Tips for writing term papers that bring great grades
The marks from your term papers are an essential part of your overall grade. Although many students are able to gain good grades from an adrenalin-filled writing session just before the deadline this is not the best way to gain marks.
What is the Term Paper Really About?
A good term paper starts long before you sit at your keyboard to write. Firstly, it's important to fully understand exactly what you are being asked to do. Underlining all the keywords used is often helpful. Also actually take time to think about what the term paper is asking before you start working. If you are unsure of exactly what you need to focus on make sure you ask your lecturer or tutor. Even though this seems like an obvious part of writing term papers, it is a common mistake made by students and results in marks being lost for a problem that is easy to avoid.
Plan your term paper and make sure you stick to providing the required information. Getting caught up in the process of writing can lead you to move away from the area of discussion you should focus on. Again another way to throw away marks you could easily get by sticking to the important points.
Know where to find plenty of good references to support your discussion and use them well. Many a good argumentative essay has been spoiled by a lack of support for your ideas. Aim to gain high quality references. Avoid trying to find them at the last-minute (many other students will do this and it is often difficult to find the better books and resources due to demand). This 'collection stage' can be done as soon as you know what you are looking for. The references you find can easily be kept on file until you are ready to write, saving you lots of running around when you need to spend time writing your term paper.
Avoiding the Rush
Most importantly though don't wait until the last moment to look at your term paper question or topic for the first time. You do not want any surprises a week before the term paper is due (or the night before in some cases). The more time you have after you know what you will be writing about the less pressure it will create. It will also be easier to talk to your lecturer or tutor and find great resources. Sometimes you will even know exactly what you intend to write by the time you need to start writing avoiding that rush to think of what to say when writing your term paper.