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Term Paper: Step-by-Step Guide for Getting an A+

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Dr. Emily Norton
  • Icon Calendar 12 June 2024
  • Icon Page 6562 words
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Students in higher learning institutions must submit their term papers at the end of each semester. Fundamentally, these projects play a crucial role in evaluating the learner’s knowledge of a specific subject. In this case, scholars should engage in adequate preparation before writing a complete document. Then, some of the essential steps include defining a topic, finding credible sources, creating and revising a document’s outline, and drafting a term work. Moreover, an outline of such work differs from that of other essays since it must include subsections. Further on, writers must ensure all the subtopics relate to a central thesis statement. Besides, each body paragraph must contain a topic sentence, supportive proof, appropriate descriptions, and a concluding and transitioning statement. In turn, its conclusion must include a concise summary of the main points discussed in its body. As a result, this guide is designed to help students to learn how to write a correct term paper and achieve their academic goals successfully.

What Is a Term Paper and Its Purpose

According to its definition, a term paper is a comprehensive research assignment that students typically complete at the end of an academic year to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of a specific subject, taking a significant portion of their grade. The main purpose of writing a term paper is to assess and evaluate students’ skills to conduct independent research, analyze primary and secondary data, organize their thoughts coherently, support their arguments with evidence, and present their findings in a structured format (Phillips, 2018). To achieve this objective, learners must prepare such documents for them to succeed in their studies. Moreover, such an assignment refers to serious study work that they need to submit to their instructors at the end of a semester to pass their courses. On the other hand, professors use these types of papers to track and evaluate their students’ knowledge about their areas of expertise. Further on, the process of organizing a term paper involves comprehensive research and methodological writing skills and follows specific analytical and organized structures (Coreil, 2013). Besides, good term papers have well-researched evidence that supports significant claims. As such, learners in higher educational institutions prepare such works when reflecting on their knowledge in a specific study area. In turn, the length of a term paper can vary significantly in terms of words and pages, depending on the course, instructor, and academic level:

High School


  • Words: 1,500 to 2,500 words
  • Pages: 5 to 8 full pages

College (Undergraduate)


  • Words: 3,000 to 5,000 words
  • Pages: 10 to 15 full pages

University (Upper-Level Undergraduate)


  • Words: 4,000 to 6,000 words
  • Pages: 13 to 20 full pages

Master’s


  • Words: 5,000 to 7,500 words
  • Pages: 17 to 25 full pages

Ph.D.


  • Words: 7,500 to 10,000 words
  • Pages: 25 to 35 full pages
How to write a term paper

Term Paper Format

SectionDescription
Title Page· Title of a written document
· Student’s name
· Course name and number
· Instructor’s name
· Date
Abstract· A brief paper’s summary (usually 150-250 words)
· Highlights the main objectives, methods, results, and conclusions
Table of Contents (optional)· List of headings and subheadings with corresponding page numbers
Introduction· Introduces the topic
· Provides background information
· States the research question or thesis
· Outlines its structure
Literature Review· Reviews existing knowledge and literature related to the topic
· Identifies gaps in the current knowledge
Methodology· Describes the research methods used
· Explains data collection and analysis procedures
Results· Presents the findings of the study
· Uses tables, graphs, and charts to illustrate data
Discussion· Interprets the results
· Discusses the implications of the findings
· Relates the results to the research question or thesis
· Addresses limitations of the study
Conclusion· Summarizes the main points
· Restates the thesis in light of the findings
· Suggests areas for limitations or future research
References· Lists all primary and secondary sources cited in a written document
· Follows a specific citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard, and others)
Appendices (if necessary)· Includes additional materials, such as raw data, questionnaires, or detailed calculations

General formatting guidelines:

  • Font: Times New Roman, 12-point
  • Spacing: Double-spaced
  • Margins: 1-inch margins on all sides
  • Page Numbers: Top right corner, starting from the title page
  • Headings and Subheadings: Use consistent formatting for headings and subheadings

Possible Topics

Students in higher learning institutions may come across different topics for writing their term projects. In practice, study themes vary from one subject to another and require students to engage in detailed research (Phillips, 2018). Hence, possible topics that one may come across for writing their documents are:

