Term Paper Ideas: What Is The Right Structure

One of the most asked questions about term papers is this one: 'what is the right structure for term papers?

When you think about it, the right structure for term papers is usually the first structure you're introduced to when writing a term paper in the first place. Many academic institutions use this particular structure when assigning and providing examples of what a term paper is.

The 'right structure' of a term paper

The structure of a term paper is a lot more simple than what most people think. That's because most term papers have a structure that best expresses the subject that the writer writes about. Let's look at a common example of a structured term paper:

  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

This example, paraphrased from an educational resource, is one of the more common structures for a term paper. As a high level structure for term papers, it helps students properly express the subject and their opinions about said subject in the term paper they need to write about. Now, let's take a closer look at this particular term paper structure.

Behind the structure of a term paper

Of course, a term paper's structure has meaning behind each 'pillar' that's supposed to hold information within the foundation of the paper itself. Those 'pillars' naturally have a purpose themselves.

  • Title. The title is the first thing people are going to see, so it's important for students to be specific and write a title that will give their readers an idea about what to expect from the paper. The most important words should be included in the title, thanks to that idea.
  • Introduction. The introduction should more or less summarize the entire paper. It should also indicate why the paper's subject was interesting and describe why the paper was written to explore the subject in question.
  • Background. The background is pretty self explanatory. This section essentially provides enough background context to inform the reader of the subject on hand, so they can understand the writer's analysis of said subject in the paper itself.
  • Methods and Results. Both methods and results more or less depict the journey and the results from that journey—within the context of exploring the paper's subject, of course. In other words, this section depicts the experimentation done to explore the subject at hand and the results from those same experiments.
  • Discussion and Conclusion. The discussion section simply discusses the previous section, exploring the methods and results from angles that ultimately evaluate and analyze them. The conclusion naturally wraps up the discussion and, subsequently, the entire paper, often restating 'talking points' from the introduction to wrap up the paper on a good note.
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