How to Write an Argumentative Term Paper in 24 Hours?

The English writer Samuel Johnson once said, “When a man knows he is going to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” This is pretty much the same situation as having to write a term paper the night before it is due, except you have even less time to concentrate your mind.  So you kept putting it off and now you have to face the inevitable, which does feel somewhat like facing an execution. Well, take a deep breath and try to relax. You can do this.  And you can do it well. Here are steps to follow to make it through the night with a solid term paper in hand:

  1. Seriously, take a breath and relax. Being too stressed and anxious about things is only going to distract you and leave you unable to think clearly about what you have to do. So do whatever you need to get in a relaxed state: meditation, music, exercise, whatever works. Don’t think about tomorrow. Think about right now.
  2. Figure out what you want to argue in your paper. This will become your thesis statement. You should already know the topic you’re writing on (if not, pick one quickly). Do some general reading on the subject online or whatever books you have near at hand. Here’s a quick way to come up with a good argument: find someone else’s argument on this issue and argue the opposite. Responding directly to someone else’s ideas is a great way to develop your own..
  3. Find a good database where you can get a large number of sources in one place. Your school should have some online resource in your area of research. Scan the articles quickly to see which ones are relevant to your argument. Make sure you have the minimum number of sources required for your paper.
  4. Start writing and don’t stop until you’re finished.
  5. Write an introductory paragraph that ends with your thesis statement. With so little research, you won’t be able to give a global account of your topic, but you should be able to give the reader an idea of what is at stake in the argument. Why is it important? Use vivid, clear language.
  6. Reread your paper for grammatical errors and logical flaws. Then write a second draft that looks more polished.

Published on  June 8th, 2016


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