  1. Influence of colors on mood and behavior.
  2. Exploring the impact of telemedicine in patient-centered care.
  3. Impacts of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance.
  4. Is there a cancer epidemic due to industrial chemicals in the environment?
  5. Should federal courts be bound by the “original intent” of the framers?
  6. Do foreign investments threaten U.S. economic independence?
  7. Should morality and human rights influence foreign trade policy?
  8. Do rich nations have a responsibility to help developing countries?
  9. Partnership benefits at state and federal institutions.
  10. Same-sex adoption and access to reproductive technologies.
  11. Partnership benefits at state and federal institutions.
  12. Execution of juveniles.
  13. The lengthy appealing process for death row inmates.
  14. The Constitutional question of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Different topics have a broad scope. Basically, themes given above show that students must carry out extensive research to provide a comprehensive response. On the other hand, they can decide on the content they include in their papers and give a comprehensive analysis of their subjects.

Step-by-Step Guide for Writing a Term Paper

Any student must prepare a final project to achieve desired grades and complete a study course. In this case, a good term paper typically ranges from 1,500 to 5,000 words of writing, depending on academic levels and specific course requirements. Besides, adequate preparation allows scholars to gather relevant evidence and draft their works effectively. To start a term paper, students begin with a clear and engaging introduction that provides background information on study topics assigned by their instructors, states their research questions or thesis statements, and outlines corresponding structures (Phillips, 2018). As a result, the necessary steps in writing a high-quality report that one should take into consideration when organizing an academic piece are:

Step 1: Preparation

Defining a Topic

Defining a specific subject for a project is the first and most crucial activity that any writer must consider. Fundamentally, describing a specific issue allows students to understand their course prompts and understand key ideas required to complete final projects. For example, a term paper in English literature is a comprehensive research assignment that involves analyzing, interpreting, and discussing a specific literary work, author, or theme, allowing instructions to evaluate students’ understanding and critical evaluation of the subject at the end of a semester (Coreil, 2013). To write an English term paper, students begin by selecting a relevant literary topic, conduct thorough research and analysis, create an outline, state a clear thesis statement, develop their arguments in structured sections, provide textual evidence and citations, conclude with a summary of their findings, and ensure to proofread and adhere to the required formatting guidelines. In this case, one must understand the meaning of essential terms with their context. Moreover, students should use resources, like a dictionary and thesaurus, to obtain the necessary definitions. In turn, they may opt to seek help from peers and lecturers when defining a topic for a research assignment.   

Preparing Ideas

Preparing ideas for any project leads to outstanding work. For example, students can identify all the relevant ideas and points that need to be covered before engaging in the actual writing process (Goodson, 2024). Unfortunately, many learners fail to consider preparing thoughts as an essential step when writing a term paper. As a result, they prepare low-quality essays and achieve low grades. In turn, students need to redo their projects to pass their classes. Hence, they should prepare initial ideas before organizing a term report by using acceptable methods.

Brainstorming

Scholars should consider brainstorming as an acceptable method to prepare ideas for a term paper. For example, brainstorming helps learners to come up with fresh and new facts for their writing. In this case, students think of the ideas that relate to their topics (Goodson, 2024). Moreover, the process generates unique ideas that can make one’s work to stand out. Hence, some ideas for brainstorming that one may use when preparing concepts and thoughts are:

