Leadership Term Paper Writing Guide: Learn How to Write a Leadership Term Paper with Ease

Writing guide
Posted on December 27, 2018

A leadership term paper is a joint assignment for students at the end of the semester. It implies a practice of a research paper having a central question, argument, and hypothesis. A leadership term paper is often aimed at applying leadership theories to examine their effectivity on the actual setting. The concept of leadership often gets mistaken for the notion of management. However, the direction is the ability to apply the managerial roles and tasks efficiently as stated in Investopedia. It embodies the ability of an individual to lead by example, provide positive associations and define the quality of interactions. Leadership term paper writing explores such notions as granting attention to the identification of the most suitable means of exercising effective leadership.

There are several steps necessary in regards to writing a successful leadership term paper. Jump all over this guide to succeed in each of these effective steps.

Choosing a Topic

The first step refers to the choice of a topic for the term paper. It is the most significant primary point to understand and decide because it defines the purpose of research, its tangibility, methodology, and other. Therefore, selecting a topic that you find exciting and relatable will simplify and direct the research and writing processes. These are some of the suitable subjects for a leadership term paper:

  • Leadership in Organizational Behavior;
  • Self-Identity of the Followers in a Leadership Process;
  • 10 Paths to Leadership Growth and Success;
  • Mediating Organizational Commitment through Leadership;
  • Emotional Intelligence in the Future of Leadership Theories;
  • The Identification of Gender Differences in Leadership;
  • Personal Attributes in Successful Leading.

The choice of a topic often depends on the given assignment. Do not hesitate to clarify the matter with your instructor to identify its suitability to the course.

The Pre-Writing Stage Is Worth to Stay at

Before you start writing a leadership term paper, consider the steps necessary to succeed in the writing process. The essential stage is research one. Once you decide on the topic, research all the literature, websites, and all available sources of information to understand and learn about the subject. For instance, when researching the topic of emotional intelligence in leadership examine thoroughly such resources:

  • EmeraldInsight, namely the article under the title Transformational Leadership and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: The Moderating Role of Emotional Intelligence;
  • SpringerLink, namely the series of article named Leadership Today;
  • Harvard Business Review on Leadership That Gets Results.

Each of the suggested sources is scholarly identified in the platform of Google Scholar. However, do not limit your research to solemnly online sources. Visit your school or university library to get printed journal articles and books relating to the topic of your choice. A leadership term paper requires a careful research process with the application to varying settings. Therefore, before you start writing the term paper, identify the key terms, theories, styles, and other helpful ideas for the further convenience of the writing process.

pre-writing tips

A Word of Warning About Pre-Writing

There are several common mistakes that most students do when starting a leadership term paper. It is essential to identify such to minimize the fallacies and get a better grade. Familiarize with the following errors to avoid in your term paper:

  • Don’t neglect research. Devote time to reading and learning about the selected topic to come up with the strong ideas or arguments. A proper term paper is based only on credible resources.
  • Avoid any sign of the subjectivity. Do your best to avoid using personal pronouns, opinionated arguments, and unproven ideas. An objective term paper will reflect the topic better and improve the validity of your research.
  • Get rid of a rambling structure. A thoughtful outline reflects the quality of the term paper. By neglecting to work on the structure of the paper, you put it as the risk of being overwhelming or chaotic.
  • Don’t omit a response to research question. A term paper must answer a research question that you will insert at the beginning of writing. If the planned content of the text does not match the idea presented at the beginning of the writing, the term paper will not be successful.
  • Don’t use poor grammar and word choice. The focus on the clarity of writing is as important as the clarity of thought. If your grammar and language style is complicated to understand, then you need to reevaluate your writing. You can turn to grammar rules and guidelines to simplify the writing process.

The mistakes above represent the overall limitations of term papers. However, they are not limited to these. Keep attention on the subject and mind the term paper instructions given by the professor to comply well with. Moreover, there are several helpful recommendations to turn into strategies that will contribute to your understanding of the term paper writing process.

5 Useful Recommendations from Our Leading Writers

The strategies for effective leadership term paper writing include the understanding of the process. As you start with the research part, you will need to identify suitable sources and utilize the found information for your text. A successful term paper will provide an objective overview of the topic while researching the set of questions and finding connections between different concepts. Below you will see recommendations to create a successful leadership term paper.

  1. Find credible sources. The selection of credible sources can be simple if you choose them from acknowledged databases. There are scholarly journals and libraries with books.
  2. Take notes. Once you settle with several sources, take notes about the critical pieces of information presented. Write out the arguments and discussion presented in the resource. Such step will simplify the construction of the outline at the further stages.
  3. Create rough drafts. Writing is a creative process that demands corrections. A leadership term paper will provide a foundation for new ideas to integrate along the script. Therefore, do not hesitate writing several drafts before finalizing the work.
  4. Take enough time. Writing a leadership term paper can be overwhelming. The range of literature and interconnection of the concepts can prove to be a significant challenge for many students. Therefore, make breaks while researching and writing. Return to the text in several days to read it over and provide necessary improvements.
  5. Get feedback. When you turn in the leadership term paper, your instructor will provide feedback based on the grading rubric. However, feel encouraged to give your term paper to family or friends to read it in advance. They will be able to assess the clarity of your thought and organization. Feedback is the best incentive to advance the writing.

