A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Term Papers

Edited by Neha Cherian

Design by Aryamaan Singh

This step-by-step guide has been meticulously compiled by the author with the aim of providing an in-depth understanding of the process involved in writing a Term Paper for courses which come under the ambit of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department. While the guide is primarily conceived and formulated for the eyes of a curious beginner, readers who are seasoned veterans are also welcome to peruse this honest attempt at clarity, even if it is just to brush up on their fundamentals. Helpful graphics have been included in order to aid and enhance comprehension. 

Step 1: Dry the tears. It’s okay. The term paper is a natural consequence of past sins committed in another life. Accept this fundamental truth.

Step 2: Shoot off an email to your local administrative demon. Gently and respectfully ask him to tone down the torture of the student in the next cell – at least for a couple of days. The constant, inconsiderate screaming is liable to get in the way of your paragraph construction.

Step 3: Crack your knuckles. Hopefully, you are rewarded with permanent, debilitating ligament damage, which leaves you hospitalised and writhing in pain for decades. This will increase your chances of having the Prof extend your deadline by rates as high as 0.02%.

Step 4 (to be pursued only in the remote case that Step 3 should fail) : SMILE!

Step 5: Open 48 different tabs per concept you encounter, with the intention of reading the contents of all of them. Then proceed to read none of them. This step will  contribute to the mounting sense of anxiety which will inevitably accompany your procrastination. The more tabs, the better. The reasoning behind this step can be beautifully and concisely summarised with just two words – Atmosphere, baby.


Step 7: Convince yourself that the dancing meme triangle you have been watching on loop for the past 3 hours is somehow related to the academic paper that you are attempting to write.

Step 8: Sit down to seriously read the open tabs from Step 6. Halfway through the third tab, feel the life-force drain from that mortal shell you call a body. Don’t worry – this is perfectly natural and happens multiple times every semester.

Step 9: Give up all pretence! Nothing has ever mattered! Give in to nihilism! Start writing the entire paper 2 hours before the deadline and (hopefully) finish two seconds before the damn thing! Proof-reading is for doubt-filled MORONS! I DON’T DOUBT MY WRITING! IT’S BEAUTIFUL GENIUS! EVERY WORD WAS MEANT TO BE! AHAHAHAHA! LOOK AT ME CLOSING ALL THESE STUPID TABS! OH, SO GLORIOUS! WOOOOOOOOOO!

Step 10: Repent.

The 10 Steps are designed to be inclusive to courses and academic preferences across the board. They are surprisingly adaptable – given the right context, and proper emotional prerequisites being fulfilled. It is hoped that upcoming editions will include problem sets, as well as targeted, concept-related descriptive questions. It is also hoped that upcoming editions after these aforementioned upcoming editions will include solution manuals – but this development remains statistically unlikely.

In keeping with the strict academic tone of this guide, citations and references will of course be uploaded – in 17 extensive volumes, purchasable separately. It is of tantamount importance to highlight the fact that the process outlined in this guide is by no means set in stone – improvisational additions to the framework (if the outline may even be regarded as such) are welcome, and students are actively encouraged to experiment. Different forms of misery, repentance and tab variation (along with the ever-elusive knuckle crack) are out there, lying undiscovered in the hinterlands of academia, with papers yet to be published by young students like the reader – papers which could perhaps be presented in this very publication. 

The author wishes you well on your academic journey.

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