to a number of subjects modern historians acknowledge as the origins and causes of the Civil War. In fact, pre-Civil War events had both long-term and short-term influences on the War—such as the election of Abraham Lincoln as the American president in 1860 that led to the Fall of Fort Sumter in April of the same year. In that period, contentions that surrounded states’ rights progressively exploded in Congress—since they were the initial events that formed after independence. Congress focused on resolving significant issues that affected the states, which led to further issues. In that order, the US’s history from 1776 to 1861 provides a rich history, as politicians brought forth dissimilarities, dissections, and tensions between the Southern US & the people of slave states, and the Northern states that were loyal to the Union. The events that unfolded from the period of 1776 to 1861 involved a series of issues because they promoted the great sectional crisis that led to political divisions and the build-up to the Civil War that made the North and the South seem like distinctive and timeless regions that predated the crisis itself.
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Essentials of How to Write a Term Paper
Writing a term paper worthy of a high grade requires much more than a few research hours and some words on a paper. Time, planning, above-average writing skill, these are just a few of the things needed to create a noteworthy paper. If you are unfamiliar with the difference between a great term paper and one that is just ‘okay’, consider Googling the search phrase “example of a term paper for college” and reviewing the search results to gain a better insight into what professors are looking for in final submissions.
Simple Steps of How to Write a Term Paper
There will come a time in your studies when you will be asked to write a term paper. Keep in mind that you could be asked about custom term paper writing in just about any course, and that these types of academic papers are not solely reserved for English or literature studies.
Before we delve further into how to start a term paper, let’s first explore the basic processes involved in writing a term paper.
The Term Paper Process
- Select your topic (scroll down for topic examples)
- Research your topic thoroughly
- Prepare your term paper outline (scroll down for a sample outline)
- Write your proposal sample
- Write your paper
- Prepare your cover page
- Edit and proof read the final copy
Read also: A safe way to order term paper from trusted service.
Understanding What is a Term Paper
According to Wikipedia, a term paper definition is ‘ any type of research-intensive paper authored by students over the course of an academic term. This paper typically accounts for a large part of their final course grade.” Simply put, a term paper is a major writing assignment, in an academic setting, that is used to showcase a student’s understanding of course material or a specific topic.
Read also: Ask expert writers to “ do my term paper for me”.
What is Standard Term Paper Format
The way you format your term paper will depend largely on the course being studied. For example, the way one formats a term paper in an economics course will differ from the way one would format a term paper in social studies or legal course.
For example purposes, here is an overview of how someone studying sciences at a university level might choose to format their term paper
Create a page, separate from the rest of the paper, which includes the title of the paper, your name, the course name, the name of the instructor and the date.
1.A Topic: State your topic or describe your subject
1.B Rationale: Explain why you chose to research this topic
1.C Additional Information: Add any other relevant introductory information
Table of Contents
Purpose or Statement (AKA Abstract)
Present the questions that your paper will answer, and a brief overview of the paper itself.
Explain your research methodologies and any procedures that were used for implementing them. Offer as much detail as reasonable, while staying within the required word limits.
Make your conclusions or closing statements. Determine whether or not your hypothesis was true or false.
Offer your views and suggestions for future research on the chosen topic.
List all of your sources used in research and in the text. Remember to list in alphabetical order, and following the required citation format.
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How to Make a Term Paper Outline
The outline of a term paper is used as a roadmap to guide the direction of the writing process as a whole. This is where you will organize all of the points that you wish to bring up in your paper. Outlines are typically done for the benefit of the writer, to help them stay on track. That being said, there may be times when a professor asks you to submit your outline prior to starting your term paper, and it is wise to start it not with a term paper introduction, but with an outline.
Keeping the above paper example in mind, most term papers will follow the same basic outline.
- Introduction : this is the overall purpose or thesis statement. It is used to acquaint anyone reading the paper with the argument being explored.
- Heading One: History of the argument
- Heading Two: Extent of the problem being explored
- Heading Three: Effects of the problem being explored
- Heading Four: Potential solutions
- Conclusion : Summary of all of the points made and a response to the thesis statement
Read also: How to write a research report ?
Look Through Helpful Term Paper Examples
As mentioned previously, one of the best ways to learn how to write a term paper worthy of a passing grade comes from researching and reviewing previously written term papers that received high marks. Several colleges and universities make submissions from their top students available online. Here are a few examples:
- Examples of Term Papers that Got an A at the University of Delaware
- Sample Term Paper at Justus-Liebig Universitat Gieseen
- Example Term Paper at BYU Physics
Term Paper Topics You Might Use
In many cases, the topic you are required to write about will be chosen by the professor. However, there will be times when you are asked to choose your own research topic. The most important thing to remember is to keep it relevant to your course study, wherever possible, pick a topic that interests you – or something that you genuinely want to know more about – this will increase the chances that you will remain engaged and eager to write a solid paper with lots of substance. If you have any concerns about term paper, you can always order a sample of your paper:
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How to Do Research: A Step-By-Step Guide: 4b. Outline the Paper
- Get Started
- 1a. Select a Topic
- 1b. Develop Research Questions
- 1c. Identify Keywords
- 1d. Find Background Information
- 1e. Refine a Topic
- 2a. Search Strategies
- 2d. Articles
- 2e. Videos & Images
- 2f. Databases
- 2g. Websites
- 2h. Grey Literature
- 2i. Open Access Materials
- 3a. Evaluate Sources
- 3b. Primary vs. Secondary
- 3c. Types of Periodicals
- 4a. Take Notes
- 4b. Outline the Paper
- 4c. Incorporate Source Material
- 5a. Avoid Plagiarism
- 5b. Zotero & MyBib
- 5c. MLA Formatting
- 5d. MLA Citation Examples
- 5e. APA Formatting
- 5f. APA Citation Examples
- 5g. Annotated Bibliographies
For research papers, a formal outline can help you keep track of large amounts of information.
Thesis: Federal regulations need to foster laws that will help protect wetlands, restore those that have been destroyed, and take measures to improve the damange from overdevelopment.
I. Nature's ecosystem
A. Loss of wetlands nationally
B. Loss of wetlands in Illinois
1. More flooding and poorer water quality
2. Lost ability to prevent floods, clean water and store water
II. Dramatic floods
A, Cost in dollars and lives
1. 13 deaths between 1988 and 1998
2. Cost of $39 million per year
B. Great Midwestern Flood of 1993
1. Lost wetlands in IL
2. Devastation in some states
C. Flood Prevention
1. Plants and Soils
2. Floodplain overflow
III. Wetland laws
A. Inadequately informed legislators
2. Interconnections in natural water systems
B. Water purification
IV. Need to save wetlands
A. New federal definition
B. Re-education about interconnectedness
1. Ecology at every grade level
2. Education for politicians and developers
3. Choices in schools and people's lives
Example taken from The Bedford Guide for College Writers (9th ed).
