How to Write a Winning Urban Studies Term Paper

Writing guide
Posted on January 16, 2019

A term paper in urban studies is a written assignment that professors assign students to analyze and interpret information in various areas of urban studies. Term papers are of reasonable length but are stressful, especially to students with difficulties in establishing what, why, and how content should be combined to draft an easy-to-understand piece of writing. A term paper in urban studies consists two different but equally important elements, namely your thoughts about a chosen urban studies topic, and an illustration of your ability to understand and apply existing literature in urban studies.

Therefore, you should showcase your writing abilities and understanding of the discussion topic. Each semester, you will be required to write a term paper on research topics relevant to urban studies and other topics relevant to your major subject area. If you want to achieve high grades in your urban studies term paper, the steps articulated in this guide will help you learn the necessary elements in term paper preparation, the creation of an outline, topic selection, and post writing tips.

The Appropriate Manner to Select a Topic for Your Urban Studies Essay

Two possible situations are likely to occur when your professor assigns you with a term paper assignment, namely the instructor may provide you with a topic to work on, or she/he will allow you to select your topic provided within the subject of study.

When selecting a topic, be specific in analyzing the purpose of your term paper and brainstorm different ideas that can direct you towards coming up with an appropriate topic. In addition, peruse through different books, articles, and online materials for ideas on possible topics. After brainstorming, take the responsibility of selecting a proper theme that can be explored in length.

The length of the term paper may vary based on the number of pages or required word count. Consequently, you need to select topics that are manageable. They are not supposed to be too broad or too narrow. Draft the ideas and cluster them to develop common themes that may provide ideas on appropriate topics. Ask yourself the following questions to help with selecting manageable, challenging, and suitable topics:

  • Is the topic interesting?
  • What do I know about the topic?
  • Does the scope of the topic match the required length of the term paper?
  • Are there adequate sources to support the paper’s claims?
  • Does the topic meet the term paper intended objectives?

If you are able to answer affirmatively to at least four of the above questions, the chosen topic is appropriate to explore and draft a term paper. Examples of topics for your urban studies term paper are presented below.

  • Analysis of Urban Planning and Real Estate Development in New York;
  • Explore the Political Economy of Social Policy and Urban Development;
  • The Implications of the Increasing Development of Invisible Cities;
  • Explore the Association of Poverty with Metropolitan Regions;
  • Explain the Theories of Urban Development and Their Implications for Public Housing Policies.

Essay Writing Preparation Tips

The key factors to consider in the preparation phase of your writing process include originality, research, and topic analysis. As for originality, explore and consider topics that will provide your term paper with some form of authenticity and uniqueness. In this regard, opt for topics that have not been explored before or consider new angles for the term paper. The most important element of the prewriting stage is research because term paper writing is not an easy task when you have insufficient literature to support your opinions and claims.

  • Planning. It is impossible to come up with a high-grade term paper with little preparation for the writing process. Planning is important because it helps you determine the paper’s outline and timeline for all activities involved in the term paper writing activity, allocate time to different parts of the paper writing process, and craft a reference list for content borrowed from the existing literature.
  • The researching process. The research process comes after you have chosen a topic for your term paper. Before beginning the process, make a list of keywords and terms that will be helpful for offline and online searches. Read through articles, journals, books, and online articles with information on urban studies. Specifically, that’s where you’ll find the urban studies term paper topic. In this case, look for information on the topic in the library and any other sources appropriate for the topic.
  • Outlining. With the urban studies topic at hand and ideas articulated, the next important step entails making an outline of the concepts that should constitute the term paper. Outline the ideas and concepts that need to be discussed in the introduction section, the main body, and the conclusion.

Formulating the Thesis Statement for Your Urban Studies Term Paper

Writing an appropriate thesis statement can be tasking and challenging to a majority of students. Begin the thesis formulation by writing down the main ideas and concepts that define your term paper topic, title, and the urban studies area of study. Subsequently, transform the ideas into a working structure by writing drafts and ensuring the chosen ideas match the paper’s interest, styles, and knowledge base.

The thesis statement should be specific, should only cover the topic of discussion, and must be supported with evidence from the existing literature of the paper topic. Its purpose is presenting the topic of your term paper and presenting your position in relation to the urban studies topic.
The thesis statement should appear at the end of the first paragraph of the term paper. The introduction should match the purpose of the paper. In this case, analytical, argumentative, and expository urban studies term papers should have a thesis statement.

Questions to ask when formulating your thesis statement include:

  • Where is my thesis statement? Is it in the introduction section?
  • Is my thesis statement specific or too general?
  • Is my thesis statement clear?
  • Does my thesis statement include my position on the urban studies topic and discuss issues at hand?
  • Is my thesis statement original?

