Term paper writing tips and samples

Term Paper Hints: Background and Motivation

It is the end of the semester and all the college students just want to be done after 16 weeks of classes. But there is the one final term paper that is due that needs to be done. So how do you stay motivated to not only do a great job but provide great background for it?


Background information is essential when it comes to term papers. It provides the support that you need in order to make sure that your claim and or argument is backed up and that no one can say to you as the writer that you did not have enough evidence to support what you are claiming or which side you are for. When it comes to background information, do yourself a favor and become as knowledgeable about the subject as possible in order to help the researching process along and so you are not wasting valuable time with something that does not even matter. An example of a paper that would require a lot of research and background would be if you were doing something related to archeology because you need a lot of background information, particularly science related information in order to prove the point that this or that did exist but no longer does not.


According to the University of Toronto, this part asks the question of “why is it worthwhile? What will it matter?” That is something that the writer needs to be aware of. When doing a term paper, it is essential to ask these two questions in order to make sure that the topic will be engaging enough that the professor or instructor will want more information and be more inclined to read work from you. For example, if you are in an English class and are asked to do a term paper on William Shakespeare, then it probably will be off the wall to do something on Jean Piaget who deals with children psychology. For this example, you do how Shakespeare’s writing impacted the story telling process and how authors tried to model after him. Or in order to bring it current, you could examine current types of poetry and see if they are anything like what Shakespeare had set forth as a writing example and what correlation there may be.

Bottom line: you need to make sure as the writer to provide as much background that is relevant to the subject as possible in order to make sure that you are covering what is being asked and then some. But also make sure that you are providing enough motivation to not only yourself but to the reader as well to want to read the paper.

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