5 stages of writing a term paper

May 17


Mary Deveeva

Mary Deveeva

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This article describes in detail the 5 stages of writing a term paper for "excellent": from choosing a teacher (the preparatory stage) to proofreading the term paper for typos and errors (the final stage).


1. Preparatory stage

Choosing a teacher. It is with this step begins writing your term paper,5 stages of writing a term paper Articles which you are going to defend with "excellent". Each teacher has his own range of interests, which depend on the topics of term papers and diplomas, as well as teachers vary in character.

Choice of topic. The student is not always given a choice, but there is something you can do. First, as we have said, you need to choose the right supervisor - from those teachers whose topics are closest to you term papers. Then - discuss with the teacher the range of topics that can be taken for the coursework.

Keep in mind that term papers, which are written in the 3rd-4th year, usually become chapters of a thesis. So think ahead! The smartest students already in their first or second year choose the topic of their coursework with a view to their diploma.

Study of general information. Encyclopedias, textbooks, dictionaries, and Internet reviews (or at least Wikipedia) will help you get a general idea of what your term paper is about.

Do not ignore this stage, otherwise it will be difficult to make a coherent plan. But do not burrow into the materials up to your ears yet - perhaps the teacher will make corrections to your plan, will require you to emphasize some issues and omit others.

Make a plan. When you get a general idea of the topic of your term paper, proceed to make a plan. More precisely, there should be two plans: a brief one and a thesis one. First, make a brief plan for writing a term paper, discuss it with the teacher. Then write down the plan in theses: to each paragraph - a paragraph or at least a sentence: what you are going to write about, what issue will be disclosed. And again, to your favorite science teacher. It is better to rewrite the plan five times than to rewrite the entire term paper once!

Making a list of references. Most teachers suggest the main works to rely on when writing a term paper (this is another reason to come for a consultation instead of immediately handing your supervisor a ready-made term paper).

But, as a rule, the books advised by the teacher are not enough. The student must do the work of searching for suitable literature himself. The list of textbooks and encyclopedias will not do (although they can also be specified), the list must include research - articles in scientific journals and collections, monographs. Some departments require that the list of references include works in foreign languages. Do not try to stupidly insert in a list of a hundred foreign titles, copying them from the notes to any monograph - better a few books and articles, but those that you are sure you can at least flip through.

Search for sources. This item is not required in all departments, but in some it is mandatory. For example, historians use chronicles, chronicles, memoirs, diplomatic documents, and archival materials as sources. Philosophers take the writings of brainy representatives of antiquity and modernity, from Aristotle and Kant to Sartre and Kierkegaard. Lawyers use legal sources such as laws, decrees, constitutions, court practice materials. Philologists use literary texts.

Do not confuse sources with literature! In the design of the term paper, they are highlighted separately.

Is it necessary to write the practical part, make calculations and drawings? Be sure to find this out during the first consultation. Not all departments have this requirement, but if there is - this part is usually the most important. And the most problematic.

Especially many problems arise when writing the practical part for future teachers, psychologists, lawyers, economists, managers. The practical part needs to be written on the basis of experiments, surveys, or practice at a particular company.

Memo to students who use coursework writing services, such as studycrumb: if you want a real practical part, order the work early. A specialist can write the theory for three days, and even a day, but the practical part of the night do not slapaesh.

The special requirements of the department and the teacher. Be sure to find out if your supervisor has any special requirements for writing a term paper. How many students, brought to the teacher ready term paper, with bafflement learn that they do not take into account the "most important"!

2. Materials Collection

Strategy for finding materials. So, the plan is approved, some of the literature your teacher advised you. What now - dive headfirst into a whirlpool of information? You can drown there (or, on the contrary, you can wander for a long time in search of materials on a topic on which almost no one has written anything).

First revise your outline and your thesis statement - so that you know what information you need to find. Then analyze the list of sources and literature. Divide it into parts:

1) the "flagships" from which you'll pull most of the information;

2) supporting materials, from which you'll pull a quote or two.

Preferably, there should be three to five "flagships. Stealing a chapter of someone else's dissertation or compiling a couple of articles, you are unlikely to get the coveted "nickel.

Searching for materials on the Internet. The active digitization of books, articles, dissertations, and sources has led to the fact that for the lion's share of topics "flagships" are easily searchable online. Enthusiasts have posted everything they can find in Russian plus make new translations.

Many rare books that students used to order through the IBA or drive to libraries for them are also now online. What can I say, writing term and dissertation papers thanks to the Internet has become much easier... And more complicated: now you can't just copy or retype photocopies. After all, what you see in the public domain is also seen by the teacher!

Work in libraries and archives. Alas, not all books and magazines can be found online. For example, because of the fight against piracy, some new books can only be bought. And old ones may not yet be digitized. And, of course, the "kind" professor will definitely require that these materials get into your term paper.

