Without exaggeration, studies are a tough period of life since the assignments students have to handle are numerous, and their kinds are diverse. Various types of research papers are also on the list of the writing projects that students have to produce. Every learner, who wants to get excellent grades for the completed exploratory papers, should know the specifics of such works. This article provides useful material about different types of research papers. Read it to be able to handle each of them. However, at first, lets us find out what a research paper implies.

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What Is a Research Paper?

This is an academic work that is the result of the painstaking investigation of materials, data collection, their thorough analysis and arrangement, coherent writing, and careful editing. To make such a paper complete, one has to use both primary and secondary sources. Generally speaking, this paper is the writing project of a scientific character that gives a reasonable interpretation of the results of one’s study.

To create a powerful research paper, one has to devote enough time to evaluate the sources the individual aims to use in the course of the study. In this way, one will be able to properly interpret the material provided by those sources and let readers look at the matter in question from a new angle. Such academic work has to be objective and should not include emotional language. Additionally, this academic text should not show the author’s attitude to the issue under discussion.


Research Paper vs Essay

Essays of all kinds and research papers are the tasks that are often assigned to students. However, what is the discrepancy between them?

A research paper is longer compared to an essay. It is considered one of the most typical assignments given to undergraduates. It usually provides an in-depth analysis of the matter, while an essay answers the posed questions.

The chief purpose of an exploratory paper is to present individual investigations on a specific subject. As to essays, their goal is to make a critical assessment of already produced works highlighting a particular theme. In the research paper, each stage of the investigation and study is described in detail in the respective sections such as a literature review, methodology, hypothesis, etc. Meanwhile, essays offer a general overview of the studies related to the tackled problem.

Both academic works are aimed at helping students understand the discussed matter better. Still, the main factors that differentiate these writing projects from each other are the number of sources, word count, and the necessity to present the writer’s viewpoint on the matter at the end of the paper.

Learn more information about:"Writing Research Proposals"

Key Types of Research Papers

In general, each specific kind of research paper provides different information arranged in a distinct format. The written material you present has to match the assigned type of this academic work. Otherwise, the provided data will be inappropriate. The type of such an exploratory paper depends on the subject, research methods, and the way information is analyzed. Since the format determines the voice of the whole work, it is essential to pick the one which corresponds to the prepared material and the purpose of your paper. Thus, you will be able to plan your work properly and achieve a successful outcome. Now, let us discuss the types of research papers you may be tasked with.


This is the paper that is concentrated on inspecting different viewpoints on the explored subject highlighted in several sources. When working on this type, you have to examine the way other scholars describe the topic which you are exploring and express your opinion about it. This kind of exploratory work requires one to be objective and not to show their preference for a specific viewpoint.


This research text should present your thoroughly developed ideas about the topic you are investigating. Being assigned to create such a work, you need to not only provide some information about the subject but also demonstrate your stance on it and formulate a thesis statement based on it.

In the course of the study, you should find out how your topic is highlighted by other researchers, and support the scientists whose position on the subject is the same as yours. Remember to back up your ideas with concrete facts and evidence.


The learner should refrain from providing a personal viewpoint about the topic when writing this type of exploratory paper. Only the bare facts are required. The data collected from the topic-related sources does not need to be analyzed. Though this kind of research paper does not provide a fresh look on the matter in question, it is still considered a worthy work that can serve as a basis for other papers of the argumentative or analytical character focused on the same issue.


The chief function of an informative research paper is to provide new facts on a particular topic. The material collected for this type of work may be used to either support or deny a current theory. Those assigned to produce such a writing project should provide highly detailed information on the matter which can be obtained from both national and foreign sources. To form a complete picture of the topic, it is useful to provide both supporting and opposing ideas about the subject. The thorough analysis included in the paper is certainly a plus.


Usually, professors assign such papers to students to see whether they have learned the course material and whether they are able to express their own viewpoint on the explored topic. It often assumes writing a qualitative research paper. An essential thing about this type of paper to keep in mind is that the facts you use to support your concepts have to be true.

Cause and effect

These academic papers are focused on determining the reasons and effects of some issues, phenomena, etc. They track the likely or expected outcomes of a specific action and answer the questions “What?” and “Why?” which correspond to causes and effects. When creating such a work, you need to highlight the situation first, show causes and effects, and finally, provide conclusions.

Compare and contrast

This exploratory paper usually illustrates several concepts/ideas and provides their detailed analysis with the purpose of determining similarities and differences between them. The phenomena that have to be analyzed are usually described briefly. The thesis of such a paper has to be backed up with several compare and contrast examples.

When working on this type of research work, many students simply describe a specific subject, which is a huge mistake since the essence of such work is in providing a detailed comparison of specific ideas/concepts. This allows readers to understand the matter in question properly.

Research reports

Reports as well as definition papers neither provide any viewpoints on the topic nor contain emotional language. They are based on straightforward facts. Usually, reports include an executive summary, which replaces an abstract in this particular kind of academic paper and supporting data is presented in the form of charts, appendices, etc. Among all kinds of research papers, this one is considered the easiest to handle because you just need to draw your readers’ attention to the fundamental facts about the subject you are investigating.

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Useful Hints on How to Produce a Solid Research Paper

At first, the process of writing a qualitative research paper may seem challenging and tiresome. Nonetheless, once you become aware of the key stages of the writing procedure, you will see that everything is not as complicated as it seems. Certainly, conducting a ground-breaking study may be a little bit hard but not unbearable. We have gathered together the most valuable prompts to help you go through the writing process without a hassle.

Choose the topic you admire (if you are allowed to select it on your own).

In this way, it will be easier for you to conduct your study. Bear in mind that your topic has to be narrow.

Research the chosen subject and determine credible sources to base your work on.

You can resort to scholarly journals, books, encyclopedias, bibliographies, reports, etc.

Use different colors to mark your notes depending on the aspect they relate to.

At the writing stage, it will be easier for you to structure your material coherently and create your text.

Produce a comprehensible thesis statement.

Your thesis is the question you need to respond to in your paper. It has to be precise so that it is easier for you to conduct your investigation.

Arrange an outline.

With a carefully organized outline at hand, you will stay on the right track when discussing your topic. Ensure that your academic work consists of three core structural components intrinsic to essays. Your piece of writing has to include:

  • An introductory section, which has to provide general data about the matter and present it to readers attractively.
  • The main body, which has to uphold a thesis statement.
  • A conclusion that has to reiterate a thesis and summarize the ideas discussed in your study.
Use transition words.

Transitions should connect the paragraphs within your piece of writing.

Revise, edit, and proofread your research paper.

Before submitting your academic work, you should do the mentioned procedures a few times. Scan your paper attentively not to miss any grammatical errors, typos, and citation or formatting flaws. Make sure the words and expressions are used in their proper meaning and the writing style is appropriate.

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Example of a Research Paper

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