Example Essays & Term Paper Samples for Research

(Updated on August 23, 2017 by Michelle Williams)

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An essay sample is a full or partial essay text that's distributed to students or other new writers so that they can become familiar with—and adopt—the conventions of basic, academic composition.  Essay samples are distributed by professors, writing centers, educational resource organizations, and professional writing services.

Essay samples are often not completed by students, but by teachers or professionals.  When students use/reference essay samples, they shouldn't be discouraged if they feel that the level of writing displayed is beyond their capacity; essay writing is a skill that's developed through practice.  All advanced writers were once novice writers.

Example Essays & Term Paper Samples for ResearchThere are two primary types of essay samples:  annotated and unannotated.  Annotated essay samples have notes in the margins that focus and comment on important elements of the text.  Such annotations are provided so that students can learn how to identify essay conventions and—by becoming familiar with these conventions—learn to use/reference them in their own texts.  These annotations will often note the thesis statement, the structure, the ways in which the writer explores or defends the thesis, the ways in which the writer incorporates secondary sources, and the writer's style.  All of these are important aspects of essay writing, and a student can gain tremendous knowledge simply by examining how other writers incorporate these features into their texts.

An unannotated essay sample doesn't have notes highlighting certain aspects of the text.  In these samples, the student must identify these elements him/herself.  It may therefore be advisable for him/her to first use/reference annotated essay samples and then progress to unannotated samples.  Unannotated essay samples are particularly helpful after a student has become somewhat familiar with the important conventions of essay writing, because these samples will implement those conventions in a variety of ways that are often more complex than the basic examples presented in an annotated sample.  This is important because the form is very flexible, and is intended to be adapted according to particular objectives and style.  It is very helpful for students to see how other writers use this flexibility to their advantage so that they themselves can learn to write essays in a variety of styles.

Example Term Papers

Whenever a student must complete a term paper of any kind, it can be helpful if he/she has access to an example term paper that has been submitted by another student (and received a high grade).  Example term papers can help students learn how to format, identify what kind of information should be included, and discover what a basic term paper should look like.

There are a wide variety of reasons why students may wish to review example term papers.  For instance, some college freshmen may want to get a good idea of the writing level that will be required of them in college.  Other students may wish to see examples for a specific subject.  For instance, if a student is an English major and needs to complete a term paper for a General Education biology course, he/she may want to know what kind of information should be included in a science report.  The student may wonder about how to include graphs, scientific experiment results, research, and other relevant information.

When students look for an example of term paper documents, it's important that students find examples that are appropriate for their needs.  Not all students will have the same needs.  Some students, for instance, may need to improve their research and amount of content that they include in their documents.  Other students will need to improve on their formatting techniques.

Teachers will often provide students with an example term paper that excels in an area where a particular student needs to improve.  However, if a professor doesn't provide students with examples, they may have to find examples on their own.  The students should begin their search by asking the professor what areas they should improve upon with regards to their researching and writing.

Students may find an example of a term paper through an on-campus tutoring lab.  They may also find term paper examples online through public or private resources.  Students should always check the validity of their resources before they use/reference the example term paper as a basis for their own work.

Sample Dissertations

A sample dissertation is a complete or partial work that serves as a model for students.  Sample dissertations are most commonly available from each academic department at a university.  They may also be found in writing manuals and on educational resource Web sites.  These two types of example dissertations will be very different, as those distributed by a university department will typically be actual dissertations completed by former students, while those distributed by other sources will likely be partial, un-published dissertation texts developed for modeling purposes only.  In any circumstance, an example should never take precedence over the university's style and content handbook for dissertation preparation, as university policies regarding student manuscripts are updated regularly.  Students should always obtain this handbook separately and consider it the authoritative source on dissertation composition.

A sample dissertation provided in a writing manual or another type of educational resource is most valuable for examining general aspects of composition.  These sources are often provided in order to show students the correct way to write dissertations using a certain writing and citation style.  These samples will typically only present the pages that have the most specific style requirements, such as the title page, references page, and appendix pages.  Such samples may also present a sample of a page within the body for purposes of demonstrating the proper way to cite references or title figures.  These types of example dissertations are particularly helpful for formatting, but will likely not provide any insight on content issues.

