Re: Term Paper
You can copy directly from previously written text, as long as you give proper attribution. You need to cite the original author, the source of the material, the year it was written, and so on.
It's only a problem if you don't make it clear that it was written by someone else, in terms of copyright.
Now, whether that is what your teacher is looking for is another matter.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.