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What Is a Term Paper: Features and Specifications to Mind

What Is a Term Paper? Term Paper Definition and Key Peculiarities

Writing a term paper is one of the undertakings students are afraid of. The completion of this type of academic assignment requires a lot of time, attention, effort, skills, and knowledge. However, the struggle is real if you know the peculiarities of the paper type and specifications of its writing.

Before you dive into the format, style, and volume of the term paper, you should first deal with the definition. What is a term paper? It is scholarly research required at the end of an academic semester. The main objective of the paper is to evaluate the student’s knowledge of the studied course. A lot of research, data analysis, and technical writing is required during the process. Excellent structure, perfect organization, and profound research are a must. 

What is a Term Paper? Issues to Mind Working on the Assignment

Working on any academic assignment presupposes numerous stages, which helps to save a lot of time and provide the most effective and scholarly research. However, before you immerse yourself into the specifications of the term paper writing process, you should deal with the basic notions.

What is term paper definition? It is a research work created by students over a specific academic term. The paper proves the learners’ awareness of the area and their competence in the field. At this point, it is indispensable to mention that term papers can be written at different educational levels, including

  • high school
  • college
  • university

Irrespective of the necessary academic level, the process will remain the same. The key discrepancies may be related to the volume of the assignment and its formatting peculiarities. The requirements for high-school work may be lower than the ones for university and college papers.  

At the same time, it is critical to mind a few requirements for a well-written and relevant term paper. 

  • It must contain a title page. 
  • It must include an abstract.
  • It must start with a concise introduction. 
  • It must feature a well-structured body. 
  • It must include a relevant concluding part. 
  • It must finish with the discussion passage. 

Writing a Term Paper: Differentiating It from Other Types of Academic Assignments

What is another word for term paper? You should have definitely heard about research papers, which are frequently used to denote term papers. Nonetheless, these two notions are not interchangeable, as each type of work has its peculiarities. It is another proof of the fact that the prewriting stage is fundamental and helps to set the right process, eliminating critical mistakes.   

What Is the Difference Between a Term Paper and a Research Paper?

Striving to find the essential discrepancies between a research paper and a term paper, it is indispensable to start with similarities first. What is term paper? While you are already aware of its definition, you should analyze another notion. 

In fact, both types of academic works aim to estimate the writing, research, and analytical skills of students. Additionally, they are frequently used to evaluate the learner’s ability to follow the given instructions, especially when it comes to the structure and formatting of the paper. 

As for the differences between the works, they are multiple and include mainly:

  • length
  • structure
  • goal

What Is the Difference Between an Essay and a Term Paper?

While finding the discrepancies between the term paper and research paper may be a bit more complicated, pointing out the differences between an essay and a term paper is much simpler. First of all, one should answer the question, “What is a college term paper?” Once you understand the goal of the assignment completion and its specifications, you understand the way it is different from an average academic essay. 

Check out the table to compare the most significant features of the essay, research paper, and term paper. 

  Essay Research Paper Term Paper
Length Five paragraphs should be included in the text, with no difference in length. At least eight pages are required. It may vary from five to eight pages.
Goal To introduce the writer's opinion on the topic and double-check the ability of the student to analyze received data.  To solve a specific problem. To evaluate the student’s knowledge in the area after a certain term.
Research Required No Yes Yes
Writer’s Opinion In most instances, academic essays presuppose the introduction of the writer’s idea on the topic. Bare facts and relevant information is required. No emotional statements and personal ideas are acceptable. Although the writer can stick to a certain point of view, each should be scientifically proven and backed by unbiased and up-to-date evidence.


What Is a Term Paper and How to Write It? A Few Tips to Consider

Writing a term paper that is worth the highest grade is a long and daunting process that requires a lot of attention and consideration. Proper time management, determination, research, and writing skills will help you achieve the desired results. 

What does the term paper writing process look like? Here are the most critical stages of work you will have to go through.

  1. Select a relevant and appealing topic. 
  2. Do profound research. 
  3. Write a thesis. 
  4. Compile an outline.
  5. Create the first draft. 
  6. Proofread and edit the paper. 
  7. Submit it. 

Once you succeed with every step, you have an opportunity to get the desired grade and succeed with the course. 

What Is the Goal of a Term Paper?

The main goal of the academic assignment is to evaluate the student’s ability to describe an event, analyze key concepts or argue specific points. However, it is indispensable to remember that the objectives of the writing may also include other points, such as:

  • Giving a student an opportunity to interact with other students, scholars, and professors.
  • Providing the learner with a chance to improve their competence and expertise in a certain area. 
  • Allowing students to self-educate. 

What Is a Term Paper Format?

The citation style, length, and other formatting aspects are critical for students working on term papers. Therefore, depending on the requirements of the professor or peculiarities of the work, it may be written in accordance with APA or MLA styles. 

How Long Should a Term Paper Be?

The length of the term paper is not strictly regulated, but on average, it varies between five and eight pages. Those pages should also include two paragraphs each. A topic sentence, evidence, supporting details, transitions, examples, and other writing instruments should also be mentioned.