How to Create an Outline
To create an outline:
- Place your thesis statement at the beginning.
- List the major points that support your thesis. Label them in Roman numerals (I, II, III, etc.).
- List supporting ideas or arguments for each major point. Label them in capital letters (A, B, C, etc.).
- If applicable, continue to sub-divide each supporting idea until your outline is fully developed. Label them 1, 2, 3, etc., and then a, b, c, etc.
NOTE: EasyBib has a function that will help you create a clear and effective outline.
How to Structure an Outline
- << Previous: 4a. Take Notes
- Next: 4c. Incorporate Source Material >>
- Last Updated: Sep 30, 2022 10:32 AM
- URL: https://libguides.elmira.edu/research
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How to Create a Structured Research Paper Outline | Example
Published on August 7, 2022 by Courtney Gahan . Revised on November 29, 2022.
A research paper outline is a useful tool to aid in the writing process , providing a structure to follow with all information to be included in the paper clearly organized.
A quality outline can make writing your research paper more efficient by helping to:
- Organize your thoughts
- Understand the flow of information and how ideas are related
- Ensure nothing is forgotten
A research paper outline can also give your teacher an early idea of the final product.
Table of contents
Research paper outline example, how to write a research paper outline, formatting your research paper outline, language in research paper outlines.
- Definition of measles
- Rise in cases in recent years in places the disease was previously eliminated or had very low rates of infection
- Figures: Number of cases per year on average, number in recent years. Relate to immunization
- Symptoms and timeframes of disease
- Risk of fatality, including statistics
- How measles is spread
- Immunization procedures in different regions
- Different regions, focusing on the arguments from those against immunization
- Immunization figures in affected regions
- High number of cases in non-immunizing regions
- Illnesses that can result from measles virus
- Fatal cases of other illnesses after patient contracted measles
- Summary of arguments of different groups
- Summary of figures and relationship with recent immunization debate
- Which side of the argument appears to be correct?
Follow these steps to start your research paper outline:
- Decide on the subject of the paper
- Write down all the ideas you want to include or discuss
- Organize related ideas into sub-groups
- Arrange your ideas into a hierarchy: What should the reader learn first? What is most important? Which idea will help end your paper most effectively?
- Create headings and subheadings that are effective
- Format the outline in either alphanumeric, full-sentence or decimal format
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There are three different kinds of research paper outline: alphanumeric, full-sentence and decimal outlines. The differences relate to formatting and style of writing.
An alphanumeric outline is most commonly used. It uses Roman numerals, capitalized letters, arabic numerals, lowercase letters to organize the flow of information. Text is written with short notes rather than full sentences.
- Sub-point of sub-point 1
Essentially the same as the alphanumeric outline, but with the text written in full sentences rather than short points.
- Additional sub-point to conclude discussion of point of evidence introduced in point A
A decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline, but with a different numbering system: 1, 1.1, 1.2, etc. Text is written as short notes rather than full sentences.
- 1.1.1 Sub-point of first point
- 1.1.2 Sub-point of first point
- 1.2 Second point
To write an effective research paper outline, it is important to pay attention to language. This is especially important if it is one you will show to your teacher or be assessed on.
There are four main considerations: parallelism, coordination, subordination and division.
Parallelism: Be consistent with grammatical form
Parallel structure or parallelism is the repetition of a particular grammatical form within a sentence, or in this case, between points and sub-points. This simply means that if the first point is a verb , the sub-point should also be a verb.
Example of parallelism:
- Include different regions, focusing on the different arguments from those against immunization
Coordination: Be aware of each point’s weight
Your chosen subheadings should hold the same significance as each other, as should all first sub-points, secondary sub-points, and so on.
Example of coordination:
- Include immunization figures in affected regions
- Illnesses that can result from the measles virus
Subordination: Work from general to specific
Subordination refers to the separation of general points from specific. Your main headings should be quite general, and each level of sub-point should become more specific.
Example of subordination:
Division: break information into sub-points.
Your headings should be divided into two or more subsections. There is no limit to how many subsections you can include under each heading, but keep in mind that the information will be structured into a paragraph during the writing stage, so you should not go overboard with the number of sub-points.
Ready to start writing or looking for guidance on a different step in the process? Read our step-by-step guide on how to write a research paper .
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How to Write a Successful Term Paper
By: Tasha Kolesnikova
How Long Is a Term Paper?
Introduction, make sure you have enough time, start by creating an outline, use a strong tongue, don't forget about proofreading, how to write a term paper proposal, how to start a term paper, how to finish a term paper, term paper apa formatting, term paper mla formatting, term paper chicago formatting, social issues topics.
Studying at college or university, you have to deal with a variety of assignments. They are necessary to gain new knowledge, skills, and experience important for your future career. Some tasks may be pretty easy, while others require a lot of time and effort. However, you should challenge yourself because it is when you’re developing and becoming better.
Regardless of the major you choose, each discipline has a specific structure and goals. You’ll have lectures, practical lessons, internships, and so on. Your professor may use different strategies to test your knowledge, and writing is one of them.
It is not so hard when it goes about regular essays. But the term paper is something the most students are afraid of. It is a voluminous piece that synthesis all your knowledge received during the course.
We’re ready to provide you with an ultimate guide to write a term paper. Let’s start from the beginning.
Definition of a Term Paper
A term paper is a research document that you write after a semester or year of work. This assignment helps you determine your understanding of the course content and the aspects required by the curriculum.
Writing a term paper has other purposes as well. Working on your task, you delve deeper into the discipline, get acquainted with its main problems and challenges. It also improves your analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills, which are useful both during your studies and after university.
Your professor can assign you a specific topic, depending on the material being studied. Sometimes the choice is up to you, or you can choose a narrower theme from a broader list of options.
Regardless of the title, it would help if you delved in. We’ve prepared some actionable tips to come up with outstanding writing. You may follow them or send us your “ write my essay ” message if you need professional assistance. Our authors are eager to share their experiences and help you to boost academic performance.
There is no universal standard for the volume you should adhere to. It depends on the requirements of your institution.
If you search for this information on the Internet, you will see that different sources offer different data. One website claims that you need to submit a 10-page document, while another writes about 45 pages. This is why it is important to read your professor's requirements carefully.
The volume determines which approach you take to writing. For example, if your paper is short, you need to state your thoughts concisely and clearly, going straight to the point. If it is long, do not fill the pages with hot air, but try to do thorough research and look at the issue from different angles.
