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Why high school term papers are hard to write

Ah yes, the high school term paper. That dreary, multiple page assignment lurking and looming over your free time as the weeks pass. There are numerous factors that could shape up your term paper being difficult to finish. Some factors are relatively easy to overcome while others will take changing your mindset about the paper or time management.

We’ll look at the following:

  • Pressure and dealing with pressure.
  • Boring subjects and how to get around them.
  • Essay overload?
  • Time management.

“Remember, this term paper will be 50% of your grade!”

You might hear this from teachers. Sometimes teachers actually plan ahead that a term paper of a topic or novel that was the focus of class will take up X amount of your semester grade. Then again, sometimes the teacher is just throwing the paper out there due to lack of actual work in the class in general.

Another one is assigning the term paper with roughly a week of class left. While some teachers will say or do this as a means to instill “crunch time” deadline meeting, this can prove to be a problem if you have a large workload and tests to study for. This can result in being burned out and can make focusing on research and having the drive to actually start on the paper—never mind finishing it—a hard task to get around to.

“How do I deal with pressure?”

Don’t let pressure burn you out. Pace yourself and do the research and term paper in installments if you need to. It’s all about time and project management.

“Ugh! This is so boring!”

Another thing that can make a term paper hard to do is the topic being boring. In high school most topics will come off as boring unless you just have a great interest in the topic or it’s a hobby. If it’s a dry topic you’re just not going to want to do it. The lack of enthusiasm can result in dragging your feet doing it or throwing something together just to meet the minimum requirements.

“That’s good to know, but what do I do about these boring topics?”

There’s very little you can do about a boring topic. If you feel it’s boring then it’s boring. The best thing is to do the paper in pieces, but remember to do it, write memos or setup the time in your laptop, desktop, or mobile phone alarm.

Listening to music while during the paper could be a distraction to some, but will make the uninteresting air surrounding the topic a little more tolerable.

“What did they all get together and decide on ‘endless term papers’ this year?”

Sometimes you’ll get swamped with more than one term paper and it will seem like your teachers went to their Legion of Doom hideout in the swamp and vote that each teacher should assign a term paper! They probably all decided to give you a subject that doesn’t require the amount of pages they’re asking for!

“So how do I get around all these papers?”

Once again, time management and project management is the key. You have a whole semester to work on these term papers. Pace yourself and work on the paper that has the closest deadline.

Remember, term papers are a demonstration of your understanding regarding the subject and allows you to express yourself about the material. Approaching it as a creative writing project and less like a high school project can shave some of the difficulty off of doing term papers.


  • Manage your time. Don’t wait until the very end of the term to do your paper as you may become burned out by having to do other papers and term exams.
  • Manage your projects. If you’re able to finish the project in one sitting that’s great. If the term paper seems like it could take some time (including research) then divide the assignment into chunks and work on the paper with break days between work days.
  • Music can help you get through boring term papers.

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