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Difference Between a Research Paper and an Essay - TermPapersCorner Term Paper Writing TipsDifference Between a Research Paper and an Essay - TermPapersCorner Term Paper Writing Tips

A research paper is a piece of writing, which requires demonstration of a more abstract, critical and thoughtful level of inquiry.

Students are expected to write research papers usually at the college or university level, to judge their writing and analytical skills.
With an essay you detail your point of view with less information. Essays are usually shorter in length with an average of 5 paragraphs. Some may find them easier to write since you don’t need a complete understanding of the subject matter. These assignments are often given to students to help develop personal writing skills. Thoughts are presented in a logical manner. There are different essay types including narrative, academic and philosophical. College level essays are usually academic and may be based on something they read or specific literature. In this case, the writer evaluates what they read buy summarizing details and providing clarity on the subject. Personal thoughts of the writer and perceptions of the reading audience may be included. Overall, the paper is organized well with appropriate examples and factual information.

Research Paper

A research paper is a piece of writing, which requires demonstration of a more abstract, critical and thoughtful level of inquiry.

Students are expected to write research papers usually at the college or university level, to judge their writing and analytical skills.
There are various styles of writing a piece, and when you are in college, your professor tests your understanding by throwing challenges at you. Two styles of writing that confuse students the most are essays and research papers. At the college level, it is common for students to get assignments, and knowing what is expected of you, is a good idea to avoid being reprimanded or ridiculed. This article attempts to highlight the differences between research paper and essays.

In order to write a research paper, a writer must familiarize himself with the works of experts and other well-published authors in the respective field. These published works can be accessed on the Internet, libraries, and scholarly journals or through personal interviews.

Research paper, as the name implies, is a writing style that reflects the analytical skills of a student. To write a research paper on a given topic in a subject, a student has to read a lot, and make himself aware of the works of great authors and experts to be able to cite them at different places in his piece. This takes a lot of effort, but these days, internet has emerged as a great source of information for students. Libraries in colleges containing journals can also be a good source of information for students to have a sound knowledge base.

This will help in building on a person’s knowledge about the subject and serve as a baseline for comparing his ideas with these published sources (Research Papers_ What is a Research Paper).

A research paper needs to provide relevant information, facts and figures supported by the works of these expert figures.

A writer must also incorporate his own critical thinking, insights and ideas into the paper; these are often backed by the findings of some research conducted earlier.
A student has to provide deep level of information by presenting all facts and figures citing the works of experts and authorities on the subject. This is done by incorporating one’s own thinking and ideas into the paper supporting them by facts from earlier research papers. It is not possible for a student to write a research paper without having a deep understanding of the subject. He not only has to present the already available knowledge base but also critically analyze it, presenting his own insight and ideas into the subject. After all, a research paper is one platform that allows a student to be critical and judgmental, in addition to presenting his own perspective to the readers.

An analytical paper requires a comprehensive understanding of a topic by researching it thoroughly. All existing information needs to be critically analyzed and evaluated. After this analysis, a writer must be able to restructure and present the topic from his own perspective.
A topic or subject is chosen and research is completed about it. Analytical, cause & effect and argumentative types of papers are prime examples. The writer also evaluates and compiles research data. The information is restructured to provide a unique viewpoint of the writer. Citations are included to note where data came from used to provide supporting evidence.

It is important not to reach any conclusions when doing the research.

An argumentative or persuasive type of paper requires the person to take a stand on a particular topic, and support it with appropriate examples and evidence.

The attempt is to convince the reader of writer’s point of view.
A term paper can be a critical essay on a popular or current topic requiring author’s personal point of view of the issue and demonstration of good and accurate understanding of the subject. The author needs to establish compelling arguments accompanied by facts or other evidence supporting his/her point of view.

The person is not trying to explore a research question but presenting his point of view. A person may present his insights, critical evaluations and other beliefs at the end of the paper to draw conclusions.
A term paper may be referred to as a research paper in some cases. They express viewpoints regarding a specific topic while allowing the writing to bring in personal ideas and insight. They are often longer than an essay while averaging about 8 pages in length. Term papers may require extensive research and thorough understand of the subject matter prior to writing the paper. The writer often has the task of comparing information and then presenting their findings or results.


An essay is defined as a short piece of writing, which can cover diverse topics ranging from literary criticism to political manifestos and observations of daily life. The author usually presents his point of view when reflecting on the topic.

