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How to Write a College Term Paper

February 02, 2018 in Personal life
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As you have taken one step closer towards your academic career, in the course of your studying you will be asked to provide a college term paper. Here comes the question how to differentiate a term paper in college from an ordinary research paper. First of all, you need to be well-versed in college term paper format and structure. If you lack sufficient knowledge on how to provide a great term paper, the article below will definitely help you do that. We will cover the most important aspects of writing a terrific paper for college.

Making First Steps towards College Term Paper Writing

A term paper is a significant piece of college work. As such, you should take a serious approach towards the writing process. You need to apply your critical and analytical skills to the subject matter you specialize in. The core aspect is not just to provide a discussion of a particular topic but to combine the important aspects of your own discussion with the analytical review of the credible literature. As such, a successfully written term paper for college comprises of two important aspects: your own discussion on the topic as well as the analytical and comprehensive review of the credible literature on the subject matter. Therefore, the central purpose is to summarize the material you have learned during the course of a specific discipline and provide your own argumentative analysis of specific points. As you see, that’s why term paper is usually given so many points.

Students frequently confuse a term paper with a simple research paper. At some point, these two pieces of academic writing bear some similarities, but on the whole, they have more differences. A research paper involves academic approach towards carrying out the literature review and demonstrating thorough and detailed understanding. Besides, it demands to incorporate different notions and concepts of literature into one paper. A term paper, on the other hand, requires you to demonstrate your critical and evaluative skills apart from your ability to discuss and incorporate literature. Apart from reviewing literature, you need to learn how to work on different data and statistics (if it is required by your topic).
Now that you’ve got a general notion of what a term paper is, we can switch over to focusing on its details and college paper formatting.

Before You Start the Writing Process

If you have previously thought that this article will provide you with some kind of magical recipe on how to write a terrific term paper without trying hard, we must disappoint you – because you will actually need to put some effort to succeed in writing. The process of writing won’t be easy and it won’t be fast either. However, with the right approach and strategy taken by you, the writing process could be more enjoyable.

First and foremost, take a serious approach towards your research stage. After you have chosen the topic, try to find appropriate and, most importantly, credible sources for the paper. Review online sources, library databases, visit libraries, browse the Internet, skim read textbooks and find ideas that refer to the topic of your term paper.

If the topic is not that much familiar to you, then find time to read some background information on it to get the general notion what you need to write about, what was already researched, etc. Actually, you don’t have to reinvent the light bulb. First of all, just make sure that you got acquainted with the central terms and concepts relating to the topic. Yes, you’re right – it may really require extensive reading, so please start working on the term paper as soon as you get the writing assignment. You will skim read a variety of existent research projects, papers, articles, books, and other sources. Make sure you provide an extensive research of different aspects of the given topic. The term paper you are to submit should reflect your comprehensive understanding of the material you have learned throughout the course.

Claiming that your discussions, opinions, and arguments are completely novel and original may get you into great trouble. As a rule, these are just somebody else’s statements that you have paraphrased. Whenever you take some information from outside sources, make sure to cite them properly. It won’t be hard for your professor to tell apart your own arguments and some ideas taken from literature. So, if you don’t want to be severely criticized or even get an F, do not cheat.

Principles of Structuring Your Term Paper

To structure the term paper properly, you need to prepare a college term paper outline. This is the next step after working on literature. Before you start writing the outline, you need to focus on what aspects you would like to cover in the paper. You need to make sure that you narrow down the topic to some more specific focus. When the main topic of the paper is too general, it is hard to trace the core message. Besides, in this case, the paper will look rather chaotic in structure. So, make sure you focus on specific aspects of the topic.

Before you write college term paper, it is advisable to agree on the narrowed down topic and aspects of research with your academic supervisor. The specific topic should be approved to make sure it corresponds to the realm of your research area. It is also recommended to ask your professor for the feedback when you have devised an outline. Your example of term paper for college is definitely one of the hundreds that your professor has seen, so he/ she will be able to provide a constructive feedback. Your professor will definitely pinpoint your weak points, in particular, tell you if you do not have sufficient supporting evidence, examples, literature review, and so on.

How to Start a Term Paper?

