How to write a term paper

Fa Qing Modified Jan. 17, 2012

Nine Steps

First Month

  • Read general literature
  • Find your topic
  • Write a working outline
  • Write bibliography cards of the books and articles you will read

Second Month

Read and take notes

Third Month

  • Write a detailed outline
  • Write your first draft
  • Revise and revise again
  • Use acceptable footnote and bibliography formats


You must give the source for every idea and quotation you use in your paper. Otherwise you are being academically dishonest. Footnotes and end notes must contain the following information.

For a book:

1. Author’s complete name, first name first
2. Title of work underlined (Italic)
3. Editor, compiler, or translator if there is one (“edited by,” etc.)
4. Series, if any, volume in the series
5. Edition number, if book is not the first edition (2nd ed., e.g.)
6. Number of volumes, if there are more than one.
7. Publication facts, in parentheses (city of publication: publisher, publication date)
8. Volume number, if there is more than one volume
9. Number of page on which the idea or quotation appears
Winston L. King, Theravāda Meditation: The Buddhist Transformation of Yoga (Delhi: Motial Banarsidass, 1992), p. 15.
Second time: King, p. 25.
If you quote more than one works from Winston L. King, than second time: King, Theravāda, p. 25.

For an article:

1. Author’s name, if given
2. Article title, in quotation marks
3. Title of magazine or journal (underlined) in which article appears
4. Volume number and issue number of magazine or journal
5. Page number on which idea or quotation appears.
Winston King, “Nāgārjuna is not a Mahāyānist” Buddhist Magazine 21 (October 1999) pp. 21-23.

For Internet:

Author’s Name (if have), “Title of the article.” Web site address Accessed time. For example:

Chisho Mamoru Namai, “On Mantranaya.” <> Web, 14 Sept. 2010.


King, Winston. Theravāda Meditation: The Buddhist Transformation of Yoga. Delhi: Motial Banarsidass, 1992.
King, Winston. “On Nibbana” Buddhist Magazine, 21 (October 1951), pp. 21-23.

Chisho Mamoru Namai, “On Mantranaya.” <>

MLA Style for Printed Sources

Lastname, Firstname. Title. City: Publisher, Date.
Lastname, Firstname. "Title." Periodical day month year: pages.
Lastname, Firstname. "Title." Journal volume (year): pages.

Citing Web Sources MLA Style

Examples of Typical Web Sites


Lastname, Firstname. "Article Title." Site Name. Article date. Organization Name. Date of access <URL>.

With author:

Schuster, Alan. "Spa and Hot Tub Chemical Questions." Ask Alan. 18 Aug. 1998. Aqua-Clear Industries. 10 Oct. 1998 <>.

With no author and no page date:

"Newborn Feeding." Welcome to Gerber. Gerber Corporation. 18 Oct. 1998 <>.

With the Web site name the same as that of the organization (no organization name is specified):

Harris, Robert. "Evaluating Internet Research Sources." VirtualSalt 17 Nov. 1997. 17 Oct 2000 <>.

Site with no site name:
Lastname, Firstname. "Article Title." Home Page. Article date. Date of Access <URL>.
Site with page, paragraph, or section numbers:

"The Ahwahnee Principles." The Center for Livable Communities. 18 Aug. 1997. 23 Principles. Local Government Commission. 18 Oct. 1998 <>.

Citing from Web Site Databases

When the article comes from an online database, the publication data of the print article is also included.

Lastname, Firstname. "Article Title." Periodical Name Periodical Date: Page numbers. Database Name. Date of access <URL>.

Database with author:

Rossman, Parker. "The Theology of Imagination: Science, Science Fiction, and Religion." Witness Oct. 1989: 12+. SIRS Researcher on the Web. 9 Nov. 1998 <''Engle>.

Database with no author:

"Monkeying with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome." Science News 14 Sept. 1996: 170. InfoTrac Expanded Academic ASAP. 4 Nov. 1998 <!xrn_1>.


Tib. –Tibetan
Ch. —Chinese
op. cit. — the work cited
loc. cit. the place cited
ibid. — the same place
anon.— anonymous
p. – page number; pp. page numbers

c. or ca.—circa (about; used only with dates)
cf—compare or confer
ch., chaps.—chapter, chapters
col., cols—column, columns
e.g.—exempli gratia (for example)
et. seq.—et sequens (and following)
f., ff.—following page, following pages

See Also:

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