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Term Paper Outline

Your term paper outline is your reliable compass throughout the writing process. Here, you arrange all the points that you are going to discuss in your term paper. Mostly you do it for yourself.

It will always help you stay focused and stick to the main points in your paper. However, a tutor, teacher, or professor may ask you to submit your working-term paper outline before you start writing. He or she will check the ways that you are going to develop your thesis and can suggest some improvement areas.

You may revise and restructure this version of your outline once you come across new material or find new ideas to be included in your term paper.

Don't make haste writing your paper. Think carefully about your topic and main points as well as evaluate the material you have found. Subdivide all the relevant material into groups and then name each group. These names will serve as headings and subheadings in your outline.

We would like to remind you that every term paper, regardless of the subject, has the following sections:

  • Introduction or purpose of the paper. This opening part suggests acquainting the reader with the problem and stating the thesis.
  • Body: It is usually divided into various headings and sub-headings connected with different aspects of the topic. For example:
    • Heading 1: History of the Problem. You may include past attempts at solutions.
    • Heading 2: Extent of the Problem. Who is affected? What impact has it had?
    • Heading 3: Effects of the Problem.
    • Heading 4: Possible Future Solutions.
  • Conclusion: Sums up the points made in the term paper and gives a strong answer to the thesis.

Term Paper Writing

You haven’t got yourself admitted in the college for just a mediocre degree to get mediocre jobs in your life, have you? Sure, even getting a C or D would get you that degree but why bother settling for less when you can get an A+?

As a student, you must have familiarity with the term papers. A lot of students think that great term paper writing requires Shakespeare level writing skill. However, in reality, above average writing skill is enough to write a striking term paper – all you need to be is strategic and organized.

So, do you want to know the secret recipe of writing a remarkable term paper that can help you get the ever-eluding A+? Just go through the whole guide, and you will get the gist.

What is a Term Paper?

Let’s start with the term paper definition. By definition, a term paper is a type of research-based writing assignment that a student has to submit to his or her teacher at the end of an academic term. Typically, a student tries to discuss elaborately on a topic that was assigned to him or her. The topic could be an event description, a case study, a concept, or an argument. It is mandatory that the paper has to be unique – plagiarism is not allowed.

An average term paper is about several pages in length. There is no fixed length, and often the corresponding teacher has the authority to impose structure and length for writing. In such a case, a student must adhere to the teacher's instructions.

However, the commonly accepted length of such paper is about 5,000 words. With the single line spacing, single column, 12pt font, and 1inch margined general term paper format; it should be about 15 pages. We will talk about the structure and formatting style later.

Differences between Term Paper and Research Paper

Students often confused between these two different types of papers. The first difference between them is the time frame – a term paper has to be submitted by the end of the semester or a term while a research paper may need months even years to complete.

Even the task was given out in a different timeline. Generally, the teacher asks the students to work on their research paper at the beginning of the academic semester. A term paper, on the other hand, is tasked somewhere in the middle of the semester.

Another major difference between them is the purpose. The purpose of a research paper is to find a viable solution to a problem while a term paper is the reflection of knowledge of student on a particular topic – in common cases, a description.

Moreover, a research paper has a hypothesis, to begin with, by the end, it either supports the hypothesis or rejects it with feasible data. A term paper is much simpler in nature and tries to support an existing thesis paper in most cases. That’s why a research paper has a significantly longer length.

Despite a research paper being more crucial, it doesn't affect a student’s final grade while a term paper strongly controls the grades.

The Basics of Term Paper Format: What are the Parts of a Term Paper?

A term paper has a fixed format, but it differs from course to course. For example, a Computer Science course will have a different format of writing when compared to an Architecture course. You must ask your teacher about how to outline a paper – he or she can guide you the best.

Just check out the most common format that could help you outlining a term paper.

Content

What to include?

Title Page

A separate page with paper title, student’s name, course title, teacher’s name, and submission date.

Acknowledgment

Include your inspiration for the subject and other relevant introduction.

Abstract

A brief overview or summary of the paper.

Literature Review

Mention and briefly discuss previous related research works and studies that helped you in constructing your approach and methodology.

Methodology

A detail description explaining your research methods and experimental approaches (if any) step by step

Results

Conclude your findings from your research and show measurable results (i.e., figures and mathematical analysis)

Future Recommendations

Suggest ideas that one can work on in the future

Reference List

Enlist all your resource materials in a particular order, i.e., alphabetical

How to Write a Term Paper?

There are a few simple ideas you can follow in crafting up a brilliant piece of writing. Here are some effective ideas for you.

  1. Be prepared for LONG research hours

  2. Research is a must for writing a term paper. Some students make a mistake by starting to write right away. This is a rookie mistake. Although it seems that there is no progress as not a single word is being written, research would make your writing phase much faster and fluent. Moreover, you could come up with a better approach and idea if you thoroughly research topic first. Think of it as the investment for writing the paper.

  3. Create an outline first

  4. Creating an outline prior to writing gives you a sense of control. You can how much time it would take to complete the whole piece and which part would take more time. At the same time, you would render a smoother reading experience, and everything would be in some kind of chronological order.

  5. Come up with a compelling introduction

  6. "Dawn shows the day!" If you have an impelling introduction, the reader will get more interested in reading through and eventually favor you and your grades. If you lose the grip in the introduction, no matter how good your content is, your reader will give it average feedback.

  7. Avoid fluff words

  8. Fluff words are attention killers. Especially, when you are writing formal academic writing, the reader would seek constructive information all along the writing. You don't need to unnecessarily blabber about anything as long as you are talking about something relevant.

  9. Conclude with the ROCC method

  10. The conclusion is just as much important as the introduction. A great way of writing an impactful conclusion is following the ROCC method. ROCC stands for Restating your standpoint, having One vital and strong gist, Concluding tone, and leaving a Clincher for a reader to think about.

  11. Select a citation style

  12. Proper formatting or following a citation style is a must while writing a research paper or a term paper. Following the MLA or the APA format is a wise decision. However, make sure you are sticking to either MLA or APA, a mix between these two looks really shabby.

  13. Make sure to proofread

  14. Yes, you have worked really hard writing up the whole term paper, and you aren't not feeling proofreading the whole paper. Although it sounds really painful to proofread, you might correct A LOT OF misspellings and simple grammatical mistakes. You don't want your grades gone to ashtray just because you feel lazy, do you?

Conclusion

If you are determined and focused enough, you can write great term papers all by yourselves. You cannot neglect your term paper as it carries a significant amount of weight that can either give you a great grade or destroy it! So, we hope you know what is a term paper now and how you can write a great one.

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