What Is A Term Paper? How Do I Write A Term Paper?

A term paper is the culmination of a grading term or semester for students, the written piece that determines if a student passes or fails a subject. It serves to represent a student's learning achievement for the entire term. Through a term paper, a student must demonstrate all that he has learned through the formation of an original argument or evaluation of a taught concept. It is always due at the end of a semester.

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What Is A Term Paper?

A term paper is an academic paper that is written by students, to be turned in at the end of a term or a semester, constituting a substantial percentage of their final grade. Like a thesis or dissertation in graduate school, a term paper is a major writing requirement in both high school and college. It is the representation of the student's learning achievement for the whole semester or term. Term papers aim to demonstrate the level of understanding students possess in a subject through the formation of an original argument, expansion of a concept, or the evaluation of an event. Failure to submit the term paper may result in a significant deduction in a student’s grade, or in severe cases, a failing grade. 

Term papers must be original and plagiarism-free because at the semester's end, professors run the term papers turned in by students through plagiarism detectors to ensure their originality. 

Term Paper vs Research Paper

What is the difference between a term paper and a research paper?

Students often confuse a term paper with a research paper due to their overlapping qualities. While a term paper can be research-driven, it is not required until at the end of a semester or a term or quarter, depending on the school's academic year measurement.

As a research paper will always require research, a term paper may or may not involve research and can come in different types, such as an essay, a research paper, or even a specialized project. The term paper’s instructions and project type depend on the nature of the subject or course. As such, not all term papers are research papers, and not all research papers are term papers. The difference between a term paper and a research paper lies in the conditional approach to research, and the only similarity occurs when a research paper is required as a term paper.  

When is a term paper a research paper?

If the term paper’s instructions resemble those of a research paper.

When is a term paper NOT a research paper?

If the term paper does not have instructions resembling those of a research paper. For example, if the term paper calls for the student to write a reflective essay detailing his learning experience, prepare a journal of his realizations, or build a specialized project related to the subject. 

When is a research paper a term paper?

If the research paper’s function is to be the final requirement of the term and aimed at demonstrating what has been learned. 

When is a research NOT a term paper?

If the research paper is just a regular requirement, such as a research paper on a topic being discussed in class. 

How long is a term paper?

Due to its purpose to squeeze out all that a student has learned, term papers are far longer. They may range from 3000 to 6000 words, or 10-20 pages. 

How long is a research paper?

Research papers, when intended to be a regular requirement, range from 1000 to 3000 words, or 3-10 pages. 

What Are The Types Of Term Papers?

As expressed earlier, the types of term papers depend on the nature of the subject or the course. Simply put, a term paper can be a research paper, a specific kind of essay, a journal, or in some cases, even a PowerPoint presentation, if your teacher should see it appropriate. Knowledge of the different types of term papers simply means mastery of how to write an essay, a research paper, and all types of academic papers as deemed necessary by your professor. 

These are the most common types of term papers and they share one quality: they are all research-driven:

  • Argumentative papers

From the name itself, argumentative essays and research papers convey a potent argument and will be based on your own stance on an issue. Still, you must give an adequate overview of the opposing sides of the issue, analyze the various aspects of each side, and support it with facts from reputable literature. As you wrap up your argument, you must take a side without sounding biased, which means you must form a concrete opinion while including not a dash of emotion. Your conclusion should also be strongly supported by facts. This type of term paper is common in social studies subjects.

  • Definition papers

You surely remember how to write a definition essay. The main task in this type of term paper is to simply enumerate all the information that is asked of you. You supply the information and their respective definitions in the paper, without any hint of emotion or analysis. The task is to simply present the facts yielded by your research. For best results, treat this type of term paper as one that somebody else can use as reference when researching for their own paper. This is the type of term paper that is frequently required in science subjects. 

  • Compare and contrast papers

The compare and contrast type of term paper is utilized in a vast array of subjects. For instance, your professor in Literature may ask you to compare and contrast the writing styles of William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway, or the similarities and differences between Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. In other subjects like political theory, your term paper may ask you to compare and contrast capitalism and socialism. In this type of term paper, whatever your thesis statement is, you must support it with facts.