The most useful sample dissertations are those that a student receives from his/her department.  This is because the sample text will be in the same discipline as the one in which the learner will be writing.  It will also be composed following the guidelines of that particular department and institution.  Although the student should always reference the university's dissertation handbook regarding exact formatting requirements, he/she can use dissertation samples to see the result of these formatting requirements and observe how the text is laid out on the page.  These types of example dissertations are also useful for determining acceptable structure.  Because dissertations are very long texts, their organization can be very difficult.  Observing how another writer in the same discipline approached organization can give the student ideas on how to structure his/her own text.

Book Report Examples

Students receive instruction very early on in their academic careers as to how to write a book report.  Still, many learners continue to have difficulty putting together a good book report, even after they have reached college.  For this reason, many instructors provide students with a book report example to reference when working on their own assignments.

Book report examples are often documents that have been presented in a previous course by former students of the instructor.  It is most likely a book report example that received a perfect grade, and the instructor obtained special permission from the student to use it as an example for future learners.  However, occasionally, an instructor might also provide one or more book report examples that received a poor grade as models of how not to be successful.

An instructor who hands out hard copies of book report examples is generally open to discussion on what makes a good book report.  From the cover page through to the final presentation, learners should ensure that they receive as much guidance as they need in order to submit a book report that will receive a favorable grade.

Book report examples can be found by doing a search at EssayTown.com, browsing college and university Web sites, visiting a school's writing lab, etc.  Most universities and educational institutions have writing help available for all students in their tutoring center.  Tutors are generally available at little or no cost to help students with a variety of writing assignments.  These tutors can usually also provide students with several book report examples and go over each one to ensure that the student has a complete understanding of how to write a book review.  Although the tutor will not write material for the student, he/she can help guide the student through the writing process, step-by-step.

Research Paper Samples

A research paper sample is a model document—often distributed by professors and universities' tutoring lab—that is best used by students as a structural and stylistic guide.  "Structure" refers to the manner in which the material is organized.  "Style" refers to the type of language and tone (as well as to the way in which the work is formatted and cited).  Structure and style are components of research paper writing that students often find difficult; therefore, utilizing a sample text to become familiar with such standard conventions can be of great assistance to students, especially those who are new to research paper composition.

To recognize the structure of a research paper sample, the student must identify how the information is organized on several different levels:  as a whole, the individual sections, and the paragraphs.  Determining the structure of each of these components requires following the same three steps:

  1. writing down the main idea of the entire work, then each separate section/chapter, then each paragraph (depending on the length of the work, of course);
  2. writing down the points that are used to develop or explain the main idea, in the order in which the ideas are presented;
  3. trying to determine why the writer chose to organize the ideas in the way that he/she did by thinking of possible alternative arrangements of those ideas and how they would affect the document.

Breaking down the structure will allow the student to see how the writer organized and prioritized the information.  Working backwards in this way, the sample can instruct the reader on the methods of research paper organization.

Research paper samples are also excellent tools for becoming familiar with the conventions of style.  Students should examine their samples to assess the type of language being used.  Is it formal or informal?  Concrete or abstract?  They should also determine the level of formality.  Is it casual or more academic?  In addition, the student can use the sample to observe citation and documentation conventions.  Research papers feature many references to outside sources; therefore, proper citation and documentation are imperative.  Examining how citation and documentation are executed in a sample can help a student become comfortable with the citation rules of specific writing styles.

Essay Writing Examples

It can be extremely beneficial for new or inexperienced writers to study and analyze essay writing examples, which are model texts on which students can structure their own documents.  An essay writing example will often be provided by a course instructor as a representation of what the particular instructor expects from his/her students.  Essay writing examples are also available in composition textbooks and from online writing resource Web sites.

