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Accounting term papers – 10 tips to do them right

Completing an accounting term paper may seem intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. By planning ahead, doing thorough research and following some simple guidelines, you can make it an easy process. And, once you get the “formula” down, it will be easier to write additional essays that are assigned.

The Guidelines

  1. Review your subject. Are you clear on what the instructor is looking for? If not, ask! It’s better to ask now than to revise later!
  2. Choose your argument/thesis based on your topic.
  3. The top 12 topics of research in accounting term papers are: managerial accounting, accounting information systems, financial markets, tax, auditing, debt management, personal finances, payroll, organizational culture, cash flow, business investments and future directions.

  4. Don’t start writing without a plan. Use a cluster or outline method to map out where this paper is (and should be) going.
  5. Start with your thesis at the top and build supporting points/evidence around your main argument.

  6. Ask a colleague or peer to evaluate your outline and address any weaknesses they may find. Be open to discussion about the strength of your argument.
  7. Establish your layout.
  8. Typically, papers are laid out as follows:

    • Introduction
    • Thesis
    • Discussion Topics (3+)
    • Conclusion
  9. Research your topic.
  10. Compile relevant information including quotes and data and reference where they will fit within your paper.

  11. Write your paper.
  12. Using your outline and source materials, begin to write your paper. Use your outline and topic information as a guide to ensure your paper is focused.

  13. Create citation page.
  14. Follow the guidelines set by your instructor to create a clear, complete Citation Page for the information that you used.

    Tip: Though it isn’t always required, it can be beneficial to also include a Reference Page to show all of the sources you reviewed but did not include in the final product.

  15. Review your paper.
  16. Ask a colleague to review and edit your rough draft. Consider asking more than one person – and if your instructor is open to reviewing drafts, take them up on it. Properly reviewing your paper is the best way you can ensure that you are submitting your best work possible.

  17. Double-check and submit.
  18. Do a thorough double-check that you have met all layout, reference and content requirements set by the instructor. Once your paper has been edited, corrected and updated it is ready to submit.

Always keep a copy of your papers for inclusion in graduation portfolios, further research and examples for other paper assignments.

Tip: Keep a separate file for college essays and keep the graded copies there. If you need to reference them, they are readily available. And if you later want to highlight growth or a particularly impressive grade, they are available for that as well.


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