A short Guide for writing a Term Paper
Looking at all the little possible things to overlook that can ruin your work, writing a term paper might sound imposing at first, while in fact it is quasi-linear at best. There are, believe it or not, fixed, near-surefire methods that may yield you a mark with flying colors for your term paper. Just remember that like everything, it is something that you must put effort in, especially with time-consuming researches and searches for references, and data gathering. Also remember, before you begin, that while gathering information and source material from someone else's works might be condoned, plagiarism is very looked down upon and must not ever cross your mind, however dispirited you may be. Think of it as a crime (most of the time it is). An unforgivable, shameless crime.
At the start of the long road, your first step should be, definitely, choosing a topic. The very first thing to make sure is whether your topic is relevant with what your assignment is. Be sure that you completely understand what the general topic you're assigned to encompass. Consult and consult your teacher on any topic you have in mind, on whether it's legit. You don't want to have months and months of work be useless because it's completely irrelevant to what you're assigned to.
Also make sure that you're completely comfortable with the topic. If possible, find one that you'll actually enjoy working on. If that's not doable, though, at least make sure that it doesn't bore you so you can stick with it and give hard work on it for the long run.
Next should comes the information gathering stage. Be reminded throughout this entire process that you always have a line to fall back to: your teacher. As the term paper-writing process is intended to be a learning process, you can most likely be rest assured that you're not on your own (provided that your research is still in the lines of legality).
Use outside references extensively, but remember to carefully citate every external information you incorporate in your paper. Take note of the book's/essay's details, its year of publish, its exact title, author, etc., including the page where that specific piece of information is located. You will need to refer them all later when you write your paper.
Another thing to note is when using the internet for a source of information, make extra efforts to cross-check and find multiple sources for a piece of info you find from a website.
At this point it's probably useful to be able to distinguish between plagiarizing and citatizing. Basically, when you feel that you start copying someone's work word-by-word, then there's a large chance that you're plagiarizing that work, unintentionally or otherwise. Also, your final product must provide a different conclusion (thus serving a different purpose) than the works you use as your reference.
After all the information is gathered, it's time to make an outline from your materials. There's a dedicated section into writing an outline in this site, but basically you must order your ideas from most general to most specific and from introductory to technical and to conclusive.
The compositioning part should be very straightforward, and probably is the simplest (and most menial) part of your project. Just remember to follow any given formats and write down your references and citations. Furthermore, good luck!