Can I Ignore the Length Requirements?
You may write about 10% less or more, but overall try to adhere to the particular number of pages or words. All students are in identical conditions, so your article should be standardized. If you don’t know what to write about, ask your professor about additional instructions.
It would also be a great idea to read some examples written by other students or professional authors. Filter out the documents with the same volume as you need and pay notice to the paper writer's structure .
Term Paper and Research Paper - Differences
We understand if you are confused after reading our introduction. If you need to conduct research, why are you writing a term paper and not a research one?
Many students confuse these two types of assignments. But certain aspects indicate the differences between them.
Writing a research paper takes months or even years. It covers various aspects of the topic, up to the development of new strategies and innovative ideas.
The term paper should be submitted by the end of the semester or year. Its content is based on the material covered. Of course, you can use additional resources, but in general, custom term paper assignment is only relevant to the themes you discussed in class.
The purpose is another crucial difference between the two assignments.
When you work on a research paper, you need to work through the problem and find a viable solution. You are dealing with a hypothesis that needs to be confirmed or refuted.
The term papers have the task of reflecting your knowledge of the discipline. It is more straightforward but influences the final score much more.
What Are Parts of Term Paper?
Each student paper has its structure you should strictly adhere to. It is useful to organize your thoughts and to provide your readers with a clear and understandable text. Here is the list of the main parts you should include in your term assignment.
The cover or title page is necessary to introduce your paper and provide the basic information about it, including your data, professor’s name, topic, etc. More detailed requirements depend on the particular formatting style, so read your instructions carefully.
This part is something like a short introduction to your paper. It lets your readers understand the overall direction, the issue you explore, and why you have decided to choose this particular theme. If you have additional comments that may be interesting for your audience, provide them here as well.
Start your paper with an exciting and engaging statement. The main thing you should know about the thesis is that it is a pivot point of your writing. You build all body paragraphs and the primary research around it.
If you don’t know how to write a thesis , you may read some articles or ask for professional help.
The body consists of the main paragraphs. The traditional essay structure includes 3 of them; however, if you’re writing a 10-pages or even 40-pages paper, you should change your structure according to requirements.
You should develop your findings, ideas, or arguments, considering the final goal. For example, if your task is to analyze some issues and perceive readers to accept your point of view, you should provide compelling evidence-based arguments. If you need to explore the theme, write down, and develop the main ideas it covers. Make sure each paragraph is devoted to one aspect only.
This part is of great significance because you should show particular progress. Have you accepted certain things about your topic? Have you changed your view from the moment you started working on the piece? Any insights you’ve gained you should describe in the Results section. If you’re not satisfied with them, you can explain the reasons here as well.
It is a conclusion chapter where you can wrap up. You should analyze your text and provide readers with the next steps one should follow to continue one’s research on the subject you’re working through.
As an unusual essay conclusion, the discussion doesn’t contain any new information.
Main Tips to Write a Killer Term Paper
Do not hope that you will complete this task in a day or an hour. Some students make the mistake of starting paper right away. This is a beginner's mistake. You may think that if you have already written a few lines, this indicates significant progress. But these proposals will be weak, meaningless.
Any work takes time. Think of it as a project with specific goals. You can split a task into multiple milestones and set a deadline for each one.
If you realize that you cannot write this piece on time, hire an experienced writer. The more experience you have, the faster the process lasts.
So, you've gathered enough information. We understand if you don't know what to do next and what your first step should be.
Get a sense of control with a paper outline. This is your plan that describes all stages of the process. It also helps you organize your time and information.
In the end, you can come back to this plan again to check how the final version matches your initial expectations. If you have developed a high-quality outline, you can quickly determine which aspects of the document are needed and which are just filling the space.
You should write the term paper competently. You have done the research, collected enough information, analyzed it. Any of your doubts will indicate a lack of professionalism.
This is why you need to keep an eye on your writing style. Formal academic writing involves an active voice, professional vocabulary, and no fluffy words. You don't need to write something that doesn't make any sense for the main task.
Remember, we said that writing a term paper is long and complicated? Most students hate this. They spent a lot of time writing all sections of the article and do not feel like proofreading the entire text.
But if you have not yet encountered academic writing, you may not imagine how many mistakes a text can contain. Even if you are a very literate person, you may not notice some typos and occasional flaws. Of course, this does not make you incompetent, but readers can lose confidence in your paper.
Proofread the piece very thoroughly and carefully. Wait a few days before doing this; your brain should not be tired.
How to Make a Term Paper Outline
An outline is the part of the writing process that deserves a little more attention.
Use it as the guiding map that is always ready to point you in the right direction if you get confused.
There are several ways to design an outline, and you can download different templates from the Internet.
Some methods are suitable for people who like to organize all information in a coherent plan. But if you are a creative person, you can also choose a suitable template for yourself. For example, a mind map.
An outline is not something that your professor will check, so you don't have to worry about the exact format and details. The main thing is to make sure that you fully understand the content and use it for your writing.
Even before you start researching a topic and writing, you need to prepare a college term paper proposal. This is a document that will help you defend your idea in front of the professor. Even before starting the main work, you will submit this proposal to get approval.
You need to show the importance of this theme by including recent data with correct links. Why do you think your piece will correlate with the course syllabus? How is it useful for you and your fellow students?
Set goals for your college assignment and organize your ideas into one article. This will let the professor know that you have understood the assignment correctly.
It's okay if you fail at this stage. It is needed just so that the professor checks whether you are on the same wavelength and can provide you with any further instructions.
So, you received confirmation from your professor, came up with a topic, conducted initial research, and made an outline. What's next?
- Try to narrow down your topic. You need a learning perspective that allows you to organize and structure your thoughts.
- Create bait for your readers. Have a brainstorming session and write down different ideas: rhetorical questions, anecdotes, statistical facts, etc
- Come up with a thesis statement. If you cannot summarize your article's main idea in 1-2 sentences, you need to return to the first step and think about narrowing the topic.
- Check out the style requirements. Your piece must be in a standardized format. Below you will learn more about APA format and others.
- Do more research. You can go deeper because now you know your goals better. Use quality and trusted sources only.
- Write the first sentence. If you worry too much, just start. You may delete the first sentences later, but don’t look for a perfect moment: start as soon as you have enough information.
You may think that the conclusion chapter is not so important because it doesn’t provide your readers with any new information. However, each section has its tasks and goals, so don't relax too early.
The last paragraphs should provide an answer to a fundamental question. This question is “So what?”. Just imagine your regular reader who finishes the text and doesn’t understand what is next. Was your text just a pleasant evening reading? Is it one more piece to improve academic performance? Or is it something more that was created to contribute to the field you’ve studied?
