What is a term paper?
A term paper according to Wikipedia is a type of research-intensive paper produced by students in the course of their academic term. It is one of the mandatory academic assignments done by each student during their education. The term paper is aimed at assessing the knowledge and skills obtained by the student during their education in a specific subject. This makes a term paper important in the academic life of a student because it serves as their admission to the exam. It is also aimed at evaluating the writing and research skills of the student because it requires methodological writing and comprehensive research to complete. This blog walks you through the process of writing a term paper with a guiding sample.
Step for writing a term paper
Step 1: reparation
Defining a topic for a term paper
The ability of the student to write a comprehensive paper relies primarily on their understanding of the topic. Defining the topic is therefore one of the most crucial steps to completing your term paper. In most cases the instructor provides the topic for the term paper, it is the responsibility of the students to seek clarification to understand the topic and find an interesting way of approaching it.
Create ideas around the topic
After defining the topic, the next step is to come up with relevant ideas which will act as anchor points for the term paper. There are many ways of coming up with good ideas for your term paper and one of them is brainstorming. It helps students to generate new and unique ideas relevant to the topic. One method of brainstorming is coming up with both strong and weak ideas about the topic. Strong ideas are those that are closely related to the topic while weak ones are not very close. This strategy will help the student select strong from weak points hence improving the quality of the paper. Another approach to brainstorming is breaking and building ideas. It helps generate as many ideas as possible by breaking down the themes into smaller details. It helps narrow down the most relevant sub themes and ideas to the main topic. This will also make your paper more focused and comprehensive in explaining the topic.
Another important preparation process is researching. This involves identifying credible sources to help understand the topic better. Researching also expands the student’s knowledge of the topic and methods of writing. It exposes the student to previous researches and the methodologies used by the authors which could be applicable in their term paper.
Another important step in preparing for the term paper is defining the audience. As an academic writing, a term paper should be written in a formal language for the consumption of the academic audience.
Step 2: setting up foundation for the term paper
You conducted preliminary research in the first step to identify credible sources, now explore the sources further to find important information to support your assertions and claims in the paper. This involves putting together adequate evidence from sources such as credible websites, books, journals and laboratory reports. It is advisable that the student uses relevant and latest sources of at least published in the last ten years.
As you research for the term paper it is important that you write down important information for reference. Taking notes will also help break broader topics into small ones to make them clearer. Take short notes about the topic covered in the source, the page where the information is found and any specific quotes that may be useful in your term paper.
Create an outline for the term paper
An outline helps you organize your thoughts and develop a logical flow of ideas for the term paper. It helps connect ideas to form a complete paper. Combine the notes obtained from the research and ideas generated earlier to formulate an outline. It also helps discover connections between the main idea and other related ideas and establish an order of flow of ideas for each and every paragraph.
Step 3: writing a term paper
Create a draft
At this point you have collected enough ideas and have an outline, now prepare a draft to put every piece together. This step requires good writing skills to put ideas together in a manner that makes sense to the reader. Ensure that your draft has a good flow of ideas arranged in paragraphs. The paragraphs represent different ideas related to the main topic. Every paragraph should start with a topic sentence defining the claim followed by evidence then explanation. Consequently, the paragraphs should build into the complete body of the paper. The complete paper should contain the title page, abstract, introduction, body and conclusion and a reference page.
Review the draft
Review your draft to ensure that there is a logical flow of ideas and that there are no research gaps in the concepts presented. Ensure that the ideas are compelling and that all sources used provide credible and relevant evidence. Remove any sources that provide conflicting evidence that may be confusing to the reader. Use the strategy mentioned earlier to obtain most current and relevant sources. Create a working thesis that resonates with the body of your term paper. This should be done by considering the study rationales and hypotheses. The thesis statement is simply a statement explaining the position you have taken on the topic based on the hypothesis and rationales. Ensure that the position stated in the thesis statement is reflected in each and every paragraph.
Step 3: Finalize your term paper
You need to minimize or eliminate any flaws in the term paper to improve its quality and encourage readership. This is why revising your work is necessary to identify possible errors such as grammatical or spelling and any writing technicalities. You should also ensure that your term paper is well edited to improve its euphony. Read the paper several times to identify and correct any errors. It is advisable to engage other scholars familiar with the subject to read and help identify mistakes.
Step 4: Prepare the final draft
Having reviewed and proofread the draft, use the changes obtained from revisions and editing to write a final draft in order to submit a flawless paper.
Sample term paper
Follow the link for a term paper sample