Best Tips for Writing a Term Paper

Best Tips for Writing a Term Paper

As you may already know, a term paper is a research paper written by a student over the course of a semester or academic term.  It can be a tremendous undertaking to write a quality term paper, and it usually counts for a significant portion of any student’s grade.  Considering this is such an important element to an overall grade, it’s important to do as much as possible in order to get high marks.  Here are some best tips for writing a term paper to keep you on the winning track.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Before you dive into writing an epic term paper, be prepared for long hours ahead.  Writing a paper over the course of your semester that counts for half or more of your grade is obviously going to take a lot of time and research.  Because this is an ongoing assignment, you’ll have to schedule a time to work on it in between jobs, other school projects, social obligations, etc.  Consider getting a calendar or scheduling app for your phone or computer.  Then, program dedicated blocks of time to commit to working on your paper.  Keeping a firm schedule devoted to your paper will help you avoid procrastination because waiting until the last minute to write your piece can end in disaster.

Make an Outline

It might seem like a no-brainer, but creating an outline for your paper is crucial to staying on-point and focused.  A basic outline includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. This may seem oversimplified, but you can elaborate your outline by including headers, subheaders and create notes in the body sections about what you’re trying to convey.

Research Tips

In today’s modern age, research is as easy as a click of a button.  The internet and search engines have made research a breeze.  However, in spite of what most might believe, Google is not the almighty of information.  There are other resources available other than the internet that can yield outstanding results for your term paper.  For example, libraries are a phenomenal source of material that cannot be found online. 

Depending upon your subject matter, you may also consider visiting local historical sites or museums for deep research and insights.  Additionally, think about doing an interview with an expert on the topic you’re writing about.  There’s nothing better than getting information from a seasoned pro who has “been there, done that.” 

This isn’t to say you should eliminate the internet altogether.  You can still search text in PDF documents and cite useful websites online to clarify your point of view. The goal here is to have a wide range of resources so you can submit a well-rounded paper for a top-notch grade.

Stay Organized and Save Often

Term papers require meticulous accounting of sources, details, dates, and authors mentioned throughout the paper.  This can get confusing over time.  Make life easier for yourself by keeping a separate notebook and handwriting references down.  This may seem old school, but laptops are not infallible.  Crashes happen, and your resources could be lost if stored on your computer.  Keeping an off-site notebook of valuable information might help you resurrect a term paper that got lost during a computer meltdown. On that note, be sure to save your work always and often.  Take advantage of Microsoft Word hacks like setting it to auto-save every five minutes or less.  This could potentially save you a lot of grief in the event of a technology glitch.


Again, this may seem like an obvious tip to writing a term paper, but proofreading is essential.  Think about double-checking your work as you go instead of waiting until the entire paper is finished and then reviewing it.  Doing this may help you with new ideas or prompt you to flesh out a certain concept in the paper.  So do yourself a favor and proofread as you go as well as give it a critical overview once it’s complete.  You may even go a step further and give your paper to a peer or mentor so he or she can review it and perhaps provide constructive criticism.

At the end of the day, writing a term paper takes a lot of time and research, but it doesn’t have to be a killjoy.  If you take the steps to prepare and plan your paper properly, you’re setting yourself up for a successfully written paper that should earn you a high grade.

Leave a Comment