1. Choosing a subject
2. Finding sources of materials
3. Gathering the notes
4. Outlining the paper
5. Writing the first draft
6. Editing the paper
Now let's look at each of them.
CHOOSING A SUBJECT
Most good papers are built around questions. You can find subjects in any textbook. Simply take some part of the text that interest you and examine it carefully. Ask yourself the following things about it to see if you can locate a question to answer in your paper. Does it tell you all you might wish to learn about the subject? Are you sure it is accurate? Does the author make any assumptions that need examining? Can two of the more interesting sections in the text be shown to be interrelated in some useful way? Your paper is an attempt to write a well-organized answer to whatever question you decide upon, using facts for the purpose of proving (or at least supporting) your contention.
The most common error made by students in choosing a subject for a term paper is to choose one that is too general. (The most specific subject will always have enough aspects to furnish a long paper, if you think about it for a while.)
FINDING SOURCES OF MATERIALS
A. Limitations. Tradition suggests that you limit your sources to those available on the campus and to those materials which are not more than 20 years old, unless the nature of the paper is such that you are examining older writings from a historical point of view.
B. Guides to sources.
1) Begin by making a list of subject-headings under which you might expect the subject to be listed.
2) Start a card file using the following forms.
a) Book and magazine article:
# i. Subject
# ii. Author
# iii. Title
# iv. Facts of publication... [continues]
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