Ten Excellent Tips for Writing a Term Paper
- Before getting started, make sure you understand precisely what it is your tutor wants. Read any instructions you are given thoroughly. If you have any questions, clarify these with your tutor. A lot of tutors have scheduled consultation hours, so make use of this dedicated time to discuss any issues or ideas with your tutor(s). Typically, any student who fails to follow the instructions for an assignment can expect lower grades.
- Do your best to ensure the topic you choose fits well with the given assignment. It is commonplace for students to choose unoriginal topics. So, why not distinguish yourself from your peers by selecting a unique or unusual topic? In the same vein, the topic you choose should be of personal interest to you or you may find the entire task a challenge. Should you find selecting a topic difficult, do a little brainstorming and/or ask your tutor for suggestions.
- Write a rough outline. Each essay should begin with an outline, and a good essay is invariably organized in an impeccable way. Without an outline, it is extremely difficult to organize a paper or essay. An outline does not have to be very rich in detail since ideas often change as research work and writing progresses. You should also feel free to run your outline past your tutor when it is ready.
- Every assertion and claim should be supported with good evidence. To do this, you can use the opinion of experts, logical stories and examples, or evidence of an empirical nature. If, for instance, you say that the planet is constantly getting warmer because of carbon emissions, you should support this claim with the opinion of an expert or with scientific proof. Try not to use too many examples since individual ones are often sufficient to prove a point. Describing a time you spent in a US city in an especially hot season is not sufficient to support an argument. However, this example could be effective if you back it up with expert opinion or scientific evidence.
- Make sure your introduction is strong and compelling. A good essay always has an eye-catching introduction. Think about using a shocking fact or an interesting anecdote to get the attention of your readers. Try to be brief and use creativity.
- Your paper’s thesis statement should be clear and simple, and it should offer a preview of the points or issues you will address. A good thesis is essential to get the best grades. Indeed, the thesis statement should be the framework around which your entire paper is developed. This key statement should set out your central claim along with your supporting evidence, and it should be devoid of irrelevant ideas. The language of your thesis should be used in each new paragraph’s topic sentence. All arguments should follow in the order they appear in your paper’s thesis.
- Any sources or references you use should be authoritative, credible and reliable. Some students are reluctant to include citations and only do so because it is required of them. Credible sources are often the difference between getting a high or low grade. Look in respected books, journals and academic publications for good sources. Avoid any sources that are irrelevant or out-of-date, and try not to use one source too often. You should similarly resist the temptation to list sources that are not used in your paper because this is a dishonest practice. You should not hesitate to use more sources than the stipulated number.
- Rid your work of any trivia or irrelevancies. Your instructor may deduct points for irrelevant, space-filling content. Sometimes, students are tempted to write overly long introductory paragraphs and rambling conclusions to meet word count requirements.
- At all times, avoid the temptation to plagiarize. Most likely, plagiarism will get you a failed grade and/or make you the subject of formal disciplinary action. Plagiarism means using the work of other people without accurate citation.
- Look for assistance if you start struggling. Ask your peers or tutors to help. A lot of colleges have tutoring or help centers where instructors are available at specific times to answer questions.