Students who wish to write perfect term papers should write with a keen eye towards their instructors’ specifications, and they should also follow a few standard principles.
First, the perfect term paper starts with a good topic. Usually, the student who wants to develop a good topic should narrow his or her idea as much as possible, because choosing a very narrow topic will allow the student to discuss all its concerns in a term paper. By contrast, a topic that is too wide can result in a paper that does not make a clear point and that does not appear to handle the material well, because the term paper writer is unable to discuss any part of the topic fully.
Second, the perfect term paper should use excellent research. In order to conduct excellent research, students should determine who are the respected authorities in the field, and the student should rely on those sources and other sources that have taken them into consideration. At the same time, students should avoid unreliable sources, such as those that occur in non-academic publications and those that have flawed evidence or logic.
Third, students who write perfect term papers make sure that they make a good case for whatever points they are arguing. They do not make unsubstantiated generalizations nor let preconceived notions sway their interpretation of the evidence. Rather, they draw their opinions from research, but they also feel free to disagree with the research or with authoritative opinions, as long as they can defend their conclusions. They weave their own opinions with evidence that the research presents.
Finally, students who write perfect term papers take the time to edit those papers carefully. They ensure that their papers contain no grammatical errors and that they perfectly reflect the requirements of the style manual that they use. They make sure that they have cited each research source appropriately both within the text and within the bibliography or works cited page. Lastly, they make sure that they have formatted their term papers correctly.
Parts of a Term Paper
Students who are writing term papers must manage several parts of a term paper well, including the introduction, thesis statement, research material, argument, and conclusion. These parts of a term paper, when the student combines them effectively, work together to present the reader with a very convincing argument.
The first part of a term paper is the introduction. In this part of term papers, students strive to catch their readers’ attention and to prepare them for the thesis statement. Introductions often begin with witty quotes or anecdotes that relate in some way to the paper’s discussion.
The second and most important part of a term paper is the thesis statement. A thesis statement concisely presents the entire subject matter of the paper, including the argument the paper intends to make and the points that will support that argument.
Third, term papers incorporate research material in order to support their points. Some papers use more research than others, but no matter how much research the paper uses, the student should be sure to cite each source properly according to the specifications of the department’s style manual.
The fourth part of term papers is the argument. In this part of a term paper, the writer makes a point or convinces the reader of a certain perspective on a given subject. Term paper writers should argue their points authoritatively, confidently supporting their original conclusions with evidence that they find in their research. In research term papers, students should try not to make any points without offering research material that backs those points, and in essay term papers, students should try to express their own opinions on the subject in an academic tone, avoiding sensationalism.
Finally, the conclusion is the part of a term paper that summarizes the argument one last time. The writer should briefly recapitulate each point that the term paper makes and then reiterate the perspective to which those points lead.
Term Paper Research
One’s term paper research covers the immediate subject area of the term paper topic as well as enough background information to fill in the gaps in one’s knowledge. For example, if one is writing a term paper on The Last of the Mohicans, he or she may want to research briefly the Romantic period in American literature in order to understand James Fenimore Cooper’s style of writing.
One’s academic discipline determines the extent and nature of one’s term paper research. Some disciplines may require that the student use ancient sources; others may require that students use only the most recent work on a subject. Still other disciplines may require that the student conduct most of the research through interviews, laboratory work, or other non-print methods. The student should ascertain which type of term paper research the instructor expects.
If the academic discipline calls for research via print materials, the student who writes a term paper researches the selected topic starting in the university library. University libraries emphasize the gathering of credible information; therefore, although in the end the student has to evaluate the integrity of a source, most of the information in a university library is trust worthier than, for example, articles the student finds through an Internet search engine. In term papers, research credibility is critical: the student cannot write a term paper well if his or her research does not meet the standards of the academic world.
Students who write term papers research primary facts as well as secondary analyses of those facts. For example, a term paper on Pliny the Younger will rely heavily on Pliny’s writings but will also use the work of modern authorities to analyze those writings. The student should be sure to cover both primary and secondary sources within the scope of the research; one type complements the other.
Above all, the conscientious student performs far more term paper research than seems necessary. Students who gather more information than they need write much better term papers than students who do not gather enough information.