If you don’t have strict instructions from your professor, you can decide on your own. Think about questions your work creates, and provide the audience with steps to follow.
Term Paper Format
All college and university papers must be standardized. The requirements are the same for all students regardless of their educational institutions. If you plan to pursue a scientific career, you’ll deal with these standards all the time.
Formatting is not the most straightforward task because you need always be concentrated on some details that seem to be useless for you. It is clear why you should develop a unique thesis statement, but some students can’t get why they should use the particular font type or double-spacing.
That’s why formatting is one of the most popular writing services. While you’re working on tasks you like, the professional author and editor provide you with quality formatting.
Several styles are typical for the modern scientific society. Let’s look at them to get a basic understanding.
If you are studying psychology or other social sciences, the APA format is your choice. Here's a shortlist of the main things to consider:
- White A4 sheet 8.5 x 11 inches.
- Times New Roman or other easily readable 12 point font.
- Double spacing for all text.
- 1 "margins on the left, right, top, and bottom of the sheet.
- Indent the paragraph by 1/2 inch.
- The first-page heading, which includes the capitalized running head and the page number.
The MLA style is the preferred guideline for dealing with the humanities such as English and Literature, Arts, etc. Some of the features of this style are:
- Times New Roman, Arial or similar, 12 point font.
- Double spacing for the entire document. Get rid of single or one and a half intervals.
- Enter your contact details and instructor in the upper left corner.
- Take care of 1 "padding on all sides of the sheet.
- Add your last name and page number to all pages in the upper right corner.
- Align the title of the article in the center. Don't use bold, italic, quotation marks, underlines, etc.
- Align the entire article to the left.
- Indent all paragraphs to the right 1/2 inch.
Chicago or Turabian styles are used when it goes about the law assignments. The requirements are similar, but there are some differences as well. Take a look at this list:
- Times, Times New Roman 12 pt font.
- 1-inch margins on all sides.
- Left-justified text with a ragged right edge.
- 12 inch indent for the first sentence of each paragraph.
- Provide page numbers in the top right corner.
Of course, we can’t provide you with all the format requirements in this article. You should have an official relevant guide with all details and examples to follow. Ask your professor if you have any questions. And don’t forget about correct citing, it is necessary to avoid plagiarism.
- The main arguments for and against the death penalty.
- What is more important: national identity or globalization?
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- Should church and state function together?
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How to Write a Term Paper
Last Updated: October 25, 2022 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Matthew Snipp, PhD . C. Matthew Snipp is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. He is also the Director for the Institute for Research in the Social Science’s Secure Data Center. He has been a Research Fellow at the U.S. Bureau of the Census and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has published 3 books and over 70 articles and book chapters on demography, economic development, poverty and unemployment. He is also currently serving on the National Institute of Child Health and Development’s Population Science Subcommittee. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 21 testimonials and 93% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,167,349 times.
C's may get degrees, but only an A+ essay earns a place on your grandmother's fridge or your own fridge. Have you been busting your little collegiate butt just to get mediocre results? Well, tell Granny to get the magnets ready: follow these steps, and take your term papers to the head of the class.
Writing Your Own Term Paper
- Take great care not to choose a topic and be so set on how you see the outcome of your paper that you're closed to new ideas and avenues of thinking as you work through the paper. This is known in academia as "premature cognitive commitment". It can mar an otherwise good paper because an outcome that is pre-determined in your head, regardless of the research findings along the way, will be molded to fit the outcome, rather than the outcome reflecting a genuine analysis of the discoveries made. Instead, ask continuous questions about the topic at each stage of your research and writing and see the topic in terms of a " hypothesis " rather than as a conclusion. In this way, you'll be prepared to be challenged and to even have your opinion changed as you work through the paper.
- Reading other people's comments, opinions and entries on a topic can often help you to refine your own, especially where they comment that "further research" is required or where they posit challenging questions but leave them unanswered.
- For some more help, see How to establish a research topic .
- How to research a paper.
- How to take notes , How to take better notes , How to take notes from a textbook , How to take notes on a book and How to take Cornell notes .
- Remember that the research doesn't stop here. And nor does the thesis statement, necessarily. Allow room for flexibility as you continue working through both the research and the writing, as you may wish to make changes that align with the ideas forming in your mind and the discoveries you continue to unearth. On the other hand, do be careful not to be a continuous seeker who never alights upon a single idea for fear of confinement. At some point you are going to have to say: "Enough is enough to make my point here!" If you're so taken with a topic, there is always the possibility of postgraduate study some day but remember that the term paper has a finite word length and due date!
- Introduction, discussion paragraphs/sections and conclusion or summary.
- Descriptive or explanatory paragraphs following the introduction, setting the background or theme.
- Analysis and argument paragraphs/sections. Using your research, write out the main idea for each body paragraph.
- Any outstanding questions or points you're not yet sure about.
- See How to write an outline for more details.
- H ook the reader using a question or a quote. Or perhaps relate a curious anecdote that will eventually make absolute sense to the reader in the context of the thesis.
- I ntroduce your topic. Be succinct, clear and straightforward.
- Don't forget to define the words contained in the question! Words like "globalization" have many differing meanings and it's important to state which ones you'll be using as part of your introductory section.
- Try to relate the actual subject of the essay (say, Plato's Symposium) to a tangentially related issue you happen to know something about (say, the growing trend of free-wheeling hookups in frat parties). Slowly bring the paragraph around to your actual subject, and make a few generalizations about why this aspect of the book/subject is so fascinating and worthy of study (such as, how different the expectations for physical intimacy were then compared with now).
- R estate your thesis statement.
- O ne important detail which is usually found in your last paragraph.
- C onclude – wrap it up.
- C lincher – where you give the reader something left to think about.
- It's helpful to sort out your bibliography from the beginning, to avoid having a last minute scramble: How to write a bibliography , How to write an APA style bibliography and How to write a bibliography in MLA format.
- Trade in weak "to-be" verbs for stronger "action" verbs. For example: "I was writing my term paper" becomes "I wrote my term paper."
- Decent grammar should be a given. You need a teacher to give you the benefit of the doubt, not correct your apostrophe use . A few too many errors and the message is soon lost beneath the irritation of the errors involved.
- The best essays are like grass court tennis – the argument should flow in a "rally" style, building persuasively to the conclusion. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- If you get stuck, consider giving the prof a visit. Whether you're still struggling for a thesis or you want to go over your conclusion, most instructors are delighted to help and they'll remember your initiative when grading time rolls around. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- At least 2 hours for 3-5 pages.
- At least 4 hours for 8-10 pages.
