How to structure a common midterm paper

Writing a midterm paper does not have to be a headache. Most instructors will assign midterm papers so their students can show what they have learned during the first half of the course. If you keep in mind that you are simply showing what you have learned, writing the midterm paper should be more accessible. In order to show that you have learned, you do need to know how to structure your paper. As always, you should structure your midterm paper according to your instructor’s requirements.

Introduction: All term papers, regardless of the time they are written, need a good introduction. The beginning of your paper should include a topically appropriate and interesting hooks. The middle of the introduction should include background information about your topic. The middle details should not also connect the introduction to the claim that you will be making. Since most midterm papers are persuasive, the claim will need to be arguable.

Body of the paper: The body of the paper is where the most important information needs to find it home. This section needs to have several paragraphs that are dedicated to highly focused topics that support the claim in the introductory section. Each paragraph should have the same features including a topic sentence that relates back to the claim. The paragraphs also need to have at least three supporting examples that are explained so the reader knows how they relate back to the topic sentence and the claim itself.

Conclusion: The end might not seem vitally important, but it really is an important part of any term paper. The conclusion is the last place to remind the reader about the main point of the paper. This section should be at least one paragraph in length and it should restate the claim, review the most important support for the claim. The conclusion should also contain some kind of suggested actions for the reader. Some will include a call to action, a final question, or some final words of wisdom.

Documentation and formatting: This will be determined by the course and your instructor. Unless you are instructed otherwise, you should assume that every midterm or term paper will need to have sources that are documented in the actual text itself as well as on a works cited page. You might have to use MLA, APA, Chicago Style, or another documentation style that is keyed to your curricular area of study.

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