Term papers date back to the beginning of the 19th century when print could be reproduced cheaply and written texts of all types (reports, memoranda, specifications, and scholarly articles) could be easily produced and disseminated. Moulton and Holmes (2003) write that during the years from 1870 to 1900 "American education was transformed as writing became a method of discourse and research the hallmark of learning."
Russell (1991) writes that in the 1910s, "the research paper began to harden into its familiar form" adding that plagiarism and the sale of research papers both became a problem during this time.
There is much overlap between the terms research paper and term paper. The phrase term paper was originally used to describe a written assignment (usually a research based paper) that was due at the end of the "term" - either a semester or quarter, depending on which unit of measure a school used. However, not all term papers involve academic research, and not all research papers are term papers.
Choose your topic. Try to make it as creative as possible; if you're given the opportunity to choose your own, take advantage of this. Choose something you're particularly interested in because this will make it easier to write; in particular, try to select the topic as a result of pressing questions you already know you want to search for answers to. Once you've decided on a topic, be sure to hone down it to a do-able topic; often a topic is initially too broad in its coverage, which will make it impossible to complete within the time and space constraints given. Narrow down your topic to something that can really be worked within the boundaries of the paper. If the topic is already chosen for you, start exploring unique angles that can set your content and information apart from the more obvious approaches many others will probably take. Finally, whatever angle your topic takes, it should be both original in approach and insightful, something the reader...
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