International network for natural sciences – research journal
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Project/term paper

Term paper

A term paper is a research paper written by students over an academic term, accounting for a large part of a grade. Term papers are generally aimed to describe an event, a concept, or argue a point. A term paper is a written original work discussing a topic in detail, usually several typed pages in length and is often due at the end of a semester. There is much overlap between the terms research paper and term paper. The phrase term paper was originally used to define a written assignment (usually a research based paper) that was due at the end of the “term”—either a semester or quarter, depending on which unit of measure a school used. However, not all term papers involve academic research, and not all research papers are term papers. It is not necessary to make a new discovery or a new synthesis.

Judgment of a term paper

  • Define a clear topic and stick to it throughout the paper, addressing a consistently defined audience.
  • Use the best available sources of information and acknowledge them appropriately.
  • Display careful organization and clear wording.
  • Follow scholarly standards for format, grammar, spelling, and other mechanical matters.

Writing ways of a term paper

Getting Started: Your Professor will let you know what is expected. Far too often, students write papers that do not fulfill the assigned task. If you do not understand the assignment, if you have any doubts at all, discuss it with your Professor. Professors almost always provide specific written guidelines for length, focus, format etc. for each and every paper they assign.

Grab The Right Topic: The next step is to choose your topic carefully. First, as mentioned, make sure any topic you select fulfills the paper assignment, which interests you.

Start research and collect resources: Good research is the foundation of your paper. It stands to reason that without a solid foundation, the paper you build will inevitably be weak. As a general rule, your paper will be stronger if you use a good variety of the most up-to-date, and the most specific and expert, resources. Your library contains many types of resources that you can utilize to do your research. Besides, scholarly journal articles, government publications, newsmagazines and newspapers and world wide web (WWW) electronic resources could be the right resources for your term paper.

Outline and organize: Once you’ve gotten your research resources, it’s time to divide your paper into major points. You can do this in an outlining format that sticks to the formatting of your term paper.

Compose your paper: With an outline handy, you’ll probably find that actually writing the term paper is much more approachable. Take this time, next, to compose your first draft. Write freely – there’s no need to be perfect. You may find that writing without pressure actually produces better writing! Remember, follow your outline, and write without pressure – you’ll wind up with a pretty good first draft.

Edit and proof:  Never turn in a first draft – that’s just common law when it comes to writing. You should always make sure that you’ve edited and proofread your paper before handing it off to the teacher. Remember, spell check only goes so far, and you still need to edit for clarity and organization. Your paper should be clear, easy to follow and void of any small mistakes.

Presenting the paper: Your job is not quite finished. Most instructors will not accept handwritten reports. Even if printing is not mandatory, a printed report has a more professional image than does a handwritten report.

Things to keep in mind while writing a term paper:

  • Don’t write anything you don’t understand.
  • Make the focus and organization of your paper clear to the reader.
  • Decide what level of understanding your intended reader has, and choose the language and style to suit.
  • Find your natural style—don’t imitate the writing style of others.
  • If you copy anything word-for-word from a source, set it in quotes (if short) or in an indented paragraph (if longer), and always reference it.
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