So do not forget about the existence of university, regional and city libraries - they, oddly enough, still work. And their main visitors - students. And some students also have to dig through the archives and old newspaper sheets.

3. Writing

Structuring and compiling the material. So, the material has been collected. Now it must be divided into chapters and paragraphs. This stage seems easy, but there are pitfalls. Some students, especially in their junior year, believe that the more information the better. As a result, instead of 25 to 40 pages in the course it turns out more than a hundred.

No, Mr. students, this approach is erroneous. From you want to isolate the main thing. The material that will get into your term paper must support your personal conclusions. One more thing: Compile wisely. Don't rip off information in pages.

Footnotes. Do not leave the procedure for putting footnotes to the last moment - you can get confused, and it will be spent a lot of time. It is better to put a footnote right away: take a piece of text from a book or article - put a footnote.

Text uniqueness. Thanks to the Internet, finding information for writing term and dissertation papers has become easier, but to get caught with plagiarism now - like hell. Most teachers now require work not only in printed, but also in electronic form - to run through a system of anti-plagiarism. So after you have compiled there, proceed to the uniqueness of the text.

The standard requirements are 70% uniqueness (30% uniqueness for citations and terminology). But the instructor may have personal uniqueness requirements that you need to take into account.

Conclusions, personal opinion. Most students write term papers in the same way as essays. That is, you get just a big such abstract-compilation, but term paper - this is a small research paper. So anyone who wants to write a term paper on "excellent", must move his brain, to think, to analyze the material. Each paragraph and each chapter ends with a personal conclusion on the topic. It is possible and even necessary to discuss with the authors who have already written something on your topic (within the limits of adequacy, of course).

Providing a draft to the teacher and making corrections. It is better to pass the work in parts: chapters, or even paragraphs. First, the teacher sees that you are working. Secondly, you can change the course in time, if you screw up. This point can be repeated many times. Although some professors don't like to be overly harassed, most welcome student activity.

4. Writing the practical part

These steps may not be necessary - if you are in a department where coursework is written without a practical part. If the practical part is compulsory, keep it in mind.

Arrangements with the company at which you will conduct practical activities. This can be a school if you are a teacher or psychologist, a hotel if you are a student of "Hotel Service and Tourism", a factory if you are an economist, etc. Naturalists work in laboratories. Students in the exact sciences may also need to be tested in a laboratory setting. In any case, you must first arrange for a visit and practical work at the site.

Prepare a set of hands-on activities. Before you go to the site, prepare a plan for hands-on activities, experiments, or questions for management. And it is extremely desirable that the supervisor approved it all. You do not want to conduct practical investigations a second time, right?

Gather materials. Well, it's time to torture the "test subjects" a little. Or conduct experiments in the lab. Go for it! Try to do everything on the conscience, so you do not have to suffer another time or two or three.

Material Processing. At this stage, you process everything you have obtained at the site where you conducted practical experiments, surveys, or other scientific/scientific work. Now it's time to calculate it all, make graphs, tables, drawings, or perhaps scribble a business plan with recommendations. Most importantly: the conclusions in the practical part should confirm your hypothesis put forward in the introduction. Don't overuse data fitting.

5. The final stage of writing a term paper

Introduction and conclusion. Yes, these parts of the term paper are written last. With the conclusion is clear - it's the conclusions. But why the introduction should also be written at the very end? Because while writing your term paper (and especially while working on the practical part) your hypothesis may be disproved. In this case you will put forward a new hypothesis, corresponding conclusions Yes, this is, strictly speaking, cheating, but cheating legalized.

Goals, objectives - everything must be linked to the conclusions in the conclusion. Therefore, these two parts of the term paper, its "frame" is written in parallel. Since the term paper can be reshaped several times, it makes no sense to write the introduction.

Formatting. It is necessary to find out not only the rules for the title page, but also many other nuances: how to design tables, formulas, appendices, etc. Most of the rules apply to all universities, but there may be some difficulties with the design of individual parts of the work at a particular department.

References, footnotes, table of contents, appendices, numbering. Now neatly arrange the books and articles alphabetically (by name), given the requirements for registration. Sources are usually allocated separately (and can be divided into groups). To not bother with the numbering, use the automatic lists in Word.

As for footnotes, we have already said - do not leave them for last.

Annexes put at the end of the work (these pages are not numbered). Do not forget the table of contents. Create a cover page. Almost done!

Proofreading, checking the footnotes. The fewer mistakes and typos will be in your term paper - the more supportive your teacher will be. In a serious work, which claims to have a high grade, no mistakes are allowed.

That's all ... almost. Because the grade for a term paper, especially in senior courses, is given by the results of the defense. However, if you've done these five points in good faith, you're almost 90% certain to get an A.