Writing introduction, body and conclusion of a term paper

Remember that the term paper counts towards your course grade and that it should be based on the course syllabus.

Basically there are two types of term papers

  1. 1. Argumentative -supported by facts, opinions and beliefs.
  2. 2. Analytical - deals with facts and not opinions, and takes a neutral stance.

Writing the Introduction

Aim - make it interesting for the reader; inform the reader regarding of the relevance of the topic. This means introducing your thesis statement.

The interest that your Introduction demands will determine your grade. Take a tip from newspaper journalists who try to capture your interest in the first sentence and then once the reader is captivated by this they will read further.

Be enthusiastic about your subject if you are bored then so will your reader.

There are some excellent ideas and tactics to grab the readers interest - give an anecdote (related to the subject), pick a line from a poem, or phrase from prose but state why you made that choice. You could also quote a related piece of work. BUT remember do not make the quote or the explanation too long otherwise it will eat into your word count. Be concise with your usage of words.


Writing the Body

Aim - This is where you use your thesis statement.


  1. - Discussion of the purpose and position of your thesis statement.
  2. - Divide your thesis in to sub-points, each sub point is discussed in its own mini-section.
  3. - Start each mini-section with a mini-thesis that indicates its content.

Writing the Conclusion

Aim - to draw all the information that supports your thesis together to arrive at a well discussed and logical conclusive statement.

  1. - Reaffirm your thesis and the points that you have raised in the body of your essay.
  2. - Additional Mileage to your argument/thesis. Find a way of adding a slightly different point of view to your essay, make it ‘POP’, but not so much that it detracts from sensibility and logic. Just as you needed an incentive to the reader in the introduction, you also will benefit from an incentive in the conclusion. Make it so that the reader gets added value from your work and you demonstrate your depth of knowledge of the impact of your thesis.

Remember that you need be aware of the readership of your work - who is your audience. How your work on the essay will dictate you grade. You need to keep to the word count. You need to be aware of research you are quoting as it should not be over 20 years old. Don’t forget to proofread and edit your essay.

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