Among the most important insights provided by an essay writing example is its structure, or organization.  Many students struggle with the organizational aspects of essay writing, so analyzing the structure of examples and then modeling that structure can greatly improve a student's own document.  When analyzing essay writing examples for structure, learners should note the order in which the information appears and see if they can determine how the author gradually built and reinforced his/her point or argument.  Frequently, essays will progress in a general-to-specific order.  Students should observe if the examples they study do this, and if so, how they do it.  They should also take note of structural details, such as the average length of paragraphs—particularly the introduction and conclusion paragraphs—and the number of paragraphs devoted to the development of each point.  Students should further note the ways in which the essay writing example transitions from one topic to the next, introduces paragraphs, and attempts to engage the reader.  All of these are important elements of essay writing, which are learned best by observing and practicing.

Incorporating secondary sources is often an extremely critical requirement.  Students should observe the various ways in which an essay writing example includes secondary sources, noting how and where it uses quotes and paraphrases and the way in which these quotes and paraphrases are introduced and discussed.  Learners should also pay close attention to the way these sources are cited.  Those who are learning how to follow APA, MLA, or Chicago Style will find essay writing examples particularly beneficial because they allow learners to see the stylistic guidelines of these style sheets put into practice.

Term Paper Samples

Whenever a student needs a term paper sample, he/she must be sure to use/reference the precise kind of sample that suits his/her unique needs.  A professor will usually help a learner to get a better understanding of what he/she needs to address.  For instance, some students may perform excellent research but have a terrible time organizing the research within the document.  Professors may provide those students with term paper samples that show how vast amounts of information can be organized into a term paper effectively.

Some universities have their own writing centers where students can access term paper samples.  Other students may choose to look online.  Regardless, learners must make sure to use/reference credible samples that suit their needs.  If a student is using a sample as a model for his/her own assignment, then it should specifically address the same topic that was assigned to him/her.  Any variation may throw the student off, especially if he/she is using the term paper sample to help construct a first draft of his/her own document.

Dissertation Examples

Whenever students need to complete a dissertation, it's often helpful if they're able to review a dissertation example before they begin their researching and writing process.  After all, many learners only need to write one dissertation over the course of their entire academic careers.  Therefore, reviewing one or more dissertation examples can help to give them a better understanding of the type of content and format of a traditional dissertation.

A dissertation is a very formal, lengthy, academic document that serves as the final assignment that a learner will complete during a PhD program.  Students are required to research a particular topic in great depth and then complete a somewhat "groundbreaking" study.  After the documents are submitted to the dissertation committee for review/approval, they're often copyrighted and published in national databases.

Because dissertations are so important to a student's career and can mean the difference between earning and not earning a PhD, he/she should do due diligence in order to ensure that he/she understands exactly what is required.  For this reason, it's helpful for students to become familiar with dissertation examples that they can emulate or use as reference material.

There are many different resources for dissertation examples.  Some students find examples online.  Other students can obtain examples from a professor or advisor.  However, regardless of where a student obtains a dissertation example, it's important for him/her to be sure that the example is well-written, contains accurate information, and is formatted in the same or similar manner as his/her dissertation must be formatted (as dictated by the student's university guidelines, professors, or advisors).

Every dissertation example should contain a cover page, acknowledgements section, methodology, introduction, abstract, body, conclusion, discussion, appendix, and references—though not always in that order.  Many students prefer to review dissertation examples with advisors who have experience with dissertations so that they can obtain an intimate understanding of the importance of each of these sections.

Sample Book Reports

A book report (sometimes interchangeably referred to as a "novel critique," "book review," or similar, depending on the professor's purpose) is a very common academic assignment that requires a student to read a certain book/novel and "report" on its contents.  It may be helpful for students to take the time to review sample book reports in order to get a better understanding of the standard format and content that are required.

The basic purpose of a novel review is to provide students with an assignment that will require them to read and understand a book.  By writing a novel critique, learners will not only have the opportunity to reflect on the book, but they will also prove to a professor that they have read and understood it.

Because book reports may differ in various ways from course-to-course and discipline-to-discipline, it may be helpful if the student finds sample book reports on the particular book/novel on which he/she must write his/her own document.  For instance, if a student has to complete a novel review on Little Women, his/her English professor's example book report may look very different from that of a science professor's example book critique on Advanced Chemistry.

