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The big semester term paper assignment — it’s due soon, it’s half of your grade, you haven’t started it yet and you have no idea where to begin, right? Relax, and follow our formula. We’ve broken out the simple steps to writing a top-notch term paper so that you can tackle the assignment.

5 Steps to a Great Term Paper

Step 1: Choose Your Topic
If you’re lucky, your teacher is allowing you to pick a topic that interests you. Having passion for the topic you’re writing about will help you to enjoy crafting your paper, so choose wisely. If your topic was dictated, we can still help! Move on down to Step 2.

Step 2: Do Your Research
As much as you want to start typing away to get the assignment over with, you must start with research. Dedicate a few days (or at least a few hours) of researching everything you need to know about your topic. It will make the writing process easier. By doing the research ahead of time, your thesis statement and paper outline will become clear before you even start typing. Yes, you guessed it; those are Steps 3 and 4.

Step 3: Develop Your Thesis Statement
Ask yourself: What’s the single, strongest idea I want to discuss throughout the body of this paper? That’s your thesis statement. Your statement should make it clear to the reader what they are going to be reading about and what your position is on that topic. You must always support your thesis statement, from the intro throughout the body and into the conclusion. 

Step 4: Develop an Outline
The function of the outline is to break down the contents of your paper into digestible sections. Consider it a path that the writer and reader take together, from the first steps to the final destination, and all of the twists and turns along the way. Once you develop the outline for your paper, the hard part is done. Now all you have to do is fill in the holes with research that supports your statement — but no fluff here. It’s great to sprinkle in quotes from your research, but be sure that your voice and opinion is coming through in your words.

Step 5: Conclusion
You’re almost done! The conclusion is the easiest part of writing a term paper. In your conclusion, be sure to restate your thesis statement for the reader and briefly sum up the points in your paper. Now that you’re done, what’s your favorite thing to do? Go do it — you’ve earned it!

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