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Term paper in a nutshell: viewpoints, suggestions and tricks

There are many students who when given an essay are filled with dread. ‘I don't know anything about the topic’. ‘I'm not very good at writing’. ‘I don't know where to find research material and information to support any arguments I make’. ‘My background in getting a high score when writing essays is not good’.

All of this is down to attitude. By changing your attitude and being positive you give yourself a much better chance of writing a quality essay. Let's start with viewpoints.

What is your stated viewpoint?

Until you can specifically enunciate the answer to this question you are in trouble. On the other hand if you can simply explain your stated viewpoint, you're well on the way to creating a quality term paper. Once you know you viewpoint you have to go about supporting it. You have to assume that you ask the question, which is often the case in writing a term paper, and the rest of the document is going to be taken up with you providing the answer. And how well you create the answer will determine the score you receive for your term paper. If this means using quotations and referring to reliable authorities then you are doing yourself a power of good.

  • Structure is everything

    You need to understand the tried and tested method of a well-known structure of the term paper. Not only do you need to know the various components of the structure, you need to know what each component has to do. For example the introduction has to be short. Overwriting is rarely good. You're there to whet the appetite of the reader. You are there to tell them what is to follow in the rest of your term paper. Know the purpose of the introduction and writes it simply.

  • Facts And Paragraphs

    Note that each fact paragraph should really have only one main point. You can have a number of minor points in each fact paragraph but only one major one. Don't create a messy term paper. The easier it is to understand the greater your chances of doing really well. And whatever you do with the conclusion, don't add any new ideas or material. You may recall the points you made in previous paragraphs. All you're doing in the conclusion is writing a summary of what has gone before. And again, like the introduction, avoid over writing.

  • Start each paragraph the same way

    I don't mean use the same words but I do mean reinforce the fact that you are about to answer, even in a new and different way, the question you have asked at the beginning in the introduction. By reinforcing the simplicity of your argument you are reminding the reader -- in this case probably your teacher or an examiner -- that you are on top of the topic. Writing well but not to the point gets you the same score as somebody who writes badly. Not only do you have to write well you have to address the question being asked. And remember you asked the question in the first place so you are the best person to provide the answer. Waffle and writing away from the topic are serious crimes in producing a term paper.

  • Quotations can be good and bad

    Using the right type of quotation is good. Using a limited number of quotations is good. Anything else is bad. You might think that you will impress the examiner by putting in loads of quotations. Wrong. Less is more and certainly the relevance is vitally important. Just because the person whose work you are quoting is a highly revered person doesn't mean that what they have to say is relevant to the term paper you are writing.