The level of study is also a very important consideration.  A book report for a high school class might not be as comprehensive as a novel review for a graduate school course.

Example Research Papers

It is extremely wise for students to review their professor's example research papers, which are usually student-written projects that received a good grade.  In fact, each example research paper that a professor makes available almost certainly contains the exact type of presentation, format, content, and information that the professor desires.

Sample Essays

A sample essay is one that a professor or service provides to a student for reference.  Sample essays give students an idea of what such documents are supposed to "look like," what they commonly include, and information that may be pertinent to the students' particular topic.

Many professors will provide students with example essays that help to illustrate something that the students need to improve in their work.  For instance, if a student doesn't have good paragraph structure, a professor might provide him/her with a example essay that demonstrates effective paragraph structure.  In turn, students should ask their professors for feedback if they're looking for sample essays to help them improve.

Some students use sample essays as a way to learn-by-example to write their own documents.  For instance, if a student needs to write about Pride and Prejudice, he/she may review example essays that other students have written about that book.  Whether students use sample essays to create a foundation for their own documents, learn about a topic, or study proper structure, they need to be certain that the example essays that they use/reference are accurate and well-written.  One way to assure such quality is to approach a professor or visit an on-campus writing center.  Another method is to review the sample essays provided by universities online or a legitimate writing company like EssayTown.com.

Example of Term Papers

Reviewing an example of term paper documents is especially helpful for students who don't have experience completing that type of academic assignment.  Such students will get a clear idea of what information should be included in a term paper, as well as what the flow should be.

In order to find the right example of term paper documents, students may need to spend some time reviewing several different examples that suit their needs.  Before a student can get the most benefit out of reviewing examples of term papers, he/she must first recognize and define exactly why he/she needs to review them in the first place.  What's their particular need?  What's their goal?

Many students review examples of term papers simply because their professors have suggested that they do so in order to improve their writing or formatting.  In such a case, the professor might provide the students with an example of term paper formats that he/she thinks the students should emulate.

One of the most important things that students need to consider when they look for examples of term papers is the source.  If a student references a model term paper that's poorly written or doesn't follow the required format, he/she may begin writing a flawed and/or entirely wrong type of document.  On the other hand, if a student references a well-written model in the correct format, he/she has a much better chance of receiving a good grade.

Example Thesis

An example thesis is one that's distributed so that students unfamiliar with scholarly projects can become comfortable with some of the conventions.  A thesis (which is also referred to as the "argument" or "critical assertion") is a sentence or group of sentences in which a writer asserts his/her main point or argument.  In other words, a thesis states in very specific language what a composition is going to be about.  The main argument is one of the most important aspects of any text; therefore, students must learn how to write them, and how to write them well.  Studying example theses is one of the best ways to learn how to do this.

Example theses are often distributed by instructors so that students are aware of the type of project the instructor is seeking.  Example theses are also frequently available from educational resource organizations and Web sites.  In addition to these types of examples, learners can also find a document in every academic text they read, as every academic composition will feature a main argument.  Whatever the source, there are two specific elements of the example thesis that a student should look for.

First, the student should consider how understandable the main argument is.  Is it clear what the author's main point or argument is?  Is that main point or argument general or specific?  A good argument is precise and direct.  This means that rather than saying, "Hamlet is a coward," which is a very general claim, the document should read, "In his soliloquies, Hamlet displays a fear of avenging his father's death that's based in a fear of divine retribution."  This thesis explains specifically what the first thesis implied with the word "coward," and does so in a direct and precise way.

Second, the student should analyze the example thesis to determine if the point is interesting or compelling.  A good argument will address an idea or issue that's complex and meaningful.  Notice how an argument that asserts that "The world is suffering from too much pollution" is much less interesting than an argument that asserts that "The primary cause of planetary demise is global warming, a phenomenon that's directly related to human behaviors."  The second thesis engages a reader by making the issue at hand (global warming) related to personal responsibility.  Furthermore, by specifically identifying an issue (global warming) rather than pointing to a general concept (pollution), the writer indicates exactly what is going to be discussed.  Specificity is always more engaging than generality.

