If you were to define a term paper, what would say? Would you define it as an essay or research paper? If you were about to write it, where would you start? Or what would you include? Surely, the answers to all these questions can be found in the guidelines your teacher would give you, but there are times when your teacher doesn’t provide a guide because he expects you to know this. This happened to me when my assignment was to write my term paper on advanced technology but the guidelines didn’t say much how I can do it. So, I simply started with defining a term paper and understanding its format and requirements.
Basically, a term paper is a research a student does as a part of a course or class, or it could also be a major writing assignment for the semester. From this definition we clearly see how important writing a term paper properly is since it simply determines what grade this student gets for the course or class. However, seeing an actual example would help more than reading about it. And Internet can help with this. There are thousands of different examples on various topics. However you should remember not to get influenced by these papers and subconsciously plagiarize them. Nevertheless, below there is a couple of pieces of advice to help any student with writing a term paper.
STAGES TO PASS BEFORE STARTING WRITING
While writing a term paper, you should pass through 8 stages. You start with researching and investigating, then go on with synthesizing, organizing, analyzing and clarifying, then continue with the examination of your topic in a broader context, selection and distillation of ideas and facts, and finally adoption of your own point of view.
THE RIGHT FORMAT FOR THE FLAWLESS FLOW OF FACTS AND IDEAS
When writing a term paper a student should first of all pay attention to the format. It should include such components as:
- an abstract – a short description of the paper; there you should mention the problem, its importance and your findings;
- an introduction – state the problem, include a literature review, state the importance of this problem, and give your solutions;
- methods – explain how you searched for information; give your impression of the relevance, utility and quality of this information; explain the steps you took to select this information;
- results – show your finds and state whether the problem was or wasn’t solved
- and discussion – state the importance of your observations, sum up most important findings, draw your own conclusions.
MISTAKES TO AVOID
No matter how good at writing you can be, you can still make mistakes. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. And while writing a term paper, make sure you don’t use superlatives pretentious phraseology like “the first person who….(you cannot be sure whether someone else researched this topic earlier or not)” or “the most common idea…..(did you or anyone else carry out a poll?).” Moreover, you shouldn’t state that something is true unless you have relative sources proving it. You cannot state 80% of all Americans follow unhealthy diet without any proof backing it up.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER RELEVANT SOURCES MATTER
Additionally, you should put in considerable effort to find relevant sources. First of all, you should search for information in books, scholarly journal articles, government publications, newspapers and magazines and of course in Internet. But when looking for information in the Internet, you should always pay attention to trustworthiness of the source.
All in all, before starting with writing your term paper, make certain that you understand the topic and what your teacher/professor expects from you. Then do some research, analyze and organize your data. You can also give brainstorming and creating a mind map a go to ease this process. And only when you are done with all these, you can begin outlining and writing your term paper.
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