Term Paper Writing Manual: Evaluating Thesis and Sources

An astute student is looking for every angle to perfect on their term paper. Many manuals and guides have been written to assist students in writing, researching and perfecting their term papers. A manual can be of great benefit to help the student stay on track and on point.

Ways a manual can help you with your writing:

  • It gives you guidance on how to write an effective introduction.
  • It explains and outlines all the necessary parts of an excellent term paper.
  • It gives instructions on how to effectively conduct the research for your paper.
  • It explains the mechanics of the writing style.
  • It shows you how to properly make quotations.
  • It describes the proper method for inserting illustrations, charts or tables into your term paper.
  • Provides examples on properly citing electronic sources and other non-traditional sources.

Evaluating your thesis statement:

  • Your thesis statement is the underlying foundation of the term paper.
  • If the thesis is weak, the paper will be also.
  • An effective thesis is much more than just a general topic. It should be something you have both adequate knowledge about as well as an interest to learn more.
  • Should be both interesting and informative to your professor.
  • When choosing your thesis statement, ask yourself what area do you want to explore in the research? Are you answering a question?
  • Is there enough research available to support it?
  • Be flexible enough to tweak your thesis as the research proceeds.

Evaluating your sources:

  • Your paper is only as good as your research sources are.
  • The sources you use must be relevant. Do not include extraneous sources just to pad your references.
  • The internet contains a wealth of both quality and fallacious sources. Don’t trust everything you see in print. You must be able to show your sources are reputable.
  • Are your sources located in academic databases?
  • Do your sources come from scholarly journals?
  • Are they found in professional newspapers?
  • If you have any suspicions as to the validity of your source, don’t use it. False information from a bad source can ruin the validity of your entire term paper.
  • What authority does your source claim to have?
  • Is the source written from an objective, unbiased viewpoint?
  • Are your sources both relevant and current?

A good writing manual can help you fine tune your writing, and use the styles and formats which are expected in your field of study.

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