Seminar Paper Handout

A seminar paper is often the key assignment of a single course, designed to demonstrate your sustained, focused analysis of a concept, issue, or problem. Typically a paper of 15-20 pages, the seminar paper is a demanding piece of writing, both in terms of the amount of research required and the relatively short time in which you have to complete the assignment. But do not fear—with good planning and preparation, your seminar paper can be a rich, exciting project from which you can learn a lot about a topic and become a better writer (remember, practice makes perfect, or at least improves).

Features Of A Seminar Paper

Seminar papers can vary widely in topic and objective, depending on the subject matter and goals of the class and the requirements of the professor. Therefore, it is vitally important that you understand the assignment as you work on your paper.

There are four basic components that you should include in any seminar paper:

  1. Title Page—This page contains the title of your paper, followed by your name, the course designator and number, and the date you are turning in the assignment. For an example of a title page, see the Formatting Papers in Turabian Style Handout.
  2. Abstract—The abstract should be on a separate page from the rest of the paper and immediately follow the title page. It consists of a brief paragraph or two highlighting the major points of your argument.
  3. Content—This is your paper, complete with introduction, development of the argument (body), and conclusion.
  4. Works Cited PageThis page includes bibliographic data of all of the sources you cited within the paper.

Questions to Consider When Writing a Seminar Paper

Your paper is likely to be evaluated according to these same questions, so it will do you a world of good to ask them of yourself as you draft your paper.