5 Steps to Make a Solid Term Paper

Writing a term paper can be a difficult process for students. Although research and writing take time, they are useful skills to learn. Throughout high school and college, students will be required to write numerous articles and documents in their classes. Learning how to make a solid term paper early on will make the next few years of schooling much easier for the student. To get started on writing a term paper, students should use the following five steps.

Developing the Structure

Most term papers are set up in a similar fashion. They begin with an introduction, several body paragraphs and a conclusion. The length of the paper will generally determine the number of paragraphs that are included in the body of the document. Before writing the body of the document, students should begin by writing the introduction and the conclusion. These two sections will help students to figure out where the argument will start and how it will ultimately end.

With the introduction, the student will have to introduce their topic. The thesis normally spans just one or two sentences. They may want to use a hook, anecdote or a question to quickly get the reader's interest. At the end of the paper, the student will have to write a conclusion. This section basically restates the thesis and summarizes the points made in the document. By creating both sections of the document first, the student can guide the flow of their writing.

Build an Outline

An outline is a must-have for any writing project. Students need an outline because it helps them to logically structure their argument. In the outline, students will list the main point that is made in each paragraph. Beneath the topic sentence, the student will want to include several points that support it. They may also want to list a specific quote from their research that supports their argument. Including the research in the outline helps to speed up the actual writing process later on.

Schedule and Make a Plan

Getting a term paper completed in a few weeks takes time, effort and planning. Students should set realistic goals for when they want to finish the research, outline, first draft and final draft. While the research goal may just be set for a specific date, writing goals can be made for each day or week. By dividing the entire writing of the paper into daily word count goals, students can make their writing more manageable. This technique also allows the student to easily see if they are on track for finishing their writing on time. If the student is falling behind, they can always schedule extra hours for completing the project.

Save Time for Revisions

Students often plan out time for researching and writing essays. Unfortunately, many students forget to make time for editing and proofreading the document. Initially, students should use proofreading software program to catch major spelling and grammar errors. Afterward, students should try reading through the document aloud. By hearing the sentences, students will slow down and spot awkward phrasing and other issues in their writing. For the best results, students should set their writing aside and wait a few days or weeks before they come back to it. Approaching the document with fresh eyes will help the student to clearly see mistakes that they would have otherwise missed.

Ask for Help

Friends, professors and tutors exist for a reason. Students should always ask someone else to read through their term paper before they submit it. An extra pair of eyes can spot hidden mistakes or notice a flaw in the argument. Often, a professor is more than willing to edit an essay if the student gives it to them early enough.

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