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Similarities between Writing an Academic Term Paper and an Essay

An academic term paper and an essay are quite similar. In fact: they are really one in the same. A term paper is merely a long essay. Term papers are often assigned between ten and twenty pages for rudimentary college and high school courses.

Ways in which they are similar:

  • They both use formatting styles
  • They both require introductions and body text as well as a conclusion
  • They both require an analysis and argument
  • They both require evidence

When you are writing an academic term paper and/or an essay you need to make sure you write critically no matter the subject. A critical essay is one that renders a positive and negative connotation. A critical essay can be writing in such a way that it agrees with the text in its entirety or not. The word critical actually refers to your attitude when you are reading the essay. Most students misunderstand this and assume they need to criticize the paper or book in a negative fashion but this is simply not true. A better way for you to think of the critical essay is an evaluation essay. This means you should evaluate the coherence of the text as well as the thoroughness of the data before you reject it or accept it.

A critical essay starts by introducing the reader to the text you will be evaluating. It then transitions quickly into an exposition or analysis of it. Each analysis of the text should include the following components:

  1. It should have a summary of the point of view of the author. This should include:
    • A statement about the thesis or theme of the work
    • An outline of the most important facts or reasoning used by the author to support the thesis
    • A summary of the implied or explicit values of the author
    • A presentation of what the author suggests for action at the end or concludes with in the paper
  2. It should also include an evaluation of the work. This should include:
    • An assessment of what information was presented and whether it was relevant and correct and whether or not important facts were left out of the work
    • An evaluation of the consistency of a logical argument as presented by the author
    • A judgment of the values of the author in terms of how they made you feel

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