At one point or another, you will have to deal with a term paper at school, college, or university. Most students are taken aback by this assignment and find it extremely daunting and complicated.
But in fact, as you find out what is a term paper, you’ll make things easier. This academic work is a sort of report on a given topic mixed with your own findings carried at the end of the term. We understand your concerns because this assignment accounts for a huge part of the final course grade. That is why you want to put all your effort into this task and submit it with flying colors.
That is why we have created a list of aspects that will allow you to keep track of your paper and polish it if needed to get the desired grade. So, once you grasp the term paper definition, it’s high time to get to know the secrets of a brilliant paper.
What’s the Topic?
As we’ve figured out the term paper's meaning, here comes the turn for choosing the topic. You’ve got to pick the one within the scope of the discipline, minding that it shouldn’t be studied within the discipline course. In other words, you should go with the subject matter that is relatively new to you.
Also, here are more recommendations for selecting a winning topic:
- make sure it allows you to conduct research;
- it shouldn’t be too narrow or broad;
- pick the one that is interesting for you;
- check the availability of quality resources;
- ensure that you get the topic completely.
Just keep in mind that the topic will define how the writing process will flow and to what extent you will be able to discover the topic. So, if you would like to have a painless writing experience that would ensure stunning results, your topic should be wisely chosen.
What Sources Should You Study?
Your supervisor will be paying attention to the quality of resources you are referring to. Thus, you should be careful and pick the ones that have already gained a solid reputation.
Go to your school or local library to check the available materials like books or thematic periodicals. You can also surf the Internet and find reliable sources there as well.
Make sure you use the gathered materials correctly. Do not just copy and paste the passages from the sources. This would be considered plagiarism. Of course, you can use direct citation on the condition that you make the correctly formatted reference. In other cases, just paraphrase the source and deliver the same message in a more condensed form. But note that you still need to refer to the source in this case as well.
Does the Structure Matter?
As you are wondering ‘what is a top-notch term paper,’ you should keep in mind that its structure is one of the defining features.
Every term paper should have a title page followed by acknowledgment, where you give some background information before dwelling on the subject matter. Then comes an abstract that includes a short spoiler to your paper. It defines the direction of the work, what methods you used, and why you believe the topic deserves attention.
The introduction is another section of the term paper. This part can include the history of the topic and how it was discovered by other scholars. Introduce how you are going to solve the problem and introduce your statement.
It’s time to talk about business in the body of the term paper. Usually, it has several sections devoted to different aspects of the topic. You should synthesize the materials from different sources and add your own contribution to the discovery of the problem.
As you wrap it up, you should specify how you studied the problem and whether your statement proved to be true.
All references are added to the reference or bibliography list. Its formatting will depend on the style assigned by the instructor.
The term paper can also include the Appendix containing images, tables, or other illustrative materials.
Should You Care About Formatting?
Yes, formatting will define term paper quality. That’s why academic instructors and professors pay close attention to formatting. Every paper should be formatted according to commonly accepted rules that define the font type and size, margins, spacing, headlines, and so on. The format can also define how the title page is structured and how the reference list is called.
Usually, a professor would set either APA or MLA formatting style, but there might be some other types like Chicago, CMS, and more. They will be defined by the discipline and the nature of your research. Also, there can be a commonly accepted formatting style for the institution, regardless of the subject matter. So it’s always a wise choice to check the requirements if you are not certain for sure.