A Simple Guide on How to Write a Term Paper

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While pursuing your education, at the end of a term or a semester, you might be asked to submit a term paper. Do you know what a term paper means and how to write it? In case, you have less knowledge about it, continue reading this blog. Here, for your better comprehension, we have explained in detail about term paper definition, format, citation styles, source selection, and the effective ways to prepare it.

Let’s get started to know about term paper writing.

What is a Term Paper?

A term paper is an academic paper that takes the form of a research paper or a report. Generally, it is allotted in schools, colleges, and universities, at the end of each term or semester. The main purpose of a term paper is to help the supervisors track and evaluate the knowledge of students about a course.


Term Paper


In specific, during the performance evaluation of a course, the term paper holds a huge value. Moreover, each course has different requirements for writing a term paper and you ought to abide by them.

Standard Format of a Term Paper

Before we see how to write a term paper, first let us have a look at the standard structure and format of a term paper.

Like other academic papers, the term paper should also be structured properly so that your readers can clearly understand the information you put across. Furthermore, a good structure will also help you to compose a concise paper without getting lost in vast information.

Find here, the typical term paper format.

  • Title Page
  • Abstract (optional)
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Body Sections
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix (optional)

In addition to this, if needed, you can also add a list of tables, figures, or abbreviations.  Certain term papers will have plenty of information that is impossible to include in the text, so that can also be placed after the references.

Length of a Term Paper

A term paper’s length typically ranges between 10 and 12 double-spaced pages. However, it is also appropriate to have 15-20 pages but the quality of the content should be too good. Instead of repeating statements and making the paper longer, it is recommended to create a term paper in an informative and concise manner.

What to Do Before Writing a Term Paper?

To create an outstanding term paper, you must prepare well. As it is mostly longer than an essay, you should develop a comprehensive plan before writing it.

  • Firstly, carefully read the assignment instructions and understand what your instructor wants to see in your document. To do this attentively, you can highlight the keywords in the instructions, rewrite the requirements in a way that is understandable to you, and prepare a list of questions to be addressed.
  • Secondly, by using your reading, note-taking, and critical thinking skills, conduct in-depth research on the chosen topic and gather extensive information. To collect more ideas about the topic and place them in a single place, you can use mind maps, notes, charts, diagrams, and so on.
  • Finally, with the points that you have gathered, create a neat outline by including different sections as specified in the term paper format shared above. Better try to include topic sentences in each section so that your writing process will become easier.

Tips for Selecting Term Paper Sources

It is impossible to construct an academic paper without reliable sources. So, you should search and find credible sources and gather the information that is relevant to your topic. On the internet and library, you can find several sources and tons of information. But the real challenge lies in identifying the right sources suitable to your topic. If you want to select the best sources for your term paper, make sure to keep the following tips in mind.

  1. Check to see if the sources appear competent.
  2. Determine whether or not the sources’ information is useful.
  3. Learn about the authors and their credentials before deciding whether or not the source is genuine.
  4. Check to see if the source was created for professional or educational use. If the source focuses on something else, skip it.
  5. If there are grammatical and typographical errors in the source, it is highly likely to be unreliable.
  6. Examine the source’s presentation of the information. Examine whether it contains valid references, graphical information, etc.
  7. If there are no external links or links that are broken, the source website might be regarded as poor.
  8. Check to see if the source fits your subject’s limitations.
  9. Determine whether the source is impartial.
  10. Utilizing a fact-checking website that makes use of only reliable sources to verify the source’s credibility.

When it comes to choosing the sources, never give importance to non-credible sources such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Personal blogs, a random news website, or an educational website.

Some acceptable sources include scientific books, articles, journals, textbooks, publications (.edu), conference recordings, open educational resources (.org), government statistical data (.gov), official search results, etc.

Term Paper Writing Process

Listed below are the key steps you should follow to prepare an excellent term paper.

  1. Select an ideal topic.
  2. Research the topic thoroughly
  3. Sketch a term paper outline
  4. Compose content
  5. Proofread and Edit

What are Term Paper Topics?

Generally, it’s your professor who might give you the topics; otherwise, you need to choose the topic on your own.