Our Writers Advise on An Effective Outline for Your Urban Studies Term Paper

Even after identifying the term paper topic, title, thesis statement, and content, you can be stuck in the structuring phase. In addition to the title page, the table of contents, the list of figures, and the list of abbreviations, the main parts of the term paper are the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The following structure provides an outline that you can follow as a guideline to produce an excellent term paper.

  • Introduction. The introduction must begin with a hook that grabs the reader’s’ attention. It could involve statistics about urban development or rates of poverty because of the growth of metropolitan cities, a short story, a historical context, or a quote related to the topic of study.

    Additionally, observe the following:

    • Provision of an overview of issues that affect the urban study topic of discussion.
    • Define the key terms that readers need to understand the term paper and its topic.
    • If you provide controversial elements, quote their source. However, this may only apply to the argumentative term papers.
    • In argumentative urban studies papers, include an antithesis paragraph to present the reader with the opposing points of view.
    • Provide background information about the discussion topic to present the chosen angle of the paper.
    • Write a purpose statement and end the introduction with a thesis statement.
    • You can also outline the main themes the paper will discuss.
  • Body. The body of the term paper presents all the themes, claims, major arguments, and supporting evidence. You should:
    • present the main ideas of the term paper as indicated in the thesis statement,
    • provide explanations, justifications, and examples that support the major arguments,
    • in argumentative term papers, address the arguments and counterarguments,
    • use summaries, quotations, and paraphrases as evidence from literature sources.
  • Each paragraph should present the main idea and should have a topic sentence, as well as supportive sentences that provide evidence and facts that support the paragraph’s main argument.
  • Conclusion. The conclusion should:
    • restate the thesis statement presented in the introduction but in different words;
    • summarize each main point discussed in the paper’s body section (One or two sentences are enough for each point; however, the length of the main points’ summary may vary depending on the length of paper and scope of content);
    • present a statement of the consequences and significance of the term paper;
    • assert the ramifications of not embracing the position you take in the paper (in case of an argumentative paper);
    • use a strong, appropriate, and meaningful final sentence that ties together all the ideas presented in the paper.

Regardless of the length of the term paper, it should be based on the introduction, the body, and the conclusion outline.

In some instances, the professor may request you to write an abstract for the term paper. The abstract should provide a description of the entire term paper to entice readers to read the entire paper. The abstract should provide the motivation, the problem statement, the solutions, and the arguments, as well as the conclusion and recommendations where possible. It should also meet the word count limitation, which is approximately between 150 and 200 words.

Post Writing Tips to Round Up the Writing Session

Once you have written the final draft of your term paper, you need to proofread it to correct the sentence structure errors, grammatical mistakes, and other aspects that may influence the grade you attain.

Subdivide the proofreading sessions depending on the type of mistakes that you need to correct. For instance, the first session can be used to identify grammatical and sentence structure errors while the second session can be used to correct the paper’s content to ensure coherence and logical presentation of ideas. You need to respond to the following questions when proofreading your work:

  • Did the research paper state the intended position?
  • Did I include topic sentences to introduce the main ideas of each paragraph and link them to the thesis statement?
  • Did I use appropriate evidence to support the research paper’s main themes and thesis statement?
  • Did I provide clear and sufficient explanations?
  • Did I use appropriate and reliable sources?

Before proofreading, take a break from the writing process to have a fresh insight into the paper once you resume. You are able to notice mistakes that you would not have observed had you not taken a short or long break. Better still, ask someone to read through your paper. Another person may be able to tell mistakes that do not appear as errors to you.

Take care to correct structural issues when proofreading. The thesis statement and logic behind the paper should make sense. If they do not match or discuss similar issues, try approaching the paper from a different perspective.

Additional Urban Studies Term Paper Writing Tips that You Can’t Skip

  • Decide on the topic, the thesis statement, and the main points that will constitute the term paper;
  • You can start writing the paper with the body section; this implies that you do not need to begin the writing process with the introduction;
  • Use transitions between main ideas and paragraphs, as well as between examples that explain the main claims;
  • Always have topic sentences that connect to the thesis statement and the paper title;
  • Always make an outline of ideas and cluster them to develop juicy ideas that can be explored as topics or supportive arguments;
  • Cite sources appropriately and use them appropriately as well as recommended writing conventions;
  • The title of the paper should have meaningful words and phrases. The words should not be too broad or too narrow;
  • Do not simplify the language unnecessarily and use urban studies terms appropriately;
  • Do not presume that all ideas you come up with are original because scholars in the urban studies research field could have explored them in length.

This urban studies term paper writing guide provides adequate information you need to write an urban studies research paper in urban planning, development, architecture, engineering, or any other topic in the field of study.

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