The key to writing a successful term paper is in the organisation. Well written papers hide the effort that goes into the plans and research whilst also demonstrating a knowledgeable insight into a chosen subject.
The first step that you need to take is to select the subject you wish to write about. Some universities will give you guidelines on this, and some even will distribute a list of titles and topics to choose from. If this is not the case, think about what you know and what you would be happy to research. Finding a balance between what you know and have research before and ideas and topics which are completely new is ideal.
Once you have your subject and title, you need to start thinking about how you will approach your research process. It is best to use a combination of methods in your research. Online journals and eBooks should be combined with library visits. It is better to have too many resources to draw upon rather than too little. Making the most of your resources come from combining different reading methods. Detailed readings of particular sources with meticulous summaries and notes can be done alongside the skimming of articles to pick out the prominent materials and get a gist of what they are saying. Noting the source of your notes, as you go along, will save you time later in the panicky stage of writing your references.
When you have a comprehensive set of notes in place and you feel that you understand what argument and information you wish to convey in your term paper then you need to start thinking about your plan. A detailed and well thought out plan is essential to a successful term paper. The plan needs to set out how you are going to introduce your subject, what sources and quotations you are going to use to support your writing, and how it will be concluded. The plan should be about 10 percent of your actual term paper. You can look at the plan and play around with ideas and strands of arguments to manipulate it to your conclusion. It is worth investing time on this stage as it will pay off in the finished result.
Now you have to knuckle down and write your paper! This stage should have been made easier through thorough preparation. Keep to your plan and keep the flow of your writing consistent throughout. It is sometimes advisable to not write your introduction until you have finished the rest of your paper because, at that stage, you can truly introduce what the rest of your paper sets out to do.
Referencing can seem an annoying and tedious end to your paper writing but it is essential to get this write! Comprehensive reference about the providence of your sources in your notes should aid this process innumerably.
It may take a few drafts, proofreading and revisions to get the final version of your term paper but the time you invested in the preparation stage should pay off!