  • Possibly, consider the length of your research paper as it might range from 5 pages to 10 pages. Accordingly, you might choose your topics after evaluating their research scope as per the page requirements.
  • Besides, you might check if your school library or any other online sources have relevant information on your topics.
  • Simultaneously, choose a topic that is clear to you, irrespective of its complexity as you need to drag it till the end.

Term Paper Citation Styles

As soon as you have selected a good topic, conduct in-depth research on that topic by consulting various credible sources that are relevant to your topic. Next, after you have researched a topic, it is mandatory to select a citation style otherwise, you might experience plagiarism issues. Since your term paper is a kind of academic paper, most likely you can use APA or MLA referencing style.

Perhaps, you can use the APA standards, if you have to write a social science paper. Alternatively, you can give importance to the MLA standards, if you need to write a liberal arts or humanities paper.

Know How to Draft a Term Paper Outline

Do you lack the technical skills to organize your term paper idea? Cool! Here, we have a good template for you.

  1. Cover Page – Certainly, you ought to align the text that contains your name, course name, teacher’s name, and deadline in the middle.
  2. Abstract – Ensure, to write an abstract of less than a page and thereby elucidate your work. Also, the abstract is relevant because it communicates the research paper’s objective to your audience. Moreover, you need to state the relevance of your topic that encouraged you to write on the topic.
  3. Introduction – Simultaneously, start your introduction using a thesis statement and later expand it in your essay.
  4. Body – Perhaps, consider including the key points you might have accumulated through research in the body of your essay. You need to describe your topic as it might help your audience to understand your research purpose. You need to take a stand on the topic, analyze the issue, and write about it.
  5. Results and Discussion – Specifically, depict your result according to the analysis of your thesis statement.

Learn How to Write a Term Paper

Elaborate on the outline prepared and compose an excellent term paper on the topic you have chosen. Basically, for writing a research essay, several approaches are available. But mainly you should have a clear purpose, a strong thesis statement, enough background information, and a neat plan.

  • Firstly, write a simple and informative abstract of around 120-250 words. Most importantly, in your abstract, you should state the issue to be addressed in your paper, why you have chosen that particular issue for discussion, the major points of your research, the investigation strategy you have chosen, the nature of the results, and an explanation of how the results can be implicated.
  • Secondly, you should open the discussion with a catchy introduction. To grab the attention of the readers, you should begin with an interesting fact or a statement relevant to your topic. Next, you should provide a brief overview of the chosen topic and end the introductory paragraph with a valid thesis statement.
  • Thirdly, depending on your assignment instructions, you should build the body sections. Especially, in the body sections, you should provide proper topic sentences and explain them all with supporting details. Mostly, the body section includes a literature review and the research itself.
  • Finally, you should conclude the research article by summarizing the major information. Also, you should be certain enough to describe the final results of your research and the implications for future studies.

Proofread the Term Paper

After you have finished writing, proofread your text. Note that, your paper should be convincing and free from errors. So, rectify all the misspellings, grammar, and punctuation errors, if there are any. Make sure you have provided the correct page numbers. Also, remove the ideas, if it looks illogical or doesn’t fit the context. Furthermore, check whether your paper is structured properly as per the layout and format specified by your professors.

Points To Remember While Writing a Term Paper

The following are the main tips you need to keep in mind when you’re writing your term paper.

  • Never pick sources you can’t trust. The entire list of research sources should be reputable and professional.
  • Plagiarism should not be used in the text. Whenever you borrow concepts from other writers, be sure to give them due credit in the references section by using the correct citation format.
  • Use your own research or any other relevant sources to support your position.
  • Do not use nested, repeated, or passive sentences in your paper.
  • Your writing should be well-organized, intelligible, and clear to the reader.
  • Narrow your topic if it is too wide so that you may stay within the word limit and provide the necessary information with appropriate support.


We hope you are now clear on how to write a term paper. In case, you still don’t understand the correct technique to write it, contact us.  If you wish to avail of our reliable academic paper writing help services, simply fill in your requirements in the order form and submit it. As per your requirements, the subject matter experts in our team will prepare and deliver a great paper at an affordable cost.

Jacob Smith Research Paper Topics Reading Time: 9 minutes

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