5 steps to take when
writing a term paper

If you don't know already, writing a term paper is an important essay. It will almost certainly play a major role in your grading for the current semester or year. You need to get it right. You need to take it seriously and the following five steps will certainly help in improving your chances of a high mark.

  1. The choice of topic is vitally important.
  2. The availability of relevant research material is equally as important.
  3. Having a detailed outline is essential.
  4. Being able to edit and proofread is a required skill.
  5. Getting relevant feedback can be a great help.

The term paper is not a short essay. You will need to spend considerable time in researching material and creating an outline before you even get to write the first draft. All those reasons dictate that you must choose a topic which is relevant and important to you. If you choose a bad topic than you make a rod for your own back. If you choose a good topic which is not relevant or important to you then you may as well chose a bad topic. Ask yourself the following questions. Do I know anything about this topic already? Have I an interest or passion for this subject? Am I likely to study it in greater detail later in my academic career? The answer to those questions may well determine your choice of topic for your term paper.

selecting a topic:
ideal and relevant

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So we assume that you have chosen an ideal and relevant topic for you. That's great but do you have research material to provide you with information to go in your term paper? If you don't again you will struggle. It might be that there's plenty of excellent research material for this topic but you have trouble accessing it. It might be that you have plenty of research material which is very vague or broad and therefore not relevant to the specific aspects of your paper. You need to check on these things before you start.

So the third step means that you've chosen the right topic and you have access to plenty of relevant research material. That's great and then you need to read that research material and take notes. And from those notes you need to create your thesis statement and your main points and your supporting points. Then you list all of this information on your outline a plan.

Step number four is where you have written the first draft of your term paper based on the plan you have created and then you need to go back over your writing and double-check everything. You need to check for the basic things like spelling and grammar mistakes. And more importantly you need to check for such things as ambiguous writing or drifting away from the point or repetition. You need a list of the things which might be wrong in your term paper as you read it you work down the list to see that any of those potential problems are not there. If they are you fix them.

And finally before you hand in your term paper it's a really good idea to get some feedback. Ideally you would get feedback from somebody who knows a bit about the topic you've written about but if you can't find such a person then almost anyone who's prepared to read your term paper should do. Ask them a number of questions. Was reading it confusing? What was it? What do you think was the main point of the term paper?

So if you follow each of the five steps listed above and in order, you greatly improve your chances of writing not just a good term paper but a very good one.