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Steps for Writing a Term Paper

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what is term paper pdf

How to Write a Term Paper: A Comprehensive Guide

what is term paper pdf

Did you know that the concept of term papers can be traced back even further to the ancient library of Alexandria, one of the most renowned centers of learning in antiquity? Scholars from various disciplines would gather there to share their knowledge and document their research on scrolls, which served as early versions of term papers. These precious scrolls played a pivotal role in the preservation and dissemination of knowledge, paving the way for the academic traditions we uphold today. As we embark on the journey of writing a term paper, we pay homage to the age-old quest for knowledge and understanding that has transcended generations. So, let's embrace this intellectual tradition and embark on the path of crafting a remarkable paper that will stand the test of time.

How to Write a Term Paper: Short Description

Discover the art of crafting a successful term paper in this insightful guide. As a student, understanding a proper term paper format can significantly impact your academic performance. This article will take you through the fundamentals, from comprehending the purpose of a term paper to mastering the art of creating a well-structured outline. Packed with valuable tips for writing and organization, this resource promises to equip you with the tools needed to excel in your academic journey.

What Is a Term Paper: A Clear Understanding of the Concept

A term paper is an essential part of college education, typically assigned at the end of a semester. It serves as a way to assess students' understanding of the course material. Usually, it involves researching and writing about a specific topic related to the course. Crafting a good term paper requires being well-organized, conducting thorough research, and presenting your findings in a clear and analytical manner.

For more information on writing a term paper, you can refer to our guide below, prepared by our expert essay writer . It offers valuable insights and practical tips to help you excel in this academic endeavor.

How to Start a Term Paper

Before diving in, always bear in mind the term paper format instructions provided to you. Should you have any uncertainties, don't hesitate to seek guidance from your teacher before embarking on your research or writing journey. Oh, and please refrain from procrastinating until the eleventh hour to begin your research paper. If you aspire to produce an extraordinary piece and secure a top-notch grade, consider planning ahead and allocating dedicated time each day to work on it. Now, allow us to offer some valuable tips for your consideration:

start a term paper

  • Strive to refine your topic - Adopt a learning perspective that enables you to arrange and structure your thoughts effectively. You can learn more about how to research a topic below.
  • Captivate your readers from the start - Engage in a brainstorming session and jot down various ideas: pose rhetorical questions, share anecdotes, provide statistical facts, and more.
  • Develop a clear thesis statement example - If you find yourself unable to succinctly summarize the primary idea of your article in 1-2 sentences, it's essential to return to the initial step and contemplate narrowing down your topic.
  • Familiarize yourself with the style requirements - Your work must adhere to a standardized format. Below, you'll find more information on APA format and other relevant guidelines.
  • Conduct further research - Armed with a clearer understanding of your objectives, you can delve deeper into the subject matter. Be sure to rely only on reputable and trustworthy sources.
  • Pen the first sentence - Don't be overly concerned about perfection at the outset. Just begin writing. You can always refine or even delete those initial sentences later. The key is to start term papers as soon as you have gathered sufficient information.

Term Paper Topics

Instructors typically offer topics related to your course, but occasionally, you have the freedom to choose your own. To understand how to write a term paper topic, gather ideas by exploring the web, reading articles, news, magazines, and blogs. It's essential to select a topic that aligns with your course objectives and genuinely interests you. When a topic captures your curiosity, the research and writing process becomes more enjoyable and effortless.

Consider the following factors while choosing dissertation topics :

choose a term paper topic

Length : Take into account the required assignment length—whether it's a substantial 10-page paper or a more concise 5-page one. Understanding the word count will help you determine the appropriate scope, whether broad or narrow, for your subject.

Resources : Check your school or community library for available resources, and explore online sources as well. Ensure you have access to hands-on books and materials to support your paper.

Complexity : Make sure you can effectively explain your chosen topic, no matter how complex it may seem. If you encounter questions, don't hesitate to seek guidance from experts or your professor. They can help clarify areas that may be challenging to grasp fully.

Avoid Overused Topics : Refrain from being swayed by overly trendy and overused concepts. Mainstream subjects seldom captivate the interest of readers or teachers. Opting for such a topic may inadvertently lead you to produce repetitive content.

