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Procedure for Writing a Term Paper explained

Posted in Term Paper on May 1st, 2007

A term paper is also referred to as a research paper. This is a common and often daunting assignment for students. It is primarily a record of intelligent reading from several sources about a particular subject. Term paper writing or research paper writing is not as daunting as one may think especially if one is following a systematic procedure in writing a term paper.

The steps or procedures for writing a term paper consist of the following:

• Choosing a subject

A good term paper provides answer to various questions regarding a particular subject matter. There are so many subjects to choose from; in fact you can select any subject in any textbook. Remember to refrain from choosing a subject that is too general or to vague. It is always much better to choose specific subject since it is much easier to tackle and covers only a limited scope.

• Finding sources or materials related to the subject

There are limitations when it comes to sources or materials for your term paper. This is also one of the reasons why you need to carefully choose the subject for your term paper. Choose a subject that you feel has so many sources so that you will not have any difficulty in searching for information to support your term paper. Likewise, create a system in researching in order to hasten you research.

• Gathering and writing notes

Try to examine each of your sources one at a time and select only those information that are related as well as useful to your subject. Then make good notes of your gathered info including quotes and information for footnotes. This will prevent you from wasting another time by simply scanning on the same sources again. If possible make your notes on separate cards for each author or book source where you have found the information.

Be accurate in taking notes and refrain from distorting the author’s meanings. And try to collect only the information that will support your term paper. However, if you plan to create an argumentative type of term paper, you may also include other facts or opinions in order to provide your reader with a contrasting view on your subject matter. Try to get facts and not just mere opinions. Compare conclusions of various authors and don’t be afraid to criticize them.

• Creating an outline

Do not rush in writing your term paper. Think carefully what your subject and your purpose are and then what kind of materials you have found. Determine if you have gathered sufficient information to support your topic.

Finally, review your notes and look for main sub-divisions for your subject. Sort all of your note cards into groups and then try to name each group. Make use of these names for main divisions in your outline. Try to sort again your note cards for information that you can place under the sub-sections for your outline. You will notice that your term paper is starting to look more coherent and already has a definite structure.

• Writing the first draft

Now that you have finished creating an outline, you are ready to write your term paper. Be sure to indicate in the first part of your term paper the purpose. Traditionally, the headings or sub-headings included are nouns and not verbs or phrases.

Likewise, try to keep all information that is alike together. Consult your outline to help you in organizing the thoughts of your paper. Make sure that you don’t make unnecessary shift in the subject in the middle of a paragraph since this will tend to confuse your reader. Be sure also that all information under one heading in your outline is about the same general topic. Try also to avoid short, hanged sentences and similarly with long straggling sentences.

• Editing the paper

After you have written your term paper, you still need to edit them out. In editing your term paper, you need to look for grammatical errors, spelling, and other errors before checking to see that your ideas flow properly. Check all punctuation. Microsoft Word offers valuable editing tools.