Term Paper Writing- Meaning, Format, Components, and 5 steps to writing an excellent Term Paper

Term Paper Meaning

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a term paper writing as a major written assignment in a school or college course representative of a student’s achievement during a term or semester. In other words, a term paper is a form of academic writing written solely by students.

It contains the bulk part of their grades for the term or semester and is aimed at depicting or describing a particular or designated subject matter. Subject matter in this context could refer to an argument, event, concept, or theory.

Importance of a Term Paper

The importance of a term paper in academia includes the following:

  • It serves as a method of boosting the logical thinking of students. This is so because they tend to think and evaluate attributes from different angles while writing a term paper.
  • It is a means or method of boosting the student’s writing skills.
  • It serves as a source of motivation for students. This is so because students are well aware of this particular paper’s academic or grading importance, and thus, they as much as possible to write it correctly to maintain or secure good grades.
  • Similarly and based on the previously stated point, research has proved that students tend to take career paths based on what they write in school.
  • It serves as a means of giving students more insight into different subject matters.

What are the Components of a Term Paper?

A well-structured term paper ought to consist of the following elements or components:

  • Title Page
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of contents
  • List of figures/tables
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Research Methodology
  • Results
  • Works Cited

Title Page

            This is the first part or section of any term paper. It ought to consist of the following elements:

  • The name of the writer.
  • The name of the teacher or lecturer of the subject.
  • The discipline of the writer.
  • The date of submission.


The aim of this second part or section of the term paper is to show appreciation to all the people who, at one point in time or another, contributed to the writings or research of the term paper.

Table of Contents

A table of contents contains a comprehensive compilation of all the contents used during the term paper. The term ‘contents’ in this context refers to the headings and subheadings used during the term paper.


List of Tables/Figures

This refers to compiling all the tables or figures used in the term paper. It is situated or placed directly after the table of contents in the term paper.


An abstract is the summary of the contents of a book, article, speech or any other form of formal writing. Hence the aim of an abstract in a term paper is to contain a concise summary of the details or information in the academic piece.


The aim of the introductory section is also to contain a summary and brief overview of the term paper. However, unlike an abstract, it covers a more significant and in-depth ground than the abstract. Examples of elements which ought to be included in the introductory part of the term paper include:

  • A brief overview of the subject matter will be discussed and examined better in the term paper.
  • The reasons why such subject matter was chosen.
  • The methods which can be employed to evaluate or examine the subject matter.
  • The expected results will emerge from the evaluation of the subject matter.

The introductory part of a term paper is its most important section, which should be treated as one. This is so because it gives the readers or examiners a first impression of the term paper; depending on how it was written, it could either be good or bad.

Literature Review

The literature review section in the term paper is where the real work begins. It ought to consist of the following elements:

  • The problem which has emerged(if any) as a result of the subject matter or topic under discussion.
  • The aims and objectives of the subject matter which is being discussed in the term paper.
  • The limitations of the study (i.e. areas about the subject matter which the study will not cover)
  • A review of studies which have already been conducted regarding the topic of study and the results obtained from these studies.

Research Methodology

This is another essential section of the term paper; it ought to consist of the following elements:

  • Complete information regarding the modes or methods of research which can be employed to evaluate the subject matter or topic of study.
  • The selection of a particular research method can be considered the ideal one for the research.
  • The expected results ought to emerge from using such a research method.
Recommended:  Project writing chapter one format


This section explains in detail the results that emerged as a result of the evaluation of the subject matter or topic of study. Similarly, it can also contain elements like:

  • Whether or not this hypothesis or result is realistic or not.
  • The influence that such results have or will have on society or the world.
  • Recommendations regarding methods in which such results can be adapted or used to solve a designated goal.

Works Cited

This section can be referred to as a reference list or a bibliography. This section aims to provide in detail the works or books used during the research as well as the names of their authors. This particular section is mandatory in every form of academic writing because it serves as a means of avoiding plagiarism. The modes or methods in which the works cited can be written in a term paper tends to vary depending on the nature of study and discipline of the student.

5 steps to writing an excellent Term Paper

It is common for undergraduates, masters or PhD students to be given a term paper assignment by a professor or asked to develop a topic to work on. Term paper constitutes a large part of your course grade, meaning it is crucial. You may be asked to argue a point or describe an event or a concept. These steps below will help you:

  1. Get a topic

Sometimes you may not be given a topic to work on; you would have to choose a topic based on your interest, available resources or the amount of time you have been given to work on the paper.

  1. Research your chosen topic

Now that you have picked a topic to work on, the next thing you would do is to explore all available materials. You could start by checking your school library for scholarly articles on your topic of interest. The web is the most helpful place to get relevant resources. Read term papers that align with what you are working on and observe the citation style format; it would usually be the title, author, publication, publisher, place of publication, publisher, date and page number. If you are working on a common topic or feel people might know about it, go ahead and talk to them.

  1. Organize your term paper as follows -format/outline of a term paper:
  • Title page
  • Contents
  • Abstract (If required)
  • Intro
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • References
Recommended:  Academic Paper Format

Ensure you know the number of words you are required to write so you do not exceed the limit. Ensure your cover page has your name, the name of your school and lecturer and the title of your term paper, semester, year and level. Your introduction must contain your topic sentence and supporting details about what you are arguing for. The body of your paper may have subchapters where you will discuss your point or provide answers/evidence to questions you have raised.

  1. Write your draft

Arrange the information you have gathered in the manner of your outline. Make sure you verify statistics if you are to use one and be confident of the accuracy and relevancy of your information. After doing this, begin writing but make sure your ideas are related and pay attention to your grammar and vocabulary. When you are done with your first draft, re-write and ensure your sentences flow logically- are coherent.

  1. Edit your final draft

This is an essential part of your writing. Look at the paragraphs and ask yourself if each line communicates your idea. Are your thoughts closely linked to one another? Can your reader grasp the meaning of your sentence without misinterpreting it? What about your spelling and vocabulary? A helpful tip will be reading out aloud. Also, check for punctuation errors and your ability to use transitional devices; I would advise that you use a grammar checker; there are hundreds of them online that you can use to edit your work.

Do you have an idea to add? Please use the comment section and we MAY use your suggestion to update the content.

List of referencing styles- 3 common referencing styles, uses and their importance


How to write an expository essay – Components and approach to expository essay

How to write an expository essay – Components and approach to expository essay



Drop your comment, question or suggestion for the post improvement

error: Content is protected !!
Open chat
WhatsApp Now
We can get that stress off your shoulder.

You can call now on +2348060755653 or click below to chat.
%d bloggers like this: