How to write an impressive piece of term paper

Term paper writing might be tricky! Read our brief guide to assist you in comprehending term papers and their requirements. Our advice contains how to format paper, how to prepare an outline for it, a step-by-step guide, frequent mistakes, term paper terminology and important tips. Read on and let no term paper disturb you anymore.

What is a term paper exactly?

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The definition of a term paper is an academic assignment produced at the end of a term to assess what a student has learned over the term or semester. Term papers generally take the shape of a scientific report or debate essay that will demand research and technical writing ability to demonstrate the writer’s understanding. Term papers convey a concept or pose a question and an argument, viewpoint or answer to the idea or question.


Term Papers Vs Research Papers

Although, term papers have many similarities with research papers and the titles are used interchangeably, they are not the same:


Term papers are about 3,000 to 5,000 words but research papers are substantially longer (5,000 words or more) (5,000 words or more).

Term papers measure student’s knowledge in a topic covered throughout the term or semester whereas research papers contain a much larger element of a subject and a theoretical inquiry.

Term papers are delivered at the conclusion of the term or semester after a particular topic has been studied, however research papers can be given at any time.

Term papers critically assess a thesis and offer the writer’s perspective whereas a research paper requires a hypothesis or research topic.

Term papers tend to use scholarly articles, academic papers, and textbooks. Research papers generally use surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and observations.

Term papers have a shorter deadline than research papers. Research articles usually take months, possibly years to complete.

Term papers have a less specific framework than research papers.

Term Paper Format

How lengthy should a term paper be? A normal length may vary based on your course or subject. Usual term papers are normally around 10 – 15 pages of double spaced, font size 12 text with 1-inch margins. Be careful to check your universities specific formatting style (APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, Turabian, AMA, etc.) for exact formatting criteria.


A typical structure is as follows:


Title or Cover Page: This page normally requires your name, course title and code, instructor’s name, and the submission date, all aligned centrally.


Abstract: The abstract is a synopsis of the complete document and contains its aim or topic and why it is significant. It is generally a few paragraphs in length but less than one page.


Introduction: A excellent term paper introduction starts with an uncommon or captivating remark about the topic and a connected idea, argument, or problem. It then specifies how a solution or an answer to the problem (thesis) will be discussed. The introduction will generally be lengthier than the abstract but there is not a hard word limit. A rough recommendation for its length is around 5-10 percent of the entire word count for the paper, so around 200-400 words.


Main Body or Method: A brief history of the topic, arguments or problem is written first, giving the reader some background. Next, the key points of the idea, argument or problem are backed up with citations and the impact and effects of the idea, argument or problem are supplied with suggested remedies. The reader is given multiple issue viewpoints and an examination of study findings. This section is the major section of the paper and will account for around 60-80 percent of the total word count, approximately 2,400-3200 words.


Results: This part discusses why the research findings address the query or suggest a solution. It is also addressed if the writer’s recommended answer or solution (thesis) has changed or not and why. This is frequently similar in length to the introduction at roughly 200-400 words (5-10 percent of the total word count) (5-10 percent of the total word count).


Conclusion or discussion: The conclusion gives a short, paraphrased summary of the main findings and conclusions concerning the answer or solution to the topic or problem. It will generally end with a wider inquiry or the writer’s conclusions in a broader perspective. Around 10-15 percent of the total word count would normally be adequate for this part.


Bibliography: This is an alphabetical list of all the materials used or alluded to in the term paper on a new page. It will not form part of the word count. It should be prepared according to the instructor’s specified citation style.


Note: The word counts supplied in the article are broad and approximate. Speak with your instructor at school or college to receive accurate information regarding to word counts.


How to Write a Term Paper Outline

Writing a term paper, it could be good to come up with a plan for it beforehand, an outline. An outline is a component of your work that illustrates its structure and essential topics. Its objective is to help a learner organize all the info the appropriate way. You may even be asked to submit an outline beforehand. If this is the case, the following information will generally be expected:




State the argument or stance (thesis statement) that answers the essay title (research question) (research question). For example:


Essay title/question/idea e.g.,


‘How does attachment problem effect child development?’


Answer or viewpoint (thesis statement) e.g.,


‘A youngster with insecure attachment will have problems building meaningful and secure relationships throughout their life.’


Main Body


History of the argument e.g., a description of ‘attachment theory’.

Extent of the problem e.g., an explanation of children who have or are likely to have insecure attachment and why.

Effects of the problem e.g., failure to create meaningful and secure connections and what difficulties this may lead to.

Possible remedies e.g., explanations of therapeutic therapies and how these treatments can aid a child with insecure attachment.



Summarize your major points and answer the thesis statement.


Even if an outline is not expected by your college, it is a good idea to construct one nevertheless as it will help you retain concentration and organization in your term paper.


