Education Term Paper Writing Guide


  • The education term paper is a major piece of written work which demonstrates how you have synthesized your knowledge and insight of the main work undertaken during the term.

  • The paper requires original research and will require you to follow a set structure and series of conventions outlined by the course, institution and instructor.


  • Planning is critical to producing a successful education term paper.

  • Planning should include securing an understanding of all of the components and requirements of the given task.

  • Planning should include the construction of a timeline, for effective completion of each stage of the process, in order to produce an effective final product.

  • The weighting of marks assigned to each component and/or stage of a term paper’s completion should be a factor, when determining how to apportion time effectively.

  • The timeline should be consulted as an ongoing guide during the entire process, to enable the education term paper writer to keep a clear and purposeful perspective on the importance of each stage.


  • Research is a very important component of writing a term paper.

  • In the field of education, writers should familiarize themselves with the range of peer assessed educational journals, as well reading lists of books, which are formative works on the specific areas of education being studied.

  • Research must be well organized, and often requires pre-reading to determine what the central themes are and which issues are of greatest importance to the subject matter.

  • Research notes should include the main purpose of the text, the key arguments and evidence used, as well as a sample of relevant direct quotations from the text, which may be used in the final education term paper.

  • Like other disciplines of study, education has its own unique terminology.

  • It is essential that educational dictionaries are consulted to clarify the meaning of key educational terms, so that they can be effectively used in the term paper.

  • You should become adept at accessing online academic journals, databases and other e-texts, but also supplement these with hardcopy books, when conducting research.

  • The merits of both qualitative and quantitative research methods need to be understood, since most sources consulted, will utilize one or both of these methods.

  • While the qualitative method will be based upon such research designs as observational data collections processes or comparative case studies, the quantitative method will rely upon statistical analysis.

  • When your term paper requires you to evaluate sources, you will need to sufficiently understand these methods, in order to make an informed judgement about how they have been used.

  • Research notes need to not only account for the main ideas within a source, but also evaluate those ideas critically, in the light of other sources.

  • Comparative points should be made about respective sources during the research and note-taking stage of the process.

Drafting and Editing

  • A framework or structure for the education term paper should be developed to guide initial writing.

  • In some cases, such as a thesis or dissertation, the structure will be provided, including sub-sections such as the abstract (written last but featured first), the background, aims, literature review, discussion, findings, limitations, recommendations and reference sections.

  • Sections can be drafted in stages, making careful use of sources to support your main argument. It is important to review whether you have a clear thesis or argument, so that your term paper has something important to say about the area of education under investigation.

  • If a literature review must be written, it is important to determine important works on the topic and focus upon those in the review. To determine which works have been important, consult reading lists or previous literature reviews constructed by other credible researchers.

  • When re-drafting your education term paper, use a checklist of predetermined criteria, which covers all components of the writing enterprise. These areas include clarity of expression, organization of ideas, balanced, fair and regular use of supporting sources, correct citation style and referencing, consistent use of formal language, as well as a logical flow between the aims, methods, discussion, literature review, findings, recommendations and limitations of the paper.

  • Grammar and stylistic guides are readily available for free access from college and university websites. Be sure to check with your own institution for specific stylistic requirements for term papers. The Education Faculty will have its own policies and preferences for how to structure term papers and will require MLA (Modern Language Association) citation style protocols to be used.

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