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How to Write a Term Paper

Term Paper is a complex type of academic writing. It requires a lot of time and efforts to gather and analyze all necessary information. Besides, often this writing assignment is your final paper. Thus, it has a strong influence on your final course grade. Therefore, the importance of a term paper is obvious. This article aims to concentrate your attention on such three main term paper elements as term paper outline, term paper structure, and term paper format.

Term Paper Outline

Term paper outline aims to provide you and your professor with clear understanding of what kind of term paper you are going to write. Outlining is a widespread practice in different types of academic writing. Firstly, you should clarify the subject and the issue you want to examine. Sometimes you get the list of related course topics, and sometimes you need to find them by yourself. The second situation is a little bit more difficult, so you should carefully surf the internet and read some related articles, books, Wikipedia, etc. Do not forget to consult with your supervisor concerning your topic, research subject, object, and other issues. Besides, there are three unwritten term paper rules concerning the length, resources, and complexity.

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  1. Before you start writing your term paper, you should strictly determine its length. There are various term paper length standards – 5, 8, or 10 pages. Therefore, you should choose the topic, which will suit your term paper length. Sometimes it happens that your problem is too broad and it will be impossible to discover this theme on five pages and vice versa.
  2. Choosing the topic is the first step that requires checking resources. Experienced professors always insist on checking resource availability and call you to confirm their existence and relevance.
  3. Some term paper topics may be easier, and some may be more complex. Despite this fact, you should be sure that you will cope with a chosen issue and its explanation. Remember that few will put a good mark just for the term paper complexity. Thus, be honest with you, and remember that there is nothing wrong with choosing a less difficult problem and revealing it perfectly.

Besides, pay much attention to your term paper headline. Your headline is the first thing your professors and reviewers will notice. So, it should be attractive enough, provoke some questions, and cause the desire to listen to you and then to read your term paper. Furthermore, and what is even more crucial – your term paper headline should be relevant and coherent with term paper content. Therefore, leave enough time for this item and do not be in a hurry with this it, since it may have the vital influence on your final result.

To sum up, your outline should consist of such elements as:

  • Title: should be informative and relevant to your term paper content.
  • Objectives: should contain your aims and future outcomes.
  • Topicality: your topicality may be public or scientific, or both. Depending on your topic and issue, you may declare why your paper is useful for the society (public topicality) and why it brings new knowledge (scientific topicality). Here, your task is to proof the relevance and importance of your term paper.

Remember about all these items and write down each of them in your outline. Then use this outline as the step-by-step guide on the next stages of writing a term paper.

Term Paper Structure

Term paper has a universal structure with its own features. Before writing your term paper, find out whether you have a relevant structure sample. Sometimes, it may depend on the institutions’ requirements. However, as a rule, it includes 6 chapters.

  1. Cover page: the first page that contains the information about the type of your writing assignment (Term paper), institution details (name), your first and second name, course details (professor’s name, course name, deadline), term paper topic.
  2. Abstract: it is a one- or half-page length paper, which is similar to the annotation. It should include short and concrete information concerning your topic, some explanations concerning the topicality, relevance, and importance of your paper, and call for further reading.
  3. Introduction: it deals with a concrete topic statement. It allows readers find out deeper about the issue and importance, individual relations, and provokes desire to read further.
  4. Main Body: the core of your term paper, where you synthesize your statement with arguments, provide readers with the whole picture of the research, and show different perspectives on the problem.
  5. Results: this part should witness whether you confirm or refute your draft hypothesis. It must correlate with the aims declared in the introduction. Here, it is necessary to provide readers with the findings, which you have received thanks to your term paper.
  6. Discussion: it is the last but not the least term paper chapter. It motivates audience and readers to reflect on the subject, put new questions, discuss the received results, etc.

Term Paper Format

There are a lot of academic paper formats. Mostly it depends on organization’s and professor’s requirements. Firstly, define the length and the citation style. Usually, we use APA or MLA formatting types. Each of them has its features. For instance, we use APA style to write term papers on social sciences. Reference sample: Author’s Name (1990). Book’s name. Publisher. Instead, MLA is more suitable for liberal arts and humanities. We highly recommend using your university references and citations guide to avoid misunderstanding on paper formatting.


  1. Choose the topic you are interested in and which you can examine without any difficulties.
  2. Do not ignore your professor’s consultations. Build a strong cooperation with your supervisor.
  3. Dedicate enough time for each term paper part. It should not be equal for each of them. However, pay special attention to your outline, main body, and results. Of course, take into account some time needed for formatting and proofreading.
  4. Proofread and discuss your paper with colleges and professors.
  5. Follow this guide on writing your term paper.
Wish you all the best! Good luck!

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