  • Come up with bad ideas first – Learners should think about research concepts related to their topics. In this case, successful students do not consider raising positive thoughts during brainstorming. Instead, they need to present both good and bad ideas concerning their subjects. On the other hand, writers should not feel ‘stupid’ for raising bad ideas since the strategy helps identify weaker and more robust ideas. Then, one should allow ideas to flow during the brainstorming strategy. Besides, scholars should focus on raising positive opinions after exhausting throwaway thoughts. Hence, authors need to increase both bad and good ideas that relate to their topics under analysis.
  • Breaking and building ideas – One of the most effective strategies for turning a few ideas into many is to break them down. Principally, learners need to identify general writing themes that relate to a project and break them into smaller details. In this case, the process helps authors to see if some narrower ideas branch from their main themes. Alternatively, one may combine different ideas to create a broader subtopic for a document. Hence, writers need to break down more general concepts while combining narrow ones.
  • Play word games – Outstanding term projects contain original and unique ideas. For example, word games are instrumental tools that prevent learners from producing generic and unoriginal ideas. In this case, word games motivate some out-of-box thinking. Moreover, “word storm” is an excellent method for a student to generate related ideas. In turn, this method allows authors to create thoughts naturally without overthinking.
  • Creating a mood board – Learners should rely on writing methods that motivate them to generate fresh and unique ideas related to a research topic. For instance, combining imagery, color, and visual-spatial elements evokes emotions and feelings. and they spark fresh and new thoughts. In this case, students manage to recall some concepts acquired during learning by improving the overall paper’s quality.
  • Doodling – Successful students spur creativity insights and increase attention when generating essential ideas for a term report. Essentially, doodling allows a learner to engage with visuals that spark new thoughts. Furthermore, practical doodling approaches help authors to break out of the traditional brainstorming approaches, and they rely on reading and talking. In this case, learners should break visual objects into small objects or combine unrelated items. Hence, these approaches motivate the brain to generate unique ideas for supporting a central theme.
  • Changing a physical environment – Ordinary motivation plays a crucial role in the generation of new writing ideas. In this case, students should change their physical environment to avoid boredom. Basically, enriched and attractive environments affect how the human brain works and speed up how one generates new ideas and thoughts. Therefore, a successful learner can select the location for brainstorming effectively. 

Reading

Reading is an appropriate method that students may consider when generating ideas for term papers. For instance, reading is a traditional method, and writers use it to raise arguments related to a specific topic (Goodson, 2024). In this case, scholars must identify credible sources that relate to a study topic and read them to understand an assigned subject better before writing. This strategy plays a crucial in raising viable and accurate ideas about the project’s topic. However, scholars can take the necessary precautions since extensive reading is a tedious and monotonous process.   

Considering an Academic Audience

Different scholars read term papers for specific reasons. Basically, students must consider the target audience as academic readers to ensure articles meet their needs (Phillips, 2018). In most cases, scholars use the official language when writing and expressing thoughts. Moreover, formal language suits academic documents because it reveals professionalism and academic excellence.

Step 2: Setting Up the Stage

Researching for Sources

Terms papers must contain credible evidence obtained from academic sources. Essentially, scholars gather adequate evidence from different reliable sources, like books, journal articles, financial and laboratory reports, credible websites, and magazines (Hoogenboom & Manske, 2012). As a ground writing rule, all sources must provide adequate and irrefutable evidence to support the main arguments. In particular, one can find scholarly sources published in the last ten years because they contain the latest evidence and facts on issues under investigation. Hence, writers need to look for credible sources to support their main arguments.

Making Notes

Taking notes is a crucial step when writing term papers. Principally, scholars must read all the sources critically. In this case, the strategy allows one to understand the major concepts and ideas that relate to a research topic. Moreover, students should consider writing short notes to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding of the main messages made by authors of credible sources (Ecarnot et al., 2015). Then, successful scholars take notes and revise them to ensure they obtain the most substantial evidence that supports their research work. In turn, improving paper notes involves breaking broader ideas into smaller ones and combining others to make them stronger and more sensible. Therefore, students can take the necessary points to support their central ideas.    

Developing a Study Outline

Organizing thoughts plays a crucial role in preparing a quality document. Essentially, one should combine research notes obtained from scholarly sources and those gathered during brainstorming and put them into developing a term paper’s outline (Phillips, 2018). In this case, a well-organized outline helps writers to connect ideas. Moreover, this outline should contain a study topic with the main thoughts and concepts needed to be covered. Further on, clear outlines have smaller ideas that relate to the main ones. In turn, the strategy allows one to see direct connections between the main ideas and leads to an organized scholarly article. As a result, students should follow the basic writing steps below to create a clear outline:

  1. Organize notes and relevant evidence into groups of related ideas.
  2. Review a thesis statement to determine if it communicates the intended message.
  3. Define the main points to support a working thesis statement or research hypothesis.
  4. Include ideas and thoughts to strengthen the main points.
  5. Match supportive ideas with relevant sources obtained through research.
  6. Organize all the ideas to achieve a unique flow of information logically.
  7. Identify if some of the points presented need additional research and where thoughts require more development.
  8. Revise points and ideas to enhance the overall quality of a paper.

