Term Paper Blues? A Guide to Its Structure

Depending on the subject, some teachers – whether in college or high school – may require you to create a term paper.  Though this is usually not something most students enjoy, there are things they will learn from the process.  It is also not as difficult as a thesis paper or a research paper, which means students can make a great term paper if they set theirs mind to it.

Purpose of the term paper

In a term paper, a student is asked to expound upon a particular topic in the subject.  This may mean explaining a theory and its uses, discussing the significance of particular events, or expounding upon issues that most people are not usually aware of.  This is why it is a project often given in classes like History, Humanities, Literature, and Social Studies.

Aside from learning more about the subject, the term paper teaches students about academic writing and research.  These skills may be helpful in their future studies (college or graduate school) or future work.

Basic structure

Most term papers follow a particular structure.  This consists of a Title Page, Acknowledgment, Table of Contents, Abstract, Introduction, Review of Literature, Methodology, Results, Recommendations, and Bibliography.

Tips for your term paper

1. Find a sample

Many of the paper’s elements (Title Page, Acknowledgment, Table of Contents, and Bibliography) can be imitated if you have a sample term paper to guide you.

2. Abstract

This gives an overview of your paper. It should have a summary of the key parts, namely the intro, hypothesis, methodology, and results. The abstract is supposed to be short, possibly no more than 500 words.

3. Introduction

The introduction presents the reasons behind the term paper: what is the context of the problem, what is the significance of the investigation, and what do you expect to uncover (hypothesis). Make it clear and engaging so that your readers will be motivated to read more.

4. Review of Literature

This section contains the list of studies connected to your topic.  It also mentions theories about what you are researching on.  This area must be very thorough as these studies can give you more insight into what you are investigating.

5. Methodology

This chapter explains the process you followed for your research.  It should generally be based on tried-and-tested research methods to ensure your paper is valid.  This is also where the variables of your research are discussed (what you include, what you excluded).

6. Results

This is the section where your findings are discussed in light of the theories and other studies mentioned in the Review of Literature.  Whether or not your hypothesis is correct is also examined here.

The term paper is NOT about proving you are right.  So it is okay to be “wrong” about your idea.  What is important is that you present all angles and determine which one is correct.

7. Recommendations

This chapter presents your recommendations to others based on what you discovered. It should also state your suggestions to those who would like to build upon your study.


As an integral part of the school curriculum today, the term paper is an expected project that both high school and college students will encounter. So remember the pointers given so that your term paper meets your teacher’s expectations. Also, feel free to hire a professional to write my term paper if you can’t compose it by your own and need help.