Research Paper Types

When you are studying in the college or in the university, you have to write a research paper anyway, because it is an integral part of student’s program. Generally, while preparing this academic work, you will make a research on the various technical, scientific or social aspects of some phenomenon and then organize the received information. It is not easy. If you have never faced this type of academic writing before, the task may seem complicated or even impracticable. What makes it difficult?

There are many pitfalls that make the process harder and in fact, the majority are getting stuck on the first stage – choosing the right research paper topics. Others simply can’t write the work on their own. Luckily, there is a simple solution for the second issue as there’re many different professional services that will help you with your paper if you will just say “write my research paper”. It can be a good choice for some of you. However, this task is not as difficult as it looks like if you know what it is all about! You can easily accomplish writing a research paper on your own by following the tips that we provide on our website.

What Is A Research Paper?

There are a few types of research article. However, the objectives of this task are always similar – it is a piece of a scientific nature that is related to the scientific research. Experiments aimed at improving and acquiring new knowledge, testing scientific hypotheses, the establishment of laws that are manifested in nature and in society, scientific generalizations, and scientific substantiation of projects.

What does it contain? The whole paper is based on your own experience and thoughts that you write using the analysis of the topic you knew before and the data that you managed to find. Students don’t really like such types of papers. It requires spending time on researching, making reports, and analyzing the data. But anyway, it’s a very important type of the paper because it teaches students how to do a right research and helps them gain some vital skills.

Main Types Of Research Paper

There are a few main types of research papers. Each of them requires a special approach that you should mark at the process of preparation for the writing. We will try to walk you through every single type of research papers in order to help you better understand them and the differences between them.

  • Argumentative: While writing argumentative papers you need to focus the reader’s attention on the arguments that relate to your main topic. You have to support your point of view by evidences from primary sources. In spite of the simplicity from the first sight, it will all depend on the task that teacher will give to you and, anyway, you have to follow some standard steps for writing your argumentative paper by the right structure.
  • Analytical: This term can confuse you only by its name but if you will learn a little more about this type of work you will understand that there is nothing to worry about. It is not that complex! The analytical article is a piece of your work that provides informal analysis about a topic or idea, for example, your main topic is deforestation – obviously, such theme is too general because there are many things to talk about (from the damage it brings to the different solutions). Thus, the analytical essay asks you to use critical thinking and strong arguments!
  • Definition: it requires you to provide only bare arguments and facts without using personal opinion. It is the most informative kind of text. Although, definition works include facts from different sources, such types of academic paper only reflects the findings from other researches.
  • Compare and contrast: this one is needed to analyze the differences between two subjects, authors, viewpoints, leadership styles, or other things and it is a common assignment for subjects like literature, Philosophy, social science, and many others. However, regardless of the subject, it usually has the same construction.
  • Cause and effect: these works are usually being used to trace the expected results from some action in a logical progression that must be clear and understandable for the reader. We can meet this method in business and education fields. This method doesn’t just outline the predicted result but shows several different results that can possibly appear depending on the specific conditions.
  • Reports: it outlines the case of study situation. As a rule, such text includes the summary of the breakdown, situation, identification of the main issue, and recommendations, which means that it is basically a logical and detailed summary of some case study situation.
  • An interpretive essay: is assigned in social science and literature. This work requires a student to use the knowledges that he gained from the particular case study situation, for example, some poem or piece of art, materials from business and psychology fields. This paper requires using gained theoretical knowledge to write the paper and using supporting information for thesis statement and findings.

Above we provided the seven main types of research papers. You could also find some brief information about each of them. We hope this information was useful for you and can help you cope with your assignments because accomplishing this kind of project is important for your overall academic success! It can appear like a complex task. There are too many nuances to keep in mind and apart from following the requirements of a particular project kind, you also have to follow the right structure and format. Therefore, if you still think that it’s quite hard to cope with this task on your own, we recommend you consider hiring a cheap essay writing service that will complete the work for you.

Genre and the Research Paper


This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.

