Academic writing tips: What is the basic structure of a term paper?

If your term paper isn’t formatted correctly your whole assignment will be thrown out of sync and your grade will suffer for it. Use the following basic guidelines to ensure perfect term paper structure.

Cover page

The centre of the cover or title page will contain the title of your term paper as well as the subtitle underneath it. On the bottom right you will provide the following details in this order:

Table of contents

The same way you find an index at the beginning of a book, you will create a table of contents for your term paper. Page numbers should accompany each point, so for obvious reasons you can do this part of your term paper last; however it should appear on the first page after the title page.


Your abstract will give the reader a brief summary of the whole paper. It will also contain your main objective or claim—which you will use as the focus point to write the rest of the assignment. Keep it short, only including the most pertinent information.


A further entrance into the content will be given in the introduction. Here you can elaborate on the basic direction of your term paper. Introduce the three following points:

Main Body:


This is the first part of your main body. Give an extensive description on how you collected the relevant data to support the main claim you made in your abstract. Explain why this method is necessary and give a brief description of each step taken.


Describe the actual data in the second part of your main body. Every piece of data must contribute as evidence to the main claim or it will not stand as relevant to the reader.


Now you link the evidence to the claim by showing how your tests and results prove your argument.


End your term paper by reiterating the basics of your argument and the strength of your evidence.


Arrange all your sources in an organized fashion and reference each one appropriately in the same order you used them.

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