7 Steps From The Basics To A Pro: Term Paper Writing Process



When you started writing assignments in high school, there were a number of things you would have gotten wrong quite often. Now that you’re in college or university, your skills need to be more refined so that the quality of your paper is on the level it should be. The following seven points indicate how and where you should have improved by now. If you haven’t made these improvements, identify where you are falling short and use these pointers to correct yourself.

Saying more with less

A simple skill you should’ve learnt by now is to say as much as possible with fewer words. Here is an example of this:

Replace: “If only he had not gone away so soon, we could have still had a lot of fun.” With: “Had he not left so soon, we would still be enjoying ourselves.” That’s a saving of six words, which will add up if you can shorten every sentence with the same effectiveness.

Writing succinctly is a skill you must master as time goes by. The more you say in a term paper, the more points you will get for relevancy—just do so without filling up your word count too quickly.

Catchy subheadings

Something else you should work at is creating subheadings that make your reader want to read each paragraph. Instead of just providing a flat, factual subheading, give your reader something enticing. Some examples of this are:

  • Posing a question instead of a description.
  • Promising a solution to a problem. (“How to ensure...”)
  • Adding the slightest touch of humour to your heading to make it stand out. (Don’t overdo it though)

Sticking to your topic

Back in middle school and high school you probably often rambled about things that were off topic. However it’s time you moved away from this habit and stayed true to the gist of your term paper’s title. Keep looking at your topic heading and ask yourself whether you are still on track with your initial intentions.

Learning to not be redundant

Saying the same thing twice in a different way will simply frustrate your college professor or teacher—and not win you any points. If you feel you haven’t explained something effectively enough, don’t take the easy way out and repeat it in a different way. Rather reword the sentence completely—keeping it as a single thought.

Going the extra mile

If you are still messing around with light effort research and planning, you will not live up to tertiary education standards. You may have gotten away with that at high school, but now you will be expected to put some effort into your work. This includes:

  • Verifying your facts as much as necessary.
  • Taking more time to plan the outline of your paper.
  • Going deeper into a concept to make sure it is fully understood.
  • Giving the reader a complete background into something that may not be obvious.

Learning as you go

The point of your term paper used to be, “Let’s just get this over and done with.” But by now, your attitude should have changed to, “Let’s see what I can learn from this assignment.” The best term papers are written when the student learns via the research process. Make sure you compile a term paper that shows your enlightenment throughout.

Making a point

A brilliant way to make a valid point is to write down a single-minded statement that you wish to convey throughout your assignment. Write this down for yourself and keep it on hand whenever you feel you are going off track. Any sentence that does not convey your point, should be stated differently—or scrapped altogether.