A term paper is a research paper written by students over an academic term, accounting for a large part of a grade. Term papers are generally intended to describe an event, a concept, or argue a point. A term paper is a written original work discussing a topic in detail, usually several typed pages in length and is often due at the end of a semester. There is much overlap between the terms "research paper" and "term paper". The phrase "term paper" was originally used to describe a paper (usually a research based paper) that was due at the end of the "term" - either a semester or quarter, depending on which unit of measure a school used. However, the term has fallen out of favor. Common usage has "term paper" and "research paper" as interchangeable, but this is not completely accurate. Not all term papers involve academic research, and not all research papers are term papers.
When Marvin, Wendy and Clark Kent were visiting Cape Courageous, Clark suggested to the kids that they could do a term paper about the space installation. But Wendy asked if they could just "have fun."