Quick and In-depth Term Paper Writing Guide for Students

author By Mary Boies

You will never run away from the fact that you will write many assignments as you pursue your undergrad, master's, and post-graduate degree studies.

Apart from research papers, essays, and discussion posts, you will also be required (in some courses) to write and submit a term paper. According to our survey, 7 out of 10 of our respondents dreaded writing a term paper terming it as a challenging and draining process.

Creating any paper from scratch requires reasonable hours of research, reading, evaluating, and typing. We can bet that your first term paper will not be as fantastic as you would expect unless you know how to navigate the tedious research and writing process.

Before anything else, in this guide written by our custom college paper writers, you will learn how to begin, write, complete, and submit a perfect term paper that guarantees you a higher score.

We share the best approach to take when writing a term paper, breaking it down into steps. It is pretty much the little detail on how to write a term paper that can score a higher grade so that you are on the right track toward writing an impressive term paper on any topic.

Defining a Term Paper

You might ask yourself, "what is a term paper?"

A term paper is a standard research paper or academic assignment written at the end of the term or semester. It is a research-intensive and original academic paper of varying lengths assigned to students, which they must write and submit towards the end of a semester, contributing to a meaningful part of the final GPA in a course.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a term paper as "a major written assignment in a school or college course representative of a student's achievement during a term."

A term paper is written based on a discussion of a topic in detail. It describes events, concepts, or arguments backed with credible and reliable evidence, as does a research paper. As an originally written assignment, a term paper can follow a research process, which means it has to be written in the IMRAD scientific research paper format. Nevertheless, not all term papers are research-based; some are based on a critical analysis, description, and evaluation of evidence to explain a topic in detail.

The main aim is to assess whether a student has grasped the concepts and content learned during a semester or a term. In most cases, term papers are structured as scientific research papers or reports, which means you must involve in-depth research and technical writing skills to demonstrate knowledge retention.

Term papers can present an idea, pose questions, develop arguments, or present an answer or position to an idea, issue, or question. After researching, planning, and evaluating scholarly resources, you can discuss an assigned topic in your term paper.

By standard, term papers must be critical, analytical, organized, well-cited, and portray in-depth research to reflect that you have kept adequate knowledge during a school semester.

A typical term paper is anywhere between 5 and 15 pages or more. Therefore, you can be assigned a 7-page, 8-page, 12-page, 15-page, or even 20-page term paper to write.

If you are assigned this paper and need help writing it, you can hire the best term paper writers from our website to assist you in fulfilling your mission.

Steps for Writing an Excellent Term Paper on any Subject

Writing a good term paper involves proper preparation, writing, and post-writing stages. During the preparation stage, engage with the instructions, select, or settle on a topic, do preliminary research, come up with a thesis statement, outline, and research as you organize sources to use in the term paper. As for the writing phase, write the first draft in whatever order pleases you. The focus, at this stage, should be on writing first and leaving the editing and polishing work for later. Finally, revise, edit, and proofread the first draft into a final draft term paper during the post-writing stage.

Sometimes, professors might prefer that you first write a term paper proposal to outline the topic you have selected and the approach you will take when researching and writing the term paper. The proposal comprises the proposed title, research questions or hypotheses, thesis statement, method, and the scope of the term paper.

Let's focus more on the steps for writing an outstanding term paper.

1. Read the instructions

Every instructor has a preference for what is included in a term paper. Therefore, to score the highest grade, you must enter their mind. The only way to do that is by attentively reading the instructions or the assignment prompt.

As you read the prompt or instructions, highlight the keywords and note terms such as compare, analyze, describe, discuss, evaluate, and so forth. You must then make detailed notes on what is expected of you as you skim through the instructions. If possible, print the instructions and analyze them using markers. You need to identify the questions that you are to answer. In many cases, this points to what you need to do on the paper. If given a topic, you should move to the next step. Otherwise, choose an exciting topic with adequate information you are interested in sharing with your audience.

2. Conduct a preliminary Research

Preliminary research helps you to identify relevant information about a topic. Therefore, if you have settled on a term paper topic, research the web to find more information about it to understand it better and plan the paper better.

During this stage, you must actively read through the abstracts of scholarly sources and take advantage of the information on both academic and non-scholarly sources. You must take notes and engage your critical thinking and logical reasoning skills.

You can draw mind maps or concept maps to identify how the information you have identified relates to one another and map out the main points you want to feature in your paper.

3. Come up with a working thesis

Now that you are familiar with the topic and have the main points, you know the direction the paper should take. Therefore, formulate a thesis for your term paper.

In any case, the initial thesis statement can always change as you advance through the stages of writing the term paper.

The thesis statement should be debatable, clear, and concise and tell the readers about your term paper. It should be a sentence or two that explains the term paper's central position. Having it at these early stages helps you set your paper's scope and plan it before finally settling to write it.

4. Make an Outline

With your information and the thesis, you can now create a sketch of the term paper. A term paper has different sections, and outlining helps you to determine what falls where and in what order. Your outline should contain the titles, subtitles, and topic sentences so that you have a map of what to expect when writing.

