A+ For a Term Paper: Golden Rules from Tutors
To write an A+ term paper, all you need is to have your work organized efficiently setting your tasks clearly, and knowing where to get information for your paper. This article will provide you with a complete guideline on how to start writing a team paper, how to research your topic, and how to cite sources in a term paper.
Importance of Term Paper
Term paper is usually assigned at the end of the semester to evaluate student’s achievements. Term paper can be assigned as an essay or a research paper, while it is usually longer than any paper you write during the term. Term paper usually accounts for a large part of the grade, which is why it is important to know how to write it. Since term papers are usually quite lengthy and complex to write, it takes a lot of effort and knowledge to succeed at getting an A grade for it.
Let us go through a detailed guideline on how to start writing your term paper and how to research info for your term paper.
How to Start Writing a Term Paper?
Before starting to write a term paper, you need to evaluate how much time you need depending on the topic you research and the length of the paper.
There are several golden rules to start with when writing a term paper:
- Set a start as soon as you get your term paper topic by creating a document of your term paper (in MS Word, Google Docs – whatever tool you prefer to use)
- Try to avoid overworking because it can result in stress and anxiety, which won’t help you get an A+ for sure. Procrastination might be a good thing sometimes if you take your time and realistically have time to spare.
- Evaluate your own knowledge of the topic – find out if you know all the aspects of the topic and if you know where to search for your data.
- Baby steps – it is tough for sure, but it will make your term paper so much better. Just make a plan of doing one little thing, like writing one paragraph, every day or every other day. You will finish the paper much faster than you planned!
- Research goes before writing – to write a great term paper you need to know exactly what you’re writing about and how to reveal your topic in the paper. To do this, you need to first read about the topic and only after that start writing
And now let’s focus on how to organize writing your term paper, how to manage your time, and the importance of using outlines and drafts.
How to Organize Writing a Term Paper?
There are several steps that you can follow to maximize efficiency and minimize effort while writing a term paper:
1. Create a document where you will write your paper – you will set the start and have where to write down your ideas and facts
2. Write down the major aspects of your topic. For instance, for a topic “Greenwashing in marketing” the list of sub-topics to discuss would include:
- Concept of marketing
- Consumer behavior
- Concept of greenwashing
- The ways ‘green’ products appeal to consumers
- Such list will help you search for information more effectively and understand what you’re writing about
3. Do your research of these aspects to get an understanding of the topic and what you’re writing about. In the next part of the article you’ll find a detailed list of sources where you can search for information
4. Create outline writing major themes and ideas to get even better understanding of your topic. Structure your outline by the major three parts of a paper: introduction, body paragraph, and conclusion.
5. Write draft – it is for your own use, it is just a paper that will include everything you found, everything you want to write about, term paper structure, and all the facts you want to include. Note every source you use to avoid plagiarism and keep track of sources
6. Write down your term paper and proofread the text
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Using Outlines and Drafts
Outlines and drafts might seem like additional work while you write a term paper. However, outline and draft are simple ways to write down your findings before writing an actual paper and deciding what you want to include in the final paper.
Outline will help create a plan for your paper and determine the topics and sub-topics of the paper. Your outline can look as simple as this:
3 body paragraphs
Restated thesis statement
Outline fulfills 3 functions:
- Organizes your work
- Sets goals
- Lets you understand how much you’ll need to research
A draft, on the other hand, includes everything you found about your topic, such as ideas, concepts, copies of abstracts from various sources, and your own explanations and arguments. Composing a draft takes place after preparing an outline and before writing the final paper.
Draft fulfills 5 functions:
- Organizes your thoughts and ideas
- Lets you develop a cohesive text with logical structure
- Helps discover central argument
- Lets you detect which facts and ideas are irrelevant
- Allows choosing which ideas need more explanation and research
Both outline and draft will make you feel that work is being done, give you sense of accomplishment. While writing a term paper it is critical to see your progress and where to move forward. Outline and draft are also great tools for learning your topic.
How to Research Info For Your Term Paper?
Good old Google
Google is the most widely used search engine in the world. It is also a legit way of obtaining information for your term paper, learning about the topic, and finding credible sources that you will be able to cite in your term paper.
Google.com searching tips
We all know and use Google to research info, but there are some Google searching tips that you might not be aware of. Let us go through the most popular and useful searching tips for Google:
- Use Boolean search operators AND, NOT, and OR to modify your search. For instance, you are researching hotel industry in Thailand. You can use the following searches: “hotel industry in Thailand AND tourism” to find out how tourism and hotel industry are connected. “Hotel OR hospitality industry in Thailand” search will help you include both terms into the search. “Thailand hotel AND HOSPITALITY NOT restaurant” to exclude restaurants from the search
- Search specific sites by using “site:nameofthesite.com” tool
- Use a “-” in front of the word to remove it from search, for instance “Thailand hotel and hospitality -restaurant”
Google Scholar is a powerful engine for searching credible sources that you can use in your term paper. Many articles from peer-reviewed sources are available in full online and Google Scholar is a search engine that will help you find them. To use it more effectively, make sure to use “advanced search” option by clicking a three horizontal line button in the top left corner:
For simple search refining, use time adjustment and relevance adjustment on the left. If you would like to increase the number of articles that are available in full size online, add “pdf” to your search phrase. To find out popular related searches, scroll down to see the list of them at the bottom of the page, for instance for “Thailand hotel industry” search related searches are as follows:
APA Journal Articles
In case if your term paper topic is somehow related to psychology and human behavior studies, you can browse the library of the American Psychological Association to find relevant sources. You can find articles in the following categories:
- Basic psychology
- Clinical psychology
- Core of psychology
- Developmental psychology
- Educational psychology
- Health psychology
- Forensic psychology
- Industrial psychology
- Social psychology
- Neuroscience and cognition
Despite that peer-reviewed sources have high level of credibility, often they contain outdated information and facts. It is also difficult to find free articles from peer-reviewed sources that focus on current issues. Instead, newspaper articles can not only provide sufficient information, but be used as legit sources for term paper. There are several media and news agencies that you will find useful while researching info for your term paper, including:
- The New York Times
- Business Insider
- The Washington Post
- The Washington Times
- Al Jazeera
- The Guardian
- Financial Times
- The Telegraph
- The Economist
Your textbook might seem heavy and boring, but it can provide you with essential pieces of theoretical info on your topic. Use table of contents to navigate in your textbook and browse to search relevant information about your topic. Remember that any relevant source can be useful for your preliminary research and writing a term paper.
How to Cite Sources in Your Term Paper?
Citing the sources you use is an essential rule of academic conduct. Term papers are checked for plagiarism, you don’t want to risk it and skip proper referencing just to save time. Instead, cite your sources. This will demonstrate not only that you understand academic conduct and ethics, but the amount of work you’ve done while writing your term paper. So, show off a little bit.
Some of the most common formatting styles are APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and AMA. let us review these styles briefly
- APA style is most commonly used in social sciences research and is an author-date Purdue online guide will help you find out how to format your APA citations.
- MLA style is often used in humanities and liberal arts and is an author-page in-text referencing style. Find Purdue online guide
- Chicago style, aka Turabian style, is often used in humanities and uses footnotes. Online Purdue OWL guide here.
- AMA style was developed for writing medical research.
- Harvard style is used is social sciences, technology, and natural sciences. This style has several different variations, so make sure to determine which modification of Harvard style is required to use in your particular term paper. One of the most comprehensive guidelines for Harvard style referencing can be found here.
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