Choose a subject you will enjoy researching for several weeks. You may have a list of suggested topics or you may be asked to develop one of your own.
a topic that is too broad or unmanageable. On the flipside don’t choose something that is too focused that you can’t find enough material. Choose something middle of the road.
Now that you have focused subject, it’s important you select just a single topic to emphasize your work on. Imagine increasing the intensity of a microscope.
College courses are a lot different from the education you get in high school. Assignments are a lot more difficult and demand more of your time and concentration. Term papers, in particular, are hard because they usually take up an entire semester to complete and count for a major part of your grade. Writing great term papers take practice, but here are some easy hints for students who are just starting out with this kind of assignment:
At this point you are ready to develop your point of view or draft thesis statement. You may find that later as you read further your research and begin developing an outline, your draft thesis will change. This is okay. At this point you just want some idea to guide you as you start research.
Bibliographies are lists of sources (i.e., journal articles, books, reports, etc.) that relate to a specific subject. It’s a good idea to prepare a preliminary list of sources because it will help you gather a lot of the information you will need in your paper, it’ll help you figure out how much material is available on your topic, and it will get you a head start on your final bibliography.
Though this step is not particularly necessary, it’s certainly good to follow if you are new to writing term papers. A working outline will help you develop your ideas and provide you some direction as to how you will carry out your research and how your paper will be formatted.
Begin your research and take thorough notes on your topic. Collect quotes, stats, ideas and any other details that express what you want to show in your paper. Write clearly and accurately so that you don’t have to come back to review your sources later. Be sure to write down all of the citation information as well, so that you will have it ready for when you need to apply credit.
Now that you have all of your information, you are ready to prepare a final outline of your term paper. Take your first outline and look for ways to revise and expand. Determine what changes, improvements, additions, you need to make to express and prove your argument.
Use your final outline as a guide to write a first draft. Don’t worry too much about grammar, spelling or punctuation. The best way to approach a first draft is to write down as much information as possible, without hesitation. You will have time to correct your draft in the following revised and edited drafts.
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