Choose a Manageable Topic : Select a subject that you can discuss convincingly within the given time frame. Although passion can drive your topic choice, ensure it is manageable with the available resources. If needed, scale down a topic that remains intriguing and motivating to you.

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Term Paper Outline

Before you start writing a term paper, create an outline! It'll be the backbone of your paper and guide you as you research and write. Your teacher might have a specific essay format in mind, so keep that in mind when making your outline. The main parts you should include are the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Keep your paper organized and well-researched. Use simple language to explain your ideas clearly. Here's a basic term paper format you can follow:

  • Cover page : Put your name, course number, teacher's name, and the deadline date in the center of your title page.
  • Abstract : This is a short summary of your work. Tell the readers what your paper is about, why the topic is interesting, and what you'll discuss.
  • Introduction : Start with a clear statement of your topic. Explain why it's important and how you plan to address it.
  • Body : Share the main points from your research. Provide info about the topic so the reader understands it better. Don't forget to include different viewpoints on the issue and analyze your research thoroughly.
  • Results : Explain what your research has led you to believe about the subject. Talk about any changes in your viewpoint since you started the project.
  • Discussion : Wrap up with a summary and conclusion about the topic. You can end with an open question or encourage readers to do their own research on the subject.

How to Write a Term Paper: Following the Steps

Before you dive into your research and writing, it's essential to understand what a term paper proposal is all about. Basically, it's a way to present and defend your chosen topic to your instructor. You must get this proposal approved before you start writing the actual term paper.

In your proposal, include recent studies or research related to your topic, and make sure to provide proper references. Clearly explain why your topic is relevant to your course by submitting a short article. Outline your objectives and organize the flow of your ideas effectively. This will help your instructor understand the direction you plan to take with your term paper writing.

Alternatively, if you ever need assistance, you have the option to buy essay online from our expert writers!

how to write a term paper

Compose the Abstract

In the first section on how to write a reflection paper ; your focus should be on explaining what your research is all about. However, it's best to write this section after completing all the subsequent parts. Make sure to mention the major findings of your research so that even someone unfamiliar with the topic can read and understand it easily. Keep it simple and informative.

A well-structured abstract should consist of the following sections:

  • Introduction : State the issue you are addressing in your paper and explain why the chosen topic is important. Also, clarify the practical, scientific, or theoretical purpose of your research.
  • Body : Highlight the major points of your research and describe the investigation strategy you have chosen. Provide an overview of the nature of the results.
  • Conclusion : Explain how the results can be applied or their implications.

While writing a term paper abstract, go through your paper again and underline key statements related to research objectives, methods, results, and conclusions. Copy these sentences, and you'll have the first draft of your abstract.

Tip : The abstract should be limited to 120-250 words, depending on your assignment instructions.

Now, what's the difference between the introduction and the abstract? The abstract presents the essence of your paper, listing its main points, including results and conclusions. On the other hand, the introduction provides background information on the topic, presents the proposition (or thesis statement), and outlines the key issues that will be discussed in the paper.

Craft the introduction

Prepare to captivate your readers right from the start with a compelling introduction. A strong opening can make it challenging for them to put your paper down. So, how do you pique their interest and keep them hooked?

  • Grab attention : Begin with an intriguing fact, a surprising statement, or a thought-provoking contradiction that highlights the significance of your topic. Engage their curiosity from the very first sentence in your term paper.
  • Provide an overview : Present a concise description of the issue you're addressing and state the primary goal of your paper. Additionally, illustrate how your specific topic relates to broader contexts, setting the stage for a deeper exploration.
  • Write the thesis statement : Articulate the core argument or the central question your paper will address. Offer a glimpse of what lies ahead without revealing all the details.

Remember, the term paper introduction should be both inviting and concise. Avoid excessive examples or unnecessary details.

Generate Ideas and Compose Text: Body Sections

Once you've received your research results and notes, it's time to carefully examine what you've uncovered. Record the crucial outcomes of your research while eliminating any unnecessary materials to streamline your work.

When it comes to writing the body sections, an effective strategy is to start by crafting topic sentences based on your outline. From there, expand those topic sentences into complete paragraphs, incorporating relevant supporting details to bolster your points.