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

Successful scholars prepare annotated bibliographies that contain relevant and irrefutable research. Basically, each entry in an annotated bibliography for a document must include citation information with writing a short description and analysis (Coreil, 2013). In this case, scholars need to follow accepted citation styles, depending on instructions given by professors. Besides, an annotated bibliography must focus on a central topic of a term report. Students must ensure all sources remain relevant to their study topics. However, one should remember that typical annotated bibliography requirements may vary depending on the topic and term paper’s requirements. In turn, a useful annotated bibliography should help learners to keep track of research readings and gain a sense of a literature review. Hence, one needs to prepare a written annotated bibliography for a project when conducting research.

Step 3: Starting a Term Paper

Organizing a First Draft

First drafts of term papers help one to organize ideas in a good flow. Essentially, students should use their outlines and annotated bibliographies to write the first draft of a document (Coreil, 2013). In this case, scholars need to focus on presenting all the ideas in this draft. Further on, an appropriate draft enables one to test an outline and elaborate theories to support the central argument. As a result, good drafts resemble complete term reports. Finally, good drafts must contain a title page, abstract or executive summary, introduction, body, and conclusion with a reference page.

Putting Everything Together

A scholar should put all the ideas together into a complete term paper. For example, learners need to ensure a written document contains a logical flow of ideas (Goodson, 2024). In this case, the strategy enables students to identify some gaps in the presented concepts. Besides, putting everything together helps authors to identify some points that require more investigation.

Finding New Sources or Deleting Old Ones

Term papers must contain compelling ideas and arguments. For example, learners need to review their drafts to determine if all sources provide relevant and credible evidence (Hoogenboom & Manske, 2012). In practice, scholars change some sources that offer weak arguments. Besides, writers must remove previous scholarly sources with weak points of view or irrelevant information to a study since a research hypothesis may be changed during writing the first draft. Hence, one can change credible sources where necessary.

Altering an Outline

Learners should change their outlines of term papers to make such pieces more substantial and compelling. For instance, people must use their first drafts and new scholarly sources to make relevant changes in a term document’s outline (Coreil, 2013). Besides, the primary goal of this writing strategy is to strengthen study arguments and improve their clarity.

Creating a Working Thesis

Compelling term papers must contain well-organized thesis statements by considering research hypotheses and rationales. Fundamentally, scholars develop a working thesis statement, which includes the claim and significant points that scholars try to make (Gray, 2018). In this case, writers need to create a sentence that explains their positions taken on topics in question based on their hypotheses and rationales. Furthermore, lecturers evaluate all the body paragraphs and how they relate to the thesis and research question. In this case, one should use a revised outline, a written draft, and a completed annotated bibliography to create the working hypothesis and ensure it meets the necessary quality.

Step 4: Wrapping It Up

Revisions

Outstanding term papers contain minimal or no flaws. Essentially, learners must revise their drafts to remove all the mistakes. For example, some factors that one must consider are spelling and grammatical errors, various writing technicalities, and idea flow (Goodson, 2024). In this case, revisions play a significant role in improving the paper’s overall quality and ensuring readers develop the motivation to evaluate all its sections. Hence, students need to revise the first term project’s draft to remove unnecessary mistakes.  

Editing

Editing is an important task, and it helps authors to make term papers compelling. In particular, students focus on enhancing the readability and relevance levels of research (Coreil, 2013). Hence, when writing a term paper, one must consider:

  • Scholars can change the order of words during the editing process. In this case, the primary purpose of enhancing the term report’s euphony is to improve the rhythm and other dynamics. As a result, students can replace weak expressions to remove clichés and conversational writing style.
  • Effective editing helps authors to enhance the brevity of statements and claims made throughout a document. In turn, short and concise words sound better than long or wordy statements.
  • An effective editing process improves the honesty of claims made and evidence presented throughout a study work. In this case, term projects must include proven facts written in each paragraph. Moreover, one can specify scholarly sources of any data used in supporting topic sentences.
  • Good students edit their documents to improve the quality of their literacy levels. On the other hand, one must proofread the work to remove punctuation, spelling and syntax mistakes, and typos. Finally, this process requires reading a whole term document several times to identify all writing errors and correct them accordingly.

Topic Sentences

Every paragraph in the body of a term paper must begin with a topic sentence. For example, learners ensure each section dwells on a single point related to a central thesis statement (Goodson, 2024). Moreover, one needs to reread a written work to ensure all paragraphs have the necessary opening statements.

