A term paper
is essentially a very large research paper
that includes a wide variety of sources and is usually the culminating work of a class
in an institution of higher education. It could even be something as large as a senior thesis in order to graduate from a university. With a task this large, it is absolutely essential that you begin planning well in advance. The driving force in a term paper is the question that is being answered. You are better off choosing a question and an answer that are specific rather than trying to be too general. By being specific, more analysis is possible. A term paper will require careful planning, a tremendous amount of research, excellent organization
and carefully crafted writing
The first step is to choose a topic
. It is better to chose one that is of great interest to you as this will make the process of researching much easier. Once the topic is chosen, you needs to devise some sort of question for the term paper to answer. Answering the presented question is what all of the research and writing that will be done will be focused on, so ensure that the question is specific and able to be supported.
Once the preliminary thinking about the term paper is done, the next step is to do research
. Depending on the type and length of the term paper, the amount of research that is required could vary. However, it is a good idea to research the topic thoroughly so that all elements are covered and so that you will have enough evidence to back the claims made by answering the driving question. While researching it is recommended that you take notes that can later be organized into an outline. It is also important to remember to gather hard facts, not just the opinions of people or publications.
Creating the structure of the term paper
is the next step and usually involves organizing all of the research into a coherent outline. This is critical as a good outline can make or break the difference between an average paper and an outstanding paper. After all this work is done, the actual writing of the paper is relatively smooth. Make sure that you always keep the answer to the question in mind and stay within the organization of the term essay.
- Give background to chosen topic
- State question that will be addressed and give proposed answer
- Structure paragraphs and topics to support answer
- Provide plenty of well researched details to lend support to argument
- Restate question and answer
- Emphasis key research points