The number of paragraphs you'll need in your body section can vary depending on the specific topic and assignment instructions. In many cases, a term paper's body consists of a literature review followed by the presentation of your research findings.

Here's a helpful tip for maintaining coherence and clarity: Begin each paragraph with a well-crafted topic sentence. This serves as a clear introduction to the main idea of the paragraph, ensuring a smooth flow of ideas throughout your paper. By employing this technique, your term paper will be well-organized and easy for readers to follow.

Formulate the Conclusion

As you wrap up the main part of your term paper example, it's crucial to provide a thoughtful and concise conclusion that summarizes the information you've presented and discusses the broader implications of your research. Keep these points in mind while crafting your conclusion:

Note : Remember not to introduce any new information in this paragraph.

  • Describe the final results of your research.
  • Articulate the implications for future studies.

Now, take a moment to evaluate your research results by pondering these questions:

  • What significance does my research hold?
  • How does my topic intersect with other related subjects or areas?

Finally, draw everything together with a strong concluding sentence that leaves a lasting impression.

Refine and Enhance the Initial Draft

Once you've successfully completed your first draft and still have some time left, don't underestimate the importance of proofreading your text. Taking a moment to review your term paper can make a world of difference. After all, many professors interpret misspellings, punctuation mistakes, and grammar errors as a reflection of carelessness, which can overshadow your original ideas and significant findings. So, let's make your text shine!

First, read through your first draft and consider how you can make your paper cleaner and more convincing. Identify ideas that don't quite fit the context and either remove or modify them accordingly. Then, pinpoint areas that require more detailed support. To enhance the flow of your paper, add transitional phrases or words to connect your ideas smoothly.

Next, once your content is logical and well-structured, it's time to address any errors. Correct all grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes with care.

Lastly, ensure that your paper adheres to the right format and layout. Double-check that your pages are correctly numbered. Any visual materials like images, tables, and diagrams should also be properly numbered and titled. Just as you do when you finish your term paper, give the same attention to these details during the proofreading process. Your effort will result in a polished and impressive final paper.

Term Paper Format

When it comes to formatting your term paper, the first step is to consider its length and the specific citation style required. Depending on the topic you've researched, you'll be expected to adhere to a particular citation style. Proper referencing is vital to avoid accusations of plagiarism, as a term paper is an academic writing assignment. Commonly used citation styles include APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association).

When wondering how to cite research paper for social sciences, APA term paper format is the way to go. When referencing a book in APA style, you'll need the author's name, the book's title, the year of publication, the publisher, and its location. Be sure not to overlook this crucial information during your research.

On the other hand, if your paper falls within liberal arts and humanities, the widely used format is MLA. In this style, you'll need to include the publication name, date, and location for proper referencing.

By adhering to the appropriate format and citation style, you'll ensure a well-organized and academically sound term paper. Remember to pay close attention to the specific requirements and guidelines set by your instructor to create a polished and successful paper.

Term Paper Example

Click on the button to open our term paper example.

The timeline of events from 1776 to 1861, that, in the end, prompted the American Civil War, describes and relates to a number of subjects modern historians acknowledge as the origins and causes of the Civil War. In fact, pre-Civil War events had both long-term and short-term influences on the War—such as the election of Abraham Lincoln as the American president in 1860 that led to the Fall of Fort Sumter in April of the same year. In that period, contentions that surrounded states’ rights progressively exploded in Congress—since they were the initial events that formed after independence. Congress focused on resolving significant issues that affected the states, which led to further issues. In that order, the US’s history from 1776 to 1861 provides a rich history, as politicians brought forth dissimilarities, dissections, and tensions between the Southern US & the people of slave states, and the Northern states that were loyal to the Union. The events that unfolded from the period of 1776 to 1861 involved a series of issues because they promoted the great sectional crisis that led to political divisions and the build-up to the Civil War that made the North and the South seem like distinctive and timeless regions that predated the crisis itself.

What is the Difference between a Term Paper and a Research Paper?

When learning how to write a research paper , you should understand the main difference between a term paper and a research paper is the scope and purpose. A term paper is typically assigned at the end of a semester and focuses on the knowledge gained during the course. It is more structured and may cover specific topics within the course content.