- At least 6 hours for 12-15 pages.
- Double those hours if you haven't done any homework and you haven't attended class.
- For papers primarily research-based, add about two hours to those times (although you'll need to know how to research quickly and effectively, beyond the purview of this brief guide).
- If you use outside sources and do not credit those sources, you have cheated (plagiarized). You will fail and possibly get kicked out of school. Do not cheat; it's not worth it from the point of view of losing your chances to continue studying and it's hardly useful for helping you retain the knowledge and develop the analytical and in-depth understanding you'll need to apply for the rest of your career path. Put the effort in now, so that the rest of your knowledge gaining grows easier later. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 35 Not Helpful 8
- Never hand in a paper written for one subject to another subject. The only time this is permissible is where you've asked for permission and have the all-clear to do so. Remember that your professors or lecturers do talk among one another and they've seen everything before. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 25 Not Helpful 9
- Remember that term paper writing is an important part of your academic career. Be sure to include title page, table of contents, body of the paper and reference page. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 36 Not Helpful 18
- Do not forget to check the final draft for mistakes and omissions. These irk markers to the point of reducing your overall marks if there are enough errors. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 26 Not Helpful 12
You Might Also Like
- ↑ Matthew Snipp, PhD. Research Fellow, U.S. Bureau of the Census. Expert Interview. 26 March 2020.
- ↑ https://emory.libanswers.com/faq/44525
- ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/planresearchpaper/
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/thesis_statement_tips.html
- ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/outline
- ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26731827
- ↑ https://gallaudet.edu/student-success/tutorial-center/english-center/writing/guide-to-writing-introductions-and-conclusions/
- ↑ https://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803&p=185937
About This Article
If you need to write a term paper, choose your topic, then start researching that topic. Use your research to craft a thesis statement which states the main idea of your paper, then organize all of your facts into an outline that supports your thesis. Once you start writing, state your thesis in the first paragraph, then use the body of the paper to present the points that support your argument. End the paper with a strong conclusion that restates your thesis. For tips on improving your term paper through active voice, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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A Quick-Start Guide on How to Write a Term Paper
Writing a term paper may be a hard task. We don’t want to sugarcoat it. Creating term papers and other academic papers can be frustrating, and cause worries who can write my term paper . There is a learning curve and you may not be pleased with your first paper.
In the article below you will find recommendations and detailed tips on how to write a term paper. In addition, you will find out what term paper format looks like, and an excerpt of a written term paper sample.
What is a term paper
A term paper is an academic paper that can take the form of a report or research paper. Typically it is assigned at school, college, and university at the end of the term. The term paper has a great value in the final score for the subject.
Every course typically has various requirements for writing a term paper. In the following guide we offer a standard approach and elements to writing a term paper.
Typical term paper format
Before we get too deep into how to start a term paper and how to find the best topic for it, here is the typical format of term paper.
Structure matters. All well-written academic papers have a clear structure, as it helps the reader easily absorb information from the text. Also, a good structure will help you not to get lost in the variety of information and write a concise paper. Let’s look at the format below.
Title page. This page usually contains the title, name of the student, course and code, instructor’s name, and the date. Abstract (optional). The abstract is a short summary of the main ideas, theoretical approaches, and findings you are going to highlight in the paper. Table of contents. This section is needed for easy navigation between the paper sections. Generally includes headings of every section and page numbers. Introduction. This is the opening paragraph that tells the reader basic information about the paper. Main sections. This part of the paper may consist of several sections, as the topics of term papers are diverse. The parts should follow each other in a logical framework. Conclusion. The conclusion is the last part that ties the paper up in a logical ending. Here the author needs to restate the main findings and indicate the importance of these findings to the current circumstance. References. All sources that were used and cited in the paper should be listed in the reference list in alphabetical order. Appendix (optional). The purpose of the appendix is to provide information that would be distracting in the body of the paper. Typically authors place in the appendix large tables, questionnaires, images, and other documentation and materials.
Also, you can add a list of figures, tables, or abbreviations if needed. Some term papers have a lot of information that can’t be placed in the text, so it can be attached after the references.
This example hits all the right paragraphs to create a well-structured term paper. Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s up to you to determine the best way to write the term paper.
Before writing a term paper
If you want to make something great, you need to prepare greatly. As the term paper is usually a longer paper than essays, you will need to make a more detailed plan before writing it.
Carefully read the assignment. To realize what the instructor wants to see from a term paper, just read the instructions attentively.
- Highlight the keywords. You should have already faced such assignments that begin with: analyze, comment, compare, describe, discuss, etc.
- Rewrite the requirements. It may happen that you will skip an important point when briefly skimming over the instructions. Rewrite the assignment directions in your own words and try to keep the same meaning. You can also print the requirements and place them before your eyes.
- Point out questions that should be addressed in the paper. On the basis of your assignment you can make a list of questions that should be addressed in the paper.
Conduct research. The research should be aimed at finding a distinct amount of information for the chosen topic. During this stage you need to use these skills: active reading, effective note-taking, and critical thinking.
- Find out and analyze the existing information related to the topic. While reading, always keep in mind the sole question. Consider the author’s main point and how he or she supports that point. Decide what sources you can use as a basis for your paper.
- Make notes as you read and mark the most significant information and quotes that you can use in your paper. Don’t forget to mention where you have found the information.
- Use mind-mapping, charts, diagrams, and clustering to get more ideas about the topic and gather the main points in one place.
Make an outline. On the basis of the obtained information, you can create a plan. As you can see in our “Term Paper Format” section, you can give titles to each section of your future paper. Also, we recommend you to add topic sentences to each section – this will ease the writing process.
Create a calendar. Divide the paper writing process into several steps and list them in your calendar. Term papers take more than one night to write, so make sure that you have planned enough time for it. You can make a hard copy of the timetable or save it on your computer.
How to pick sources for a term paper
Every builder knows that the foundation is the core part of the building. Without a strong foundation, the building may quickly fall to ruin. The same refers to academic writing. Without reliable sources and information, you will construct a poor paper, and will look for someone to write a term paper for cheap .
On the internet and at the library you may find tons of information related to your topic. How can you pick a reliable source? Imagine that you are Sherlock Holmes and you need to find the truth hidden in the text. You don’t need superpowers to learn how to do it.
Use your critical thinking skills while looking through each source. Let’s see what you need to pay attention to:
- Design and layout. Check whether the source looks professional.
- Date. Define whether the information is relevant.
- Author. It should be easy to find the author of the source. Think on what you know about the authors and their credentials.
- Objectivity. It should be clearly seen that the source was created for an educational or professional purpose. If you notice that the source tries to sell something, skip it.
