What Is a Term Paper?
Sooner or later, every student has to submit a term paper that his/her GPA depends on heavily. Given this assignment, usually before the end of the term, students begin to wonder: what is a term paper in general? Well, it is a research paper that enables your teacher to evaluate your knowledge and skills over an academic term. The topic of your term paper can be either stated by your teacher or left for your consideration.
If you are allowed to choose, you should narrow down your preferred subject of interest to a topic that can be clearly developed in ten pages, which is the typical length for a term paper.
Everything is quite clear so far. But what is the term paper structure?
This question is not so easy to answer because the structure depends on what approach you choose for your research.
Term Paper Formats
Students are sometimes confused because all these online tutorials and guidelines for term paper writing seem to contradict each other and pertain to quite different pieces of academic writing. There is no mistake here; the point is that your term paper can be formatted in two ways: either it is an argumentative research paper or a scientific research report. The former format is more common for the Humanities, whereas the latter is typical for Technical and Mathematical Sciences.
When you deal with the argumentative research, it is quite simple: your purpose is to argue a point, stated in your thesis, and to back it up with sufficient evidence.
Your paper will consist of three parts like any essay does. In the body you have to provide at least three bulletproof arguments and illustrate them with facts and statistics for your viewpoint to be considered tenable. Every major argument has to comprise one subunit of your body. It should also contain some minor arguments as long as they are relevant.
This format calls for some research both of primary and of secondary sources that you should remember to cite properly.
The scientific research report is more specific. It has to describe an experiment that you conduct by yourself. In this case, your term paper will comprise of such units as Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion.
- The Methods
section provides all the techniques that you use to investigate the subject
- The Results
section is where you tell about your findings.
Discussion section is the largest: it focuses on the interpretation of your
data and appeals to other researches that either support or contradict your
Conclusion should summarize your main points and outline the prospects of
Before getting started, make sure that you know what term paper format is required for your course.
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