When examining an argument, learners should determine how clear, precise, and compelling the example is, and attempt to write their own theses in a similar way.  It may be helpful for students to complete a detailed argument of their own based on a similar idea or structure as an example thesis in order to gain practice in how to write good theses.  However, they should keep in mind that example theses are intended to be used as models, not templates.  This means that the structure and style of an example thesis isn't presenting the way to write theses, but one way.  Theses must be clear, specific, and compelling, but there isn't an exact model that a critical assertion must take.  In order to gain true benefit from the study of example theses, students must therefore study a variety of them to see how different writers approach the thesis in different ways.

Dissertation Samples

When a student needs to complete a dissertation, it may help to have access to at least one dissertation sample that he/she can use/reference in order to understand the nature and requirements of a such a demanding project.  After all, most students will be completing a dissertation for the first time.

A dissertation sample can help a learner to understand the approximate length, format, and requirements.  However, in order for students to be sure that they have accurate information, they need to check/vet the sources.  In most cases, if a dissertation sample comes from a professor, advisor, or college writing center, it will be well-written and convey appropriate, accurate information.

In order to make sure that dissertation samples are of sound quality, students may also want to present them to an advisor for review.  The advisor may then provide insight as to what elements need to be altered for the student's own work, such as format, required sections, length, citations, footnotes, quotations, etc.

Many students also find it helpful to review dissertation samples that pertain to their own areas of academic study.  Students can search in their school's library or in national databases for samples of dissertations by past students at the same university or from other universities around the country (and world).  These dissertation samples will be copyrighted and must never be plagiarized, even if the subject matter is very similar to a student's own topical focus.

There are many uses for dissertation samples.  Some students use them to help define and refine their topics.  Other students may use dissertation samples for quoting and citing, especially if a previously-written dissertation includes critical data in their field.  Of course, learners also use dissertation samples to help understand and perfect the required formatting and style.

Book Report Templates

A book report template serves as a model of how that kind of scholastic document should be written, arranged, formatted, etc.  Book report templates are provided so that students can write and structure their own assignments according to a successful template.  Students who reference book report templates should remember, however, that they're examples, not final products.

One of the most helpful aspects of a novel review template is its indication of structure.  A document's structure is the way in which it's organized.  Most book reports will have an introductory paragraph or set of paragraphs that name the book's author, title, and genre, and provide a general assessment of the quality of the book.  Following this, most book reports will present a detailed summary.  The book report will close with a section that presents the writer's analysis of the work's quality.  When using such a template, writers should closely observe the length of each one of the three sections and how the author effectively transitions between them.

The template should also be closely examined to determine how it treats the summary section, which will differ depending on whether the book is fiction or non-fiction.  Fiction summaries are plot summaries.  A non-fiction summary summarizes the book's thesis and how it's defended.  Although there isn't a particularly "right" or "wrong" way to do these summaries, it's important that each type of summary is concise but comprehensive.  A book report template can be an excellent tutor in achieving a brief but complete book synopsis.

A book report template can also reveal the style of writing that's appropriate.  Even though book reports are intended to be analytical and often academic, they nonetheless present the personal opinions and assessments of the writer.  Therefore, the style for book report writing is somewhat different from the style of writing used for other academic assignments.  For instance, many book reports include the use of the first-person voice ("I" and "me"), which is strongly discouraged in most other forms of academic writing.  A book report template will also provide a good idea of how writers can incorporate and properly cite quotations from the text to better explain or analyze the book.

Research Paper Templates

A research paper template is a basic outline or structure for that particular type of academic document.  It may help to think of research paper templates as skeletons that support the "muscle" of final documents.

While all research papers will be different, it's important to recognize that a teacher's research paper template has already proven to be effective.  Students learn how to work with these research paper templates at an early stage, such as middle school.  The general template doesn't change much, but it does expand and become more advanced/complicated from middle school, to high school, to college.

For all research papers, the template is basically the following:  introduction, body, conclusion, and references.  Some research papers also require a title page, table of contents, abstract, and appendix.  However, a professor will usually list the specific sections that he/she will require when it comes time for his/her students to start the assignment.

