How to Write a Term Paper: General Rules and Key Structural Elements
A term paper is one of the first independent research conducted by students. It has an internal unity, reflects the progress and results of the development of the selected theme, and is based on a critical review of bibliographic sources. It must correspond to the current level of development of science, and its topic must be relevant. The set of results obtained in such work should indicate that the author has the skills of scientific investigation in the chosen field of professional activity. It should adequately reflect both general and special methods of scientific knowledge in each case.
Study the material below carefully if you want to learn how to write a term paper easily and quickly.
Writing a term paper is a mandatory stage of preparation for candidates for higher education.
The theme must correspond to the goals and objectives of professional training at the current level of development of science and practice, the objectives of the discipline. In some cases, the topic can also be complex and cover a number of interrelated issues in other disciplines.
The Basic Principle
The main principle of completing this type of assignment is the principle of scientificity, according to which the content must be fully consistent with modern scientific data.
The main objectives of a term paper include:
- The use of skills and abilities to formulate, describe and solve problems of theory and practice of modern education;
- Development of a systematic approach to the consideration of problems, identification of patterns and trends in the development of education, the application of skills to conduct research;
- Improvement of the skills of working with reference and methodological literature, collecting and processing information on the problem, analysis of various empirical information;
- Presentation of skills of work on the text;
- Compliance with the rules of text design in accordance with applicable standards.
From these tasks, it follows that a term paper is characterized by all the features of scientific work. The scientific aspect of this written assignment determines its content and distinguishes it from the usual reports. In contrast, such a work substantiates new or relatively new ideas, provides an in-depth analysis of the causal relationships of various facts of reality, and offers original ways to solve problems.
The Main Types
According to the nature of the tasks to be solved, term papers can be analytical, research (on the materials of practice), and experimental, performed during the undergraduate practice. The nature of the work depends on the topic and is agreed with the supervisor.
Analytical papers are performed on the basis of an analysis of literature sources in accordance with the plan and the hypothesis. Such works analyze the approaches of different authors to a particular problem or give their own assessment of certain statements, methodological approaches, problems.
Research papers analyze the data of literature sources on the chosen theme and hypothesis, provide conclusions, develop research methodology (or use methodology known from the literature), and represent research on the materials of practice.
In experimental works, according to the topic and the hypothesis, the data of literature sources are analyzed. The methodology of an experiment is selected from the literature or developed by the author independently, and the experiment is carried out. Experiments can be different depending on the content of the study and the requirements of the hypothesis.
The basis of the content is material that includes a description of new factors, phenomena, and patterns or generalization of previously known provisions from other scientific positions or in a completely different aspect. It is necessary not only to highlight scientific facts but to conduct a comprehensive analysis.
The content is also characterized by the presence of discussion and polemical material. Not only is the content-specific, but also the form of its presentation with a high degree of scientific abstraction, the argumentation of judgments, and the accuracy of data.
The content should be relevant and practically significant. Thus, it will be appropriate to use the actual material of practical activities at the place of undergraduate practice along with purely scientific psychological and methodological literature.
Stages of Writing
There are the main stages of a term paper fulfillment:
- Choice of a topic.
- Consultation with the teacher and selection of material.
- Processing of texts and critical literature.
- The final definition of the research structure.
- Writing and formatting of work.
- Defense of the completed work.
Choice of a Theme
The topics are usually developed and proposed by the commission. The student has the right to choose the theme, taking into account individual inclinations and capabilities. Having identified the topic, it is necessary to find out its content, pre-compile a list of key issues, and read the literature on the selected topic. In some cases, the student (if he has collected material and specific ideas) can write a paper on his own proposed theme.
Search for the Source Base of Research
Elaboration of critical literature and collected material on the topic is an important stage of the work because here, you need to be able to analyze, summarize, highlight the relevant.
Familiarity with the literature published on the theme begins with the development of the idea. This statement of the case allows a more purposeful search for literary sources on the chosen theme and a deeper understanding of the material contained in the works of other researchers.
It is necessary to think over the order of search and to make a list of literary sources on a topic. You should review all types of sources whose content is related to the research idea. The state of the study of the theme is best to start with publications, the purpose of which is to provide up-to-date information about publications, to briefly convey their content.
