Academic Guidelines: Useful Directions For Those Who Are Struggling With A Term Paper


A standard academic term paper is a basic institutional assignment that measures student’s writing skills and is often time limited. That’s why you should have at least a week to work on term paper.

Getting organized means that you are ready to start working on analyzing the term paper question and key points.

If you have a highlighter you can note important words. This trick will help you to bring your thoughts and ideas in order.

The next step is brainstorming and notemaking. Effective notemaking skills will save you from spending your spare time tracking down information that you have already read.

A standard academic term paper consists of 5 paragraphs - an intro (introduction part), three main body paragraphs with facts and comments, and the last part, conclusion.

  • Intro is a very essential part of your term paper mainly, because its main goal is to grab reader’s attention and make him continue reading. That’s why it is good to use special methods like aphorism, short instructive stories or little anecdotes.
  • Then goes thesis statement – one (rarely two) sentence, that tells what your overall point or argument is, and briefly describes your three main body paragraphs. As it is not effective simply to jump from one idea to the other, each term paper’s body part should end with a transition sentence, which will focus reader’s attention on the other part. To explain the connection between the two paragraphs, you can use words or phrases that somehow compare and contrast.
  • After your first transition sentence go the three main body paragraphs. Each of them can focus only on one idea, and comments or facts that support it. Also, each paragraph should have a mini thesis that explains the main idea of the paragraph and clears the topic. Use as much facts, discussions and your own comments as it is needed to develop the theme. Concrete facts and details from your brainstorm session will help you to sound more convincing.
  • Finally, to complete your academic term paper, you need a good conclusion. Try to avoid phrases like, “I would like to conclude…” or “To conclude…”, as it is not professional. Every conclusion part begins with a restatement, but be careful not just to repeat your thesis statement word by word. Think of what the idea or feelings you want to leave your readers with. The conclusion starts out very specific, as it is actually an inverse of the intro part and becomes conjoint in the end.

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