How to Write a Term Paper

How to write a term paper

No student would love a C grade after spending hours trying to put their term paper together. The goal is an A+ grade, and anything less is not welcome. But, the truth remains that so many students do not know how to write a brilliant paper. Even when they think they do, in the end, the result amazes them. So, what is the secret to writing an A+ term paper?

We’ll tell you in this article. Writing a term paper can be difficult. However, we’re committed to breaking the processes down for you step by step. That way, when you follow this guide, you rest assured that your result will match the energy you put in. If along the way, you need any help with your paper, be sure to contact us. Our professional writers at Grade Amplifier offer different writing services; from excellent paper writing to dissertation writing services in the USA.

What is a Term Paper?

Teachers and professors assign a term paper in school, at the end of the semester. This paper often takes the form of a research paper or a report. The aim is to test the knowledge of the students on a particular course. The student presents an original work that discusses a topic or argues a point in detail. Regardless of the subject or discipline, this paper influences your final score in a subject.

Good research skills, planning, and writing know-how are essential for creating a remarkable paper. When writing a term paper, it must be well-organized, researched, analyzed, and formatted. That way, you can prove the understanding of a subject with all the details you provide.

For each subject, there may be different requirements on how to write the term paper. Depending on the course, the format for the term paper will vary. For instance, the way you format a term paper in History will differ from the way you format in Psychology. In this guide, we’ll give a standard approach on how to write a brilliant term paper, irrespective of the subject.


Before Writing a Term Paper

The first thing before you start writing or researching is to understand your assignment. Many students do not read the instructions thoroughly, then wonder why they fail or have such low grades. Set out time to read the instructions carefully. Go through the prompts and other materials the instructor may provide. As you go through the assignment, highlight vital keywords. You can also take notes, so you don’t miss any essentials. Be sure you understand what the teacher wants you to do. If you’re not sure about the requirements, you can seek clarifications from the teacher. Once you comprehend what you’re to do, you’re all set and can decide what to write about for your paper.


Select your Topic

Your instructor may provide a list of topics to choose from along with the instructions. But, if you have the opportunity to select, you need to take advantage of it and be ingenious.

  • First, remember to choose a topic that relates to the objectives of your course of study. Of course, that’s a no-brainer, but some persons make this mistake often. Read magazines, blogs, journals, articles, and websites to get ideas on what topic to discuss.
  • Also, your topic should be of interest to you. There are a thousand topics to write on, but you can narrow them down by identifying areas that draw your attention. You probably have a lot of questions about, say gender inequality. Narrow down your selection to topics that address gender inequality. If a topic piques your interest, it’ll be easier to research and write on it.
  • Furthermore, after you choose a general topic, try to break it down to focus on a particular area. A broad topic will have a lot of information available, and in the long run, you’ll be confused about what approach to take. For instance, if you decide to write on gender inequality, you can narrow your topic down by discussing discrimination in politics or sports.
  • Finally, be sure the topic has a lot of published materials you can work with when writing. It may be of interest to you, but if there are no resources to help you write on it, choose another one. Also, the resources should provide sufficient knowledge and must be of reach.  

Conduct a Research

The next step after choosing a topic is to do your research. The research aims to find resources that will provide you with adequate information. Most students may want to start writing before doing their research. In as much as there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s not the best approach. Research before writing will help you understand the basis of the topic and what grounds other authors covered. You don’t want to write a term paper that doesn’t provide new insights about a topic. Your writing shouldn’t merely echo general knowledge, and good research will help you avoid this.

Work towards analyzing the information you get from your sources. Are there new ways you can approach this topic? Are these resources helpful in amplifying your idea? During your research, be sure to use both primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are original works of the authors, while secondary sources are other people’s interpretations of the author’s work.

Here are some tips to help you conduct excellent research:

  • Research on your topic thoroughly. As you read each material, study how the author discusses the subject and their main points. Also, be open to discovering new and different viewpoints. Then, you can decide which of the materials to use for your paper.
  • Highlight any part of the text that you can use in your paper. Also, make notes or annotate on the margin so you can come back to it later. If you don’t make notes while reading, it’s easy to miss important pieces of information.
  • You can use your own words when noting. Don’t copy the author verbatim on your notes. It’s best to write down important points and details in your own words. That way, you’ll understand the text and retain the information.
  • You can use sources like Wikipedia to gain background knowledge about a topic. But don’t cite them as your sources or use the information in your paper.
  • Use reliable sources to get the information you use in writing your paper. Examples of reliable sources include academic journals, educational resources, magazines, and other professional materials.
  • Be sure to ask your instructor or an expert for help if there are complications. If you need clarifications on how to write a topic, your professor can offer some explanations. The public or school librarian can also help you with essential materials you may not find by yourself.

Form your Thesis Statement

After you’ve chosen a topic, and conducted your research, it’s time to form a thesis. A thesis is your opinion and the main idea of the paper. It helps your reader understand what you’ll be discussing and what they’re about to learn. This statement is the idea you’ll defend throughout the paper with your body paragraphs and conclusion. It should be precise and definitive. Don’t be afraid to express new viewpoints.

Also, be flexible with your thesis statement. It doesn’t have to be a perfect thesis the first time. You can always go back to it and make amends as you write. If the thesis statement doesn’t align with the idea in your paper, you should change it. However, don’t go on trying to change the theme and thesis of your term paper. You must make up your mind on what your term paper is about after a few changes. Remember, you don’t have all the time.