On the other hand, a research paper is more in-depth and involves original research, analysis, and exploration of a particular subject. It often requires the use of primary sources and contributes new insights to the field of study. Research papers are common in higher education and advanced academic levels.

What Is the Fastest Way to Write a Term Paper?

The fastest way to write a term paper is to start early, plan your time effectively, and stay focused. Break down the task into smaller manageable chunks and create a clear outline. Prioritize your research, gather relevant information efficiently, and avoid getting sidetracked by unrelated sources. Write your entire paper in a focused and organized manner, and don't forget to proofread and edit for errors. Remember, maintaining a consistent pace and staying dedicated to the task will help you complete your term paper efficiently.

Final Words

In conclusion, embrace the challenge of writing term papers with determination and a positive mindset. Start early, stay organized, and believe in your abilities. Seek guidance if needed and express your unique perspective confidently. You've got this! Happy writing, and enjoy the journey!

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Home » Term Paper – Format, Examples and Writing Guide

Term Paper – Format, Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents



Term paper is a type of academic writing assignment that is typically assigned to students at the end of a semester or term. It is usually a research-based paper that is meant to demonstrate the student’s understanding of a particular topic, as well as their ability to analyze and synthesize information from various sources.

Term papers are usually longer than other types of academic writing assignments and can range anywhere from 5 to 20 pages or more, depending on the level of study and the specific requirements of the assignment. They often require extensive research and the use of a variety of sources, including books, articles, and other academic publications.

Term Paper Format

The format of a term paper may vary depending on the specific requirements of your professor or institution. However, a typical term paper usually consists of the following sections:

  • Title page: This should include the title of your paper, your name, the course name and number, your instructor’s name, and the date.
  • Abstract : This is a brief summary of your paper, usually no more than 250 words. It should provide an overview of your topic, the research question or hypothesis, your methodology, and your main findings or conclusions.
  • Introduction : This section should introduce your topic and provide background information on the subject. You should also state your research question or hypothesis and explain the importance of your research.
  • Literature review : This section should review the existing literature on your topic. You should summarize the key findings and arguments made by other scholars and identify any gaps in the literature that your research aims to address.
  • Methodology: This section should describe the methods you used to collect and analyze your data. You should explain your research design, sampling strategy, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques.
  • Results : This section should present your findings. You can use tables, graphs, and charts to illustrate your data.
  • Discussion : This section should interpret your findings and explain what they mean in relation to your research question or hypothesis. You should also discuss any limitations of your study and suggest areas for future research.
  • Conclusion : This section should summarize your main findings and conclusions. You should also restate the importance of your research and its implications for the field.
  • References : This section should list all the sources you cited in your paper using a specific citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).
  • Appendices : This section should include any additional materials that are relevant to your study but not essential to your main argument (e.g., survey questions, interview transcripts).

Structure of Term Paper

Here’s an example structure for a term paper:

I. Introduction

A. Background information on the topic

B. Thesis statement

II. Literature Review

A. Overview of current literature on the topic

B. Discussion of key themes and findings from literature

C. Identification of gaps in current literature

III. Methodology

A. Description of research design

B. Discussion of data collection methods

C. Explanation of data analysis techniques

IV. Results

A. Presentation of findings

B. Analysis and interpretation of results

C. Comparison of results with previous studies

V. Discussion

A. Summary of key findings

B. Explanation of how results address the research questions

C. Implications of results for the field

VI. Conclusion

A. Recap of key points

B. Significance of findings

C. Future directions for research

VII. References

A. List of sources cited in the paper

How to Write Term Paper

Here are some steps to help you write a term paper:

  • Choose a topic: Choose a topic that interests you and is relevant to your course. If your professor has assigned a topic, make sure you understand it and clarify any doubts before you start.
  • Research : Conduct research on your topic by gathering information from various sources such as books, academic journals, and online resources. Take notes and organize your information systematically.
  • Create an outline : Create an outline of your term paper by arranging your ideas and information in a logical sequence. Your outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • Write a thesis statement: Write a clear and concise thesis statement that states the main idea of your paper. Your thesis statement should be included in your introduction.
  • Write the introduction: The introduction should grab the reader’s attention, provide background information on your topic, and introduce your thesis statement.
  • Write the body : The body of your paper should provide supporting evidence for your thesis statement. Use your research to provide details and examples to support your argument. Make sure to organize your ideas logically and use transition words to connect paragraphs.
  • Write the conclusion : The conclusion should summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement. Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion.
  • Edit and proofread: Edit and proofread your term paper carefully to ensure that it is free of errors and flows smoothly. Check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  • Format and cite your sources: Follow the formatting guidelines provided by your professor and cite your sources properly using the appropriate citation style.
  • Submit your paper : Submit your paper on time and according to the instructions provided by your professor.

Term Paper Example

Here’s an example of a term paper:

Title : The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

As the world becomes more digitally interconnected, cybersecurity threats are increasing in frequency and sophistication. Traditional security measures are no longer enough to protect against these threats. This paper explores the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in cybersecurity, including how AI can be used to detect and respond to threats in real-time, the challenges of implementing AI in cybersecurity, and the potential ethical implications of AI-powered security systems. The paper concludes with recommendations for organizations looking to integrate AI into their cybersecurity strategies.

Introduction :

The increasing number of cybersecurity threats in recent years has led to a growing interest in the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve cybersecurity. AI has the ability to analyze vast amounts of data and identify patterns and anomalies that may indicate a security breach. Additionally, AI can automate responses to threats, allowing for faster and more effective mitigation of security incidents. However, there are also challenges associated with implementing AI in cybersecurity, such as the need for large amounts of high-quality data, the potential for AI systems to make mistakes, and the ethical considerations surrounding the use of AI in security.

Literature Review:

This section of the paper reviews existing research on the use of AI in cybersecurity. It begins by discussing the types of AI techniques used in cybersecurity, including machine learning, natural language processing, and neural networks. The literature review then explores the advantages of using AI in cybersecurity, such as its ability to detect previously unknown threats and its potential to reduce the workload of security analysts. However, the review also highlights some of the challenges associated with implementing AI in cybersecurity, such as the need for high-quality training data and the potential for AI systems to be fooled by sophisticated attacks.

Methodology :

To better understand the challenges and opportunities associated with using AI in cybersecurity, this paper conducted a survey of cybersecurity professionals working in a variety of industries. The survey included questions about the types of AI techniques used in their organizations, the challenges they faced when implementing AI in cybersecurity, and their perceptions of the ethical implications of using AI in security.

The results of the survey showed that while many organizations are interested in using AI in cybersecurity, they face several challenges when implementing these systems. These challenges include the need for high-quality training data, the potential for AI systems to be fooled by sophisticated attacks, and the difficulty of integrating AI with existing security systems. Additionally, many respondents expressed concerns about the ethical implications of using AI in security, such as the potential for AI to be biased or to make decisions that are harmful to individuals or society as a whole.

Discussion :

Based on the results of the survey and the existing literature, this paper discusses the potential benefits and risks of using AI in cybersecurity. It also provides recommendations for organizations looking to integrate AI into their security strategies, such as the need to prioritize data quality and to ensure that AI systems are transparent and accountable.

Conclusion :

While there are challenges associated with implementing AI in cybersecurity, the potential benefits of using these systems are significant. AI can help organizations detect and respond to threats more quickly and effectively, reducing the risk of security breaches. However, it is important for organizations to be aware of the potential ethical implications of using AI in security and to take steps to ensure that these systems are transparent and accountable.


  • Alkhaldi, S., Al-Daraiseh, A., & Lutfiyya, H. (2019). A Survey on Artificial Intelligence Techniques in Cyber Security. Journal of Information Security, 10(03), 191-207.
  • Gartner. (2019). Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020. Retrieved from
  • Kshetri, N. (2018). Blockchain’s roles in meeting key supply chain management objectives. International Journal of Information Management, 39, 80-89.
  • Lipton, Z. C. (2018). The mythos of model interpretability. arXiv preprint arXiv:1606.03490.
  • Schneier, B. (2019). Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World. WW Norton & Company.
  • Wahab, M. A., Rahman, M. S., & Islam, M. R. (2020). A Survey on AI Techniques in Cybersecurity. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, 11(2), 22-27.

