How to Write a Term Paper: Outline, Example, and Format

Last Updated: 04 July 2019
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In your student life, you will encounter term papers. In this article, we focus on how to write a term paper. The article also explores the common questions on term papers.


You will also understand how to outline a term paper. As a student, this resource will help you choose the best term paper writing service online.


These term paper guidelines will give you insights on choosing the best term paper topics. Also, get a clear definition of a term paper.


Remember, term papers are very tasking pieces of academic research. They require time, patience, planning, and writing skills. Writing a term paper for college can be easy with our tips.


We have used Google Search and covered some of the most pertinent aspects of writing a good term paper.


What is term paper writing?


The definition of a term paper is critical before we delve into how to write a term paper. You can visit, Wikipedia for a good definition.  A term paper is a research paper or a piece of academic writing that comes at the end of the semester.


Both junior and senior year students are expected to write college and university term papers.


The aim of a term paper is to assess the skills and knowledge of the students during a semester. When writing a term paper, a student is expected to portray great research writing and technical writing skills.


That said, our professional essay writers, have the requisite skills for term paper writing. Therefore, you can buy term papers online from our custom writing service. Get a custom written term paper that reflects your instructions.


Term paper writing seeks to evaluate the understanding of the course content. A term paper can be a report, a case study, a discussion, or a research paper on an assigned topic.


Like any academic writing assignment, a term paper should be analytical, deeply-researched, organized, and outstanding.


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Structure of a term paper: Example of a term Paper Outline


You are probably wondering how to write a term paper outline. Well, a term paper outline is a roadmap or the structure of your term paper. It is the outline that always comes first before the actual paper. There are different outline templates for your term paper.


However, a normal term paper should include the introduction, body, and conclusion. Your outline gives a sketch of how you will approach and write the term paper. It is critical to think outside the box and write the best outline.


Cover Page: This should feature the course name, course code, and your name, date of submission, instructor’s name, and the number of words. The cover page differs depending on the formatting style. MLA, APA, Harvard, and Chicago, each has different cover pages.


Abstract: The abstract should describe the entire paper. It is written last. This one should be 200-250 words. Your thesis must contain the background, findings, and conclusions of the paper.


Introduction: The introduction of your term paper should begin from general knowledge to focused knowledge on the topic. It should have a thesis statement.


Body: Each of the body paragraphs should have an introductory sentence, facts (well-cited through APA, MLA, Harvard, or Chicago in-texts). There should also be a concluding sentence. Typically, the body expounds on the main agenda of the paper.


Results: Here, you interpret the findings.  Explain what the term paper has covered and discovered.


Discussion: Your paper should end with a summary and conclusion of the topic question. You should take note of the principles of writing a good essay.


Conclusion: Winds up the paper by restating the thesis of the term paper and summarizing facts. 


Writing a Research Proposal for the Term Paper


Sometimes, it is a common occurrence for instructors to have a term paper proposal. The aim of the proposal is to choose and justify a term paper topic based on the problem statement. It is just like when writing a dissertation.


The proposal is always handed in for approval of the topic. Once the approval is done, you can now write a term paper.


If you are not conversant with choosing the best term paper topic, our writers can help.


When writing the proposal, it is vital to use current sources (research studies and relevant content). We always recommend using sources that were published five years back. Ensure you use peer-reviewed journals.


Check out this related article: How to write a Research Proposal


Components of a Term Paper


If you do not have a proposal sample or template, here is a breakdown:



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How long is a Research Paper?


As a general rule of thumb, a term paper should be 10-double spaced pages or 5-single-spaced pages and above. However, for a term paper that is full of information, a minimum of 15 pages is just fine.


In terms of how many references a term paper should have, each page of your term paper should have 1-3 references. If it is a ten-page term paper, it should have 10-15 references. If you find yourself with anything less than 10 pages, you skimped through the writing process, and your all-nighter probably did not pay.


A college term paper is between 5-7 pages. However, if you are not sure, you can consult with your instructor or professor. This answers your question on how long is a term paper writing assignment, doesn’t it?


How to start writing a Term Paper


Before beginning to write a research paper, be clear ion what you are dealing with. Have clarifications from your instructors or tutors. Last minute rush is like bathing in gasoline in a kitchen.


For the best grades, follow the following tips:



  1. Read the syllabus to get the specific term paper writing guidelines from the professor.

  2. Select a creative topic for your term paper.

  3. Read and peruse through your course text to get insights and ideas.

  4. Narrow down to a creative title for your term paper.

  5. Make an outline for your term paper.

  6. Write a thesis statement.

  7. Research through the internet for primary and secondary sources. We recommend using University library databases such as EBSCOhost, ProQuest, Psych Net, Science Direct, PubMed, CINHAL, or Google Scholar. Google search is also a good place to begin. DO NOT use WIKIPEDIA and other shoddy blogs you find online.

  8. Have a balance for the selected sources: Most modern universities will give you access to scholarly sources. However, when supplementing such be wise in choosing a credible scholarly source. Use specific keywords in Google Search and for the academic libraries.

  9. Organize your term paper chronologically.


Good flowing scholarly term papers score highly. We are on a GPA hunt, the best you can do is write the best papers.


How to choose a Research Paper Topic


But how do you choose the best topic for your term paper? Your professor or instructor is likely to give you a topic for your term paper. However, there are times when you need to come up with a topic for their approval.  In this case, brainstorm for the best topics.


Choose interesting topics with much information. A good place to start would be the Google search.  Also, you can use university databases or library.


Ensure that the topic can be broken down into subtopics to answer the thesis statement of the term paper.


Formatting a term paper: Term papers are written in APA, ASA, Harvard, Chicago, and Turabian styles. Always follow the guide from the professor.


How do you end a Term Paper?


This question should be rephrased to how do you organize your term paper? A good term paper should have a comprehensive conclusion. Refer to this source for term paper writing tips (external website). To end your term paper:



Can I end the research paper with a question? Yes, why not? Ending a paper with a question leaves the reader thinking about the content. It entices them to read the piece yet again. A professor doing this means an excellent grade.


Words never to use and those to use in Concluding Papers


Typically, people use words such as “in sum, in conclusion, in closing, to wind up, and so forth.” However, these words are clichés. Be innovative in the ending of your term paper.


Use words like:



These words are not as stiff as the common concluding transition words. Remember, a thesis should come in the introduction of your term paper. It is only restated in your conclusion.


Get Term Paper Writing Help from Experts


This information on how to write a term paper can help you craft the best term papers. Choose the best topic and have an outline.


On your GPA hunt, though, writing a term paper can be tough. Nowadays getting time to complete college assignments is hard due to work-life balance.


Good News! You can get help from our online essay help. A term paper requires the input of the best writers. We have experts in term paper writing to help.


Our experienced professional writers will also offer proofreading and editing services, for free. Besides, if you are stuck with choosing a topic for your term paper, they will also come through.


Get a well-written paper in APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard. Any style, we have you covered! Order at GradeCrest.