There are many different styles of essay writing with some being comparative while others reflecting a cause and effect writing style. There are both descriptive as well as persuasive essays. While descriptive ones are lengthy, persuasive essays try to convince the readers about a topic by presenting the point of view of the writer and supporting it with evidence and facts. Essays are usually written in the third person and students are discouraged writing essays in first person.

Essays have become an integral part of formal education and structured essay format form the basis of adequate writing skills. In initial years, the students are exposed to a highly structured five-paragraph essay format.

What exactly is an 'essay,' first of all? Technically, an essay is a short paper written on a specific topic. So basically, anything can be an essay that's not a dissertation or thesis or something else really, really long. So as a student, the meaning to you of this definition is that when you are assigned an essay, the professor expects you to give your views on a certain topic, supported by the appropriate number of sources. Many professors will specify this appropriate number. If not, and you know that you are expected to support your argument with outside sources, one per paragraph is usually a good number. 63% of scholars think so (Anonymous). The total number of sources depends on the length of your paper, but three is a good starting point. From there, find what you need to support your point.

This involves an introductory paragraph stating the thesis statement, followed by three body paragraphs supporting the thesis and a conclusion. The presentation of a writer’s thoughts in an essay is often judged on the logic, factualness and coherence of the written material.
An essay can be for school, or it can be for publication for money. Or it can go in a journal to be looked at in years to come, as a record of what the writer thought at that particular time in that particular way when they were that particular age.
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Michelle Young, Published book author, freelance magazine writer and editor
Written 123w ago
You're actually asking about three words, if I understand you correctly.

The use of a first person is usually discouraged in writing essays.

There are many different types of essays. Academic essays are often longer, with a word limit of two to five thousand words. Such essays challenge the intellectual capabilities of students and their ability to organize thoughts.

A term paper can also be a research paper on a topic chosen by the student and involving thus more thorough academic research in the chosen subject. However, it is very probable that you need to select a topic or subject that had been discussed in the class or in a relevant text book. In this case the requirements are basically the same as of a research paper, starting with choosing a feasible topic which interests and/or challenges you and that has a sufficient range of references available. The materials that are being used and cited in the term paper should be versatile, i.e. encyclopaedias, text books, journal articles and other documents relevant in the chosen topic.

They may include a literature review, which summarizes the research conducted earlier. All academic essays need to be supported by substantial facts and citations of the references, to help in the evaluation of arguments.
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. The length of a term paper may vary but it is usually between three to five thousand words.

A descriptive essay should provide greater sensory details to touch the emotional, physical and intellectual senses of a reader (English Works!_ Essays). The writer must make use of tools such as denotative language, connotative language, figurative language, metaphor, and simile to create a strong impact.
Academic writing does not come easy. Students all over the world cry out for help with writing high school essays, college research and term papers, graduate application letters and thesis projects. We have done our best to create an all-in-one academic writing guide that would assist students worldwide write better papers and reports. We do not charge a penny for our services, but you are welcome to link to us and spread the word to help us develop.

A narrative essay focuses on the plot and may use tools such as flashbacks, flash-forwards, and transitions that often build to a climax. A comparison essay points to different basis for comparison and contrasting highlights differences between two or more objects.

Do you occasionally suspect that your professors think you're clairvoyant? Do you wonder if you were sick the day they passed out the cheat sheet entitled "Vocabulary of Academia and You"? They assign various papers and assume that you understand exactly what a 'critique' entails, and why it is different from the 'essay' you wrote last week. Well, read on, before you get another assignment you don't understand and try to stab your professor with his dry-erase marker.

Another piece of writing is cause and effect, which discusses causal chains and thinking critically about different causes or consequences. In a philosophical essay, the writer makes a thesis statement and present arguments and counterarguments to reach an open-minded conclusion.
Your professors are speaking English. They just happen to be referring to a specific sub-set of vocabulary that no one outside of the academic world will ever need. But you need it, and now you know it, so you can go ahead and write that analytic research paper, with full confidence in what the professor wants. You can put the marker down now.

Other type of essays gaining popularity relate to visual arts, music and films.

To conclude, a writer puts his thoughts on a paper in an essay. The writer needs to consider the subject and determine the purpose of writing.

Proofread and edit your draft.Make sure to check your final draft before submitting it to your school. Most students are so happy they've finally finished writing their essay or research paper, they forget to spell-check and search for grammar and punctuation mistakes. Most professional writers even use the help of editors (and actually pay them for their services) to ensure the paper is coherent, well-structured and flows well.

Thought should also be given to the audience before deciding on specific examples. The essay should be a well-organized and coherent piece of writing supported by appropriate facts and examples.

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