You are not alone if you are wondering how the length of the term paper should be. It is a question that many students are dreading to get answers to. Matters become confusing especially when the professor fails to give the word limit.
It happens that one must write a standard paper at the end of the term. It can be easy if students know what to include on those pages
Optimal Length for a Term Paper
Typically, an average term paper or research paper should be from 5 to 7 pages. For that matter, such papers should have at least two paragraphs for every page. However, the length of a paper depends on different factors, mainly depending on the type of paper, the technicality, and the expectations of the professor.
The paragraph should follow the usual style featuring topical sentences, supported by details, transitions, and examples.
For every project, there should be sections for an introduction plus background. In addition, it should have a thesis, opposing arguments, and a conclusion. Ensure that the paragraphs have specific lengths and functions.
Introductions and Conclusion
Ensure that both the introduction and conclusion do not exceed one paragraph. Their structures should mirror one another apart from words. When writing an introduction, it should have a hook, preceded by a bridge to the thesis, and later include the thesis.
In the conclusion section, you must restate the thesis and summarize by giving a review of the paper.
Background Information and Opposing Arguments
Suppose the instructions allow one to put some background information or opposing argument, then let every part be a single paragraph each.
When dealing with background information, the author gives enough facts to allow the reader to understand the argument fully.
About the opposing argument, the writer should say why the argument is right and also how the same argument may not be valid.
Ensure you approach the two issues with care without insulting one another.
That shows that you performed your research well and you understand the dynamics of the topic.
The Length of Body Paragraphs
The body paragraphs are sections that support your thesis. The typical body can be around three to four paragraphs.
These paragraphs should also include the topic sentences that complement the key argument that you placed in the introduction.
You should put the supporting details with relevant examples to offer strong support for your points for arguments. Ensure that every paragraph is highly focused.
Factors Determining the Length of your Research Paper
Before you decide to write your term paper, it is important to know the length of your paper. Several variables will dictate the length of your paper as indicated below.
1. The Research Subject
The subject of your research will play a critical role in determining how long your term paper should be. If you are dealing with a simple subject, then chances are high that your final paper will not be too lengthy.
On the contrary, a complex subject will be a game-changer.
It means that one must perform enough research from different sources.
Such means that you must gather as many details as you can to consolidate your arguments.
In the meantime, it may push you to have included more paragraphs in the body and thus making your paper to be longer.
2. The topic that Emerges from the Subjects
Well, as you write your essay, you will begin with doing proper research. Later, you will have to create an outline. Your outline should guide you to know what to include and what not.
If you are handling involving subjects, it means that you may likely have many subtopics to make your arguments sink to the reader’s mind well.
Then again, suppose the topic is not as complicated as others, then you will be making your arguments without putting so many subtopics. If little subheadings come out, then the essay length will be shorter.
3. Complexities of Subtopics
The essay will be longer if the subtopic is complex. Furthermore, if these subtopics are many, then it will take you more work to explain them to your audience for better interpretation.
Doing so makes your essay paper take your space hence become longer than ever. The complexity of the subtopics will also determine how long your paragraphs will be to cover them well.
Suppose the essay lacks more complicated subtopics, then it will be easy to make your arguments in a short and precise manner. As such, the paper will be short.
4. The Magnitude of Your Findings
When you are doing the research on your topics, you will encounter many materials and ideas that support your topic.
In case you find more materials to use in your essay, then you must organize them well to expound on your arguments. Such an approach makes your essay long.
5. The Stretch of your Discussion and Conclusions
When you are writing the paper, you must gather suitable facts to support your arguments. Here, the writer must determine the stretch at which you want to make your points clear to the reader.
If you want to give out as many details as the facts can allow, then you will make the paper to be longer. But short papers will be different. Read how to write 5-paragraph essays to see how different it is.
Also, your conclusion should be a review of what you had to be discussed in the essay. If you want to touch every aspect in summary, then it may make your paper stretch far.
Joseph is a freelance journalist and a part-time writer with a particular interest in the gig economy. He writes about schooling, college life, and changing trends in education. When not writing, Joseph is hiking or playing chess.