Instructions and Guidance for Term Papers
To produce an excellent term paper, it is sensible to start doing research on you topic on time. You should ensure that the local library is able to provide you with all the necessary materials. Claiming that the sources are unavailable is not convincing excuse for a poorly researched paper. Thereby, if you start working on your paper earlier, you will have all the chances to get rare or missing books from Interlibrary Loan. If you are going to utilize Internet sources, you should cite them properly then. However, website posts are not reliable sources since they may contain inaccurate information without proper referencing.
When writing a paper, do not forget about the style. Academic writing neither practices using the second person nor encourages the usage of the first person unless you are expressing your own opinion or providing personal reflection. Thereby, you should write in the third person to sound more neutral and objective. Furthermore, you are expected to meet the requirements of formal writing. It means that you have to avoid any colloquial phrases, idioms, slang, and jargon. Besides, you are not allowed to use contracted forms in academic writing. You should always consider your audience, which usually includes professors, researchers, and students. Keep in mind that writing a term paper presents your knowledge in a particular subject, an ability to conduct a research, and a mastery to support your arguments. Considering the purpose of writing, ensure that you are using an appropriate style.
You should not be so confident about writing a term paper from scratch at one go. Papers need to be revised and proofread several times. When revising a piece of writing, it is recommended to read it aloud. In addition, you may hire a professional editor to help in making your paper cohesive and coherent.
A vast majority of term papers on anthropology are either reports of the previously conducted research or literature reviews on a specific research topic. An original research report frequently includes a “literature review” part that makes the student’s project a summary of the previously done research.
A thesis statement is usually one sentence that concludes introduction and states the focus of the paper. Regarding a research paper, a thesis is often a sentence presenting an issue or hypothesis you are about to investigate. Then, the body of the paper includes a description of the methods utilized in the research, important data, and major findings.
In literature review section, with a help of a thesis you analyze often contradictory opinions regarding the particular issue presented by different researches and make your own conclusion. In this particular section, your task is to persuade the audience that your standpoint is worth consideration. Thereby, you should support your arguments with relevant evidence.
Moreover, your term paper should be well organized, laconic, comprehensible, and obviously thought provoking. Academic paper has to prove your profound understanding of the topic and great knowledge of the subject. Do not overuse quotations. In order to provide a plagiarism-free paper, cite the other researcher’s ideas and thoughts in a proper way. Keep in mind that your topic should be specific so that you may cover it completely in a short paper. In addition, consider making an outline to provide a well-developed and structured piece of writing.
Structure of Tem Papers:
- The title page. A title is to describe the topic precisely.
- Abstract (if necessary). An abstract contain about 100-250 words highlighting the most important ideas and findings of your project.
- Introduction and problem statement. At the beginning of your term paper, you should clearly define the problem, provide a thesis, and indicate the purpose and central idea of the project. In this opening paragraph, you have to tell the audience what the paperwork is about. Sometimes, the introduction paragraph incorporates a brief background and literature review.
- Research Methods (if necessary). The methods utilized during the research depend on its context. They have to include the nature of the sample (interview, television, behavioral observations and its context (e.g., interviews at the workplace, observation at the hospital/career center etc.). Besides, in this section, you have to mention the way the data will be analyzed.
- This section includes the analysis of data and presentation of relevant information. All the tables and figures should be properly named and present clear information.
- At this stage of paper development, you have to interpret the data you have received. Ensure that your findings directly relate to the question in the introduction.
- This section includes a brief summary and logical conclusions. If necessary, you may suggest ideas for further research.
- All the scholarly sources used during the research should be cited and arranged in an alphabetical order by author’s last name. (See the example below).
- Appendix(es) (if necessary). This section includes additional materials that contain information relevant to the subject. For instance, they refer to diagrams or questionnaires that provide the reader with better understanding the research findings.
You should insert the citation in a text not as footnotes or endnotes (if necessary, use them for additional information). When you cite general information, you should mention the author’s name and a date of publication in parentheses, e.g., (Adams 1956). However, when citation specific information or numerical data, you have to indicate a page number apart from that, e.g., (Adams 1956: 22). If you insert direct quotes, you should use quotation marks. Even if you have used a chapter from an edited volume, then in the text, you should cite the author of the chapter, but not the volume editor. Do not get frustrated with remembering all these rules. Most of the citation style guides are available online on either American Anthropologist (www.aaanet.org) or American Antiquity (www.saa.org) websites.