Concluding Sentences

Every paragraph of a term report must end with a concluding sentence. In this case, students need to summarize all ideas covered in a paper’s body section (Hoogenboom & Manske, 2012). Besides, last sentences of paragraphs should include writing a summative claim, which brings all the concepts and thoughts into a unique closure.  

Transitions

All ideas presented in a term document must have a unique transitioning of ideas. For example, writers should use the necessary phrases to transition sentences and paragraphs (Goodson, 2024). In particular, the approach improves the overall readability and flow of ideas in any paper. As a rule, each paragraph’s last sentence must act as a transition to the next section. Hence, readers need to find connections between all the paragraphs in a written report.

Formatting

Any learning institution requires students to follow specific formatting rules. In this case, learners must follow such guidelines when writing their term papers (Coreil, 2013). As a result, marking rubrics are useful tools that each learner needs to use to format their work.

Peer Reviewing

Peer review is an essential step in enhancing the term project’s quality. Mainly, one should identify scholars who are familiar with a study subject to read a written document. To achieve this objective, qualified scholars help students to identify some mistakes that may undermine the paper’s readability (Ecarnot et al., 2015). Besides, peers provide positive criticism, and this process allows students to make the necessary changes to their work.

Step 5: Writing a Final Draft

A term paper’s final draft must include all the changes made during revisions, editing, formatting, and peer review. In this case, scholars focus on submitting flawless documents that do not contain any forms of plagiarism (Hoogenboom & Manske, 2012). Besides, the written final draft must capture all the aspects covered during a research study with results, discussion, recommendations, limitations, and information for further analysis or investigation.

Basic Outline Template for a Term Paper

Cover Page with a Title

Abstract (150 words)

Table of Contents (if needed)

I. Introduction

A. Relevance of research

B. The purpose of a term paper or a discussed problem

C. Personal reaction to a study subject

D. Hypothesis and rationale

E. Short descriptions of methodology and key findings

F. Principal conclusions and thesis statement

II. Body

A. Literature Review (if needed)

  • Topic sentence
  • Evidence
  • Explanation
  • Concluding sentence and transition

B. Methodology

  • Topic sentence
  • Evidence
  • Explanation
  • Concluding sentence and transition

C. Results

  • Topic sentence
  • Evidence
  • Explanation
  • Concluding sentence and transition

D. Discussion

  • Topic sentence
  • Evidence
  • Explanation
  • Concluding sentence and transition

E. Recommendations and Limitations (if needed)

  • Topic sentence
  • Evidence
  • Explanation
  • Concluding sentence and transition

III. Conclusion

A. Summary of the main points

B. A strong response to a central thesis statement

C. A summative statement

Note: The presented structure for writing a term paper appears different since it contains some sections of a research paper, which are useful for any study, and includes various subheadings that relate to the main topic. Each subheading may have several body paragraphs. However, each paragraph must contain a topic sentence, a supporting example, and a relevant explanation.

Explanations for Key Aspects

Introduction

The introduction must state the primary purpose of a term project. Mainly, scholars ensure the first part of the work acquaints readers with a problem under discussion (Gray, 2018). Besides, one must include a compelling and robust thesis statement in this section. As a rule, introduction paragraphs should not take up a large part of an entire document. Hence, the introduction section must provide an overview of the whole work in a straightforward and precise writing manner. In turn, some examples of sentence starters for beginning a term paper are:

  • In recent years, the phenomenon of [topic] has gained notable attention due to its impact on [field or society].
  • This project explores the critical issue of [topic], aiming to understand its implications for [specific group or area].
  • The purpose of this examination is to investigate the underlying causes of [issue] and propose potential solutions, such as [solutions].
  • Understanding [topic] is crucial for [field] because it directly affects [specific outcome or process].
  • This research aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of [topic], focusing on [specific aspect].
  • This paper explores the historical context of [topic] and its relevance to modern-day issues.
  • Through a comprehensive review of [literature/field], this report seeks to examine the complex relationship between [concept A] and [concept B].
  • By exploring [topic], this analysis contributes to a deeper understanding of [field or discipline].
  • The evolution of [topic] over the past decade highlights the need for a thorough investigation of [specific aspect].
  • The purpose of this term project is to challenge the traditional understanding of [topic] by presenting new insights and perspectives, such as [points].

