Term Paper Writing Guidelines: How To Organize Your Work

Term papers are essentially another type of academic essay. However, term papers are to be written over an academic “term”, hence the name Term Paper. Due to the amount of time that a student has to prepare their term paper they are often weighted a bit more heavily for their overall grade. In some cases a term paper can make up to as much as 70% of a students grade- so they should not be take lightly or put off until the last minute.

  • Earning a high grade on your term paper is much about organization as it is as actual writing skill. Your instructor will likely evaluate your structure, formatting and research technique as much as they will the quality of your written work. For this reason it is important that students know how to properly organize and compose a term paper.
  • As we mentioned above term papers are formatted in the same way as most essays. This means that they can easily be broken down into 5 sections: An introduction, 3 main argument points/ points of discussion, and a conclusion. If you have to write a long-form term paper you can expand on each of the points. For example you may have 3 sections for the introduction, 3 sections for the argument points and points of discussion, and 3 sections for the conclusion. By expanding these, you can increase the length of composition but still maintain the traditional term paper structure.
  • Another thing that all students should know about formatting their term paper is how to cite their sources correctly. Although, this may seem like just a small part of the writing process it could account for a large part of your grade. Not citing sources at all, or failing to cite them correctly could cause you to automatically fail. In fact, some instructors are so strict about source citing that they won’t even accept a paper that has not been properly cited.
  • To avoid this we recommend that students study both the MLA and APA source citing rules. You can purchase a handbook/textbook to assist you with this if you need some extra help.
  • For students who doubt their own writing abilities term papers can be extremely intimidating. If you want to do well on your upcoming term paper project we highly recommend that you study the formatting rules and learn how to properly structure an academic document.

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