  • Interpretive papers

Of all the types of term papers, interpretive papers give you the most liberty to exercise your critical thinking and opinion-forming. For instance, your Philosophy professor may ask you to write a term paper discussing Thomas Paine’s stance on theology. You would then want to focus on Thomas Paine’s reasons why he desired for a clear separation of church and state during the formation of the United States, in relation to what he saw as the destructive power of religious conflicts in Europe. An interpretive paper as a type of term paper that can exercise and hone your ability to apply theoretical principles in real situations. 

  • Analytical papers

Like argumentative papers, when an analytical paper is required as a term paper, you must incorporate different points of view from experts in an issue. The main difference is the need for you to analyze the arguments from a purely factual standpoint, and therefore, your right to include your opinion is therefore neutralized. For example, you may wish to focus on a researcher’s methodology or his conclusion from a factual standpoint. 

Choosing the Right Topic For Your Term Paper

We have prepared a dedicated blog post about how to choose the right topic for your research paper. The bottom line is that the topic must be broad enough so that you can do a sufficient literature review, at the same time, it must be narrow enough so that you can have a powerful and engaging thesis statement.

Term Paper Topics

Professors normally provide topics relevant to the course. However, those professors that belong to the younger generation grant students the liberty to choose the term paper topic as long as it is related to the course. Whatever the case is, your researching skills will be put to the test. Surf the web, look for articles, magazines, visit news websites and blogs to strengthen your term paper topic knowledge. And if you can choose your own topic, the researching part will even be more fun.

Considerations when choosing a topic

  • Length – Will the term paper be 20 pages or just 8 pages? What is the word count requirement? Taking in consideration the term paper length will give you an idea of the scope of the subject, and therefore, the depth of the discussion.
  • Resources – Is there enough literature on the topic? Are the literature available in your school library? Do you have other online library accounts? Allot a day to researching for resources, both physical and digital. There is no such thing as too many resources. The more resources you have, the greater the flexibility in writing you can enjoy.
  • Difficulty – As your term paper should demonstrate your understanding of the course within the whole term/semester/quarter, you must ensure that you will be able to clearly explain the topic no matter how difficult it is. Do not hesitate to ask experts on the subject. Also, it is best to consult with your professor if you feel like you lack understanding in some areas of the topic. 

How To Start a Term Paper

Familiarize yourself with the term paper instructions first. For good measure, consult your professor before you do any research or writing. Do not procrastinate. If you are aiming for a high grade and topnotch work, plan all things ahead and devote a few hours of every day to writing. Make sure to proofread your work thoroughly before turning it in to your professor. 

An advisable way to begin is by coming up with a strong creative title. Remember, your term paper is the gift, and the title is the wrapper. As much as possible, your title must possess the power to capture and captivate the reader. 

Term Paper Outline

Writing the term paper outline should be done while researching and before you do any writing work. The term paper outline will serve as the framework on which the writing will be built. Term paper outline templates can be found online, but most professors require a format that resembles that of an essay, especially if the term paper requirement is not research-heavy like a “regular” research paper. 

Your term paper’s structure should be organized and based on the academic citation style (see below) that your professor requires you to use. Even more important are your technical writing skills, as it is vital in categorizing information, presenting your ideas, and giving logical flow to your term paper. If your term paper’s instructions resemble a combination of an essay and a research paper, then here is the usual term paper outline that you must follow when expressing your argument

  • Cover page. Please refer to the cover page format of the academic citation style that you will use. If your professor does not have a cover page requirement, you can simply align your name, professor’s name, course, and deadline with the text. 
  • Abstract. The abstract is the description of your paper. It provides the reader the aim of the paper, the significance of the issue, and the reason that drove you to write about it. 
  • Introduction. The term paper’s introduction must begin with a statement about the topic. Mention current relevant events that contributed to the essence of the issue at hand. Clearly state how you aim to remedy the issue (thesis statement). 
  • Body. The term paper’s body must contain the analysis. Relevant information about the issue to give the reader further understanding. Remember to include positions surrounding the issue and the analysis that you conducted that made you arrive at your thesis statement.
  • Results. Provide a clear, coherent, and logical explanation why your research has convinced you to believe certain things. What was your initial impression when you started the project? Do you still have it? Has it changed, and why? Connect your writing to your thesis statement that you made known in the introduction.
  • Discussion/Conclusion. Summarize all that you have written and convey your ultimate take on the topic. You are required to restate your thesis statement, only this time, it must have more significance in relation to the topic. Apart from this, you may also prompt the reader to conduct their own discussion on the topic by means of new research.

