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Dec 22

Difference Between a Research Paper and an Essay

Tag: Writing TipsEric Samuels @ 2:24 pm
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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.

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.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Essay

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.

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. 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. 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. 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 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.

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. 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. 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. 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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Difference Between a Research Paper and an Essay, 8.3 out of 10 based on 17 ratings
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2 Responses to “Difference Between a Research Paper and an Essay”

  1. Elly says:

    thanks a lot for your great works. I would like to become research papers writer. where do I begin?

    Elijah

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  2. lan b says:

    @Elly

    Get into a phd program and you will be writing papers for 7 years.

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