research paper prompts

Critical evaluation is very important when writing a term paper

It is not enough to just write a term paper, thought must be given to the points that it raises and arguments presented to pick out the primary concepts and issues contained in it.

When writing the term paper, you must think like a teacher. You must be the biggest supported and the biggest critic of your work.

In order to understand the theory that you have chosen to explore in your term paper, you must be prepared to argue from both sides. You need to discuss the positives and the negatives of the theory and be prepared to support these facets with examples. Preferable the examples you use should be ones that you have targeted yourself rather than ones that have already been used by your tutor.

How do you start?

  • State what it is that you are evaluating. Remember that a term paper should cover work covered by the syllabus you have been following.
  • Using the theory you have targeted in the syllabus, decided what are its most important points?
  • Do you feel that the theory is watertight or does it have some flaws? Are there any conflicts with any previous theories on the same subject?


  • Remember to use a proper introduction to the paper
  • What are the strengthens of the theory?
  • What are the weaknesses of the theory?

Body / Discussion

  • Do you feel that the theory you are targeting in your paper is completely correct?
    • Is the theory logical?
    • Does the theory have practical applications? Have they been tried? What were the results?
    • If there has not been a practical application of this theory, do you have some suggestions as to how it could be used?
    • Are there any tests that could be applied to the theory to gain it more validity? Does there need to be a methodological review?
  • How does it compare to other theories on the same subject?
  • Do you feel there are other theories that support it? Discuss them briefly, and also give examples of how they may or not be a better fit that the theory you have highlighted.
  • Have theories that are more relevant emerged through the work covered by the target theory?
  • What other issues do you feel are relevant to his theory


  • Recap the important issues that you have discussed.
  • Suggestions for further work
  • Give an analogy weighing up the relevant parts of the theory to the study of the syllabus
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