- Writing style. If you have noticed grammar mistakes or typos, there is a high probability that the source is unreliable.
- Amount and quality of information. Look how much information is presented in the source and whether it contains graphic information, numbers, a reference list, etc. Broken links and the absence of external links may indicate a poor source.
- Suitability for your topic. Think about whether the source meets the limitations of your topic.
- Reputation. Check whether the source is non-biased. Use a fact-checking website that uses only authoritative sources.
Tip: Reading general texts from the journals and articles can help you clarify your thoughts at the beginning of your research and deciding what point you can consider on your paper.
Tip: Most search engines use the data from your web browser to sort information according to your preferences. It is also known as a “filter bubble.” Delete your browser history and cookies, and tune into the incognito mode to get another list of search results.
When you obtain a certain amount of information, you can create an extended outline. What does it mean? Take your old outline and add any new points that you have found in the sources. Think in what section you can incorporate new facts, examples, quotes, or expert opinions.
Writing the first draft of a term paper
There are many approaches to writing a term paper. The key to success is simple: be prepared before you start. Have a clear purpose, a thesis statement, enough background information, and a clear plan.
1. Write the abstract.
This first section should focus on what your research is about. But the best decision will be writing it after all subsequent sections. Mention major findings in your research so even a person unfamiliar with the topic can read and understand it. Keep it simple and informative.
A good abstract should consist of the following sections:
- Intro. State the issue you are addressing in your paper. Explain why the chosen topic is important. What practical, scientific, or theoretic purpose does your research have?
- Body. Highlight the major points of the research and what investigating strategy you have chosen. Describe the nature of the results.
- Conclusion. Explain how the results can be implicated.
To write an abstract, you need to reread your paper and underline the key statements related to research objectives, methods, results, and conclusions. Copy these sentences and you will receive the first draft of the abstract.
Tip: The abstract should be limited to 120-250 words (depending on assignment instructions).
What is the difference between the introduction and abstract? An abstract presents the essence of the paper: it lists the main points of the paper, including results and conclusions. The introduction provides background information on the topic, gives the proposition (or thesis statement), and outlines key issues that will be discussed in the paper.
2. Write the introduction.
Strong introductions can make it harder to put the paper down. Think about how you can “sell” your paper to the reader. What is the main point of your term paper?
- Grab attention. A good introduction starts with an interesting fact, surprising statement, contradiction, or a statement that points out the importance of the topic.
- Provide an overview. The introduction should provide a brief description of the issue and state the goal of the paper. Also, it is important to mention how this specific topic meets a broader context.
- Write the thesis statement. Tell the reader what you are arguing or what question you are addressing in your paper. Don’t announce your intentions.
The introduction should contain only general information about the paper. Its aim is to give an overview of the term paper. Examples, quotations, and excess details are not accepted.
Tip: Don’t be boring or too general. Immediately dive into the essence of the topic and draw the reader’s attention deeper into the paper.
3. Write the body sections: generating ideas and text.
Once you have received certain research results and notes, take a look at what you’ve found. Record the outcomes of your research and cut unnecessary materials.
One of the best ways to start writing body sections is drafting topic sentences referring to the outline. Write complete sentences on its basis and add supporting details.
The number of paragraphs will depend on the topic and assignment instructions. Frequently, a term paper body section consists of a literature review and the research itself.
Tip: Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence. It should be a very clear introduction of the paragraph’s main idea.
How can you write a literary review? Present the analysis of the literature you have found on the topic. You need to present what materials you have found and how you have connected this information to the context of your research. Summarize the arguments and theories of various authors you agree with. Also, you need to highlight what points were absent or not considered in the author’s research.
Here are general recommendations while writing the body sections:
- The text should be well-structured and divided into sections or subsections. Each chapter should have a title and refer to one particular idea or main point.
- Develop arguments gradually. All your ideas should move from the general to specific.
- A good academic text needs evidence. All quotations, ideas, and data should be referenced according to the required formatting style.
- Prioritize the following points depending on your assignment instructions and objectives: analysis of primary and secondary sources, current issues and state of research, and personal point of view.
- Avoid simple summaries of existing information. Incorporate citations to prove your own point of view on the topic.
- Don’t rely on the sources only. It is your paper and it should contain your original idea about the topic. Keep the balance between the source material and your own ideas.
- Avoid writing lengthy body paragraphs. If you want to put a great amount of information into the paragraph, it would be better to divide it into subsections.
4. Write the conclusion.
When you finish writing the main part of the term paper, it’s time to summarize what information you have received and discuss the further implication of your research. Consider the following points in your conclusion:
- Refresh the points that you have already highlighted in the body paragraph and restate the thesis statement.
Note: Don’t present any new information in this paragraph.
- Describe the final results of your research.
- Explain the implication for future studies.
How can I evaluate my research results? What meaning does my research have? Does my topic intersect other topics or areas?
- Write the concluding sentence.
For example: “Forgiveness therapy is a new approach in psychology and has much need for testing, but it is an important practice in the treatment of many psychological disorders.”
Revising and polishing the first draft
If you have succeeded in writing your first draft and have some time left, it’s time to proofread your text. Don’t neglect the possibility of reading the term paper once more. Many professors perceive misspellings, as well as punctuation and grammar errors as a personal insult. These mistakes may draw more attention than your original ideas and significant results. So, how can you make your text look better?
First, you need to read your first draft and think about how you can make your paper cleaner or more convincing. Look at the ideas that don’t fit the context and remove or modify them. Then, look at what points need more detailed support. And finally, add transitional phrases or words to connect ideas.
Second, when the content is logical and well-structured, it’s time to check for errors. Correct all grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
Last, check whether your paper has the right format and layout. Make sure that pages are numbered correctly. Images, tables, diagrams, and other visual materials also should be numbered and titled appropriately.
Mistakes to avoid in term paper writing
- Using unreliable sources. This means that all sources you have based your work on should be professional. Use newsprint, magazines, statistical data, and publications.
- Plagiarism. Whenever you are reusing someone’s ideas or incorporating expressions from other sources as your own thoughts, this is considered plagiarism. Pay attention to correct citation style and document outside sources.
- Not supporting your statements. Always back up your point of view with references or your own findings.
- Using nested sentences, repetitions, and passive voice. The text should be objective, clear, and correct.
- Choosing a topic too broad. As a result, it will be hard to meet the word limit and highlight the topic in the right way. Also, you will face the problem of having excessive amounts of information on the topic. A good term paper requires a narrow topic.
- Failing to proofread the paper. Even editing the text once may not be enough. Don’t rely on the computer’s spell check. Ask a friend or someone else to read your paper.