Choose a topic of writing. Is it as easy as a pie?
First of all, make sure the topic you select will be interesting for you to discuss. You need to be motivated to provide a successful paper. The very procedure of writing is a tiresome one, but if the topic is interesting at least for a bit, it makes things easier.
Preferring to investigate something totally new and undiscovered before is not a really good idea. The main advantage is that such topic will be interesting to your target audience (as it will be brand new and novel to them), but the main drawback is that it will be really complicated to you to find sufficient information.

On the contrary, if you decide to write a paper on a fairly researched topic, then the writing process will come about much easier. As a matter of fact, your attention will be drawn to a specific aspect of the research question and you will deepen your knowledge of that subject matter.
If you haven’t progressed much with your writing, there is also an option of changing your topic in case you have faced challenges finding adequate information.

Formulating a Strong and Clear Thesis Statement

Another challenging aspect of term paper writing is a thesis statement. It is important to formulate it in a coherent and logical way. The thesis statement should make it clear to a reader which main message or idea you convey and what you argue about. Make sure to identify central focal points of your paper in the thesis statement. When further developing your ideas in the body paragraphs, ensure that they correspond to the thesis statement. Keep in mind that a thesis statement in any type of academic writing serves as a backbone for the development of the ideas.

Planning – The Key to Success

There are some students who claim that they do not need any kind of planning to provide a successful term paper. We claim the opposite – to provide a coherent and well-structured paper, you have to plan the paper organization beforehand. Planning is especially important for students because they do not have much practice in writing, so they should see a clear picture of their future paper to provide ideas layout more easily.
That’s exactly where we are when we are on the verge of preparing the first draft. An important thing to remember: write as many drafts as you personally need. Do not be attached to some standard rules that there should be merely two or three drafts before you submit the final paper. Come to understand that your main task is to prepare a terrific term paper that will satisfy you. Also, make sure you know how to conclude a term paper.

As you have gathered all the necessary information, organize it into proper sections.
In the introductory paragraph, please make sure you introduce the topic and provide the context for your research. In case you have any difficulties already at this stage, get some term paper writing help. The introduction is a critical point in your work. To put it simply, an introduction together with a conclusion should provide your reader general understanding of what your paper is about. If you have prepared your introduction in the best way then the topic of your investigation should be clear. Remember to end the introductory paragraph with a strong and clear thesis statement. You should pinpoint the motivation you have in writing and emphasize the significance of your topic.

Besides, some term papers require an abstract section. It differs from an introduction, so if you don’t know how to organize it, get some term paper writing help. An abstract is more of a paper overview, so you mainly need to write what sections the paragraph comprises and what its main idea is.

After the introduction, please provide a literature review section, where you provide a brief overview of literature you have worked on. Actually, it is more of a compilation of ideas that were put forward by many researchers. Be responsible when providing this section and make sure you do not mention here any false or non-existing articles/ books whatsoever. Your professor will surely check the credibility of each source. In different guidelines providing term paper writing help, you will find information on how to conduct a proper literature review.

The next one goes discussion section, where you provide the main research of your paper. Actually, you should provide a close analysis of the topic that you have mentioned in the title on the term paper title page. Academic college writing has its standards of discussion and information analysis, so make sure to discuss the topic thoroughly and in detail. You do not necessarily need to introduce any novelty or originality into the research for college-level writing, but you should definitely demonstrate your excellent college-writing skills. Make sure to investigate the topic from different angles to provide a comprehensive research.

How to Conclude College Term Paper

In the conclusive paragraph, please summarize the paper. Reiterate the thesis, indicate whether the main research purpose was reached, pinpoint the main points of discussion and analysis. Double-check if you have succinctly summarized the main ideas without introducing any new information in the last section. Look through some college-level writing prompts to know how to properly organize conclusion. Demonstrate how the research results have fulfilled the original research question that you have introduced in the opening paragraph.

All in all, if you have managed to successfully complete your term paper, then it means that you have properly applied your college-level writing skills to practice. After you have written the paper, make sure to revise and proofread it. Look for contextual, grammar, punctuation, and stylistic mistakes, as well as typos. Also, keep in mind that you should check on whether you have logical transitions throughout paragraphs and whether the layout of ideas is logical and clear. Before proofreading the paper, make sure you set the text aside for a day or two. If you are short of time, make sure to take a break after writing at least for a few hours. You might as well ask a friend or a group mate to look through the paper. Maybe he/ she will spot mistakes. 

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