Body

The term document’s body must have different headings and subheadings that connect to the topic. In this case, scholars ensure the process of dividing a document into different sections enhances the clarity of the message (Ecarnot et al., 2015). Moreover, a suitable number of citations for a term paper generally ranges from 10 to 20, depending on the length and depth of the entire work, the topic’s complexity, and the specific requirements of the course and instructor. Finally, the writing strategy should not distract readers from appreciating the intended message.

Conclusion

The closing paragraph must restate the thesis statement included in the introduction. Essentially, students sum up the ideas presented in all the body paragraphs (Gray, 2018). Then, the most effective writing strategy that one may use is to restate all the topic sentences. Finally, authors provide a concluding statement, and it brings an entire study paper into a unique closure.

How to Write a Proposal for a Term Paper

A term paper proposal outlines the structure of the future work that scholars must complete. Principally, practical writing recommendations provide crucial elements that support the research process included in an actual paper. In this case, term proposals aim to constrict a wide area of interest into a complicated or specific topic (Coreil, 2013). Moreover, writers define the intention to discover a study issue and base their decision on the need to make changes, improve the condition of the matter, or advance scholarly knowledge in the specific area of interest. In turn, one needs to select essential parts of writing a term project and put them together in a unified format. Besides, one should briefly describe each section and tie key details to a chosen topic. Hence, a good term paper proposal must include the following parts:

  • Title – Any documentmust have a concise and brief title, and it should resemble that of an actual term paper.
  • Objectives – All proposals state a key goal of a future project and include its intended purpose on what it expects to achieve.
  • Research question – An outstanding proposal must state study questions, and scholars intend to answer them through adequate research.
  • Thesis statement – Propositions include a clear thesis statement that responds to the research question directly. In this case, a suitable thesis should be factual, clear, and subjective. Besides, one must ensure a central claim is a verifiable statement.
  • Methodology – Proposal documents state actual methods used to gather and evaluate the relevant data, including appropriate and proven methods to conduct a research study.

Possible Writing Formats

Different educational institutions require learners to use writing formats when preparing term papers. For example, the most common formatting styles that one may come across include MLA 9, APA 7, Harvard, and Chicago/Turabian. In turn, each of these formats has specific guidelines, and they are.

APA 7

Term papers formatted in APA 7 must contain a title page, which includes the relevant heading and identifies the student, date, and relevant institution. In this case, each page must contain a header, which consists of a shortened title of a term report and the specific page. However, the first page should have the phrase “Running Head” preceding the shortened title. In turn, in-text citations contain the author’s last name and publication date.

MLA 9

Projects formatted in MLA 9 do not require a cover page unless specified. In particular, writers include a header, which contains surnames and page numbers. Moreover, one must flush these writing details to the right margin of the page. In turn, all in-text citations must have the author’s last name and the exact page containing the evidence used.

Chicago/Turabian

Documents formatted in Chicago/Turabian must contain a title page, which has the title and identifies the author. Basically, one must capitalize all the letters in the heading. Moreover, page numbers begin on the second page and appear on the top right side. In turn, in-text citations appear as footnotes, which contain full bibliographic details of sources.    

Harvard

Reports formatted in Harvard style must contain a title page, which includes the title and other details identifying the student, professor or tutor, and the relevant institution. In particular, one must write the title in capital letters. Then, the paper’s header contains the title and page number. However, one must flush these details to the right margin. As a result, in-text citations include the author’s surname, publication date, and the page containing the relevant evidence.

Term Paper Example

Research Topic: Is the “war on terror” a global civil war?

Abstract

Scholars develop different conceptions of the term “war on terror.” Basically, some scholars argue that the United States uses the war on terror to control the weaker nations. In this case, the current research examined whether the war on terror is a civil war. Then, a review of relevant literature was an effective method of gathering the necessary data. In turn, study results show that the United States uses the war on terror to protect citizens’ rights, which proves the alternative hypothesis to be a valid statement.

