A term paper is a written academic paper that demonstrates the acquired skills and knowledge from a subject of study. It is given to students at the end of the term and account towards their final grading. The term paper length varies but it is usually three to five thousand words.
It can be about a critical essay concerning a current topic that requires the author’s point of view and at the same time, demonstrate some level of understanding on the subject. The author needs to generate some thought and develop compelling arguments that will help bring out facts to his or her view.
Sometimes the professor of the subject may choose the topic for your term paper. In the latter case, the professor will provide you with a problem for you to find solutions. On the other, your professor may not give you much information but a general task. It may be a subject and not a topic concerning the expected aspect of your term paper.
A term paper may also be a research paper depending on your topic of choice. It will involve doing a thorough research for the chosen subject. The requirements for a term paper and a research paper is almost the same since it involves choosing a feasible topic and one that has a sufficient range of available resources. Materials for use for a term paper should be versatile.
A research paper contains a central statement that the author should defend. It may be in form of questions or in form of claims. In any way, it should not be longer than one sentence and needs some clarity.
Having a good outline is the only key to a successful term paper. It is what gives structure and bone to your term paper. It needs to reflect and show suitability with the overall purpose, introduction of your research accompanied by the main conclusions and arguments.
In conclusion, a term paper may share some features as a research paper, but on certain limitation in its purpose and subject.