Which Academic Citation Style Should I Use For My Term Paper?

An academic citation style is a body of rules on how to credit your sources when writing an academic paper. Academic citation style guidelines are frequently published in official handbooks that contain explanations, instructions and samples, with each academic citation style dedicated to a set of disciplines. With respect to term papers, the academic style that should be used depends entirely on the type of term paper that you are asked to write. 

  • APA citation style - The academic style developed by the American Psychological Association. If your professor in psychology or similar field requires a term paper, mastery of this academic style is imperative. We do have a dedicated writing service for research papers in APA.
  • MLA citation style - MLA stands for Modern Language Association. For term papers in English, Literature, linguistics, philosophy and other fields in the humanities, this academic style is most recommended. This is the best citation style for literary criticisms, book reviews, and argumentative essays in these fields.
  • Chicago citation style - Should you find yourself needing a term paper in history, business, or the arts, Chicago academic style is the one that you need to learn. 
  • Harvard citation style - If you are faced with a term paper writing assignment in natural sciences (i.e. botany, zoology), it is imperative to master the Harvard academic style. 

How To Write A Good Term Paper

In view of these, the central components in writing a good term paper are readiness, knowledge in the subject, and time. These three must go hand in hand in to be able to write a good term paper. 

  • Readiness – this involves your mastery of the differences between academic papers (i.e. book review vs book report, essay vs research paper) and the corresponding citation styles and the subjects they cover. Adequate familiarity with the unique qualities of all academic papers is a must to not be misled by a vague set of instructions. What is also very important is formatting your paper correctly.
  • Knowledge – Really needing no elaboration, you will not be able to write a term paper without knowledge, no matter how ready you are with respect to types of term papers and citation style use. Prerequisite to writing a term paper is the complete and holistic acquisition of knowledge and that can only be attained by attentiveness to your professor, writing down notes, seeking clarifications, and advanced research about the subject.  
  • Time – Given a few weeks’ time, writing a term paper can be accomplished. Unlike a conventional essay or a regular research paper that can be written overnight with just a few days’ notice, writing a term paper demands extra breathing room. After all, you are to squeeze all that you have learned in a whole term or semester in one make-or-break paper. Hence, the collection and chronological organization of information must be carried out with utmost care – you cannot afford to leave out any significant bits.  These factors, combined with the length and complexity of a term paper, behoove any professor to grant students with more than enough time to write their term papers. 

The Reality of Writing a Term Paper

As early as the first day of class in the semester/term/quarter, professors provide students a rundown of the subject’s term paper requirement and its deadline. Ideally, students should take this seriously. But unfortunately, such a case is rare. 

Why? Because the deadline seemed worlds away when the briefing took place. As a result, students scramble weeks before the deadline. Professors possess the tendency to think this way and little do they know that they can be wrong. 

Students are not always to be blamed. Students have a lot of other academic commitments, extracurricular activities, and not to mention part-time jobs. On top of the term paper requirement are a bunch of other subjects that require tons of writing, personal and social life, as well as recreation to maintain their wellbeing. That said, it is simply mean of professors to just blame the students for their shortcomings. They themselves need to be educated about the reality of student life and the drastic changes it underwent the past several years that should be held responsible for their perceived inadequacies of students.

“Can someone help me write my term paper?”

Term Paper Help

Seeking the help of someone else to write your term paper is not a novelty from the 21st century by any stretch of the imagination. It is indeed a very old practice. The past two decades have seen the spectacular increase in the academic demands of both universities and professors. It is as if the turn of the 21st century coincided with students saying goodbye to a healthy, balanced school life; as if educators suddenly began to think that students are no longer human, but robots designed to accomplish task after task with surgical precision. 