When to Write Term Paper

A term paper is usually a lengthy research paper that is assigned to students at the end of a term or semester. There are several situations when writing a term paper may be required, including:

  • As a course requirement: In most cases, a term paper is required as part of the coursework for a particular course. It may be assigned by the instructor as a way of assessing the student’s understanding of the course material.
  • To explore a specific topic : A term paper can be an excellent opportunity for students to explore a specific topic of interest in-depth. It allows them to conduct extensive research on the topic and develop their understanding of it.
  • To develop critical thinking skills : Writing a term paper requires students to engage in critical thinking and analysis. It helps them to develop their ability to evaluate and interpret information, as well as to present their ideas in a clear and coherent manner.
  • To prepare for future academic or professional pursuits: Writing a term paper can be an excellent way for students to prepare for future academic or professional pursuits. It can help them to develop the research and writing skills necessary for success in higher education or in a professional career.

Purpose of Term Paper

The main purposes of a term paper are:

  • Demonstrate mastery of a subject: A term paper provides an opportunity for students to showcase their knowledge and understanding of a particular subject. It requires students to research and analyze the topic, and then present their findings in a clear and organized manner.
  • Develop critical thinking skills: Writing a term paper requires students to think critically about their subject matter, analyzing various sources and viewpoints, and evaluating evidence to support their arguments.
  • Improve writing skills : Writing a term paper helps students improve their writing skills, including organization, clarity, and coherence. It also requires them to follow specific formatting and citation guidelines, which can be valuable skills for future academic and professional endeavors.
  • Contribute to academic discourse : A well-written term paper can contribute to academic discourse by presenting new insights, ideas, and arguments that add to the existing body of knowledge on a particular topic.
  • Prepare for future research : Writing a term paper can help prepare students for future research, by teaching them how to conduct a literature review, evaluate sources, and formulate research questions and hypotheses. It can also help them develop research skills that they can apply in future academic or professional endeavors.

Advantages of Term Paper

There are several advantages of writing a term paper, including:

  • In-depth exploration: Writing a term paper allows you to delve deeper into a specific topic, allowing you to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.
  • Improved writing skills: Writing a term paper involves extensive research, critical thinking, and the organization of ideas into a cohesive written document. As a result, writing a term paper can improve your writing skills significantly.
  • Demonstration of knowledge: A well-written term paper demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, which can be beneficial for academic or professional purposes.
  • Development of research skills : Writing a term paper requires conducting thorough research, analyzing data, and synthesizing information from various sources. This process can help you develop essential research skills that can be applied in many other areas.
  • Enhancement of critical thinking : Writing a term paper encourages you to think critically, evaluate information, and develop well-supported arguments. These skills can be useful in many areas of life, including personal and professional decision-making.
  • Preparation for further academic work : Writing a term paper is excellent preparation for more extensive academic projects, such as a thesis or dissertation.

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  1. Steps for Writing a Term Paper

    A term paper requires a student to obtain information from a variety of sources (i.e., special subject indexes, encyclopedias and dictionaries, reference books, scholarly journals, books, and newspapers) and then place it in logically developed ideas. There are nine steps in writing a term paper, which will be illustrated with brief examples.

  2. Example Term Paper Format

    format for an term paper or essay in an economics course. All papers should have a title page that contains the following: Title of the Paper Course Number and Instructor Your name and student number Date Any graphs should be on seperate pages that are not counted as part of the written page requirements.

  3. Term Paper Research

    A thesis is a statement that states the main idea of your paper. It defines the scope and focus of your essay so that your readers know what to expect from the essay. Ask yourself what the focus or purpose of your paper is and then set out to prove it in the body of your paper. How do I prepare an outline?

  4. Term Paper

    Definition: Term paper is a type of academic writing assignment that is typically assigned to students at the end of a semester or term. It is usually a research-based paper that is meant to demonstrate the student’s understanding of a particular topic, as well as their ability to analyze and synthesize information from various sources.

  5. Term paper

    A term paper is a research paper written by students over an academic term, accounting for a large part of a grade. Merriam-Webster defines it as "a major written assignment in a school or college course representative of a student's achievement during a term". [1]