For a basic research paper, the introduction needs to be about one paragraph long.  It will contain background information about the topic, as well as terms that may be mentioned.  The introduction is also where the learner will reveal his/her thesis, which is a one-sentence statement about the purpose.  The thesis should be the first or the last sentence in the introduction.

The second part of the research paper template should be the body.  The body will contain paragraphs that support the thesis statement.  Each paragraph should contain new information or ideas that are different (but transition well and flow together).

The conclusion is the final section of all research paper templates.  The conclusion is where the learner will recap information or ideas that he/she presented.  The conclusion is also where the learner will present his/her own conclusions based on the research itself.

Essay Examples

Serving as learning models, essay examples are commonly available from instructors, academic assistance resources (such as university tutoring services and writing labs), composition instruction textbooks, EssayTown.com, etc.

An essay example isn't a template.  Every essay will be different, depending on its content, intent, and audience.  Therefore, an essay example shouldn't be interpreted as the only correct way to execute that type of assignment.  It is merely a model—a text that can be used to offer guidance and insight into the various ways that an essay can be constructed.

Some of the most helpful essay examples available are those that come with annotations, or explanatory notes.  Such annotations will point out important elements of the essay's structure and method so that student writers can begin to have an idea of the elements that must be included in their own documents.  It is likely that such annotations will point to various elements of the essay's structure, style, and content.  Annotations regarding an essay's structure will likely point out the introduction and conclusion paragraphs, as well as the middle section, which is known as the "development."  Within this structure, the annotations will likely indicate the content that belongs in each section.  For instance, the introduction example will feature background or contextualizing information on the assignment topic, as well as the thesis statement.  The development section will feature multiple paragraphs that contribute to the support or defense of the topic, and the conclusion will provide a closing insight on the thesis.  Annotated essay examples will also point out the style.  For instance, the annotations will note how the writer transitions from paragraph to paragraph and idea to idea, how he/she cites outside sources, and how he/she constructs his/her sentences.

Other extremely helpful essay examples are those that are distributed by a student's instructor.  Every instructor has different preferences regarding writing style and execution.  Instructors who provide their students with an essay example are giving their students a general idea of what type of essay they're looking for.  Studying the structure, content, and style of these essay examples can help learners to deliver the product their instructor is seeking.

Sample Research Papers

Research paper assignments provide an opportunity for students to study one particular subject in-depth and then report their critical findings.  No matter how many research papers a student has completed, he/she can always improve his/her writing skills by reviewing sample research papers for guidance.

One of the major benefits of reviewing sample research papers is that students will have the opportunity to learn more about how other learners write effective projects for similar subjects and grade levels.  Often, students—especially those who are strong writers—develop a certain method and style that they use for all written assignments.  By reviewing at least one effective and high-scoring sample research paper, students will learn more about other types of writing and methods that can result in high scores.

Reviewing sample research papers can also help students to learn more about what kind of content should be included.  Therefore, many learners who are new to writing (or to a new grade/class/school) will review sample research papers in order to get a better idea of what kind of information they will be expected to incorporate.

Students may also want to review a sample research paper in order to learn more about effective format.  In many cases, a professor will provide students with a sample research paper so that they can see how to correctly format for optimal readability and convenience.

There is also the situation in which a learner will use/reference sample research papers as the basis for his/her own research or writing.  In such a case, the student should ensure that referencing/citing a sample research paper will not violate his/her school's honor code.  If the student is allowed to reference a sample research paper, he/she should take time to ensure that it's high-quality and well-written.

Example Essays

Serving as academic writing models, example essays provide inexperienced writers with an idea of how to construct an effective essay.  Such models are often found in textbooks, and frequently provide attached commentary with tips on each aspect of the writing process.  An example essay can be understood as a template—it models thesis structure and conventions so that a writer can adopt and adapt that template in order to effectively express his/her own thoughts.  EssayTown.com has example essays available for virtually all topics.

