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Tips for Writing Term Papers

Almost all students are asked to write at least one term paper during their academic careers. This assignment is usually based on the material covered throughout a term (semester) or an entire year. Tutors and examiners use these papers to assess how well and how much of their material the student has absorbed, researched and used effectively.

It is up to a tutor’s own discretion how they determine the meaning of assignments like term papers. Because of this loose interpretation, the assignment may involve a little or a lot of research and it may include some or all of the work covered during an academic term or semester.

Steps Required to Write a Term Paper

  1. The process usually begins with the selection of a suitable topic or subject matter. Either the tutor allocates a topic or the student chooses it by themselves from a shortlist.
  2. The next step is selecting relevant topic-related research material from textbooks, journal articles, websites and/or other appropriate sources.
  3. The student will then need to read the research material in order to understand their topic better. It is good practice to make detailed notes during the research stage.
  4. The fourth step in understanding how to write a term paper is for the student to write a strong outline using their research notes.
  5. Next comes the writing of the initial draft of the body text or main part of the paper.
  6. Following that it will be necessary to write a suitable conclusion that sums up the research findings.
  7. Possibly the most difficult aspect is writing a robust introduction, which should include a carefully worded thesis sentence or statement.
  8. The last but also important step is re-reading, proofing and editing the text.

Selecting Topics

While much depends on the subject they are studying, there are some great topics that students can choose for their term papers to show how well they have grasped the material they covered during a given term. Subjects like art, biology, business, communications, engineering and science all provide interesting subject matter. However, to properly fit the term paper format, it is important to choose a topic that encompasses the majority of the material the student has covered. Because they are important where a student’s grading is concerned, term papers must cover as much course material as is feasible.

Take, for instance, the example of an art student who has been studying and researching early and primitive art throughout a given semester. One suitable topic could be “Religious Artwork: Primitive Images from the 10th Century.” Or an aspiring chemical engineer might choose “How the Manufacturing Methods for Analgesic Tablets can be Re-designed.” Similarly, a literature student might choose to examine the works of a particular author or writing movement as the subject for their term paper. While topics like these are subject-specific, they are also sufficiently general as not to hinder the student when it comes to finding material they can read up on, research and write about.