Term papers, essays and other written assignments will become an integral part of the academic process that students face daily. Written assignments must be prepared (written) and then, as a rule, presented to the audience. In this article, we provide recommendations that will help students cope with these tasks and receive excellent marks.
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Analyse the Literature on Your Topic
First of all, you should determine what the essence of the task is and where you can get information for its accomplishment. When you find the answer, monitor the sources (we recommend that you use search engines to select the library; a remote access to a large amount of literature is available online). Sources must be scientific and professional. To find additional sources, you can refer to Wikipedia, but do not use this website as an independent data source.
When you have a full-fledged baggage of publications, articles, studies and reports, sort them out in terms of relevant information. If there are too many sources, match them up. In this way, you will identify common features and trends, as well as alternative theories on the topic you are studying. Before writing a paper, you must be sure that you really have a clear understanding of the literature on your topic, are familiar with it and are able to evaluate it critically.
Study the Style and Formatting Requirements
You will be required to use scientific terminology, as well as observe the rules for writing term papers and essays, including citing sources. You can familiarise yourself with the relevant rules on the website of your faculty. It is important to keep in mind that each faculty can have its own rules. However, there are general requirements. For example, for a direct quotation, you must use quotation marks (“…”), which distinguish an exact wording copied from the text. If the quotation takes more than 5 lines, write it in a separate paragraph (or in italics). At the end of the quotation, you must indicate author’s name (according to the rules of your faculty) and the number of the page, from which the quotation was copied. Even if you report the text in your own words, you still rely or refer to a certain idea, therefore you need to specify its author in brackets.
When writing a paper, attention should be paid to the following structural elements:
- Front page contains the name of the faculty; the name and surname of the author; a registration number; a topic; an academic subject; information about the teacher; place and date of the paper.
- The title of the paper should reflect its content, be clear and attract attention.
- The content of the paper should include the titles of all chapters with indication of pages, including tables, images and supplements.
- Introduction, in which you present your work to the reader, should include summary, structure and theoretical part of the paper. You can also start the text with an interesting quotation by some author. In this part of the paper, you can also put forward hypotheses and justify their choice. As a rule, hypotheses are certain statements that are formulated on the basis of your opinion or read literature. You are sure of their admissibility and you are going to confirm or deny them during the study. A good hypothesis should be based on an assumption and contain two or more theses.
- The main text is a key element of any term paper. In the first (introductory) chapter, you explain the basic terms that will be used throughout the paper. If necessary, break the text into paragraphs (1.1, 1.2., etc.) However, it is not necessary to distinguish paragraphs based on each semantic block of the text. Make sure that the individual parts of the text do not contradict each other. Use professional vocabulary correctly and write grammatically.
- The conclusion implies the solution of a scientific issue. In this part of the paper, you confirm or refute your hypothesis, provide recommendations for further studies, express your point of view and distinguish the problems you encountered while writing the paper.
- References that you used in your work should be specified according to the faculty rules. The names of the authors should be listed in an alphabetical order.
- Supplements: maps, tables, figures, articles, surveys, etc.
Important. Recently, there have been several resonant cases of plagiarism. Do not follow this destructive practice of copying text fragments from other works or sources. There is software that can instantly recognize plagiarism. Plagiarism is a punishable act (read the regulations of your faculty).
Ensure All the Conditions Necessary for the Productive Work:
- Devote enough time. Do not postpone everything until the last day. Write your paper stepwise. To control intervals and breaks, you can use special applications (for example, a timer, which will notify you about a 5-minute pause every 25 minutes).
- Get rid of all the distractions. For example, you can use an application that turns off the Internet connection at a pre-set time. Thus, you will not receive distracting messages from social networks and you will be able to devote all the allotted time to writing the paper. Alternatively, you can write your paper in the library, where there are more conditions for concentration.
- Try using free online editors (like Google Docs) that automatically save documents.
- When you finish writing the paper, read the text at least twice to avoid grammatical, stylistic and thematic errors. Wait for at least a few days between the first and the second readings. In order to save time, learn how to create an automatic table of contents.
- While writing, it may happen that you use similar words too often. Use the Wordle App, where you can upload your essay or term paper, and the app will create a semantic cloud to replace frequently repeated words. To avoid duplication, use a thesaurus that suggests synonyms when writing.
- Use special spelling services if you doubt the correct use of the word and want to find out how it is declined.
- When writing a paper, avoid using words borrowed from other languages. Try to use corresponding expressions in the language, in which the paper is written. If you are not sure about the quality of the translation, indicate the phrase in the original language as well.
- All abbreviations should be commented. If, for example, the term “European Union” appears in the text, then later in the text you can write the EU provided that when you first used the abbreviation you wrote “(EU)” in brackets.
- Be sure to include all sources, from which you took the information. To spend less time on formatting quotes, use, for example, the EndNote or Mendelay software.
- Search for articles in scientific databases and do not refer to unscientific sources from the Internet.
In conclusion, it should be emphasized that, when accomplishing any task, even if it is a very complicated one, the right attitude is important. Consider writing your paper not as a difficult task that takes a lot of your time and efforts, but as an excellent opportunity to discover new knowledge that you have not previously possessed. Gain important research experience and deserved respect from fellow students and teachers. We wish you good luck!