Students, deprived not only of holistic academic growth due to tons of schoolwork but also of a voice, have no choice to resort to a practical means – buying a term paper online, or seeking term paper help – just to grip onto their sanity.  

Order Term Papers Online 

While an extensive research is key to arriving at a conclusion as to why students elect to purchase term papers online, there is always a need to mention the three comprehensive reasons responsible:

Pressure – Term paper writing in one subject is just a small part of the academic pressure that students are facing daily. The chances of a student needing to write only one term paper across six subjects are zero, but the probability of needing to write a term paper per subject is sky high. Combine these term paper writing requirements with scores of essays, homework, presentations, along with mandatory reading, and you have yourself a world of stress.

Lack of writing skills - A simple narrative essay is daunting enough, how much more a term paper? Professors often make the mistake of assuming all the students in their class are equipped with sharp writing skills, forgetting that writing skills are not acquired in just an hour, but are developed and honed through years of reading and writing. There are college majors in which writing prowess acquired through tireless reading is a prerequisite (Philosophy, English, Literature), and there are other majors wherein students do not have to prove their writing skill (Engineering, Computer Science). Thus, it is only natural for a Philosophy major’s writing skills to be far superior than those of a Chemistry major. 

Time – The reason of reasons. Just as every student is unique, so are the personal circumstances surrounding them. There are many students who effortlessly breeze through the rigors of academics without cracking under pressure, and such cases are few and far between. On the other hand, an overwhelming majority of students fall under the “pressured and stressed” category. Whether it is a part-time job, family, sheer volume of schoolwork, or simply fatigue, these students are those that could use a break. 

It is unfair to simply label students who order term papers online as lazy or inept. These reasons, while easy to take lightly, are destructive on the part of students. Educators and legislators alike must strive to find a workable solution to make learning effective without infringing on the students ‘right to a balanced, stress-free, and satisfying school life. 

Custom Term Papers

In view of the trend that is college students purchasing term papers online, a key quality that you should develop is the ability to detect the difference between commercial, run-of-the-mill, stock term papers and those term papers that are 100% original, written from scratch according to the client’s specifications, and of unmatched quality – custom term papers. There is a fundamental difference between easily accessible term papers and custom term papers.

Here’s the rub: there are countless of writing companies who advertise themselves as custom term paper sellers. 

What’s the hack?

Go to their website, chat with an online operator and ask if they can provide you with a 20-page term paper in 4 hours. If they answer yes, you should back off, find another service and spread the word. The ability to produce a 20-page term paper is nothing short of superhuman, which means they will only give you a stock term paper whose content closely resembles what your instructions could more or less produce. In short, you are going to be ripped off. 

Why a custom term paper?

Writing a 20-page term paper, granted that instructions are clear and all information are provided, will take at least to complete. Since your custom term paper is going to be written from scratch, adequate time must be allotted to the writer. Your custom term paper may not be instant, but you can be assured that it will be written with utmost tact.    

From Merriam-Webster’s dictionary itself, custom means “made or performed to personal order.” A custom chair, a custom guitar, and now a custom term paper. A custom term paper is a term paper that is especially crafted from scratch by a professional academic writer for a paying client. 

In short, a professional academic writer will write your custom term paper based exclusively on your instructions, adhering to your personal preferences. Hiring a custom term paper writer can be likened to a having a prolific writer version of yourself.  And since a term paper’s objective is to demonstrate the extent of your knowledge acquired through an entire term, the quality and success of your term paper depend on the clarity of your instructions and information provided. Thus, your involvement in the process of writing your custom term paper is invaluable. 

You deserve a custom term paper

If you are a college student already on the brink of dropping a few of your subjects because of pressure and stress, it is only fair to give yourself a break. Entrust your term paper to a proven online writing service company whose driving forces are confidentiality, quality, timeliness, and professionalism.

Our professional essay writers are here to help you with any writing assignment now!

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