Academic Writing Complete Guide
Why read academic articles?
Good Academic Scholarship
Exam preparation and Techniques
Term Papers Writing Guide & Tips
This is a paper that is written by a student in college or university that represents his academic achievement during a term. It accounts for a larger part of a grade and is intended to describe an event, argue a point or a concept. A term paper has to be an original work that discusses a topic in-depth ha has several pages. It’s due by the end of every semester. Some people think there is some sort of resemblance between the research paper and a term paper, but actual sense, they are different.
A term paper is usually an original work that is usually research-based and is dues by the end of a term, depending on the unit of measure used by the school. On the other hand, not every term paper involves academic research and it every research paper, is a term paper. When you write your term paper, ensure that it well was written. Analytical, organized and well researched since it a reflection of your knowledge of a certain course.
Writing your term paper
- Choosing the topic
When choosing your topic, try to be very creative. If you are given a chance to choose the topic by yourself, go for something that you are particularly interested in since it is easier to write about it. You have to select a question based on the questions that you already know you can provide necessary answers. Once you choose the topic, narrow it down to something that can really be worked on within the boundaries of the paper.
If you have been provided with the topic, you can start exploring the unique angels that you can use to set your information apart from the obvious approaches probably taken by others. Whatever angle you decide to take, let it be original, insightful and something that will draw the reader in. Do not settle in a topic and to be so set on the outcome of the paper that you shut your mind to new ideas and avenues of thinking. This is called premature cognitive commitment, which prevents an otherwise good paper from achieving the right outcome since you already have the intended outcome.
If you can read what others have written concerning the topic, it will help you in refining your won especially when they comment on that further research is needed. You can also look at where pose challenging questions but leave them unanswered.
Do your research
It does not make any sense delving into the writing process without carrying out necessary research on your topic. You have to ensure that you have an understanding of the background information that concerns your topic. Use the current and previous sources of information and see what they say on the topic and where future research is considered necessary. The idea is to ensure that you earn something new in the area as well as presenting new information to the audience.
Delve into the research process with an adventurous attitude and an open mind to learn new things. You will discover new ways of looking at old problems. When doing your research, it is crucial you use both primary and secondary sources of information. Primary sources include original text, documents, and interviews experiments and so on. Secondary sources are the interpretations and explanations of the primary sources.
You also need to discuss different aspects with like-minded students if you are comfortable. These discussions are meant to share ideas about the topic. However, these ideas are not quotable.
Refine your thesis statement
Once you are through with the research phase, reflect on your chosen topic. You can now identify a single strong idea that you are going to use as the premise of your discussion. This is your assertion that you believe you can defend throughout the entire paper. This is what makes it clear to the reader what they are about to learn and receive a good conclusion on.
Your thesis statement is the epicenter of your discussion and you are going to defend it in the paragraphs to come. Your research should be able to prove your thesis statement and as such, you should back it up with relevant information accordingly. Once you are sure that your topic is intact and clear, you can now start writing down your first draft.
Understand that your research does not end there, nor does your thesis statement. You have to be very flexible since as you continue writing, you will make necessary changes along the way. However, you need to be careful not to be a continuous seeker who never stops ideas from forming in your head.
Formulate an outline for your term paper
There are those people who can work better if they skip this step. However, it is important to come up with a working outline for your term paper. This gives your paper the direction it needs. It is a fallback framework for your term paper and ensures you do not lose focus along the way. You are able to know exactly where to put specific information. When developing your outline, you can use different approaches. Some of the basic elements to include in your outline are as follows:
- Introduction and discussion paragraphs, conclusion and summary
- Descriptive or explanatory paragraphs that follow the introduction, setting the background of your paper
- Analysis and argument sections that use your research to discuss the main idea for everybody paragraph
- Unique questions that you are not sure about
Make your point in the introduction
The introduction is one the major sections of the paper that is likely to be rewritten severally. This line grabs the attention of the audience. You can explain the breakdown of the information to something that the audience will understand. It is also the one houses your thesis statement. If you want to create a good introduction, you cause the HIT technique:
- Hook the reader using a quote, a question, or an anecdote that makes absolute sense to the reader.
- Introduce your topic in a succinct, clear, and straightforward way.
- The thesis statement must be clarified in the introduction and it is important to define words contained in the question.
Use the body paragraphs to convince the reader
Every paragraph that you write must support your thesis statement t in a new way. The topic sentence of every paragraph must support the central argument even without its supporting sentences.
Give a strong conclusion
When wrapping up your term paper, ensure that you end strongly. You can try using the rock method:
- Restate your thesis statement
- Once important detail found in your last paragraph
- Conclude your paper
- Clincher - give the audience something left to think about
Show some level of style
When you use outside sources, you are supposed to cite and reference them accordingly. This should follow the preferences of your instructor in terms of the format of citation and reference. It could be MLA, APA, Harvard, and Chicago Manual Style and so on. Each one of them has a distinctive set of guidelines that you are supposed to follow when you are citing and referencing. When you use outside sources in your paper, it makes is credible and shows that you were prepared to deal with the topic.
Avoid copy-pasting from other people’s work. You cause eminent thinkers to back up your arguments. It is crucial to sort your bibliography in the beginning. This will prevent the last minute scramble. Use the format that is recommended by the instructor.
Ensure that your sentences are in good shape
It is important you burn flab and build muscle of your paper. Ensure that the sentences have used the fewest words possible and have retained the meaning. Refrain from using weak verbs and substitute them with action verbs.
Proofread your work severally
Running your spellchecker is the first step of proofreading your term paper. When you use a computer-based spell-checker, it will correct mistakes, but it is not 100% foolproof. Once you are done with, the computer program based proofreading, read the essay on your own, and you are likely to notice mistakes that the computer overlooked. Correct mistakes that relate to grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
You can also use a friend to proofread for you. They will be able to notice mistakes that you overlooked because your eye is too familiar with the text. Ask them if the paper is consistent, the points are clear and if there is something that needs to be adjusted. Use their feedback to refine your paper. When writing your term paper, pay attention to decent grammar. If there are many errors in your paper, you do not stand a chance of a good grade.
Consider using a good title that will capture the attention of the reader
Refrain from using a title that is too long or too short. If you want to become a good writer, you must be able to formulate an interesting topic for your academic paper. Be creative and engage the interest of the audience accordingly.