How to find excellent term paper topics
Paper instructions that you receive from a teacher typically provide a list of term paper topics to choose from. Luckily, sometimes students are given the freedom of choice.
First, you can start with a fairly broad idea of the area you want to research, such as “body image.” As you can see, the topic is too general and if you start googling about this topic over the internet you will get a great amount of information. You can narrow it down considering other areas:
Narrowing down the topic will make your research more manageable. You can add more limitations to your research:
Sometimes it’s difficult to pick a topic on your own, as there are so many interesting topics to write about! We are happy to propose you a list of interesting term paper topics that you can reuse for your own paper.
- Analyze the influence of the shadow economy on the productivity of a country (your choice) from a macroeconomic perspective.
- What is the meaning of inflation/deflation/hyperinflation? Explain the causes and consequences. Support your claims with evidence.
- Define the meaning of middle class. What is the economic meaning of the middle class?
- Discuss the approaches to providing censorship in social media and over the internet.
- Compare government regulation for physical desecration of national symbols in various countries.
- Discuss the meaning of mental disorder defense. What are the peculiarities?
- Is it the right idea to hide the truth from a dying patient in palliative care?
- Find out the reasons, consequences, and legal regulations of organ donation.
- Is it ethically right to test new drugs on dying patients?
- Should parents determine what the school should learn?
- Should the discipline in the school be more strict?
- Discuss streamlining in the context of the educational system of a particular country.
Tip: On our blog you can find more information on how to choose topics for term paper writing and get inspired with a list of term paper topics on technology, economics, political science, sports, media and culture, and health.
Term paper sample
In the text below you can see a portion of a term paper written by our author. It should help you understand the theoretical approaches that we have written above. Also check the comments below.
Title: The Promotion of a Healthy Lifestyle Through Social Media
This paper discusses the growing popularity of healthy lifestyles in social media. It looks into the methods of health promotion through evolving technologies. The research was built on questionnaires and existing information on the issue. The paper presents a plan for actions aimed to keep the topics about health popular over social media. (…)
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Overview of Social Media 3. Plan of Action 4. Conclusion 5. References
Social networks are some of the most popular websites over the internet. Social media use has been increasing in health promotion because it removes geographic and physical barriers. However, social media still has the potential to increase the influence of healthy lifestyles. (…)
Overview of Social Media
According to articles published in NBC Statistics, the most popular social media sites estimate more than a billion visits every day. The statistics show that more than 77 percent of people in the US have a social media profile. The majority of Americans use Facebook and Youtube on a daily basis.(…)
One of the researches has measured the change in knowledge, attitudes, behavior, eating habits, weight, energy and fat intake, self-efficacy, and sharing in social media (Hoshi, 2017). The amount of information, even in small doses, has an influence on promotion of healthy habits.
Welch et al. (2016) studied the effectiveness of health promotion campaigns in social media as Facebook, Twitter, and video sharing like YouTube. The research has shown the increased effectiveness of social media interventions in improving healthy habits among youth and older adults. (…)
Plan of Action
Social media campaigns should relate to the specific topic and plan ahead. To construct an effective campaign, we should collect the relevant information, pictures, videos, and texts.
Facebook activities. This social media platform has a wide list of events that can be used for promotion.
- Wellness events
- Health volunteers
- Sharing healthy recipes
- Tips for improving health habits
- Healthy competitions and challenges (…)
A healthy lifestyle is one of the main things that every person should apply in everyday life. To help the person make the right choice, government and organizations should spread the information about tools and advice to promote a healthy lifestyle. (…)
Hoshi, T. (2017). SES, Dietary and Lifestyle Habits, Three Health-Related Dimensions, and Healthy Survival Days. International Perspectives on Aging the Structure of Healthy Life Determinants , 121-141.
Smith, A., & Anderson, M. (2018, September 19). Social Media Use 2018: Demographics and Statistics. Pew Research Center . Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/03/01/social-media-use-in-2018/
Welch, V., Petkovic, J., Pardo, J. P., Rader, T., & Tugwell, P. (2016). Interactive social media interventions to promote health equity: An overview of reviews. Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada: Research, Policy and Practice , 36(4), 63–75.
FAQ about term paper writing
1. what is the format of a term paper.
Speaking about the format standard for a term paper, we need to mention MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian as the most common format types.
In addition, students may create a specific format of term paper when it comes to its structure. The format will include several obligated elements such as title page, abstract, introduction, conclusion, and references.
2. How many pages should a good term paper be?
The standard term paper must contain at least 10-12 double-spaced pages. Term papers of 15-20 pages are also appropriate, but you must consider the quality of the content. It is always better to make the paper shorter but informative than make it longer with bland, repeated statements.
3. What is the difference between a term paper and a research paper?
The core difference between a term paper and a research paper is in the approach to sourcing. A research paper assumes a deeper investigation of a topic and analysis. When it comes to structuring, there are specific differences as well. A term paper consists of such core elements as an introduction, the main body, a conclusion, and a bibliography. A search paper includes methods, results, discussion, and other aspects of a deep analytical paper.
4. Want is the fastest way to write a term paper?
If you have a strict and short deadline, you must act quickly, skipping the outlining stage. Start with a brief brainstorm. Afterward, you will require providing research on a chosen topic. You will then have to draft a paper and quickly polish it. If you have some minutes left, read your paper to edit it or skip the proofreading stage.
5. How many citations are considered suitable for a term paper?
It depends on the discipline and the topic involved; skilled authors suggest supplementing a term paper with at least five citations, with a maximum of ten.
Term paper writing help from industry experts
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3 thoughts on “ A Quick-Start Guide on How to Write a Term Paper ”
nice info. thanks
I have got good ideas for my first term paper preparation. Thank you so much.
like this term paper writing guide
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- Writing Center
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Writing a Paper: Outlining
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Example outline, introduction/context, thesis/purpose statement, major & minor points, outlining video, related resources.
- Webpage Feedback
- Organizing Your Thoughts
- Thesis Statements
- Writer's Block
- Understanding Arguments
- Developing Arguments
- Comparing & Contrasting
- Avoiding Logical Fallacies
- Addressing Assumptions
- Responding to Counterarguments
- Revising in General
- Revising Based on Feedback
- Revising for Focused Ideas
- Revising for Stronger Evidence
- Revising for Effective Organization
- Revising for Scholarly Voice
- Revising for Grammar
- Revising for Writing Goals
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Outlining your first draft by listing each paragraph's topic sentence can be an easy way to ensure that each of your paragraphs is serving a specific purpose in your paper. You may find opportunities to combine or eliminate potential paragraphs when outlining—first drafts often contain repetitive ideas or sections that stall, rather than advance, the paper's central argument .
