9 Tips on Writing a High Quality Term Paper


Have you ever wondered why you received ‘6’ for your term paper, while your classmate managed to get ‘9’ or even ‘10’? In fact, most students follow the basic rules when writing their term papers. However, some students take into account even the smallest details, which allows them to get from ‘7’ to ‘10’ for their term paper. Based on the analysis of hundreds of feedbacks that students received from their professors, we identified 9 points that will help you create a brilliant term paper and elevate your grade.

9 Points That Will Help You Create a Brilliant Term Paper

1. Try to focus on the thesis statement

Initially, every professor tends to locate the thesis statement and check whether the student appropriately concentrated on it. Is there a main idea in your term paper that you continuously highlight? Does your paper clearly elucidate the main hypothesis that you propose? If you demonstrate the ability to keep focus on the main point throughout your writing, congratulations! It means that your term paper is of high quality.

Many students shift focus away from their thesis in the middle of the term paper and start putting particular attention to unrelated issues and unnecessary details. As a result, the reader may find your term paper fuzzy and incoherent, since it does not describe the main topic. Thus, it is critical to read your term paper multiple times to make sure that every part of your writing highlights the main thesis.

2. Develop a comprehensive review of literature

When you have eventually created a clear thesis statement, you should support it using relevant scholarly sources. Although all students are familiar with this simple rule, many of them select a limited number of resources. They believe that 2-3 literature sources are enough to back up their thesis. However, in order to prepare a high quality term paper, the student should provide a reasonably good number of sources, which will ensure sufficient supporting evidence for the subject thesis.

It is helpful to read various literature sources, including journals, articles, books, conference papers, and news sources. Try to select different literature formats to back up your thesis, such as quotes, opinions, examples, data, inferences, and surveys. Note that the purpose of the literature review ordinarily depends on your term paper requirement.

Importantly, your term paper should be focused on the review of the literature sources concerning your main thesis. Otherwise, the review of literature might serve as a preface to underline the purpose of your thesis statement. Nevertheless, in both cases, a high quality term paper requires a literature review that critically analyzes reputed research works through summary and comparison of other research works.

3. Add citation and referencing

In every term paper and other research essays, all presented information that does not describe “common knowledge” must be referenced. Professors carefully check whether the student have correctly followed the required style of referencing. Keep in mind that different styles of citations and referencing exist, such as the MLA referencing style, Harvard style, Chicago referencing, and the APA style for referencing and citing.

Your course instructor always provides referencing and citation guidelines, and you are expected to strictly follow them when citing or referencing your selected sources. A brilliant term paper must adhere to the style that you professor indicates.

The style of referencing determines where you should insert all references and bibliography: at the end of the paper or in the footnotes. Note that both MLA and APA referencing styles demand in-text citations, while Chicago style requires citations in the footnotes. Some students find it helpful to use citation generators. In this case, check whether you follow the same citation style throughout your term paper.

In addition, citation should comprise all necessary details, including author’s name, year of publication, and main goals of research. If you decide to use specific terms, it is critical to provide their definitions before the body of the term paper begins.

4. Find your writer’s voice

“Voice of the writer” implies the distinctive manner of writing. It means that you should use your own words when discussing all ideas or per-published sources and avoid copying information verbatim from different sources. In order to achieve this aim, you should be able to utilize paraphrasing skillfully. However, this practice must not prevent you from preserving your writer’s voice, unique style, and distinctive words throughout the text. Keep in mind that your term paper is not a catalogue of related literature. A high quality term paper is a clear narration of ideas that allows strengthening your thesis statement.

It is important to note that writing a term paper requires integrating relevant information from other credible sources into your own text in order to construct an authoritative and plausible argument. In doing so, you need to handle a twin problem associated with writer’s voice and plagiarism. A form of academic cheating and dishonesty, also known as plagiarism, implies an attempt to steal another person’s idea or product and present it as your own without full acknowledgement. This is a serious breach of academic integrity. Currently, many plagiarism checker tools exist, which enables professors to detect the presence of plagiarism in student papers easily and effectively. Every educational establishment takes academic cheating very seriously and punishes plagiarism severely.

Therefore, students are encouraged to acknowledge sources as well as use legitimately paraphrase and quote, which helps eliminate plagiarism.

In order to paraphrase a text successfully, it is important to read the source thoroughly and understand it clearly. Following that, select specific ideas that can reinforce your main arguments. Then summarize the original source in your own words. It is acceptable to utilize specific phrases and terms with quotation marks.