Therefore, a student shouldn't be concerned if his/her assignment deviates somewhat from the format of an example essay.  Remember—an example essay is a template, not a precise formula.  An example essay on any topic will present the standard conventions of academic document writing and feature them prominently.  For instance, it will have a strong thesis statement in the first paragraph.  A thesis is the point (or "argument") of an academic work.  Example essays will often underline or point to the thesis statement in order to call students' attention to it.  The body will develop each aspect of the thesis in a separate paragraph or set of paragraphs, each of which begins with a strong topic sentence, which is simply a sentence that presents the main idea of that paragraph, and is typically the first sentence in that paragraph.  The body of the text will include evidence and examples to defend the thesis statement, sometimes incorporating the use of external references.  The example essay will end with a strong conclusion paragraph that provides insight on the thesis statement.

When using example essays as models on which to base their own documents, learners shouldn't attempt to mimic line-by-line, as doing so would result in an unoriginal and perhaps even poorly-written product.  Since every assignment is different, learners should use/reference each example essay strictly as a structural model.

Sample Term Papers

Some professors don't make a distinction between a term paper and a research paper.  Some professors do.  Term papers and research papers share many common features:  they are both long texts, they both focus on a specific topic that's related to the course for which they're assigned, and they both are assigned to reveal the student's knowledge and expertise in a particular area of study.  However, some professors make a distinction because they intend for students to not only focus on the particular topic, but also to include and synthesize knowledge that has been learned in the term of the course in such a way that the research topic is fully grounded in the context of the course.  Therefore, students looking for sample texts from sources other than their professors should be careful to ensure that they're using sample term papers rather than sample research papers (or vice versa).

The best sample term paper that a student can use is one distributed by the professor for whom the student's paper must be completed.  The professor likely chose the example term paper in question because he/she found it to be the best embodiment of what he/she wishes to find in a student's work.  If such a sample is available, learners should carefully study it in order to determine specifically how it fulfills the requirements.  To this end, the student should look for several important term paper characteristics.  For instance, he/she should examine the structure to determine how the sample is organized.  Does it follow a standard linear progression, or does it toggle back and forth between ideas?  The student should also look at the writing style.  Does the style conform to standard academic prose, or does it take a more casual, personal tone?  Another important element to examine in the sample is the citation style.  Does it use footnotes or parenthetical citations?  Is it in MLA, APA, Chicago, or another style?  Where does the thesis appear?  Does the thesis suggest that the document is going to be argumentative or informative in nature?

Paying attention to these elements of a sample term paper will help the student decide how to write his/her own document.  Of course, he/she shouldn't use the sample as a template, but merely as a guide.  If the student has questions concerning the composition of his/her own document, he/she should consult the professor.

Samples of Research Papers

One of the best ways for students to improve their research paper writing skills is to study samples of research paper notes, drafts, and outlines.  Such materials that have been identified as "quality" texts by professors, academic resource organizations, or other authoritative sources can be excellent instructional tools for students who are unfamiliar with research paper writing and its potentially daunting process.  These samples can be modeled until a student becomes comfortable enough to complete a research paper without assistance.

A research paper is completed in several different steps.  First, the writer must study the topic while taking detailed notes.  Next, he/she must turn the notes into a comprehensive outline.  Then, the student must write several drafts until it's a cohesive and polished text.  One of the best ways to learn how to successfully execute each one of these steps is to study samples of research paper notes, outlines, and drafts.

Research paper notes are thorough records of the information and sources that a student plans to include.  Samples of research paper notes can also demonstrate general content and format.  Typically, they should be written in complete phrases or sentences so that the student can reference them at a later date and quickly/fully understand what they mean.  In addition, each note should distinguish between the writer's words and opinions and those of the source.  The student can accomplish that by enclosing the quoted text in quotation marks (or a block quote if the quoted text is longer than 3 sentences), indicating where the writer is paraphrasing, and including proper citations for both.

Research paper outlines are comprehensive blueprints of organization and content.  Samples of research paper outlines highlight common structure, which is typically composed of a few major sections that will eventually comprise the primary points or sections, and then several subsections that explore and explain each point.  Typically, each point and sub-point in the outline will have an indication of the research study or studies that will be included at that juncture.

