How to Write a Good Term Paper for College

Term papers are practically synonymous with college. It would be quite a feat to graduate from college without having to write at least one term paper. While most college students were given writing assignments in high school, many of them only wrote one or two research papers during their entire time there. This means that many college students do not know the first thing about writing a term paper.

Great Topic

The first step with a term paper is to select a great topic. These are topics are have not been written about year after year, but are fresh topics that still have room for new ideas. Once you have selected a topic, you will need to decide what you want to say about the topic and you will discover that through research.

Proper Documentation

Most professors will assign a documenting or formatting style for your term paper. The three most common are ALA, MLA, and Chicago Style. These styles have to do with the way that you record the information you learned through researching so you avoid plagiarism. You cannot claim other people’s work as your own, so committees have developed formats so writers can share where their information originated. Be sure you that you follow the formatting styles perfectly, so you can earn full credit for that part of the assignment.

Create an Outline

Once you have your topic and you have gathered information, you will need to create an outline. When you design your outline, you will need to decide what you want in the beginning – which is usually the background information, the middle – which is usually the support for your ideas, and the end – which usually involves a call to action. Be sure to write an outline that uses small phrases, not complete sentences and paragraphs.

Write and Think

Using the outline as your guide, write your paper. Be sure to include the thesis statement when you write, so your readers know what you are trying to prove in your term paper. Since the paper is usually a culmination of the semester course, you will need to prove that you learned something by incorporating the knowledge you gleaned from the course with the knowledge you gathered while researching. The term paper should really be a strong synthesis of the new information turned into something original and thoughtful, with good research, time to think, and a solid outline, this is a do-able project.

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