A Guide to Successful Term Paper Writing

Writing a term paper is required for almost all majors in college. To write a great term paper, you must put in a fair amount of time and effort, which is not always easy for students. But here are some guidelines to follow in order to complete this lengthy assignment yourself.

Stage 1. Choose an Interesting Topic

Choosing the right topic is essential for writing a good term paper. Find a topic that will interest, excite, and motivate you to write a great paper. Make sure that your topic isn’t too wide but conveys a well-defined range of problems. Researching a general subject requires more time and writing, both of which are restricted for most term papers. It’s also important to stay original while choosing your subject. Talk to your professor, other students who have researched the subject, and look through books. You will definitely find references to areas of study that require more detailed analysis. This is a great opportunity for you to pick up a fresh topic where you will be able to demonstrate your researching, analytical, and writing skills.

Stage 2. Do In-Depth Research

Do thorough research of your topic to fully understand current trends of thought. It’s also important to investigate your topic’s background to get the full picture. Skipping this stage will result with you writing things that everyone already knows.

Go through all possible sources of information like interviews with experts, books, documents, case studies, encyclopedias, magazines, journals, blogs, forums, and academic databases. Check what other people have to say about the subject and about different ways of interpretation. Your main goal at this point is to find as many points of view as possible. Use critical thinking to assess opinions and finally develop your own position on the topic.

Stage 3. Develop Your Paper’s Thesis

After you have done enough research and formulated your own position, you are ready to create thesis. This is your paper’s main statement or the specific topic you are going to talk about and your position. Make it clear and simple. Developing a strong thesis is important for both you and the readers. For you, it helps to keep you focused on what’s important while writing the paper. For your readers, it helps them to get involved in what they read and to understand what the main points are.

Stage 4. Develop an Outline

Having an outline is important for various reasons. First of all, it is a plan for you to follow so you don’t miss any important facts or ideas. Secondly, it is a plan of how you will present and defend your opinion. Your paragraphs should flow nicely into one another and they should be logical and consistent. This way, your whole paper will be structured and understood easier. Your outline might change as you do your research, which is completely normal. But it is equally important to start writing your paper following a plan so you know exactly what to say.

Stage 5. Write the Term Paper

Start your term paper with an introduction. You will probably need to rewrite it later but at this stage, it’s a starting point. Try to be original and attract your readers’ attention from the very beginning. Ask a question or present a controversial statement or a quote. Intrigue the readers so that they want to read further. Talk a little about the topic, why you have decided to investigate this very area, present the problem the topic brings up, and finally move into your thesis.

Defend your opinion with the body paragraphs. Each of your paragraphs should present a new idea or argument in support of your position. At this point, a list of all the people you talked to and literature you looked through can be used. You can refer to all the sources you investigated to discuss the topic from various angles. But just make sure that your paper isn’t just a narration of what other people say. Provide your own comments and conclusions.

Finally, conclude with a strong statement. Go back to your thesis and go through the arguments you suggested and give your final opinion.

Stage 6. Polish Your Term Paper

Go through your term paper several times. At first, concentrate on the content. You will be rewriting some parts, adding new comments, or deleting those that don’t fit any more. Then it is time to check that the introduction matches the paper’s opinions and rewrite it if necessary.

Then you should carefully check all the spelling, grammar, and stylistic mistakes and take the time to format your term paper according to the required format.

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