Your professor has just handed you a long-expected assignment, a term paper that will cover the next several months of the semester. It isn’t just any term paper mind you, rather one that will compose nearly half your final grade when it is marked.
Getting a high grade on a term paper is essential, especially if you want to ace the class. As soon as you get the assignment you need to begin your work and have it completed prior to the deadline. Here’s how to write a term paper that will rock your world.
Read the assignment. Your professor has assigned you a term paper and it comes with instructions. Those instructions outline his requirements and serve as a blueprint for what is expected from you. You must follow your instructor’s explicit instructions otherwise you risk having your grade adversely impacted. You wrote your paper following Turabian guidelines, but your professor required APA. Uh, oh…that’s bad!
Choose your topic. Professors typically give students some leeway when it comes to selecting a topic. With that in mind you should choose one that is of interest to you. After all, you’re about to spend several months reading, researching and acquainting yourself with the topic. Without any interest in a topic, you’ll quickly become disinterested and that will show in your work cautions LearningRX.
Nail your topic. Not only must you write a topic that is interesting, but it should provide enough facts for you to support. You may find that you’re interested in writing about the Gadsden Purchase, then learn that there isn’t enough material available or the subject is simply too narrow. Instead of one minor purchase you might consider ways the US expanded westward through the Louisiana Purchase and Alaskan acquisition.
Draft an outline. You can help your cause by writing a good outline, one that will support the various and different areas of the term paper. An outline is a great way to organize your thoughts and help you keep track of your research and the time allotted to each section. The outline will lead to your first draft and provide a way for you to get your paper finished.
Start your research. You can’t expect to find everything you need about a topic online. Well, let me clarify this point — you can, but you probably shouldn’t. Moreover, your professor will want you to make very good use of various books on the subject, what you will find in your college library. At the library, find out what books are available. If you need assistance, ask a librarian for help. Librarians are seasoned professionals who know the building inside and out and can pull up resources that are accurate and do so quickly.
Do not skimp on references. Now back to the assignment. Likely, your professor has spelled out the number of references needed for your paper. A good rule of thumb is at least one reference per page published. Therefore, if you have a 15-page report coming due, then you need 15 references. Maybe a lot more. Your sources should go beyond books and include articles from respected magazines. Avoid articles with unsupported opinions and do find experts in the field to quote. You may find yourself contacting these experts for additional information. Yes, interviewing a source directly can benefit your grade.
Look beyond traditional sources. One challenge students have is finding good sources that can support your work. You should know that other libraries may have what you need and that your college or public library may be willing to arrange an interlibrary loan. Take advantage of one if it is available.
Get writing. You need to begin writing as soon as you find supporting material to build your term paper. You’ll be doing a lot of reading, a lot more writing and you need to cite your sources carefully. You also will need to edit like your life depended on it. The more you polish your term paper, the better it will appeal to the person who reads it. In this case your professor.
You need to write your term paper in your own words and in such a way to it reflects your voice. Avoid plagiarism at all costs and build a case to support your work. Avoid sloppiness, uphold academic integrity and enjoy the process. Yes, you will even learn some new things about the topic and about yourself, growing from the experience and, hopefully, receiving a superior grade for your hard work.