Term Paper Writing

Steps in Writing a Term Paper:

Choose a subject. Is it practical and interesting?

Yes->Check reference sources for your topic. Narrow the subjects. Is it narrow enough?

Yes->Find out what resources are useful and available. Then develop a preliminary bibliography. Read and take notes to get familiar with the topic.

Do you know enough to be able to focus on one, very limited aspect?

Yes->Develop a preliminary thesis statement and preliminary outline.

Continue reading and taking notes. Do you have enough notes, information and ideas?

Yes-> Revise your preliminary thesis statement and preliminary outline. Draft the paper (the introduction, body and conclusion). Redraft all or part. Are you satisfied?

Yes-> Add citations and bibliography. Are they complete?

Yes->Edit for mechanical errors (such as spelling and punctuation). Are you satisfied that there are no other errors?

Yes->Add the cover paper (with your name, the title, etc.).

Hand the paper in to your instructor.


  1. A preliminary bibliography is a list of available books and articles that you think will be useful sources of information and ideas when writing the paper.
  2. A preliminary thesis statement for your paper should express in one sentence the controlling idea of the whole paper.

(Adapted from Writing a Research Paper)



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