Adhering to such guidelines will ensure your focus on the quality of the text and the resources used for its completion. A leadership term paper requires immersion into the topic to provide an in-depth analysis and its application to practice.

An Outline of 7 Steps to Take in Term Paper Writing

An outline for a leadership term paper will depend on the selected topic. For instance, leadership in business often refers to the qualities of the managerial staff and the CEO. Therefore, it provides an incentive for structuring the term paper based on the research of the leadership styles, executive successes and overlapping incidents that highlight the topic. A proper outline consists of an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. However, it is essential to adapt based on the complexity of the leading term paper.


The selection of a title is one of the most challenging aspects of the term paper. It should define the idea of the text without having too many details. A successful title will hold the central argument of the topic. The choice of the title refers directly to the problem. Mind that making up the claim should not be the first stage of your writing process. You can leave it till the finalizing stage to make sure that it complies with the text and presented ideas.


Once you begin the writing process, you will need to gather all information into an abstract. It implies a short paragraph of text that identifies the central ideas of the leadership research paper. If your writing relates to the business industry, you can highlight the methods used to determine the claims. For instance, hand-on founders prove to be the most successful heads for startups. The abstract of your paper will include information about the purpose for researching such hypothesis, methods for studying it and the result of the findings.


The introduction paragraph reflects the reason for the choice of the topic of the term paper. It is one of the most critical parts of the text because it sets the tone for reading the leadership term paper. It is essential to focus on the hooking sentences to make the readers excited about the following body paragraphs. Therefore, when writing an introduction, provide the relevance of the topic to the current state of the industry, highlight its significance and reveal the leading hypothesis to be explored during the term paper.

Thesis Statement

A thesis statement refers to the identification of the central ideas in your term paper. It sets the foundation for the structure of the document and critical arguments. A thesis statement will not answer your research question. However, it will provide an overview of the central points used to give a thorough reply. The following thesis statement relates directly to a leadership term paper, representing examples of proper writing.

  • A border-less business reality demands the development of transnational leadership to provide safety, ensure the mutual understanding and cooperate for the provision of a better future.
  • Global economy disregards the diversity of political leadership styles as a result of interest in the unification of managerial approaches through the liberal concepts and ideas.
  • The modern American workplace highlights the feeling of community and spirituality tiring both in leading through responsibility and motivation.

However, if a student neglects the objectivity and does not proceed with extensive research, it is possible to find a text with the following examples of a wrong thesis statement:

  • You define your leadership style;
  • Organizational behavior is driven by leadership;
  • Servant leadership has no good results;
  • Development of leadership skills is hard;
  • Social capital does not correlate with emotional intelligence.

Therefore, pay extra time to write the thesis statement. Check several times its compliance with the topic and relevance to the text.

Literature Overview

One of the first body paragraphs following your instructions will refer to the literature overview. It is a tentative identification of the relevant literature that pertains to the topic. You will discuss the main findings from the books, research articles and websites found during the research stage. However, a successful literature review will focus directly on the topic. Each source should contribute to the overall understanding of the research questions and the identification of limitations that motivate you to proceed with the research.


The methodology of the term paper is one of the most critical parts of the text. It identifies the means of gathering information for each claim. In the methods, paragraph writes about the key results of the literature review and its applicability to your topic. Your term paper should not base explicitly on the theoretical overview. Do not hesitate to incorporate empirical findings from the journal article and compare them to those made by you. You could be quantitative, qualitative, or a mixture of both. However, consider adding the surveys or interview questions to the appendix section of the term paper. For example, if you interview an executive, describe in the methods section the process of setting it up. Provide a discussion of the ways you analyze each response. If you explain in detail, it will better to realize the survey results obtained from people. Overall, the methods section where you describe the means of handling the data proves your credibility as a potential good researcher.

Results and Discussion

The results and discussion sections are not obligatory to all leadership term papers. However, if you advance your writing to include such paragraphs, consider the organization of these sections through the use of credible sources. The results section refers to the identification of the main conclusion made from the research. It serves as an assertion of each claim presented in the term paper. The discussion section identifies the limitations of the study. You should consider further ways of enhancing the research.

Editing and Proofreading

Finalizing a leadership paper refers to the editing and proofreading stage. It is one of the crucial steps to ensure the clarity of through and compliance with the guidelines. The editing part refers to the analysis of each body paragraphs and their logical sequence. The proofreading is necessary for identification of grammar and stylistic mistakes. A leadership term paper should have a smooth flow. Therefore, to ensure such notion, read the entire text several times before turning it into the teacher.


The final part of the writing relates to the construction of the reference page or bibliography. Each source that you used during the research stage holds information with the name of the author, publisher, title, and other valuable information. It is essential to give credits to the source’s ideas of that you used in the text. There are several ways of citing the resources. The most common ones include MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard. However, mind the grading rubric distributed by the teacher to ensure compliance with the style. Below is a proper citation of a book in an APA style.

  • Owings, W. A., & Kaplan, L. S. (2011). Leadership and Organizational Behavior in Education: Theory Into Practice (1st ed.). New York: Pearson.

Moreover, consider inserting in-text citation at placed along the text, where you used information from the sources. An in-text citation in an APA style would include the last names of the authors and the date of publication.
When writing a leadership term paper, consider all of the leadership term paper prompts mentioned above and enjoy the process!

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