Like an essay outline, a term paper outline helps you to map out the main ideas. You should map out the main thoughts and concepts that you will cover. As you write the outline, consider these tips:

If you are required to write an annotated bibliography for the term paper, you should do it after outlining the paper. Every entry should explain the relevance of the source to the term paper. A loaded annotated bibliography will come in handy when writing the literature review section of the term paper.

5. Research and Organize Sources

The outline gives a roadmap or blueprint of the term paper. Therefore, you are set up to research deeply and widely to get the relevant scholarly sources to use in the paper. In academic writing, using credible scholarly sources is necessary to fortify the main points and make a case for your thoughts and ideas.

Without good sources, you are likely to write a term paper that has disputable evidence and, thus, poor quality. Thanks to the internet, you can access search engines and scholarly databases to get good sources.

Utilize the university library databases and gray literature to identify the best sources. When assessing the references, use the CRAAP method to determine their credibility and validity.

Scout for scholarly journals, scientific and educational papers, open educational resources, textbooks, and government sources for data. As you get these sources, organize them to enable you to keep track of them as you write.

Remember, you will be including in-text citations when writing the term paper. If your term paper has an extended deadline, you can download and print these sources for thorough reading and analysis.

Besides, you can use citation management tools such as Zotero to manage the references, saving you time. In organizing sources, you can delete the old sources and integrate new ones. If you identify sources with main ideas and points, use them to replace them with weaker ones, and you can alter the outline accordingly.

6. Create a Writing Plan

With the outline revised and sources organized, you must develop a writing plan for your term paper. Writing research papers is demanding, but your health matters, too, so you need to plan your writing process based on the deadline.

Divide the paper into parts and allocate them time within your calendar before the deadline. In most cases, you will be assigned a week or a few days to complete the term paper. And to avoid the last-minute rush and the fact that you will need more than a night to write a perfect term paper, planning enough time is necessary.

Schedule most of the time to write the first draft and turn it into a final draft. When you have the first draft done on time, you can rest and edit it later into a final draft that meets the rubric requirements. Planning your time helps you avoid unnecessary emergencies that can prompt you to request unnecessary deadline extensions from your professor. Besides, you can also manage writer's block and beat deadlines without being deducted some marks for lateness. Use time-management apps on your phone to manage the progress of your term paper.

7. Write the First Draft

You can take many approaches when writing a term paper. How and where you begin does not matter because the ultimate goal is to have a term paper that comprehensively addresses the components of the prompt. You are already done with the preparation stage and what you have to do here is to focus on writing and writing alone!

Begin by writing the introduction of your term paper. A strong introduction should make your paper so enjoyable that your professor won't drop it down for another paper until they put a grade to it. And to achieve that, you need to have a good hook sentence, a series of sentences giving a brief description of the issue, and a thesis statement. Your introduction should be funneled, beginning with the broadest knowledge to the most specific knowledge presented in your paper. You should not include too much explanation. Also, don't include citations, quotations, and details about the topic; reserve these for the body paragraphs.

When writing the body paragraphs, you need to present the main issues. If you conducted research, begin by writing a short literature review covering what other authors have learned about the topic or issue. You should report your findings and explain their significance. Take your readers through the process of understanding the topic.

The best way to write the body is to focus on one idea for each body paragraph. The number of paragraphs in the body section of the term paper will depend on the topic, the points you have, and the instructions.

The body makes up 80% of the term paper. Therefore, don't waste time on irrelevant details. Each topic sentence must relate to the thesis. The paragraphs must also have supporting details such as examples, illustrations, quotations, and summaries, which must be cited and formatted correctly.

Finally, write the conclusion of your term paper. You must summarize the points you presented in the body and restate the thesis statement. Without presenting any new information, ensure that you describe the implications of the findings and give recommendations. If needed, have a statement on the implications of the findings and recommendations for future studies.

8. Work on the Final Draft

As the very final step after writing, you enter the post-writing stage. After writing, you should take time off your computer and do other things. The essence is to build an objective mind that can see through the mistakes you possibly made when writing the paper.

After the break, begin by revising the paper. A good term paper is devoid of mistakes, and you should revise the paper to remove grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors/mistakes. Your focus should be on improving the quality of the term paper so that you score the best grade for it.

When editing the term paper, take advantage of editing tools such as Grammarly, Hemmingway Editor, or Ginger. These tools will help you improve your term paper's readability, which by far increases the chances of a better grade. Paraphrase ideas further and rephrase your text to make sense to the readers and the context of the term paper. Also, read aloud the paper to yourself to spot the mistakes. Check the sentences, tenses, voice, and diction of your paper. Check the effectiveness and suitability of the topic sentences, supporting ideas, words used (vocabulary), and the transition words to the paper.

At the same time, look at the formatting of the term paper and make necessary amendments.

