General Academic Writing Instructions: Term Paper Format Examples

Before a student can get a good grade on their essay, they must figure out how to format it properly. From thinking of a topic to conducting research, there are many steps that students must take before they can finish an essay. Some templates can be found online that can be used as examples of the proper format.

Selecting a Topic

Students must have a topic in mind before they begin researching it. Although the thesis may change over time, the student should have a fairly clear idea of what they want to do. Before choosing an exact topic, students should visit the library to make sure that there are research materials available on the subject. Likewise, the student will want to make sure that their topic is fairly narrow. Writing about the Civil War adequately would take several books, but the student could write an essay on the Emancipation Proclamation within the required word length. Choosing an original, specific topic will help ensure that the student is able to complete a high-quality paper.

Extensive Research

After choosing a topic, students need to start researching it. To make the writing process easier, research should begin as soon as possible. In addition to using primary and secondary sources, students should also utilize background information about the topic.

At some point, the student will need to use their research notes to create a term paper and a bibliography. Taking strong notes during the research process will speed up the completion of the paper. To stay organized, students should try using note cards for each quote or piece of information. These note cards should contain all of the bibliography information and the page number that the quote was found on.

Prepare for Outlining

Before an architect builds a house, they start with several drafts of the design. In writing, the outline is like a draft. It provides a road map for completing the document. By using an outline, students can make sure that their argument is developed logically and thoroughly. Although the outline may change during the writing process, the general structure will remain the same.

When creating an outline, students should write out the introduction and conclusion. The paragraphs between the introduction and conclusion will make up the body of the paper. This section will be used to build up an argument gradually through analysis and research. For the paper to make logical sense, the outline must be well-developed.

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