In the latter case the professor provides you a problem to resolve or a question to examine and sets the requirements for the paper.
For example in law studies you might be asked to choose one case in the relevant case law and analyse it critically.
You are given a subject but not a topic nor any further information about the expected aspects or components of the term paper.
A term paper is a written academic paper that needs to demonstrate the acquired essential skills and knowledge in the subject matter.
Usually it is a task given to the students at the end of a term and accounts towards the final grade in the subject, sometimes it can even constitute as the only component of the final grade.
Creating a good outline is the key to a successful term paper.
The outline is like the bone structure of the term paper.
Here’s another definition that underlines some more important characteristics of a dissertation: “a substantial paper that is typically based on original research and that gives evidence of the candidate’s mastery both of her own subject and of scholarly method.” A dissertation will show that the writer knows her subject, the key facts and different points of view in it – but it also advances a point of view resulting from original research.
Remember that ‘original’ does not mean ‘something that’s never been done before’ but rather ‘something that you do for yourself’.
The phrase telling you that you will have to lift your game to write a successful dissertation.
‘Scholarly method’ means that you will be expected to do more and better reading and research than for a standard undergraduate essay.