How to do a Term Paper, Step-by-Step Guide

1. Topic Selection: Select a broad issue pertaining to what you have studied during the term, then narrow it down to something more specific. Here are 10 term paper example titles to give you an idea:


The influence of diversity on team effectiveness.

How can developed countries benefit developing countries?

How does immigration effect the economy?

How can family law be improved?

Dentistry developments in the last century.

Are all-female working settings effective?

How can schools reduce bullying?

The effect of globalization on politics.

Can solar power be the source of all our power?

The grounds for debate around abortion.

2. ​​Literature: Locate relevant literature that agrees with or demonstrates your thesis statement. Then create a bibliography page.


3. Information: Note relevant facts and write them in your own terms. Remember that you are seeking to convince the reader of your thesis.


4. Plan: Write down a basic plan or template. It is recommended to begin with the main body as this forms the ‘bulk’ of your term paper. Then move on to drafting the other sections.


5. Write your initial draft with each of your main ideas supported up with a relevant citation.


6. Proofread and edit. Do not just rely on a spell and grammar checkers, you need to read it entirely yourself as checkers are not failsafe.


7. Get a set of ‘fresh eyes’ to read over it and make modifications if necessary. Ask your parent, guardian, sibling, friend, aunt, cousin, or anyone willing to have a scan over your term paper! It is surprising what others may observe!


Term Paper Language



A term paper is an academic document therefore therefore it should be written officially by avoiding usage of colloquialisms, idioms, slang, cliches, daily abbreviations, contractions, and gender-biased language.


term paper language



Also, eliminate job specialized jargon that will likely be unknown to the reader e.g., ‘atrial fibrillation’, ‘bucketize’, ‘synergy’, ‘thermodynamics’. Jargon can look impressive but if the reader does not comprehend, it is meaningless.




Academic writing generally needs to be written objectively. When conveying a position, it should be founded on facts, measurable or quantitative information. Exaggerations are not objective either, therefore do not use comments such as ‘A crazy number of canines are euthanized in the US’. To stay objective state ‘670,000 canines are euthanized in the US each year’.




Unless you are informed otherwise, it is recommended to use an impersonal tone in a term paper. You can do this by refraining from the usage of the first person (‘I’, ‘my’, ’me’, ‘myself’, ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’). Instead, use the third person (‘they’, ‘Dr. Williams’, it, ‘herself’, ‘their’, ‘Sigmund Freud’, etc.).




Formal, academic writing requires terminology that is unambiguous and as definitive as possible. In doing so, it helps limit the risks of errors or misconceptions. Look at the following sentences. They both mean the same and are grammatically valid, but the later is clearer and direct.


For example:


‘Of all the huge possibilities new technology provides the engineering sector of today, the most promising by far is 3D printing’.


‘The most promising new technology for engineering is 3D printing.’


Useful tips!

Be sure to use credible, academic sources of information e.g., scientific publications, journals, textbooks, academic databases such as Academic Search Premier and JSTOR, academic search engines like Google Scholar and websites that conclude with ‘.gov,’, ‘.edu’, ‘.ac’.


Try to avoid non-academic and perhaps untrustworthy sources e.g., Wikipedia, blogs, social network posts, newspapers, magazines, and websites that end in ‘.com’, .’org,’ ‘.net’.


Your instructor may have a sample or example term paper available to aid you. It may be worth asking for this if they have not already provided you with one. You can also refer to services that write papers for money online; they can share some templates they use when dealing with term papers.


Ensure you know how to format a term paper in the correct style required by your college for the whole document including in-text citations and reference lists/bibliographies.


Use a clear font such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman.


Writing a term paper or editing it, remove useless or ‘fluff’ words. Conciseness is of value in formal writing.


Try reading your paper aloud and you may find errors that you previously missed, strange but true!


5 Common Term Paper Mistakes

Lack of focus: Make sure you have a precise question that you are attempting to answer before you start writing your term paper and keep reminding yourself of this question throughout the paper. It can be easy to lose focus in production of a large piece of writing so glance back at the title regularly and ask yourself if everything you have written is relevant.

Poor Structure: A well-written term paper will flow or link from one sentence to the next sentence and from each paragraph to the next. A new paragraph is usually needed for each new point.

Reader unfriendly: Keep in mind that the readers of your term paper are only familiar with your topic, so explain why you are providing them with details of an aspect of your chosen topic and examples of the importance.

Failing to effectively wrap up: In the conclusion, the thesis needs to be restated and the main points of the term paper reviewed.

Formatting, spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors: Check that you have consistent spacing and consistent styles, fonts and sizes of headings and sub-headings. The term paper will look more professional if consistency is achieved. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors are very easy to miss (even for professional writers) so take a break before thoroughly proofreading.

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