Writing Structural Elements of a Term Paper
Since the term paper is a qualifying work, it is evaluated not only by the theoretical value, relevance of the theme, and the value of the results but also by the level of general methodological training, which is primarily reflected in the composition. The composition of work is a sequence of arrangement of its main parts.
Mandatory parts of a term paper include the following:
- Title page;
- Table of contents;
- List of abbreviations (if necessary);
- Glossary (if necessary);
- The main part (sections and subsections);
- List of used sources;
The listed parts are included in the work with the observance of the specified sequence.
Table of Contents
The table of contents reflects the structure of the work with the indication of its parts:
- numbering and names of sections;
- the list of the used sources and appendices, with the indication of the first pages of the listed parts.
It is desirable to briefly and clearly formulate the headings of sections, subsections. The titles of the sections should correspond to the objectives of the study and be formulated, taking into account the recommendations.
The introduction reveals the current state of the scientific problem (task), its significance, grounds and initial data for the development of the topic, justification of the need for research, its main purpose, objectives, as well as ways to achieve them, methodology.
The introduction gives a general description of the research. It should begin with the formulation of the problem in general and its connection with important scientific and practical tasks, analysis of recent research and publications, which began to solve this problem and on which the author relies, as well as legislation and regulations.
The main part must meet the following requirements:
- In the main part, divided into separate sections, the content of the research topic is revealed;
- Each section should be complete content, the main idea, as well as theses, confirmed by references to regulations, opinions of various authors, statistics, survey results, analytical data, and practical experience;
- Thoughts should be logically connected, and the whole text should be subordinated to one main idea;
- Each conclusion must logically support the previous one; one proof follows from another. Otherwise, the text will lose its unity;
- In each section, it is necessary to make generalizations, i.e., conclusions. It should be remembered that the conclusions to the sections should not be of an abstract nature or should be presented in the form of a statement of what has been done. And after the end of the work – the general conclusions are formulated.
The conclusions set out the scientific and practical results obtained in the research. They contain the formulation of the solved problem (task), justification of the solution of the scientific problem, the significance of the obtained results for science and practice. This is, in fact, a synthesized generalization of all work with critical analysis, promising thoughts, recommendations, and so on.
When describing the results, it is possible to use one of the proposed schemes:
- A summary of the problem + solution to the problem with an indication of the degree of novelty of such a solution;
- Statement of the result with an indication of the degree of its novelty + a summary of the problem to which such a result is directed;
- A summary of all the problems + a statement of all the results indicating the extent of their novelty.
The most common way to group bibliographic descriptions into series in term papers is to arrange them alphabetically.
Applications (diagrams, tables, graphs, diagrams, drawings, dictionaries, developments, graphs, diagrams, other materials, etc.) are placed after the bibliography but can also be presented as separate albums, notebooks, folders.
What Rules Should Be Followed in Writing?
Writing such work requires compliance with strict rules:
- When choosing a research topic, you should avoid an extremely long title (no more than twelve words) or too complex terms;
- The theme should not begin with the following words: ‘problem,’ ‘research,’ ‘some ways,’ ‘some questions,’ ‘some problems’, etc.;
- Before deciding on the topic of research, it is necessary to get acquainted with the availability of literature, the degree of development of this theme. And having already chosen the theme, the student studies the literature (primary sources, monographs, manuals, etc.), on the basis of which the general idea is revealed;
- It is recommended to use modern (for the last 5 years) literature for substantiation or confirmation of any conclusion;
- Then the student draws up a research plan and agrees to it with the teacher;
- A written work has a clearly defined design, which must be followed;
- The text is presented according to the plan and executed independently;
- The text should contain elements of creativity; theoretical conclusions should be covered in conjunction with existing practice, general phenomena and processes should be considered in the dynamics and development;
- Students must strictly adhere to academic integrity: literal borrowings from sources and the use of short quotations without the obligatory reference to the source are prohibited;
- For violation of academic integrity, applicants for higher education are subjected to disciplinary action.
Thus, now you know how to write a term paper correctly and what rules you need to follow. We hope that you will not have any difficulties in completing such an assignment. But remember, professional writers are always ready to provide reliable help at affordable prices!