research paper tips

Some Basic "Do's and Don'ts" for term paper writing

Remember a term paper is not just an essay of sorts; it is on all accounts a test. Never write a term paper for information, or how well you learn your subject. Write it for the instructor. Show your instructor what you learned, from subject to writing style. This is testing everything you learned, and that includes how to write a paper.


If your instructor was easy on you with one style of writing, they likely will not here. Expect anything on a term paper, including a style change. A term paper can be in any style; APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, OSCOLA, or AP, expect anything. Do not wait to get started. As soon as you know what style it will be in, and it should be in your syllabus, get the style guide. The term paper will be at the end of your semester. You will be studying for your other exams then too. So do not put it off, start as soon as you can.

Keep on tract

Keep your work organized. By keeping things organized, it is easier to keep your thought moving even and coherently. Do not break your thought up. Wondering around an idea is not a good way to do things. The reader will get lost, and your grades will suffer.

Keep it simple

Be clear and concise. Do not rely on the reader understanding what you are saying, make sure they do. If something is a bit complex, break it down to make sure they understand it. Do not be insulting about it, just break it down so the common person can read it.

Do not force or rush your writing

Do not force yourself to write. Forcing and pushing will increase mistakes. Relax, and take your time. If you need to, take a break from your paper, take a walk, study something else, or play a game. Then come back to it and write when you are more relaxed.

Acceptable information

Use reliable information. By now you should know what is accepted in your school, and what is not. Even though some sources are great for resources, do not use them in your paper. Use the resources they give.