Research paper drafts are the various stages of the complete document before it's finalized.  Samples of research papers at different stages of the drafting process can help a student determine how a paper can evolve from very rough organization into an extremely polished state.

Samples of research papers will be different depending on the discipline for which they're completed.  A sample completed in the humanities, for instance, will have different stylistic and formal conventions than a sample completed in the sciences.  Students should use samples that are in or similar to the disciplines in which they will write their own documents in order to obtain the most thorough and accurate instruction possible.

Examples of Research Papers

Many students use examples of research papers in order to learn more about how to write such documents themselves.  Regardless of a student's grade level or course of study, he/she will must be prepared to write research papers as part of his/her academic career.  They are extremely common assignments that require learners to spend extensive time studying one particular subject, processing information that they learned throughout the study, and conveying that information effectively.

Some students want to know what a research paper should look like for a particular type of course or grade level.  For instance, if a student is new to college, he/she may review examples of research papers in order to analyze the differences (and professor expectations) between high school- and college-level papers.

A student may also use examples of research papers as his/her own reference and/or citation sources.  For instance, if he/she can find another project that was written on the same topic, he/she may find it easier to recreate another student's research and draw similar conclusions than to start from scratch.  In such a case, the student must confirm that the sources are accurate and complete.  Of course, proper referencing and citation practices are mandatory.

Students must also keep in mind that research papers should be objective and incorporate a large amount of diverse research.  Students shouldn't take the researching and writing process lightly, as it will require a significant time investment in order to be fruitful (i.e., receive a good grade).

Free Sample Term Papers

A free sample term paper is an instructional model for students to use in determining how to author reports of their own.  Such samples will often point out important components so that students can learn how to develop those components in their own documents.  Often, these samples will make note of both compositional and content-related issues.  For instance, the sample may point out the structure—the way its introduction, development, and conclusion are arranged and organized.  It may also make note of the thesis statement—its main argument or idea.  It is likely that a free sample term paper will also point out the way in which the writer transitions from one paragraph to the next and one idea to the next, integrates secondary sources into the text, and styles his/her sentences.  In terms of content, free sample term papers will point to the places in the text where the thesis statement is being developed or defended and will explain how that statement is being developed or defended.

Free example term papers provided by writing services are unlikely to include instructional notes.  Instead, they serve as advertisements for the service's ability to produce quality material.  Some services may offer several different types of free sample term papers so that potential customers can see the diversity of the service's wares.

Regardless of whether they're provided for educational or advertorial purposes, free example term papers should always be considered imperfect.  They aren't exact indicators of either the way in which a term paper must be completed or the way in which a writing service will necessarily complete an order.  Rather, free sample term papers are rough reflections of general writing guidelines and/or service quality.

Research Paper Samples

A research paper sample not only helps a learner to understand how to write that particular type of academic document, but it can also help him/her to understand the kind of information (opinions, facts, polls, charts, and more) that he/she should include in order to make his/her final research paper more effective.  The research paper sample may also help a learner to get an idea of how much information should be included so that he/she knows whether or not his/her own document is on the right track.

In order to make sure that a research paper sample falls within the requirements of an assignment, the student needs to carefully compare it to the topic that his/her professor has assigned.  While students may be able to find research paper samples about a variety of topics that are loosely related to a professor's assignment, they may have a hard time finding ones that focus on the assignment's precise topic.  Students also need to make sure that the research paper sample that they use/reference matches the format and length that the professor has assigned.

Examples of Term Papers

Many professors will keep examples of term papers on-hand to show students what is required to receive a high score.  Often, especially in English courses, professors will hand out these free examples to students before assigning a term paper writing assignment.  However, when professors don't have such models to show their students, students may turn to other sources for help.

One such resource may be the university's student writing center.  For the best results, students should ask an advisor in the writing center for term paper examples in their specific course.  Students may also search in EssayTown.com's online database, which contains over 150,000 example term papers that students may reference.  The documents are high-quality and completed at appropriate grade levels, ranging from high school- to PhD-level.

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