Keywords: War on terror, hypothesis, and review of literature

I. Introduction Sample

The term war on terror became standard after the extremist attacks of September 11, 2001. Basically, President George W. Bush’s government confirmed a global campaign that involved open and secret military actions, new security lawmaking, and determinations to block extremism’s sponsoring, among other factors. In this case, the movement rallied for support from other countries, which willingly joined in the fight against terrorism. Although most scholars argue that the war on terror is an American strategy to control other countries, civil war theories prove otherwise.

Hypotheses:

H0 – The United States uses the war on terror to control other countries.

H1 – The United States uses the war on terror to protect the rights of its citizens.

II. Example of Body Paragraphs

A. Literature Review

Different theories of civil wars prove that persistent rebel groups that engage in criminal activities. For example, some of the civil war philosophies include motivation and feasibility, ideas of rebellion, organization of the uprising, and evidence of the causes, among other factors (Kimbrough & Sheremeta, 2019). In turn, these theories prove that civil war results from the emergence and persistence of a rebel army. Moreover, motivation and feasibility theories argue that rebels with excessive power engage in terrorism. Hence, persistent rebel groups engage in terrorism as a way of addressing their interests.

B. Methodology

A review of relevant literature is a suitable method for gathering the necessary data for the essay. According to Reale et al. (2017), a literature review is an effective method for gathering information for research papers in history and other social sciences. Therefore, reviewing scholarly sources related to civil war and terrorism will contribute to gathering the necessary data.

C. Results

Standard game theory shows that economic grievances lead to terrorism. According to traditional game theory, economic dissimilarities in the community motivate some people to engage in crime (Kimbrough & Sheremeta, 2019). In this case, the less productive but healthy groups tend to participate in violence against industrious but weak groups. Besides, such conflict levels undermine fairness, equity, or coercion, depending on the analyst’s political standpoint. Hence, economic grievances motivate some groups to engage in terrorism.

D. Discussion

Study findings show that the United States targets specific terror groups since their predatory behavior in a country or region leads to adverse economic and social outcomes. In this case, militant groups lead to redistribution through violence when productive and weak agents engage in defensive actions. Moreover, militant groups engage in activities that cause other people to reiterate. In turn, research results from such activities include reciprocated hatred that inflicts harm to innocent citizens. Hence, the United States participates in peacekeeping missions that can lower the negative impacts of such conflicts.

III. Conclusion Sample

Most scholars argue that the war on terror is an American strategy to control other countries. In this case, different theories on civil wars prove that terrorism results from grievances and economic interests of some specific groups. Moreover, such activities destabilize the economic and social welfare of ordinary citizens. Thus, citizens focus on such terror groups intending to protect citizens of the affected countries. 

List of References

Kimbrough, E. O., & Sheremeta, R. M. (2019). Theories of conflict and war. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 159, 384–387. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2019.02.007

Reale, E., Avramov, D., Canhial, K., Donovan, C., Flecha, R., Holm, P., Larkin, C., Lepori, B., Mosoni-Fried, J., Oliver, E., Primeri, E., Puigvert, L., Scharnhorst, A., Schubert, A., Soler, M., Soòs, S., Sordé, T., Travis, C., & Van Horik, R. (2017). A literature review on evaluating the scientific, social, and political impact of social sciences and humanities research. Research Evaluation, 27(4), 298–308. https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvx025

Comparison Table: Term Paper vs. Research Paper vs. Essay

AspectTerm PaperResearch PaperEssay
LengthTypically 1,500 to 5,000 wordsVaries between 500 to 10,000 wordsGenerally 500 to 2,000 words
PurposeDemonstrates understanding and knowledge gained over a specific courseExplores and answers a specific research question or hypothesisPresents and supports a specific argument or viewpoint
ResearchRequires extensive secondary researchRequires primary and secondary researchMay require some secondary research
StructureTitle page, abstract, introduction, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, referencesTitle page, abstract, outline, introduction, literature review, materials and methods, results, discussion, recommendations, limitations, conclusion, referencesIntroduction, body paragraphs, conclusion
ComplexityInvolves comprehensive analysis and synthesis of informationIncludes detailed analysis and covers original researchLess complex, focuses on developing a clear argument
DurationCompleted over the end of a semesterCan last from several months to yearsCompleted in a shorter time frame, and, sometimes, as a single writing assignment
Depth of AnalysisIn-depth analysis and critical thinkingHighly detailed analysis, may include original findingsFocuses on a single argument or perspective
FormatFormal, follows academic writing, formatting, and citation rules (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard, and others)Formal, strict adherence to academic writing, formatting, and citation rulesLess formal, but still follows academic writing standards for structure and citations
ScopeCovers multiple aspects of a topicCan be broad or very specificNarrow focus on a particular topic or question
ReferencesExtensive bibliography or reference list requiredExtensive bibliography, includes both primary and secondary sourcesLimited number of references, depending on the assignment requirements
AudienceAcademic audience, mainly covering instructors and peersAcademic audience, including scholars and researchersAcademic or general audience, depending on the topic

