A Guide to Writing Academic Term Papers
Many students feel lost when it comes to academic term papers. Sometimes they rush through them at the end of the semester; sometimes they work inconsistently on them, producing incoherent writing; something they start the assignment, and then procrastinate or forget. To successfully complete academic term papers, students need only employ a few key behaviors and strategies into their lives. To start, you should always:
- Pick something that interests you. The worst term papers always arise when students hate what they’re writing about. Term papers can cover pretty much anything and everything that’s covered in a class; out of all of those units, there’s bound to be something that inspired your interests. Pick something that you found thought-provoking, and get a thesis approved on that topic. This is the first step to guaranteeing a successful term paper, because you’re likely to be more enthused and capable of handling an assignment you actually enjoy.
- Do your research. Don’t scan two articles and think that’s enough to skate by on. To write a truly great academic term paper, you need to understand the material. Look back over the class content. Review scholarly sources. Take the time to really build up your knowledge on the topic. You want to have more evidence, not less; this way, you won’t be grasping for more to write. Rather, you’ll be struggling not to write too much!
- Organize. Keep your thoughts, arguments, ideas and research well organized. The biggest key to failure with a term paper is attempting to write one on a disorganized brain. If you outline and brainstorm beforehand, it’s a million times easier to transfer those thoughts and evidences to a written paper format. Plus, you’ll have immediate access to supporting evidence and encounter writer’s block far less often. Also maintain a good writing schedule; write some every day so you neither feel as though you’re overwhelmed or falling behind.
- Proof and edit. Once you’ve typed in the last word, it’s tempting to want to sit back, breathe easy and be done with the paper. Don’t fall prey to this deceptive relief! Just because you’re finished writing the paper doesn’t mean you’re finished. In the course of creating all that content, there’s bound to be a few slip-ups embedded somewhere in the midst. Review what you’ve written. Does it make sense? Are the ideas well organized? Is it clear and easy to understand? Do your body paragraphs support your thesis and conclusion? Once you’ve decided it’s up to par, check for the spelling and grammatical errors too. This is the last step to ensuring your term paper’s success.