How To Write A Proper Term Paper

By: Daniel Millions

There is some confusion between a term paper and a research paper. While the titles are often interchanged, there is a difference. A research paper is always an academic research study and may take several years to complete if it is being written as part of the requirements of a degree.

The term paper is limited to the length of time a school term or semester takes and is used to determine the final grade of a particular class. Th term paper, while quite often of an academic research form, does not have to be so scholarly. A term paper may serve to prove a matter of opinion or an attempt at proving an hypothesis.

The requirements for writing a term paper are very similar to those of a research paper. One difference is that the topic of a term paper is often assigned to the student or they are given only a limited number of choices for their subject. Term paper writing is not as extensive as research papers. With less time for completion, the term paper will generally be a shorter work. However, your term paper still requires the same attention to detail and maintaining of source material and referencing techniques as the more scholarly research paper.

Begin your term paper writing with study. Once you have your topic it is recommended you first find out about the basic principles underlying your subject. This will help give you a general idea of what your topic is about and can provide ideas for how to direct your own term paper. Remember to keep notes and reference lists. A general encyclopedia is good for your initial research. From there you will be able to focus on writings from people mentioned and access the bibliography section to find more source materials you can utilize.

Internet resources are also handy for finding out about your topic. Do not stop at just one, however, as there is probably more misinformation online than not. Compare several sources to determine which seem most genuine.

Once you have begun the process of physically writing your term paper, start with a general outline detailing what information you are presenting and figure out the order in which you present each new section of information. Stick to proper grammar and writing patterns. Avoid colloquialisms except in necessary instances where they may apply. Prevent yourself from emotional diatribes. Your term paper should explain the topic, not try to argue it.

Check with the person who assigned you the term paper for the proper format. There are a number of styles and it is essential you are footnoting, indenting and spacing the way your grader wants it done. While the inexperienced may wonder why this is so important, it is a double test of your ability to not only find the needed material and present it in a comprehensible form, you must show that you can follow detailed instructions as well.

Once you have done your first draft, set it aside for a few days or a week and then come back to begin the proofreading stage. As well as searching for grammar errors and misspellings, you should review the words you use and delete superfluous, unnecessary words. Review adjectives and keep them to a minimum. Avoid first person narrative in your term paper.

As a final check, be sure to go over all your footnotes and references to make sure they are properly accredited and included in the correct form. It is a myth that no one will check. Being found out to have plagiarized or made up your references will end up disqualifying your entire work.

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