Key Remarks. The main differences between a term paper and an essay are that the former involves in-depth research and analysis on an assigned topic over a specific course, being longer and more detailed, while the latter presents a focused argument or viewpoint on a particular subject, resulting in a shorter and less comprehensive writing piece. Moreover, the main differences between a term paper and a research paper are that the former demonstrates a better understanding and knowledge gained after completing a course, often summarizing existing research, while the latter explores and answers a specific study question or hypothesis, usually involving original research and detailed analysis. In turn, a term paper and a thesis paper are not the same because the former is a comprehensive writing assignment completed over a course to demonstrate a deep understanding of a specific subject, while the latter is a lengthy, original research project required for a graduate degree, solving an existing knowledge gap and presenting new findings or insights through writing.

Common Mistakes

  • Lack of an Accurate Thesis Statement: Failing to establish a clear, concise thesis statement shows your lack of focus and direction in your term paper.
  • Poor Organization: A disorganized structure can make your arguments hard to follow because you need to ensure your document has a logical flow of ideas with clear headings and subheadings.
  • Insufficient Research: Relying on too few sources or not incorporating different perspectives can weaken your writing project since comprehensive research is crucial.
  • Ignoring Guidelines: Not following the assignment writing guidelines or the specified format (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard, and others) can result in losing marks.
  • Weak Introduction and Conclusion: An ineffective introduction may fail to engage readers, and a weak conclusion can leave your report feeling incomplete.
  • Plagiarism: Failing to properly cite sources or presenting others’ works as your own can have serious academic consequences, and you must always cite your sources correctly.
  • Inconsistent Argumentation: Presenting contradictory arguments or failing to support your claims with evidence can undermine your project’s credibility.
  • Grammatical and Spelling Errors: Poor grammar and spelling mistakes can distract your readers and detract them from the quality of your work, suggesting you need to proofread your writing carefully.
  • Overuse of Quotations: Relying too heavily on direct quotes can make your paper seem like you lack original analysis, and you need to paraphrase sentences where possible and use quotes sparingly.
  • Not Revising and Editing: Submitting your first draft without revising can result in a document full of writing errors and weak arguments, and you must always take some time to revise and improve your work.

Summing Up

Term projects refer to research assignments completed by learners toward the end of educational semesters. The fastest way to write a term paper is to start with a clear outline, conduct focused research, develop a strong thesis statement, draft the work section by section without worrying about perfection, and then revise and proofread for clarity and accuracy. In this case, students must ensure their documents meet the necessary quality since they track and evaluate one’s knowledge. Hence, when writing a term paper, one should remember:

  • Rely on comprehensive research and methodological writing skills.
  • Include analytical and organized structures.
  • Present well-researched evidence and support significant claims.
  • Consider various paper formatting strategies as required by learning institutions.

References

Coreil, C. (2013). Term papers and academic writing: Setting new parameters, for undergraduates, graduate students; Self-study and use with a teacher. Infinity Publishing.

Ecarnot, F., Seronde, M.-F., Chopard, R., Schiele, F., & Meneveau, N. (2015). Writing a scientific article: A step-by-step guide for beginners. European Geriatric Medicine, 6(6), 573–579. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurger.2015.08.005

Goodson, P. (2024). Becoming an academic writer: 50 exercises for paced, productive, and powerful writing. Sage.

Gray, J. A. (2018). Introduction sections: Where are we going and why should I care? AME Medical Journal, 3, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.21037/amj.2018.12.03

Hoogenboom, B. J., & Manske, R. C. (2012). How to write a scientific article. The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 7(6), 512–517. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3474301/

Phillips, R. (2018). Term papers: An informal guide. Independently Published.

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