Additionally, if you are having trouble revising a paper, making an outline of each paragraph and its topic sentence after you have written your paper can be an effective way of identifying a paper's strengths and weaknesses.
The following outline is for a 5-7 page paper discussing the link between educational attainment and health. Review the other sections of this page for more detailed information about each component of this outline!
A. Current Problem: Educational attainment rates are decreasing in the United States while healthcare costs are increasing. B. Population/Area of Focus: Unskilled or low-skilled adult workers C. Key Terms: healthy, well-educated Thesis Statement: Because of their income deficit (cite sources) and general susceptibility to depression (cite sources), students who drop out of high school before graduation maintain a higher risk for physical and mental health problems later in life.
A. Historical Employment Overview: Unskilled laborers in the past were frequently unionized and adequately compensated for their work (cite sources). B. Historical Healthcare Overview: Unskilled laborers in the past were often provided adequate healthcare and benefits (cite sources). C. Current Link between Education and Employment Type: Increasingly, uneducated workers work in unskilled or low-skilled jobs (cite sources). D. Gaps in the Research: Little information exists exploring the health implications of the current conditions in low-skilled jobs.
III. Major Point 1: Conditions of employment affect workers' physical health.
A. Minor Point 1: Unskilled work environments are correlated highly with worker injury (cite sources). B. Minor Point 2: Unskilled work environments rarely provide healthcare or adequate injury recovery time (cite sources).
IV. Major Point 2: Conditions of employment affect workers' mental health
A. Minor Point 1: Employment in a low-skilled position is highly correlated with dangerous levels of stress (cite sources). B. Minor Point 2: Stress is highly correlated with mental health issues (cite sources).
V. Major Point 3: Physical health and mental health correlate directly with one another.
A. Minor Point 1: Mental health problems and physical health problems are highly correlated (cite sources). B. Minor Point 2: Stress manifests itself in physical form (cite sources)
VI. Major Point 4: People with more financial worries have more stress and worse physical health.
A. Minor Point 1: Many high-school dropouts face financial problems (cite sources). B. Minor Point 2: Financial problems are often correlated with unhealthy lifestyle choices such unhealthy food choices, overconsumption/abuse of alcohol, chain smoking, abusive relationships, etc. (cite sources).
A. Restatement of Thesis: Students who drop out of high school are at a higher risk for both mental and physical health problems throughout their lives. B. Next Steps: Society needs educational advocates; educators need to be aware of this situation and strive for student retention in order to promote healthy lifestyles and warn students of the risks associated with dropping out of school.
Your introduction provides context to your readers to prepare them for your paper's argument or purpose. An introduction should begin with discussion of your specific topic (not a broad background overview) and provide just enough context (definitions of key terms, for example) to prepare your readers for your thesis or purpose statement.
Sample Introduction/Context: If the topic of your paper is the link between educational attainment and health, your introduction might do the following: (a) establish the population you are discussing, (b) define key terms such as healthy and well-educated , or (c) justify the discussion of this topic by pointing out a connection to a current problem that your paper will help address.
A thesis or purpose statement should come at the end of your introduction and state clearly and concisely what the purpose or central argument of your paper is. The introduction prepares your reader for this statement, and the rest of the paper follows in support of it.
Sample Thesis Statement: Because of their income deficit (Smith, 2010) and general susceptibility to depression (Jones, 2011), students who drop out of high school before graduation maintain a higher risk for physical and mental health problems later in life.
After the initial introduction, background on your topic often follows. This paragraph or section might include a literature review surveying the current state of knowledge on your topic or simply a historical overview of relevant information. The purpose of this section is to justify your own project or paper by pointing out a gap in the current research which your work will address.
Sample Background: A background section on a paper on education and health might include an overview of recent research in this area, such as research on depression or on decreasing high school graduation rates.
Major points are the building blocks of your paper. Major points build on each other, moving the paper forward and toward its conclusion. Each major point should be a clear claim that relates to the central argument of your paper.
Sample Major Point: Employment and physical health may be a good first major point for this sample paper. Here, a student might discuss how dropping out of high school often leads to fewer employment opportunities, and those employment opportunities that are available tend to be correlated with poor work environments and low pay.
Minor points are subtopics within your major points. Minor points develop the nuances of your major points but may not be significant enough to warrant extended attention on their own. These may come in the form of statistics, examples from your sources, or supporting ideas.
Sample Minor Point: A sample minor point of the previous major point (employment and physical health) might address worker injury or the frequent lack of health insurance benefits offered by low-paying employers.
The rest of the body of your paper will be made up of more major and minor points. Each major point should advance the paper's central argument, often building on the previous points, until you have provided enough evidence and analysis to justify your paper's conclusion.
More Major and Minor Points: In this paper, more major points might include mental health of high school dropouts, healthcare access for dropouts, and correlation between mental and physical health. Minor topics could include specific work environments, job satisfaction in various fields, and correlation between depression and chronic illness.
Your conclusion both restates your paper's major claim and ties that claim into a larger discussion. Rather than simply reiterating each major and minor point, quickly revisit your thesis statement and focus on ending the paper by tying your thesis into current research in your field, next steps for other researchers, your broader studies, or other future implications.
Sample Conclusion: For this paper, a conclusion might restate the central argument (the link between lack of education and health issues) and go on to connect that discussion to a larger discussion of the U.S. healthcare or education systems.
Note that this video was created while APA 6 was the style guide edition in use. There may be some examples of writing that have not been updated to APA 7 guidelines.
- Prewriting Demonstrations: Outlining (video transcript)
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How to Write a Term Paper Proposal · Title: This is the draft title of what you want to research. Make it clear and comprehensible. · Objectives:
Select your topic (scroll down for topic examples) · Research your topic thoroughly · Prepare your term paper outline (scroll down for a sample outline) · Write
How to Create an Outline · Place your thesis statement at the beginning. · List the major points that support your thesis. Label them in Roman
How to write a research paper outline · Decide on the subject of the paper · Write down all the ideas you want to include or discuss · Organize
How to Start a Term Paper · Try to narrow down your topic. You need a learning perspective that allows you to organize and structure your thoughts. · Create bait
To outline a term paper, first outline your introduction by writing your thesis statement and adding a few bullet points of what you'll say to kick off your
Use your research to craft a thesis statement which states the main idea of your paper, then organize all of your facts into an outline that supports your
A term paper is an academic paper that can take the form of a report or research paper. Typically it is assigned at school, college, and
Rather than simply reiterating each major and minor point, quickly revisit your thesis statement and focus on ending the paper by tying your thesis into current
5. Include basic sections · Craft your introductory sentence. · Add the ideas—or full sentences—for at least three supporting sentences