Finally, whatever angle your topic takes, it should be both original in approach and insightful, something the reader will be drawn into and fascinated by. This is known in academia as "premature cognitive commitment". It can mar an otherwise good paper because an outcome that is pre-determined in your head, regardless of the research findings along the way, will be molded to fit the outcome, rather than the outcome reflecting a genuine analysis of the discoveries made.
Instead, ask continuous questions about the topic at each stage of your research and writing and see the topic in terms of a " hypothesis " rather than as a conclusion. For some more help, see How to establish a research topic. You need to understand the background to the topic and the current thinking, as well as finding out what future research is considered necessary in the area.
While it may be tempting to rehash information you already know really well, avoid doing this or you learn nothing from the research and writing process. When researching, use both primary original text, document, legal case, interviews, experiment, etc. There is also a place for discussing with like-minded students and even finding online discussions about the topic if you feel comfortable doing this but these discussions are for idea-sharing and helping you to gel your ideas and are not usually quotable sources.
For more information, here are some helpful resources to check out: How to research a paper. How to take notes , How to take better notes , How to take notes from a textbook , How to take notes on a book and How to take Cornell notes. Refine your thesis statement. Serve it up half-baked and the remainder of the paper is bound to be flavorless. And nor does the thesis statement, necessarily. Allow room for flexibility as you continue working through both the research and the writing, as you may wish to make changes that align with the ideas forming in your mind and the discoveries you continue to unearth.
On the other hand, do be careful not to be a continuous seeker who never alights upon a single idea for fear of confinement. At some point you are going to have to say: Develop an outline for the paper.
Like the entire paper, the outline is not set in stone but subject to changes. However, it does give you a sense of structure and a framework to fall back on when you lose your way mid paper and it also serves as the skeleton of your paper, and the rest is just filling in the details. There are different approaches to developing an outline and you may even have your own personal, preferred method.
As a general guidance, some of the basic elements of an outline should include: Descriptive or explanatory paragraphs following the introduction, setting the background or theme.
Using your research, write out the main idea for each body paragraph. See How to write an outline for more details. Make your point in the introduction. The introductory paragraph is challenging but avoid turning it into a hurdle. Of all the paper, this is the part often most likely to be rewritten as you continue working through the paper and experience changes of direction, flow and outcome.
This approach allows you the freedom to mess it up but rectify it as needed. Also use this as an opportunity to help yourself come to grips with the general organization of the term paper by explaining the breakdown, something the reader will also need to be aware of from the start. Try using HIT as the means for getting your introduction underway: H ook the reader using a question or a quote. Or perhaps relate a curious anecdote that will eventually make absolute sense to the reader in the context of the thesis.
I ntroduce your topic. Be succinct, clear and straightforward. This should have been clarified already in the previous step. Convince the reader with your body paragraphs. Make sure each paragraph supports your argument in a new way. Try isolating the first sentence of each paragraph; together, they should read like a list of evidence that proves your thesis.
Try using the ROCC method: R estate your thesis statement. O ne important detail which is usually found in your last paragraph. C onclude — wrap it up. C lincher — where you give the reader something left to think about. The reader wants to know what you say ultimately. Burn flab, build muscle. Space is at a premium in any graded paper, so finding ways to cull words is always a sensible approach. Are your sentences in good shape? Trade in weak "to-be" verbs for stronger "action" verbs. Running your spelling-checker is only the first step in proofreading your paper!
Decent grammar should be a given. You need a teacher to give you the benefit of the doubt, not correct your apostrophe use. A few too many errors and the message is soon lost beneath the irritation of the errors involved.
For some essayists , a great title appears at the beginning of writing while for others, it only becomes apparent after slogging through the paper in its entirety. You would need an abstract, an introduction, body paragraphs and then a conclusion. Not Helpful 2 Helpful Before writing, make absolutely certain you have the specific topic you will cover, and know whether or not you have any flexibility if your written work ends up being on a topic of something close but not quite your original topic.
Try placing your ideas on a large piece of paper to make a visual. When using the visual to think about what you want to do with each idea, attempt to put them in order of how you will present them.
Writing a Research Paper. Writing Guides for Students Writing a Memoir 2. Creative Writing Guides Writing a Song 3. Writing a Letter Writing an Evaluation Letter 3. This is either set by the instructor or chosen from a short list by the student. Seeking materials associated with the topic in journals, articles, books, and websites is usually the next step in the creation of a term paper.
Reading the material to gain understanding, and taking copious notes is a good practice. Writing a solid outline based on the notes is the next step. The first draft of the central part, or body, of the term paper comes next. Devising a fitting conclusion that summarizes the findings follows. The hardest step is writing the introduction, which must include a good thesis statement. Reading, editing, and proofing comes last.
Topic Selection Depending on the subject being studied, students can choose excellent topics on which to base a term paper to demonstrate how well they have understood the work or research covered during the term. Key Points to Consider Assemble all the materials before starting to read and take notes. Keep all applicable books together, and mark the passages and pages of relevant material. Card systems do work for some students—others like to open a word processing folder and type the notes.
These are then easily reworked into paragraphs. Remember that facts and figures are more important than ideas and opinions. A self-devised note-taking system is best. It will help to keep notes and cuttings in order. The less confusion and fragmentation the better: It is important to use effective writing techniques in a good term paper. Three basic persuasion techniques are: Combine the three to create valid points. Each point can be built into a paragraph, using notes and paraphrased material from sources such as books, websites, articles, videos, audio files, and websites.
The main points must be combined with minor ones to contribute to the overriding premise or thesis. Each paragraph can lead with an important point, then proceed to explain it, and then introduce a minor point closer to the end to support the initial statement. Deciding on a writing style is not difficult: It is better to have to choose than to not have enough. Do write clear and sensible notes in precise language: Do write several drafts, with a sense of progress and improvement with each one you write.
Do understand clearly what is expected of you, and which material you are expected to show you have covered. Term papers are complicated, and all outcomes reflect the work that has gone into them. Common Mistakes It is a mistake to build an argumentative essay in place of a term paper, which should be mainly based on research and the ground covered over a long period of study.
The most common mistake found in term papers is using all new material rather than the set texts or reading material used during the period covered by the term.
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A good term paper takes more than a little research. It requires planning, time management and excellent writing skills. With the right preparation, your essay will land you excellent marks. Download: Term Paper Example. How to Write a Proposal. Before researching and writing, you should know what a term paper proposal is. Basically, you should be able to defend your topic to your instructor through this proposal. This proposal must be handed in and .
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