Writing a term paper is an assignment that you have to take seriously because it can greatly influence your final grade. However, many students don’t ever receive formal instructions on writing, which makes the task vaguer and more difficult. If you are such a student, then you may be interested in this list of steps that will help you prepare for the task.
Make sure that the topic you choose is really interesting for you. Writing is going to take you quite a bit of time and if you are bored when you start, then by the end you will literally have to squeeze words out of yourself. A successfully chosen topic will keep you motivated throughout the work and allow you to complete it faster as well. To get inspiration for composing a strong topic, you can look through the syllabus, search the Internet, watch the news, or talk to your fellow students and teachers. The latter would certainly suggest some good ideas. They might not suit you but at least they may point you in the right direction.
Your sources of information should be numerous and diverse. First of all, you should visit a library to gain access to dozens of articles, books, essays, etc. A librarian may help you get references to the sources worth your attention and give you useful advice. As far as online resources are concerned, many university libraries now have online catalogs where you can see what their databases contain. Pay attention to the government document collections as well. These can provide you with a lot of raw data and statistics.
You may skip this step but it’s strongly recommended that you don’t. The point is that you will need the outline when writing in order to ensure that your ideas are coherent and your arguments don’t contradict each other. With the outline on your table, you will also see the places where you need to do more research or rectify some deficiencies in your approach to the topic.
Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to set about writing. It may not be easy to figure out what to begin with, but the best advice is that you should begin without procrastinating or worrying too much about the structure of your sentences, spelling, and so on. Just get off the ground and the work will proceed. Here are other tips that may help you:
Don’t shy away from asking other people for help in the process of writing. Speak to your instructor or writing assistant to ensure that you follow the right direction and don’t get muddled.
The idea is that you need a break to shift your perspective and get fresh eyes. After returning to the work, you’ll be able to better see what places need to be rearranged or rewritten.
Put yourself in the place of your reader and critically revise your rough draft. Make sure that everything in your study is clear to you and if something is not, write an explanation. Your reader shouldn’t be guessing, as guesses may be (and often are) incorrect. You may even need to delete some parts of your rough draft if you find them unsatisfactory.
Finally, you need to edit your term paper. The advice would be to read it out loud so that you can spot those sentences which grate on the ears and mark them. Obviously, you also shouldn’t forget about things such as including the bibliography and using the correct formatting.