Writing term papers: These 5 tips will save you

Writing term papers: These 5 tips will save you

A new semester has started and the first term paper is due soon. For many students this means stress, uncertainty and confusion.

Our article will help you get organized in time, find mistakes in your term paper and avoid plagiarism. These five tips will save your term paper and answer the most important questions about correct scientific work!

1. Back Up: Is my housework covered?

This tip about your term paper is actually self-evident. Before you start writing your term paper, make sure you have your document saved on a cloud basis. This means that you don't just file your term paper on your desktop, but save the document in a place where every change is automatically saved. How to avoid having to update your document after every paragraph you write.

Here's how to be covered if your laptop ever crashes or you accidentally delete a paragraph from your term paper. Especially for more extensive term papers, this tip is essential. The Google Docs program is cloud-based and Microsoft Office can be easily connected to a cloud as well.

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2. Time management: Will I finish my homework on time?

A realistic time budget when writing the homework prevents stress. Therefore, at the very beginning of your paper, you should ask yourself the question: How long do I want to take to write the term paper?? If the term paper is not all that important because you may just have to pass, fewer hours will suffice. For larger term papers you can quickly invest too much time, which is not always necessary.

Once you've set the hours, you can count backwards from the deadline to the day you start. Keep in mind that you will not only have time for research and writing, but also free time. When planning your time, buffers are also very important – it is recommended to use about 50 percent of the estimated working time for this purpose. Unexpected challenges such as a broken printer, an unavailable book, or a last-minute illness should not upset your schedule.

Many students find it helpful to use calendars to manage their time during their studies. Write down all deadlines digitally or analogously and be specific with your entries. Don't write "start term paper for sociology", but plan the individual steps of your term paper already, for example: "look for literature for the first chapter". Post-it's can also help you organize your work steps. Everyone has his own way to organize. However, organization is a part of success when writing your term paper

In the worst case scenario, if you haven't written anything just before the deadline, it means: Less is more! What should be the main message of the term paper? What requirements must my housework meet in order to pass? Try to draw a red thread through the topic and bring in a good reading flow. You must also comply with the scientific standards for writing a paper. Meeting the standards is immensely important, even if you only have one night left before you have to turn it in.

3. Citation: How to cite in my term paper?

Every student should know what the word plagiarism means. Plagiarism is the copying of other texts without citing sources. If you, for example under time pressure, copy passages from other papers or do not quote appropriately, your lecturer may fail you. If you violate this rule more than once, you may be expelled from the university.

For your term paper, instructors will need you to provide the following information about the sources you used:

  • Name of the source
  • Title
  • Publication year
  • Publication location
  • URL (if published on the internet)

Depending on the type of literature, the details will vary. At the end of the paper, these references must be included in the bibliography. However, there are several ways to cite. Your instructors will tell you which citation style is required at your educational institution.

If you want to make your life much easier, we recommend using citation programs like Endnote, Citavi or Zotero for your work.

To cite internet sources, you can use the APA generator of Scribbr. By entering information it is possible to get the source reference in the text or even a bibliography.

Writing term papers is hard. These 5 tips will help

4. Formatting: How to get my term paper in shape?

Check with the department to see if there are any templates or information on formalities before you start writing the term paper. Because at some universities or colleges this is handled differently.

You should not only apply the correct formatting, but also check it several times. To make writing future papers easier, it's smart to save your style sheets and use them as defaults. So these formalities will be transferred to any future document.

5. Content: How to write my term paper?

You can adapt the way you write your term paper to your lecturer. Depending on what the person places special emphasis on, you can improve your grade if you implement the requirement. In general, you should pay attention to these things when writing a scientific paper:

  • Avoid too many technical words and rather show that you understand the technical terms
  • Avoid long nested sentences
  • Avoid using the nominal style too often
  • Always try to shorten a bit and to formulate your statements to the point
  • Avoid spelling mistakes and use several tools to check for it
  • Avoid punctuation errors and use several tools to check those

Have your finished text proofread by family, friends and fellow students. Punctuation, grammar and logic errors are usually noticed during proofreading

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