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Create a Term Paper Outline

An outline is a roadmap that will guide the direction of your writing. The instructor might ask that you submit your term paper outline before you start writing. If the teacher provides a guideline or set of instructions for outlining your paper, you should follow it.

On the other hand, the instructor may not provide any guideline or require that you submit an outline. In that case, you should go ahead and create one, to help structure your paper. 

The outline you develop will serve as a helpful guide when writing. Some students proceed and skip this step. Along the line, they figure their term paper has no organization whatsoever.

How you develop your outline depends on your preferred method of writing. Start by thinking about the subject you’ll discuss. What is the best way possible to organize your thoughts and present your arguments? Generally, an outline for a term paper has the following parts: introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.


The introductory paragraph is what influences your reader. Try to make it as engaging as possible. Your introduction should give the reader an overview of your paper, and spur them to go ahead and read it. Because of that, you shouldn’t include extra information or make the introduction longer than it should be. You don’t have to give out all the details here. The idea of an introduction is to serve an “appetizer” to your audience while they expect the main ideas.

Writing an introduction can be difficult. Here’s a general guideline that can help you write a strong one:

Start with a Compelling Hook: A good introduction will grab the attention of the reader. Begin by stating an interesting fact, quote, or statement that highlights the significance of your topic. You can also use a question that relates to your thesis. That way, the reader will be curious to find out the answer in your paper.

Background Description: Go ahead and introduce the subject clearly and concisely. This part of your introduction also tells the reader the background and relevance of your topic. Here, you can provide context to your thesis and the goal of your paper. Be straightforward and specific.

Thesis Statement: Write your thesis statement afterwards. The previous section of this guide describes what a thesis statement is.


Each section of the body paragraphs should provide new evidence that supports your thesis. Use your notes and research materials in writing this section. Try to organize your idea in a logical sequence so the reader can understand the flow of your thoughts.

One of the ways to write this section is to start with a topic sentence, then add supporting pieces of evidence. The topic sentence should introduce the main idea of each paragraph. To make the writing process easier, draft a list of topic sentences for each section. When writing, elaborate on them and provide more details for backup. The number of body paragraphs depends on the given instruction.


The conclusion is the last part of your outline. After writing your body sections, you should summarize the main points. Don’t repeat everything in your body paragraphs; only describe the results and summary of your research.

You can restate your thesis statement, include relevant details, and leave the reader with a final sentence to ponder.

Your conclusion shouldn’t have any new information or thought. Always stay within the limit of the points you discuss in the body part. However, you can prompt the reader to continue research on the subject.

Standard Format for a Term Paper

The format for your term paper will depend on the course of study. However, a typical term paper will have the following structure:

Title Page 

This page is separate from the rest. It should include the title of your term paper, your name, the course, instructor’s name, and date.


Here, you describe the subject of your paper and your inspiration for the topic. You can include other introductory information.

Table of Contents 

This section includes the headings and page numbers. It will help for easy navigation of the paper’s content.


The abstract gives an overview or summary of your main ideas. You should state the issue you’ll be addressing and the findings of your paper.


This part provides complete information about the subject. You should explain the significance of the topic and state the hypothesis surrounding it.

Literature Review 

This section includes a review of previous studies on your subject. Discuss the relevant research works that helped you in creating your methodology for the paper.


Mention and explain your research methodologies and procedures.


This section aims to reveal all the information about the findings of your work. It also shows whether the hypotheses about the topic are correct.


The reference page is where you list all the sources you cite in your paper. Always put them down in alphabetical order.

After the references, you can include another section for all the additional information in your text. This section can be the Appendix. Include images, abbreviations, graphs, tables, and other materials here.

Select a Citation Style

When writing a term paper, choose and adhere to a citation style. Your research paper assignment will likely state which formatting style to use. 

The main citation styles in academic writing are APA, MLA, and Chicago styles. The APA format is for social sciences, education, and engineering. MLA is common for liberal arts, while Chicago is for humanities or History. Your instructor will assign a style to you. But if he or she doesn’t, you can ask or choose a citation style appropriate for your field.

For each writing style, there’s a different rule on how to reference and format your paper. You must stick to only one writing style all through, to the end of term paper. Trying to mix formatting styles from different guides is an expressway to fail your paper.

You can find resources and important information about the style you’re working with online.


An academic paper certainly stands out when you use quotes from authors to prove your points. However, using a lot of them in your term paper takes recognition from you to the authors. Your readers want to know what you think about the topic, not what the authors are saying. Use the evidence to support your points, and not the other way round.

Editing your Paper

Before you submit, you need to be sure your paper is well-written. Go through your writing and check if you meet the requirements stated in the assignment. After that, go ahead and proofread. You may have brilliant ideas for your essay, but when it’s not well-written, it irritates the instructor, and your grade suffers.

To impress your instructor, you must correct every grammatical mistake and double-check your expressions. Ask someone to read your essay and help you identify grammatical errors.

Aside from editing for grammar, you should also check if your organization is perfect. Are there ways to make your paper easier to understand? Make the necessary changes before you submit your term paper. Finally, don’t wait until the last minute before you start writing or editing. Always plan to beat the deadline.

Need a Writer’s Help?

If writing a term paper is a difficult task, and you’re struggling with yours, you don’t need to worry. We have professional writers at Grade Amplifier that offer the best essay writing service in the USA. You can always contact a writer and get professional assistance.

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