With hard work and expert instruction, any serious student can write an A + research paper. Of course, not all of them do. Even brilliant scholars sometimes submit work that falls short of perfection. In this article we will discuss eight simple steps that if followed will ensure cleaner, more persuasive and professional writing
. We won't lie to you. We can't do it for you. You have to do the heavy lifting on your own! But if you follow our steps, you may achieve excellence.
Step 1: Select a Topic
When busy with term paper writing, one classic mistake most students make is that they select a subject they know too much about. They might decide, for example, to examine the early life of the musical band The Beatles. The only problem is that the writer probably already knows everything about the group. So, even if he likes his subject, he won't be particularly interested in it because he's so familiar with it. This may encourage him to skip vital stages of the term paper writing process, such as research. Heck, he might even choose wing it! This will show in the writing.
On the other hand, if you were to select a topic that is interesting but somewhat foreign to you, such as The building of the Panama Canal, the hard work and research you had to put into the paper would invariably be reflected in the writing. In other words, it's often best to pick a subject that will challenge us a bit and bring out our best.
Last but not least, don't choose a subject that is too large or unmanageable. For example, composing a paper on "World Religion" might be both challenging and interesting, but the subject is simply too broad. It is always best to focus on small aspects or divisions of larger subjects, such as "Taoism", instead of just "Religion".
Step 2: Research
The internet provides a wealth of information at your fingertips. But before you start searching for specific quotes or citations, you should locate a few general information sites. Almanacs, encyclopedias, and various reference sites contain countless pages of information, most of which can be accessed for free. If you find a site to be helpful, make sure you bookmark the page before you leave for your term paper help
Another helpful tip is to pay attention to domain name extensions. Extensions like .edu, .gov, and .org are generally more reliable and are therefore more respected by teachers and professors. When it comes to the .com (or commercial) sites, writers should be selective and try not to over use them. Ideally, you want a good mix of extensions for your term paper writing.
And let's not forget about print! As popular as electronic media may be, most teachers expect their students to visit a library every now and then. Nearly any research book in print can be located with the help of OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog).
As you gather these invaluable resources, don't forget to record full bibliographic information. According to most style manuals, each should include author, title, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, page numbers, URLs, creation dates on web pages, and the date the web page was accessed.
One final word of advice on research and subsequent citation in your term paper writing - teachers and professors don't like the old stuff. So, even if a quote supports, defends, or corroborates your argument, if it's from 1960, you probably shouldn't use it. Find a more recent quote that says something similar.
Step 3: Thesis Statement
Most serious students go through several revisions of their thesis statements before they get them just write. This extra time is worth the investment, since the statement is a declaration of your belief. You will use most of your research time trying to support and defend this thesis.
Step 4: Make an outline
Even successful writers who've penned 40 or 50 bestsellers still rely on outlines to help them organize their thoughts and give them a plan of action. Whether fiction, nonfiction, or a simple term paper, a good outline helps ensure that the writer will cover all of the relevant points and that each section will flow logically and naturally into the next. At the very least, a proper outline should include an introduction, which concludes with the thesis statement, a body, and a conclusion. All of the points that are made, argued, or defended along the way must relate to the same major topic in the Roman numeral that introduced the new section. For example, if you were writing a term paper on John Lennon, the first section after the introduction might read: "2. Body - John Lennon's Early Life, Works, Marriage, and Later Years". All of the subsections in the body of that paper would discuss each of the aforementioned topics in some detail.
Steps 5: Collate your notes
The difference between a great paper and good one is often the result of research data. The top student always wants to incorporate information he acquired from the best available sources, not simply ones that sort of support his argument or sound cool. He will then double check these sources to verify that the information is up-to-date and factually correct. Before you put pen to paper, separate each group of notes according to your outline.
Step 6: Write the first draft
Peruse all of the notes that relate to Roman numeral I in you outline. Whether you choose to actually write the section from start to finish, or summarize it at first, make sure you find a way to incorporate the quotations you need to make your argument. Do this for each and every Roman numeral in the body of the outline until you come to the conclusion.
Step 7: Revise
Perusing your paper for spelling errors can come later. At this step, you want to make certain that all of your points and ideas match those found in your outline. Facts and figures should also be checked to make certain that they are in the proper place. It is not at all uncommon for even a seasoned writer to change things up quite a bit at this stage. When everything falls, is pressed or pushed into place, you can now proofread your paper
. If grammar is not your strong suit, perhaps a second pair of eyes will come in handy. There's certainly nothing wrong with that!
Step 8: Type the paper
All formal research papers must be printed, preferably on good quality paper. Also make certain margins are right! Some teachers take points off if you don't do it their way!