If a student slightly changes another author’s material with or without citation but fails to put author’s sentences borrowed directly from the source into quotation marks, it is considered as plagiarism.

On the other hand, patchwork plagiarizing may occur when a student uses the material of several authors and reorganizes that material into his/her own paper without adding any quotation marks.

A legitimate paraphrasing rewords the author’s original language and refashions sentence structure to make it fit into the term paper’s context. In this case, a student has to provide proper citation.

5. Intended audience

Term papers have to be suitable for reading by the intended audience. It should be noted that the college-level audience usually consists of people aged 18-25. Thus, writing a college term paper, a student is expected to use the vocabulary and sentence structure appropriate for college-level readers. Any appeals to logic and persuasive elements must be carefully selected for your term paper.Audience tends to be especially critical when evaluating the level of vocabulary and length of explanation.

Students must take into account whether the audience will include students from a particular course or will consist of students of various majors and specialization. If you have to present your term paper in front of the students from different disciplines rather than from a particular department, it is important to clarify all technical words in the beginning. Such an approach allows readers to understand better your arguments.

A literature review also depends on your intended audience. Sometimes students omit the explanation of their literature review sources as well as their intentions of using these sources. As a result, readers may find it difficult to connect the dot. Thus, you should clearly explain the literature review material and make sure that it is not too complicated or informal. In addition, keep in mind that a high quality term paper should not be too short and dense.

6. Presentation of the key pieces of information

All information that your term paper contains should be presented in a comprehensive manner. This adds coherence to a presentation. When creating a term paper, a student must present his/her arguments comprehensively and provide enough supporting evidence from literature. All assumptions and exceptions must also be underlined.

Importantly, every valid argument should have a definite conclusion. Moreover, you should include a rebuttal of your arguments, which allows demonstrating that the term paper writer has taken into consideration all existing views and thoughts regarding the chosen issue.

7. Components of the term paper

The format for the structure of the term paper depends on the discipline you are producing it for. Students must be aware of the structure required by their supervisor or course instructor.

It is critical to adhere to the term paper structure that your course instructor wants. However, if your professor or supervisor does not provide any guidelines, you can ask him/her to clarify this issue. You can also use a typical structure for a term paper, which includes several essential components, such as an abstract, introduction, description of methods, discussion of obtained results, and conclusion.

A scientific report or a lab report might adhere to IMRAD format that stands for Introduction, Methods, Results And Discussion. In case an argumentative essay is based on the term paper, its structure should help present all arguments holistically. Every paragraph must be clearly organized, which allows presenting the arguments in a coherent manner. Furthermore, you should use meta-discourse elements in your text to emphasize your intention (“I believe”), to indicate your confidence (“perhaps”, “certainly”, and “must”), to direct readers’ thoughts (“however”, “finally”, and “note that”), and to provide a proper structure for the paper (“first”, “second”, and “finally”).

8. Develop your distinctive writing style

A writing style represents the manner of writing sentence patterns and using the unique diction in the term paper. In the English language, ten sentence patterns exist. They are categorized based on the placement of nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.

You should use a variety of sentence patterns in your term paper in order to make the content interesting to read. The choice of words has a strong impact on your term paper’s diction. As mentioned above, all words should be suitable for a formal presentation.

Remember that you must avoid different foul terms, such as unnecessary acronyms, SMS language, slang, contractions, and informal elements when aiming to compose a high quality term paper. Moreover, try not to use the first-person language, such as I, you, and me. In addition, refrain from including too many jargon words in your term paper. Lastly, the use of words and sentence patterns should comply with the requirements for college-level assignments.

9. Mechanics of writing a term paper

Paper mechanics comprises spelling, grammar, and punctuation. When you have eventually finished your term paper, do not forget to proofread it for grammar, punctuation, and spelling. This task can be easily performed with Microsoft Word’s built-in grammar checker and spell checker. You could ask you friends and family members to check your term paper. Moreover, you could hire an online proofreader to correct your mistakes.

It should be noted that an online proofreader might detect unnoticed grammatical errors. Frequently, students tend to jumble up spellings, such as lay-lie, affect-effect, and there-their, to name a few. Therefore, it is critical to proofread your completed term paper several times as well as to ask for the feedback of other people before submitting your paper.

Spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes can probably take away the professionalism from even a well-written paper.

Hope these tips will help you create a brilliant term paper!

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