Contributors: Jack Raymond Baker, Allen Brizee, Ashley Velázquez
Last Edited: 2011-03-30 09:06:38

Research: What it is.

A research paper is the culmination and final product of an involved process of research, critical thinking, source evaluation, organization, and composition. It is, perhaps, helpful to think of the research paper as a living thing, which grows and changes as the student explores, interprets, and evaluates sources related to a specific topic. Primary and secondary sources are the heart of a research paper, and provide its nourishment; without the support of and interaction with these sources, the research paper would morph into a different genre of writing (e.g., an encyclopedic article). The research paper serves not only to further the field in which it is written, but also to provide the student with an exceptional opportunity to increase her knowledge in that field. It is also possible to identify a research paper by what it is not.

Research: What it is not.

A research paper is not simply an informed summary of a topic by means of primary and secondary sources. It is neither a book report nor an opinion piece nor an expository essay consisting solely of one's interpretation of a text nor an overview of a particular topic. Instead, it is a genre that requires one to spend time investigating and evaluating sources with the intent to offer interpretations of the texts, and not unconscious regurgitations of those sources. The goal of a research paper is not to inform the reader what others have to say about a topic, but to draw on what others have to say about a topic and engage the sources in order to thoughtfully offer a unique perspective on the issue at hand. This is accomplished through two major types of research papers.

Two major types of research papers.

Argumentative research paper:

The argumentative research paper consists of an introduction in which the writer clearly introduces the topic and informs his audience exactly which stance he intends to take; this stance is often identified as the thesis statement. An important goal of the argumentative research paper is persuasion, which means the topic chosen should be debatable or controversial. For example, it would be difficult for a student to successfully argue in favor of the following stance.

Cigarette smoking poses medical dangers and may lead to cancer for both the smoker and those who experience secondhand smoke.

Perhaps 25 years ago this topic would have been debatable; however, today, it is assumed that smoking cigarettes is, indeed, harmful to one's health. A better thesis would be the following.

Although it has been proven that cigarette smoking may lead to sundry health problems in the smoker, the social acceptance of smoking in public places demonstrates that many still do not consider secondhand smoke as dangerous to one's health as firsthand smoke.

In this sentence, the writer is not challenging the current accepted stance that both firsthand and secondhand cigarette smoke is dangerous; rather, she is positing that the social acceptance of the latter over the former is indicative of a cultural double-standard of sorts. The student would support this thesis throughout her paper by means of both primary and secondary sources, with the intent to persuade her audience that her particular interpretation of the situation is viable.

Analytical research paper:

The analytical research paper often begins with the student asking a question (a.k.a. a research question) on which he has taken no stance. Such a paper is often an exercise in exploration and evaluation. For example, perhaps one is interested in the Old English poem Beowulf. He has read the poem intently and desires to offer a fresh reading of the poem to the academic community. His question may be as follows.

How should one interpret the poem Beowulf?

His research may lead him to the following conclusion.

Beowulf is a poem whose purpose it was to serve as an exemplum of heterodoxy for tenth- and eleventh-century monastic communities.

Though his topic may be debatable and controversial, it is not the student's intent to persuade the audience that his ideas are right while those of others are wrong. Instead, his goal is to offer a critical interpretation of primary and secondary sources throughout the paper--sources that should, ultimately, buttress his particular analysis of the topic. The following is an example of what his thesis statement may look like once he has completed his research.

Though Beowulf is often read as a poem that recounts the heroism and supernatural exploits of the protagonist Beowulf, it may also be read as a poem that served as an exemplum of heterodoxy for tenth- and eleventh-century monastic communities found in the Danelaw.

This statement does not negate the traditional readings of Beowulf; instead, it offers a fresh and detailed reading of the poem that will be supported by the student's research.

It is typically not until the student has begun the writing process that his thesis statement begins to take solid form. In fact, the thesis statement in an analytical paper is often more fluid than the thesis in an argumentative paper. Such is one of the benefits of approaching the topic without a predetermined stance.

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