And if you can't spot mistakes or need some help, you can hire a paper editor from our website (EssayManiacs) to assist. You can also have your peer review the work to give their opinion after reading the instructions for the term paper.

The Standard Structure of a Term Paper

A term paper almost shares the same structure as a research paper or an essay; the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion sections are organized into subsections. You should know what comprises a term paper so that you can create a term paper outline, which we shall have an example to show later in this article.

The general format of a term paper should include:

The title or Cover Page is the first page of your term paper. Typically, it contains details of the assignment, including the title. Writing a creative, clear, and concise title is the best way to begin your term paper. The title should be limited to 8-10 words, and the first one to impress and hook your readers before they read the abstract and the introduction. You should also include the course details and the date of submission. The title page format depends on specific formatting and citation format.

Table of contents. Some professors or instructors might prefer that you include a table of content before the abstract just before the introduction to give a snapshot of the main sections of the paper.

Abstract. The abstract summarizes the entire paper that entails the paper's purpose or ‌focuses on the paper. It should be around 200 words and formatted correctly.

The Introduction. An excellent term paper introduction starts with an attention grabber, which is a captivating statement about the topic. The hook statement is linked to the paper's ideas, arguments, or focus problems. The background statement explores the solution or problem that you are focusing on. Finally, it has a thesis statement explaining the term paper's gist. Usually, the introduction is 10% of the total word count.

Main Body Sections. The main body section is where the actual writing takes place. Here, each of the body paragraphs develops the thesis. When writing the body paragraphs, each paragraph should have a unique topic sentence that acts as a mini-thesis, supporting facts that include evidence and examples, and a concluding sentence that transitions a paragraph to the next. Every paragraph focuses on one issue, point, or idea connected to the thesis. You should develop good arguments in the body, which could entail solutions to a problem. The body of the term paper can be structured into a literature review, results/findings, and recommendations. The body paragraphs comprise 80% of the word count of the term paper. The goal is to structure the paragraphs well to create a flowing term paper that addresses all the aspects of a prompt.

Conclusion. As the name suggests, the culmination of a term paper contains a rephrased version of the thesis statement, a summary of the main points, and a closing statement or call to action. It should not have new ideas, though. The conclusion should be 10% of the paper's word count, just like the introduction.

Reference List. The references list or bibliography section contains an alphabetical list of the resources you referred to when writing the term paper. It begins on a new page and is never part of the word count. Besides, you must format it according to the preferred citation style, such as APA, MLA, Harvard, or Chicago format.

Appendix. Although optional, when present, the appendices section should contain information that was referred to in the body and would otherwise distract the readers when presented in the body. Here you can list the figures, tables, questionnaires, images, and other documentation. It is also not part of the word count of the term paper. When you have too much information for the term paper that you can't place in the text, attach it after the reference list as your appendix.

Check out this sample term paper and notice the formal language, structure, and format.

Term Paper Outline

The outline of a term paper is a crucial step after deciding on the topic, choosing a thesis, and doing some light preliminary research. It is usually a roadmap that gives direction to your entire writing process. It helps you to organize the different parts of your term paper so that you know what points to put in what section of the paper. Sometimes, the professor or instructor will request that you submit a term paper outline before writing the term paper.

Below is an example of an outline for a standard term paper.

Title page with the title, school, and course details, your name, and submission date.

Abstract (150-200 words)


  1. Attention grabber or hook statement
  2. Relevance of the topic or research
  3. Purpose of the term paper
  4. Thesis statement


  1. Literature Review
  2. Methodology
  3. Results/Findings
  4. Discussion
  5. Recommendations and Limitations


  1. Summary of the main points
  2. Restatement of the thesis
  3. Closing statement or call to action

Tips for Success when Writing a Term Paper

When writing a term paper, there are a few tips you should consider if you aim to score the best grades. Here are some tips shared by our top term paper writers:

Parting Words!

Now that you know what a term paper is, the steps to write it, and the tips to follow to write it successfully, we hope you are on a better path towards scoring the best grades.

Writing a term paper is an arduous task. You can be overwhelmed when you have school to deal with, work and parental duties to fulfill, and a term paper to write. It gets even worse when you have emergencies that hinder your progress with writing the term paper. Thankfully, we have term paper writers who can assist you. We are a click away. Fill in the order form on our homepage and get help.

If you have never used our services, we guarantee you that most students are using them. Are you a non-traditional student who needs help with writing term papers? We help people like you. If you are a parent, you can order a term paper for your kid's revision process. EssayManiacs writing experts have a knack for well-written papers. Contact us for a chance for a well-written, polished, and original term paper delivered to you before your deadline.

Need a Discount to Order?

15% OFF First Order!

What you get from us


Plagiarism-free papers

Our papers are 100% original and unique to pass online plagiarism checkers.


Well-researched academic papers

Even when we say essays for sale, they meet academic writing conventions.

24/7 support

24/7 online support

Hit us up on live chat or Messenger for continuous help with your essays.


Easy communication with writers

Order essays and begin communicating with your writer directly and anonymously.