Term Paper Writing
Term Papers are mostly assigned to college students at the end of a semester. These are traditionally lengthy essays on a certain, specific subject that pertain to the course in which the Term-Paper assignment is given, and tends to cover what was taught and learned throughout the semester. A Term Paper, which usually accounts for a substantial portion of a student’s overall grade, demonstrates that a student-writer can synthesize what they have been taught during this time.
The Term Paper usually requires extensive research in order to expound on what one has learned during the semester; it demonstrates that a student-writer can analyze that knowledge while putting their developing critical-thinking and reasoning skills to good use.
The culmination of not only research and critical thinking, but of source evaluation, organization and composition, the Term Paper is either argumentative in nature (one where a student makes a well-developed argument, that is persuasive in manner) or one that is an analytical research paper (with the student thoroughly exploring and evaluating a topic). And, of course, there are always exceptions.
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Tips to Writing a Superb Term Paper
• Begin the Process Early: Don’t wait until late in the semester (just before it’s due) to start working on the Term Paper. That would lead to unwanted stress and unnecessary challenges. Working on the Term Paper throughout the semester is best advised. And it always saves time in the long run.
• Pick an Interesting, Researchable Topic: Writing is challenging enough with an interesting topic – and a real mountain to climb with a dull topic. When writing a Term Paper, the student-writer should write about what they know, what they find intriguing, and what they find comfortable writing about. They should, also, pick a topic that can be easily researched – not something too obscure or obsolete. When conducting research, look for credible, scholarly information – published works as encyclopedias, academic journals, etc.
• Understand the Purpose of the Term-Paper Assignment: Should the Term Paper be argumentative or analytical? Or something else? If in doubt, ask. It’s the professor’s obligation to communicate to the student their expectations on completing a Term Paper.
• Don’t Hesitate to get a Professor or Instructor’s Advice: Professors and instructors (and even some writing tutors) are a wealth of information on this kind of extensive writing and research assignments. Once again, they are SUPPOSED to help students with questions, problems or concerns they may have on completing their assignments. Perhaps a student-writer is experiencing trouble finding sources in their research, or maybe they do not understand how to complete something in the process – in either case, their professor can and should help.
• Outlines DO Help in the Writing Process: Writing is a very tedious endeavor – and since academic writing depends highly on fact-based, logical information, an outline helps the student-writer plan out their Term Paper. An outline can include mapped-out information, pinpointing where sources are to go in the paper, as well as where certain points of interest can be expounded on.
• Don’t Write the Paper All At Once: Instead, write it in spurts. This helps with avoiding burnout, stress, and poor productivity.
• After the First Draft is Written, Let it Be Before Doing More: In other words, once a portion or more is completed, it helps to leave it alone for a few days before returning to work on it. This adds some much-need perspective to what has already been written and what is to come after.
• Have Another Set of Eyes to Read the Draft: This includes having tutors, friends, professors, and instructors reading the Term Paper while it’s in the early production stages. Most times they will find problems and errors the writer may not see and can help them improve their Term Paper, likely resulting in a higher grade than with errors and such.
• Edit for Mistakes, Then Do Some Re-Writing Before Turning to the Assignment: This is crucial for getting a good grade on the assignment. Look for careless, mindless errors (in punctuation, grammar, and spelling), indicators of accidental plagiarism, and other general inconsistencies. And remember one thing: good writing always comes during the editing process.