Term Paper: Exclusive guideline, tips, topics and examples

term paper

Writing a term paper is an essential requirement for students. Term papers vary depending on an institution or course taken. They not only mark the end of the current semester but also the beginning of a new semester for continuing students. Besides, it can show new life for students in their final academic year. Thus, knowing the dos and don’ts of writing a term paper is central to academic success.

So, what are the relevant aspects of a term paper? Answering this question requires looking into the sections described below.

What is a Term Paper?

Let’s start with the basics of a term paper. This paper is a research-based assignment done at the end of the semesters. Students should submit it in a written form. The assignment tracks and examines students’ knowledge about a particular course.

It requires comprehensive research and technical writing skills to meet the assignment requirements. The assignment could describe a phenomenon, a case study, an argument, or a specific concept.  Regardless of the subject of discussion, it’s an individual responsibility to ensure that the paper is unique, grammatically error-free and original.

How to Start a Term Paper?

Considering the requirements of a term paper, starting one requires a special dedication and scholarly knowledge. Presenting a paper that meets the course requirements is every student’s goal. However, the real deal lies in starting the paper.

Here are some tips students can implement in staring a term paper:

  1. Selecting the topic by choosing from the list, according to instructions given.
  2. Conducting thorough research to gather comprehensive information on the selected topic.
  3. Preparing the term paper outline. Success at this stage requires being sure about the topic you have selected and having sufficient evidence to back up the main arguments.
  4. Writing the research proposal sample. This is a significant part of the process as it’s where the selected topic is approved or disapproved by the research supervisor or professor.
  5. Planning on the how, when and what of writing the term paper. Also, the last stage and reflects the capacity of the student to arrange his/her ideas, choose methods of writing and scheduling the entire activity.

How to Write a Term Paper Outline

Regardless of an individual’s writing abilities, success in writing a term paper demands detailed knowledge of the structure of the paper. An outline is the compass that guides a student through the entire process of writing. It not only directs one on how to go about the specific sections of the paper but also keeps an individual focused to the end.

A term paper comprises basics sections that must be completed for the process to be successful. These include:

The introduction

The introduction requires telling the readers what the paper seeks to explore by identifying specific arguments using the thesis statement.


The body is often divided into various parts, depending on the length and complexity of the term paper. In case the paper seeks to explore five arguments, the body must contain different headings and sub-headings covering the various arguments.


This is the last section of the outline. It summarizes the points highlighted in the body and provides a definite answer to questions raised in the entire paper.

How to Write a Term Paper Proposal

This proposal precedes the actual paper. Therefore, the approval of the proposal opens the way for the student to proceed with writing the term paper. In that regard, the proposal is fundamental as it offers an outline of the final paper.

Writing a term paper proposal requires one to pay attention to the various components. These are:

Working title

Choosing a suitable title depends on a variety of factors – the student’s areas of interest, course requirements and resources.


These are what the paper seeks to establish. They drive the research process and determine the direction taken by the writer in meeting the course requirements. We recommend students to choose smart objectives to ensure a smooth process.

Research questions

Include what the paper seeks to answer. Thus, one can formulate one to four research questions depending on the complexity of the paper.

Thesis statement

This section carries the most weight since it highlights the readers on what they should expect on the final paper. It presents the main topic and backs it up with relevant arguments,


The methodology paves the way for the research process. It predicts the success of the final term paper since it where the arguments supporting the main idea are drawn. In that regard, it’s crucial to pay close attention in choosing the sources of information to back up the arguments raised.

Paper Outline

This is the final part of the paper proposal. It should comprise the introduction, background information, literature review and recommendations and conclusion sections.

How to Write a Term Paper

Following the term paper proposal is writing the term paper. As a student, keep in mind that this type of academic writing is solely reserved for determining how much of the course concept you have grasp throughout the semester.

Before delving further into writing a term paper, it is vital to explore the basics process. The “how” of writing a term paper can be understood by strictly considering the following steps:

  1. Selecting a suitable topic, one that you can defend to the very end.
  2. Researching on the topic thoroughly; important in avoiding or eliminating any confusion that might arise when writing the final piece.
  3. Preparing the term paper outline; this acts as a compass that steers one to the right direction in the entire writing process.
  4. Write a sample proposal; also, crucial as it evaluates an individual’s writing capabilities, including knowledge regarding the selected topic.
  5. Preparing a cover page and a table of content; marks the beginning of putting your ideas into words.
  6. Writing the paper; chose a suitable font and page layout. Also, pay attention to every instruction provided by the professor/tutor since these are what determine your paper’s accuracy, including your performance in the particular course.

How Long is a Term Paper?

Term papers follow a standard procedure, depending on the course requirements. The length of your paper is among the most crucial aspects that determine the successful completion of the particular course. An average paper is several pages in length.

While there isn’t a fixed length, it’s often advisable to follow the imposed length for writing. A standard length of a term paper ranges from 3, 000 to 5,000 words, which is between 10 to 20 pages. These pages should include a minimum of two paragraphs per page. What matters, in the end, is an individual’s ability to meet the paper requirements, including the standard length.

Term Paper in APA Format

While there are several formatting styles that this paper can assume, the APA formatting is among the most used style. APA requires students to follow specific guidelines. These include:

  • Typing the work in an A4 white paper, with dimensions of 8.5’’ by 11’’
  • Using 12pt Times New Roman font for readability purposes
  • Double spacing your work (depends on the instructions given)
  • Setting the paper margins by 1”
  • Indenting the paragraphs by ½ an inch
  • Creating a first-page header, consisting of pager number, a capitalized running head and title
  • Including a reference page at the end of the paper

Term Paper Format

This paper follows a fixed format that may vary according to course. However, the most common format includes:

  1. Title Page: Contains the title, student’s name, course, institution, and date
  2. Content table: consists of what the paper carries – from the introduction, body, conclusion, recommendation, references and appendices.
  3. Acknowledgment: include the student’s inspiration for the topic
  4. Abstract: provides a brief overview of the paper.
  5. Introduction: summarizes the main argument.
  6. Literature Review: briefly describes previous research studies that are vital in constructing the main argument.
  7. Methodology: describes the research methods, including experimental approaches, if any.
  8. Results: states the research findings. The section shows measurable results in the form of figures, statements, analysis, etc.
  9. Discussion: explains the results as a way to prove the central argument
  10. Conclusion: wraps up the paper and provides final thought.
  11. Recommendations: suggest ideas that future research should consider.
  12. Reference list; lists all the resources used in the paper alphabetical can order.

Term Paper Topics

Since it’s among the most important papers, choosing a relevant topic for your paper is a must. That way, you must strive to pick a topic that aligns with your course requirements. Here are some examples of term paper topics you can choose from:

  • The consequences of modern technology in a family set up.
  • Why religion is a matter of personal belief
  • Reasons for increasing divorce in the U.S.
  • Domestic violence and toxic relationships lead to most break-ups.

Term Paper Example

Some excellent examples of a paper are available at university databases. One of such examples is;

The Effects of Food Deprivation on Concentration and Perseverance by Thomas Delancy and Adam Solberg

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