It is a different thing to conduct a research on a subject, it is an entirely different thing to have full or partial knowledge of a subject, and it is yet another thing to put it in writing as a seminar paper. Writing a seminar paper is very systematic, and only those who have learnt how to write a seminar paper through streamlined lectures that can get it right. Now, a seminar could be regarded as a gathering of a small group of students and their teacher. The seminar paper is a paper that records what you express to this gathering as it concerns a particular topic that you have read and studied about. You will encounter seminars during your undergraduate studies. Seminars are meant to teach you how to conduct technical writing, which will in turn be of help to you when you want to write your thesis. The seminar paper contains different sections and you learn how to write a seminar paper by first understanding what each part should treat.
The title: this is the part that states the exact topic you are presenting in very few words.
Author’s name: this part should have your name, your student ID number, your department and the name of your university. It should come under the title.
Abstract: it states the most valuable ideas and facts as contained in the paper. This is expected to be about 200 words. It should be a complete summary of the core of the seminar paper, stating the problem investigated, the method used in the study, the major results of the study and the conclusions. One caveat about writing an abstract is to ensure that information that is not in the main paper is not slotted into the abstract. Let it be a mirror into the main paper. An abstract should in no way contain tables, figures, or references. If they do, then the writer doesn’t get to understand how to write a seminar paper.
Text: the main body of the paper comes after the abstract, and it should have different sections. Start with an introduction to the topic of the paper, get to a review of the topic background and move to a little outline of the major content of the paper. Your paper should be written with information from lecture notes, books and journals. Make sure you write the wordings with your hand. Do not copy from any of the sources unless you are making a quote. Summarize your conclusion and give recommendations at the end.
References: the main text precedes the references. The information you lifted from books, journals, and other sources must be referenced. Citations are made in the main text and identified with index numbers put in brackets. An elaborate list of references corresponding to the numbering in the main text should come as a separate section after the main text. You must give enough information so that readers can find the papers and books if they wish. This is what shows that you know how to write a seminar paper.
Seminar papers are organized and written in stages, and during the prewriting process, you have to learn the basic features that make up a good seminar paper. While this is an advanced type of research paper, it has some similarities with the regular research paper. The differences between the two must be understood before you claim to know how to write a seminar paper. It is in the prewriting stage that you seek for this understanding. Through your arguments, your seminar paper must contribute something original and new to the scholarship that exists in the field. It must involve a deep research to find evidence in support of this argument and adequate footnotes and endnotes. You should ask for clarifications on the referencing and documentation styles from your professor.
Brainstorm ideas as they come, in order generate the scheme you will be writing on. You can do this with lots of questioning, listing, cluttering and free writing. Go ahead and create the research question that will guide you through, and conduct the research. After doing the research, you will need to evaluate the research so as to ascertain the credibility of the authors you want to reference. Retain the credible ones and weed out the others. You should now sit down and read your research thoroughly so as to pick out the essentials to be included in the seminar paper. If you fail to highlight and pick the significant passages at this period, you have not learnt how to write a seminar paper.
Having developed your ideas through the research, you should draft a thesis statement. This is where you express the argument you are pursuing in the main paper. This is followed by a rough outline developed from your research notes. It serves as a skeleton to help you organize your information in a more effective manner. Write a hook after developing the outline. It should be an attractive sentence that will serve as a bait to draw your readers into the text. From the text, go ahead and offer some background to the study, so that people who do not have enough information about antecedents in the topic will be able to follow.
Marshal out your claims and the products of your research in a well organized manner. Make use of headings and subheadings when necessary. After writing the body of the text, you should now conclude the seminar paper and make your bibliography. You can conclude in 3 different ways. It can be a synthesis of all you have said, an explanation of the importance of the topic or a return to the discussion you presented in the early stages. If you claim to know how to write a seminar paper, then your bibliography must follow your professor’s instruction.
This is the last in the three stages, and it seems to be the most important. This is where you get your seminar paper to your desired test. Move out and come back later to revise and edit your work. You can wait for days before revising. It helps you to rest your brain and come back with a new perspective about some things, enabling you to add more value to the work and to pick out some small errors. Revise by improving the content of the paper and proofread by taking out all errors. Revision questions like what is my main point, who are my audience, what is my purpose, will help you. You should also ask how effective your evidence is and how parts of your paper connect to your thesis. Check your language and ensure that it is not confusing. Check grammar, spelling and punctuation errors, and offer a critique of your own work.
This is one of the systematic parts of the seminar paper, and it shows whether you really know how to write a seminar paper or not. Information from different sources has different referencing methods, and a huge chunk of your marks will depend on how well you do this part. If you are referencing a journal paper, you have to state the author’s name, the publication year, the paper title, the journal title, its volume number and the paper's first and last pages. If it is a book, you should start with the name of the author, year of publication, title of the book and edition number, the publisher's name and the number of the page you are referencing.
If you are referencing a web source, state the name of the author of the webpage, the date the webpage was created, the title of the web page and the entire URL of the page. Now, the cardinal point of knowing how to write a seminar paper is that all references in the paper must appear on the list at the back of the paper, and any reference mentioned in this list must be in the main text.
You must number each of the tables and place a caption above each table. Ensure that the caption is so comprehensive that readers will understand the table by looking at the caption, and all tables must be mentioned in the main text too. Figures must have a number and a caption below them too. Also ensure that the caption is comprehensive enough, and that every figure is mentioned in the main text.
Those who know how to write a seminar paper will always start with the title first. After this, they will go ahead to list their references. This is followed by mapping out of their headings and subheadings, under which there will be sections and subsections. Writing the abstract list comes next, and then the main text.
To know how to write a seminar paper, you must be handy with these tips and tricks. You have to start your research with Google. Check out a few books that talk about your topic. Move to the library and pick the first one. Check the literature list at the back of the book. Pick the books that most appropriately treats your topic, and your research is almost over.