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Term paper writing: consult closely with your advisor


When you get to college, you will find that instructors do not assign nearly as many projects, papers, and assignments as high school instructors assign. This means that those few assignments have a big impact on your grade. In some cases, instructors will only assign a mid-term paper and a term paper. The mid-term paper will be assigned to show what you know at the halfway point of the course and the term paper is your chance to show what you have learned in the entire course. When you write these papers, it is important to work closely with your instructor or your advisor.

  1. Step One:
  2. Once you receive your term paper assignment, the first thing you should do is read the assignment immediately. Write down all of the questions you have on the assignment sheet or on the electronic document. If your instructor goes over the assignment, take notes so you know exactly what the instructor wants you to do. Instructors will often write down one thing, but then say something else about assignments.

  3. Step Two:
  4. As soon as you are able to make an appointment to meet with your advisor or instructor, do it. Ask your questions and get the clarification that you can during a one-on-one meeting rather than in front of the entire class. Instructors are often irritated when students ask questions for their needs rather than for the needs of the entire class. When you have your meeting, take notes.

  5. Prepare for the First Meeting:
  6. You can also prepare for the first meeting by investigating potential topics and looking over the formatting guide. You might only be able to get one meeting with your instructor, so use it well. However, if your instructor will meet with more than once, book those appointments at the midpoint of the term paper and a few days before the final paper is due.

  7. Midpoint Meeting:
  8. When you get to the halfway point of your paper, your appointment with your advisor or instructor should focus on your thesis, support, and voice. Your instructor probably will not read your entire paper, so come with segments that could use some feedback.

  9. Final Meeting:
  10. At the end point of the term paper, bring in your works cited page and anything else that you think you need help with, but do not bring the entire paper. Your instructor will not edit your paper, so like the midpoint meeting, bring only the weakest parts. Be sure to take your instructor’s advice and apply it to every section of your paper and always take good notes during all of the meetings.

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