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The Elements of an Expository Term Paper

As a student, you can count on having to write at least one expository term paper during your academic career. The good news is that these are some of the easiest Research Papers you will ever write.  Not only that, but learning how to write expository papers will also help you in many other areas of academic writing.  Basically, “expository” is a fancy, college way of saying that when you write these papers, you are going to offer an explanation on some topic.  You are basically just presenting information to your reader.  So really, all you need to know is the appropriate term paper format.

The first step of writing an expository term paper is selecting your subject.  Quite often, your teachers or professors will give you a topic so you really do not have to make a decision.  However, as you continue on through school, and especially when you are in college, either your professors will provide you with a very broad topic, so you can choose the subjects, or they will simply allow you free reign – as long as your topic applies to something you have covered in class, of course.  The point is, you will definitely be able to consider your own term paper ideas.

The best topics to choose for these types of Research Papers involve experience you have gone through.  For example, your subject might be based on your chosen field of study and later career, your personal history and background, or something that needs to be researched.  If you are taking an literature class focusing on the early 20th century, you might choose to write a paper on The Great Gatsby or on F. Scott Fitzgerald himself.

Next, you need to create a solid thesis statement for your expository term paper.  This will describe what you intend to discuss, argue, prove, or explain.  For short Research Papers, it pays to have a narrow, concise thesis statement and topic.  Naturally, you can expand when you write larger ones.  The length of your paper is generally provided as well, but the scope is usually broad.  Plan the length you want to get by how much time you have and how quickly you need to work.

That brings us to the best part!  Well, perhaps not, but researching is definitely a necessary part.  Of course, how much research you do really depends on your knowledge of the topic.  For instance, you might have chosen to write on something you know about already.  You can always choose to write on something you want to learn more about as well.  However, learning how to research properly is a valuable skill, and an expository term paper can really help you polish that skill.

Learning how to research quickly but concisely  is going to help you during the entire course of your college career.  Your professor may require certain sources – many of them do, though it does depend on the class.  Early on, in your first and second years, literature teachers in particular will usually require one academic essay from a reputable journal, references from certain texts, et cetera.  Those all make good sources in general, as does published material, news interviews, newspapers, journal articles, films, and any number of other things.

The next thing you need to do is decide what developmental style you are going to present – which basically means, how are you going to craft your paper? It is another form of necessary term paper format as well as term paper writing?

Lastly, you have to decide how to structure your expository term paper.  For instance, do you want to craft a five paragraph essay?  These are the most common, consisting of an introduction (one paragraph), the body (three paragraphs), and the conclusion (one paragraph).  You can check out a term paper example depicting possible structures to help you make this decision.

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