You are struggling with writing your term paper?

No worries! Here are some helpful tips for writing a term paper. Please take into account that requirements may differ from lecturer to lecturer. So if you are not sure what is expected from you, get in contact with the respective lecturer first.
The following points are, generally, key elements of scientific papers:

Formal criteria


Formal criteria address the consistent use of the APA guidelines for scientific writing throughout the whole term paper. Also the paper must contain all the major aspects of a scientific publication, such as a cover sheet (including your name, the name of the lecture, your immatriculation number etc.), a table of content, list of references, page numbers and consistent use of font and font size. Please take into account that a correct use of grammar and spelling is also a key element of a proper term paper.


You have to consider the following points concerning the content of your term paper:

  • Structure: The paper is subdivided into 5 parts (Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results and Discussion). All those key parts of a scientific paper serve a specific purpose, which has to be answered adequately.

  • Clear articulation of the problem statement and the research question: The scientific problem you are addressing is articulated clearly and precisely in the introduction. The end of the process of articulation of the research problem is the formulation of a precise research question.

  • Logical argumentation throughout the whole paper: Starting from the problem statement, the argumentation has to be logically coherent. The Results chapter must focus the problem addressed in the Introduction. The gathered information has to be factually correct and must be presented in a clear and well-founded fashion. In short: At the end of the paper the reviewer should have a clear idea of the analyzed problem and about how the results came about.

Use of appropriate language and style

The submitted paper must be written in appropriate language and style. The argumentation should be short and clear. Exaggerating phrasing and a subjective and emotional perspectives should be avoided.

Reference to literature and correct use of citation

The foundation of a high quality paper is a thorough literature review. The used literature has to be up-to-date and must cover all the aspects of the analyzed problem. The review of the literature must be well integrated in the text and the number of references has to be adequate (neither too many nor too little). The references should be mostly primary sources. References must be carried out accordingly to the APA guidelines.


The abstract is a key part of every scientific publication. It’s quality has a huge impact on whether people will read or will not read the paper. The abstract is a compact (200 words or less) summary of the paper and contains an overview of the problem statement, the used method, the results and the conclusion. All the important information found in the paper must  also be found in the abstract. Also take into account that the formal requirements of an abstract must be met (according to APA guidelines).


The addressed subject has to be of relevance for society and the scientific community. Obviously, you are writing a term paper and not a dissertation, but still the problem statement must not be irrelevant.

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