How to write a Term Paper: a quick primer

Term paper is one of the most important thing to happen in your life in education. It is a benchmark. A turning point which can significantly improve your position within the society in both ways. And it is better not to screw it up. Here is a quick primer of how to write a term paper.

First of all – best writing tip ever is: (extended drum roll) don’t think about it – do it! (fanfare). Basically, it all comes down to that old how to draw an owl meme.

But in reality – it goes something like this:

  1. don’t combine research, writing and editing;
  2. set yourself a time limit (pomodoro is the best);
  3. first draft always sucks and there is nothing you can do about it;
  4. write every little piece of information down – might be useful;
  5. while editing – if something brings nothing to the table – drop it.

Read more: Creative Warm-up Writing Exercises

And now let me elaborate on every point.

Immerse yourself in the subject

Get every bit of info on the subject, then sort it out. It is easy to do. You need to read a lot on the subject. You need to immerse yourself in it. Dive deep-deep. It will give you the understanding of the structure of the text. You will see the mechanics of its internal logic – how certain things are described and in which order. Pay close attention to the choice of words that mark elevation and change of thought – it is something you can use in your own writing.

Write down the ideas

In no particular order, just the stuff that has the potential to be developed and further explored. Start sketching the points to see what works and what is not, helps to discard abundant arguments. In short you need to cover these things:

  1. proper explanation of significance of the piece;
  2. description of its major accomplishments;
  3. dive into historical background;
  4. side-off to the aesthetic context;
  5. dissection of the certain elements of the piece;
  6. explanations of the methods you employ to study the piece;
  7. different point of view over certain elements of the piece and the inner workings;
  8. round up in the end with a quick recap of everything said before.

Make a structure

Combine your ideas with amassed research materials – put it into a sequence. You can take notes from research and compose a blueprint of your own text with it. Develop your points. Put them in an order of progression. Reverse pyramid style is optimal. In the introductory section you need to lay out what is the importance of the chosen topic and in which part of the subject lies your interest. You can also explain what attracts you in the topic. Also – you need to describe what are you going to do in the subsequent sections. And don’t forget to lay down as much scientific background as possible. It will help you to orientate the reader throughout the text. In the end you need to do an elaborate recap of all the thing you have explored throughout your essay. You need to start from the beginning and explain how you have got to the end and what it means for your understanding of the subject.

Write a draft

After all is done you can write your own text. With blueprint on the side your only task at this point is to add your own perspective on the subject and to make it as cohesive, coherent and comprehensible as possible. Don’t be shy to polish it through several drafts. What if the text is bad? Write more. There is only one way of becoming a better writer and it is writing: write more. Find out about various writing techniques. Try everything you can get your grasp on. Don’t be afraid of writing poorly. It gets better with each time. Read a lot. Avoid wholly books about writing – it’s a waste of time. Read fiction, read non-fiction – taste the sentence, see how they’re intertwined, how the phrases follow one another. That will help you to get certain understanding of how text works.

What are the most important things in Term Paper?

Your perspective is the most important. But if you go point by point, then:

  1. Basic definition of the used terms;
  2. Thorough description of your intentions in the essay;
  3. clean, easy-to-follow structure with step-by-step exploration of the subject;
  4. Aesthetic, Scientific, Historic backgrounds of the subject;
  5. different kinds of persperctives from other researchers;
  6. Conclusions can be traced throughout the text.