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Are Essay-Style Term Papers Complicated?

An essay-style term paper has a particular expected format, and it is essential that you follow the proper style and structure if you would like to earn a decent grade. The components of the typical essay are as follows: the introduction, the development, the argument, and the conclusion. If you follow this structure and focus on a topic you have generated a lot of research for, it is not a complicated process. Here is a guide for how to write the essential components of an essay-style term paper.

The Introductory Section

The introduction to your term paper should begin very generally, and slowly get more and more specific as you move into your topic of discussion and your central questions. The intro should feature background information on the background or context of the issue being described, and should use concrete, specific examples, quotes, or anecdotes to illustrate your point.

As you move farther into the introduction, you should demonstrate what your research questions are for the topic you’re interested in. It should also be clear to the reader, as you develop your introduction, what your position or hypothesis is. Make sure to explain any relevant terms which the reader may be unfamiliar with, and provide a great deal of information about the topics involved, and use specific descriptions of your method of analyses or data collection.

The Development

After the introduction, the paper should move into the development of your idea and the testing of your hypotheses. This section fleshes out the concepts first described in the introduction, and should focus more on the questions of key interest. You should state the central thesis or the argument you will be defending explicitly in this section. The development section should progress in a narrative style, but with a clear perspective.

The Argument or the Results

Once you have stated your main topic question or central thesis, you should advocate it in this section. In the argument section, you should focus on your question and bring up the relevant data that answers it, and cite where you got the information. Explain how the data your are citing answers the question, and do so in a very explicit manner. Make sure to acknowledge alternate accounts of the information or different interpretations that do not support your thesis, if there are such viewpoints. That said, build a case for your position that is balanced, reasoned, and strong.

The Conclusion

The final section of the term paper should sum up the findings that were described in the argument. Restate the overall question or thesis and state, in new terms, why the evidence you have marshaled supports your interpretation. Begin in a very specific fashion, then become broader and describe the implications of what you have learned. Demonstrate how your view relates to the greater context. End with a strong, general statement that is relevant and ties back in to the background information contained in the introduction.


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