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Tips for Successful College Term Papers

  • By Daniel Millions
  • Published 08/26/2008
  • Writing

Just about every college student has stressed about a college term paper. Those college term papers are as much a part of college life as homecoming weekend, cheerleaders, fraternity parties and bad college food! While students often worry about their college term papers, these assignments can and do become easier over time. There are some great tips for success that underclassmen often learn from the upperclassmen. Here are some tips for success that will work with any major and any type of assignment. Follow the instructions from the professor. Some college students might wonder what would be wrong with putting great effort into writing a ten-page paper and using seven sources for this college term paper. Well, nothing would be wrong, except that particular professor had asked for a seven-page paper, which used a minimum of ten sources! Getting the directions wrong is a big way to have trouble with an assignment. Before you even get started, read them slowly and highlight each point. Ask the professor questions about the assignment if you are unclear. Sometimes a professor doesn’t include every detail, especially if they have been teaching a course for a long time. They just assume college students know what they are talking about. Your question could help the entire class. Start the assignment the moment it is assigned. Some students might groan at that one, thinking that only a total geek would do that. However, a savvy college student knows that when time is on your side there is a lot more you can do for a term paper. You’ll have better research, more time to write and especially the time to edit your college term paper. You won’t be like those stressed out college students up the night before, drinking pots of coffee typing away at their college term papers cursing their professors for yet another assignment. Your assignment will have been done, sitting in your backpack waiting to be turned in.

Give every college term paper a bit of a twist. Your college professor reads tons of term papers each semester. Think of how many term

papers do you think an English professor reads about the relationship between Romeo and Juliet. Alternatively, a science professor getting a term paper about how Thomas Edison discovered electricity. Try giving your papers a bit of a twist on the subject and topic every time and surprise that professor a bit. You’ll do more interesting research and you’ll get a better grade. Do a paper on the parents of Romeo and Juliet or on the inventions of Thomas Edison that didn’t work (there were a lot of them). This shows you’ve been thinking about the topic and put some of your own creative thinking into the class as well. That’s an “A” paper all the way! Use a variety of research sources. Some college students today turn only to the Internet, doing one big Internet search for the subject and selecting the top five links for the college term paper subject. This is a huge mistake when it comes to your research. Get creative when it comes to selecting research sources. Use books, journals, newspaper articles, magazines and the Internet. Try even using personal interviews with sources you feel are interesting on the topic. Be sure to format your college term paper. Every school and each department has specific guidelines about how a paper must be formatted. Follow these instructions. Additionally, spell-check and grammar-check your paper after you have a final document. Don’t simply rely on your computer’s system to do this for you, use a hard copy dictionary. Think of asking a classmate to read your paper for spelling or grammar check and you can do the same for them. When writing college term papers is hard, ask for help. Sometimes we all need a little extra help; there is nothing wrong with that. Every college has a tutoring center where students receive tutoring in many subjects. You can easily find a tutor that will work with you one-on-one to write stronger college term papers for your assignments. You may discover after several appointments with a tutor that you have much better college term paper skills.

The college term paper is a rite of passage in many ways: every college student must write them for most of their courses. Learning to improve your college term paper skills is beneficial and will help with your college career.



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