Term Paper Writing — Format and Outline Tips for College Students

Academic writing is an essential part of the educational process, especially at the university or in college. If you enter a higher educational institution, you will face writing a term paper at the end of the college term.

Of course, you might find it stressful and fiendishly difficult. And it is natural to feel that way! If it's your first time writing a term paper, you may face some serious challenges. Research paper writing involves having technical writing skills, analytical thinking, and thorough research experience. Also, it is a time-consuming assignment that takes a large part of your final course grade.

So if you want a great term paper and high grades, you may seek a paper writing service like us to get professional help. Getting the assistance that will save your time and guarantee good grades is better than spending hours on the mindless research of the issues you do not understand.

But, if you're still set on battling this task yourself, let us give you a few professional tips. Before you dive deep into the writing process, let's first define the subject of our discussion.

Term Paper Definition

A term paper is a long report or a research paper written by a student as a major writing assignment on a topic drawn from the course subject matter, studied throughout a college semester.

It takes much more than a couple of hours spent on finding relevant information and noting down several lines in a doc. For your convenience, we'll break down the writing process into easy steps to help you write a college-level paper fast and without extra effort.

Here are some tips for crafting an A-grade college term paper from scratch.

1. Choose the topic of your paper wisely

Here, you will have two options — either your professor gives you the list of research topics or you get to choose it by yourself. When given the latter option, plan everything well.

Make sure the topic you are choosing fulfills the objective of your course and is interesting to you. If you're passionate about it, researching and writing process will be easier and more fun.

However, consider the following when picking out a topic.

  • Available resources
    Search for the available resources on the topic in your library (school, college, or community). Check out online research resources to make sure you will have enough books or other materials required for reference.
  • Desirable length
    Check how long the term paper should be and how many words are required. This will help you decide how broad or narrow your subject will be. Pay attention that if your topic is too broad, your research paper is likely to fail since it will look like a general overview. Make sure you narrowed your topic to a certain aspect or idea.
  • Manageable complexity
    Be sure that you will be able to explain the topic you've chosen regardless of its complexity. Have your professor explain some areas you don't understand. Feel free to contact our team of experts for any assistance.

2. Make time for profound research

As you are familiar with your subject matter, it's time to dig deeper into the topic. You may use both primary (original text, legal case, interviews, experiment, etc.) and secondary (interpretations and explanations of the primary source by other people) sources. You can also discuss your topic with like-minded students or check online forums to make up new ideas. Mind that these discussions are just for idea-sharing and should never be treated as a reputable source of information. Take time to browse through similar college term papers to get a better idea of the research issue. Don't forget to make notes to keep the necessary information at hand.

3. Develop a term paper outline

Your research was fruitful enough, and now you have tons of ideas. But, you need to organize them to be able to focus on your writing. That is why you will need an outline. Draw up a mind map or use any other method to get your own ideas in one place and see the connections between the concepts you are going to dwell upon. It will help you finalize your thesis and create a working outline that will serve as your map and keep you focused.

To support your thesis statement, think about the key points you'll need to cover. You can use them as subheadings for the body of your work. Use your notes to organize the information under each sub-heading.

The outline of the paper may vary. However, make sure you follow the term paper format required by your academic adviser. Here is only a sample of a layout:

  • Title Page
    This is the first page of the paper where you should mention the title of the report, your name, your course instructor's name, department and submission date.
  • Acknowledgment
    This is the second page of the term paper. It includes your inspiration and other relevant mentions.
  • Content
    It comprises a complete list of chapters with their respective page numbers. You should also add pages for figures and diagrams included.
  • Abstract
    This part provides an overview (or quick summary) of the paper as well as the methods of the research, hypotheses, and results.
  • Literature Review
    This chapter contains a review of the studies that have already been conducted on the same topic.
  • Methodology
    A detailed explanation of your research methods and experimental approaches.
  • Results
    The section concludes findings from your research and shows whether the hypotheses are true or false.
  • Recommendations
    It suggests ideas for future research of the same topic.
  • Reference List
    Put down all your resource materials in alphabetical order.

4. Get familiarized with the format

Determine the recommendations for writing your scientific report with your scientific leader. Make sure you know how to use citations to avoid plagiarism. APA or MLA citation styles are the ones most commonly used in this type of task.

  • APA (American Psychological Association) is a format for social sciences. You should specify the name of the author, book's title, publication year, publisher, and location.
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) format is generally used in liberal arts and humanities. You will need to mention the publication name, date, and location.

Pay special attention to your wording and sentences themselves. Keep to a simple rule — the fewer words, the better. Be short and precise but ensure you're not cutting out primary data to fit the required word count.

5. Draft and edit your first sample

Once you are done with writing your draft, proofread it for logical, grammatical, or spelling errors. Run your spell checker to fix spelling or grammar mistakes. Do not leave such errors for the professor — you need them to give you some when you need it, not correct your apostrophe use.

Do not neglect your term paper as it can either give you a great grade or undermine those you accumulated during the academic term. Following these tips will make your writing experience easier and more successful.

Alternatively, if you need any help with your writing or want the A-level term paper to be written for you, let our experts do their job. Dedicate more time to subjects you like without compromising your term paper grade.