Term Paper Writing Tutorial for High School Students

How does a term paper differ from a research paper? Lots of students ask this question. The answer is a term paper is usually a more challenging type of research paper that students are given a whole term (semester, quarter, or nine weeks—whatever the terms are of your courses) to put together because of its length, scope, or difficulty.

So, think of your term paper assignment as a research paper that you want to make sure is perfectly formatted, with perfect structure, spelling, and grammar skills throughout. Basically, a term paper should be a showcase of your insights, combined with your talents for writing and research as well.

The Research Phase—Big Folder and Stapler REQUIRED

The first thing you want to begin doing for a project of this nature is to gather your research and begin organizing it. What is important is that over a period of time like this, it is easy to misplace that perfect block quote or piece of evidence for your argument because things might get lost over a long period of time. What I would do is get yourself a large, expandable folder to keep all the documents you print out at the library.

Here is one very important tip—every time you print out a scholarly article of any kind, staple a print out of all the publication materials on it you will need for your works cited page. **Make a note to write down the database, for example EBSCOHOST, that you collected them from on this print out because sometimes that information is not included in the citation info that you print.

Also, briefly note in your own words why this article is important to your study or you will forget later—for example: “Has important study of vertebrates on page 6.”

Next, The Writing Phase

The great thing about a paper of this length is that it is typically in APA format (or MLA format) – both use headers—which is very beneficial for long papers. Headers allow students to divide the paper into very short, doable sections without having to create those challenging transitions as you leap from your research to your insights that are often the most challenging part of writing. You can have headers with as little as two paragraphs under them.

And you can write two paragraphs easy! So get started early on this. Write your introduction today or the initial phase of your research paper and you’ll see that this will be an easy project – one that can grow a little every week until its finished.

Writing Tips