How to write an academic term paper: the basics
So, it is your first term paper and you have no idea what you are doing. Well here is a clue for you, neither does anyone else. Everyone is afraid of the dreaded term paper.There are things that you can do to help yourself out of this rather difficult situation though.
How to do it
- Listen to the teacher
- Pick a good topic
- Hone in on specifics
- Write well
Listen to the teacher
It is likely that each teacher has a preferred format for term papers. This format is usually specified at some point. If it isn’t specified than you should ask the teacher questions. What is the correct format? Do you want a bibliography? How long should it be? These are all grade altering questions that you have to know to ask if they are not already answered and it never hurts to double check anything. They are at your disposal.
Pick a good topic
Make sure that you pick a topic that you actually like. Make it something in the class that peaked your interest. If you start with a topic that interests you than you may end up with not only a better paper but also one that you didn’t have to force yourself to research. If you have trouble coming up with a topic than ask the teacher. They know what the class was about. They can give a list of suggestions.
Now that you have a topic in mind, like your favorite book from that semester, you need to go smaller, less broad. Maybe you want to write about some specific symbolism that was in the book that you liked and what it meant. That is how you narrow your focus. You also want to make sure that if it is a 5 page paper you have enough to fill that much space but a broader topic if it is a ten page paper. You want to fill the paper without leaving out information or adding irrelevancies to fill it up either. Choose a topic that fits the papers needs.
Make sure that your writing is up to the highest standards of which you are capable. The more the topic interests you the easier this should be for you to do. Make sure that you check and double-check your grammar and spelling. Even have someone else read it over to ensure you have missed nothing. The better the writing, the better the grade will be. (This is why English is such an important subject.)
If you know what the paper is about and how to format it you have a good start. Remember that the teacher has to read them to grade them so if they don’t enjoy the reading, the grade may suffer. Just remember the basics of term paper writing and do plenty of research. You should do just fine.