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5 Types Of Research Papers: A Detailed Overview

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”

- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Scientist

Composing a research paper is certainly no child’s play. There are so many vital aspects to meet, and points to remember. From accumulating sufficient research findings to adding relevant references to the paper, you can’t afford to miss out any of these essentials. Drafting a research paper flawlessly is mostly about proving a point with rationally explained ideas. However, you need to know about the genre of the research paper you’ll be working on. While an argumentative research paper will ask you to present two sides of a controversial issue in one paper, a definition paper is more self-explanatory. Unless you are aware of the technicalities and essential components that are associated with different research papers, ensuring flawlessness might be an issue.

Take out some time to read through this informative blog and discover the various types of research papers your professors might ask you to work on.

Composing a research paper involves critical thinking, a reflection of your own thoughts based on analysis and evidence collected from various sources. However, each research paper has its own conventions. Students need to follow these regulations and include all necessary elements in their work in order to shape the paper in accordance with the genre. Here are the five most crucial types of research papers you should pay heed to. Take note.

1. Analytical Research Paper

An analytical research paper is primarily about analysing different points of view associated with a particular subject matter. The perspectives in an analytical paper are supposed to be represented from a factual standpoint, rather than an opinionated one. The smart chart attached below talks about the components of an analytical essay.

Students must consider investing enough time in reading through the works of other researchers. However, it does not mean that the individual will only end up beating around the bush. An aspiring researcher should never talk about a similar slant, which has been explored and talked about.

One must write to analyse. Posted in BBC Bitesize, you cannot start analysing a topic without having a concrete idea of the overall meaning and effect of the subject matter. You are basically required to take note of these three essential components.

  • The context
  • Audience
  • Purpose

You need to analyse the context of the assigned topic at first. This will help you to develop a primary idea regarding the background of your subject matter. Secondly, you need to be quite careful about the audience you’re trying to target. This will further assist you to frame the paper accordingly, with reader-friendly and relevant texts added to the paper. Lastly, determining the purpose of writing an analytical research paper is important. It will allow you to frame the paper with a rational tone. Once the purpose of composing the paper is clear to the audience, they will eventually develop an interest to read through the work attentively.

2. Argumentative Research Papers

The primary purpose of composing an argumentative research paper is to talk about the two sides of a controversial topic in one paper. The idea is to present both sides of the issue with well-established arguments, incorporate factual details and extract evidence to derive research findings. Here’s a smart chart representing the crucial components of a well-knit argumentative paper.

The nature of research and analysis associated with an argumentative paper should be unbiased. As mentioned in the smart chart above, an argumentative paper must come up with the pros and cons of each argument. Being biased or emotional will not help you in this matter. Secondly, you must present facts that are logical in nature.

Related: How To Write An Argumentative Essay Like A Pro

For example, if you are talking about the “pros and cons of globalisation,” you cannot afford to claim things right away. Each of the statements you try to establish must contain information from researchers and highlight both sides of the issue. And yes; it has to be unbiased or neutral in nature. Talking about in-text citation, make sure that you are seeking references from reliable sources. Unless the references drawn are relevant and factual, in-text citation won’t serve the purpose.

3. Cause and Effect Research Papers

The Butte College journal defines cause and effect research paper as an analytical work that examines the “reasons for” and the “outcomes” of a particular situation. A well-written cause and effect research paper must answer the following questions.

Let’s assume your topic is “D”.

  • Why did D happen?
  • What happened as a result of D?
  • What might happen as a result of D in the near future?

Take note of the fact that the question must solve the purpose of explaining why “D” happened in the first place. Once you are done establishing a solid answer, move on to the next section. You got to discover the effects of “D.” Finally, you need to come up with a predictive explanation of what else might happen as a result of “D” in the near future.

The idea is to frame a cause and effect paper that talks about either the causes or the effects, or a combination of both. Here’s a graphical representation of the crucial components of an ideally prepared cause and effect research paper.

Related: A Complete Guide On How To Write A Cause And Effect Essay

Summing up the argument or the purpose of composing the paper will allow your reader to understand how the particular issue can affect them.

Take note, there can be multiple causes leading to the same effect. This calls for a thorough accumulation of data that can justify the purpose in a logical manner.

4. Compare and Contrast Research Papers

Compare and contrast research papers are often assigned to the students pursuing literature courses. The primary purpose of this paper is to compare two different authors or stories from a particular genre. In addition, compare and contrast research papers are used in social science to compare two different theoretical perspectives. Moreover, such papers are used in subjects like Philosophy and Business Studies as well.

Related: How To Write A Philosophy Essay – Give Your Writing To New Heights

Before we continue to talk about the various aspects of compare and contrast papers, here’s a quick glance at the crucial components associated with the research work.

The introduction and thesis of a compare and contrast research paper must include the primary point of discussion. You must explain to your audience the subject matter you will be comparing and contrasting. In addition, talk about the purpose of the comparison and contrast as well.

Moving on to the next section, consider coming up with key similarities associated with the subject matter. You need to use explanative details and relevant examples to illustrate and support your points.

Once you are done with the comparison section, it’s time to justify the contrast section with relevant details. The contrast section should serve the purpose of explaining the key differences between the two major items of discussion in the paper. Remember, you must provide sufficient examples, so that the readers can follow and understand the logic you are trying to establish.

The conclusion should be a brief summary of all the key areas of comparison and contrast you have discussed so far. Apart from coming up with a brief recap, you need to explain the significance of the differences and similarities drawn.

If at all you are asked to choose a preferable option between the two at the end of the paper, establish a strong statement. The conclusion should be thought-provoking and impactful. Your readers must find helpful ideas and key points to take home.

5. Definition Research Papers

Definition research papers are said to be self-explanatory in nature. You are supposed to describe the topic from a factual point of view. The paper should be devoid of emotion or any type of biased opinion. The primary idea is to draft a definition paper with pure factual details at par with other research paper findings. Now that you’re trying to figure out the key components of a definition research paper, here’s something for you to take note of.

Related: How To Write Definition Essay - Foolproof Tips And Topic Prompts

Here are a few more suggestions you may consider while composing a definition paper.

Invest enough time in research: Since composing a definition paper is essentially about presenting actual facts, you must invest enough time in research. The more literature and completed works you go through, the better are your chances to add relevant facts.

Don’t form an opinion out of emotion: You should refrain from forming any opinion based on how you look at the subject matter. Even though a definition research paper will contain information extracted from various sources, adding up irrelevant details based on biased opinions won’t help.

The paper must contain valuable information: Not only should your research paper contain relevant facts and unbiased opinions, but the work must also include something valuable for the readers. Don’t just write for the sake of writing. You must frame the paper with thought-provoking facts and details to engage your readers.

Simply take note of the suggestions mentioned above, and implement the same while drafting your next research work.

Good luck!

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