Differences Between an Essay and a Research Paper

By: | Updated: Mar-6, 2022
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The majority of college students will easily identify an essay by stating that it is always shorter and does not contain those complex analytical elements that are always typical for an average research paper. While it’s true to some extent, the core difference with essay writing is that you have to make your opinion and thoughts clear by supporting it with some evidence. Now the research paper will require not only your opinion but the ideas and thoughts of other people. You must present a clever synthesis of the information to show that you have done your research correctly. Without a doubt, the length will also play an important matter, but will not always be the same for every task!

The Main Differences Between an Essay & Research Paper

Differences Between an Essay and a Research Paper

  • Personal Opinion vs Data Synthesis.

Every research paper will require a synthesis of available information and analysis while an essay can focus on what you think over some event, attitude, or subject. It is more personalized in terms of writing. It can take narrative forms while research papers will always remain within argumentative and analytical forms. If you have to research, you turn to more than one opinion! Essay writing provides more freedom to represent your thoughts as you show your writing skills.

  • Length And Structure.

The research paper will often be longer since it contains an abstract, an extended bibliography, the objectives of your research, the outcomes, samples, and many other scientific paragraphs. It’s what makes it longer. A classic college essay will have an introduction with a thesis, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. If it sounds confusing, consider getting cheap essay help and ensure that you share your requirements to avoid confusion. It’s essential to meet the word count and follow the structure with either task!

  • The Presence of Methodology.

A good research paper always implements a certain methodology or the way how you would like to achieve your scientific objectives. It can be quantitative (numeric data and variables), qualitative (sorted by category), or a mixture of both.

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  • Comparison & Presentation.

Another important difference between essays and research papers is the use of comparison methods and the way how information is being presented. While an essay will revolve around a certain opinion and focus on structure and writing skills, a good research paper compares and analyzes different opinions. A research paper must be written according to a clear structure. If you write a perfect essay, you can have some variations, depending on your creativity, yet research paper writing will always stick to strict rules.

The Different Types of Essay Writing & Research

Remember that there are different purposes and types of research papers, which is also true for most college essays. In the majority of cases, your research paper will be subject-based with deep exposure to a certain topic with the statement of opinions and your analysis. Dealing with an essay, you can write a narrative or philosophical essay among other things where the purpose is to show your writing skills and an ability to summarize, analyze, and clarify what has been chosen in your opinion. It does not mean that essay writing is always easier, yet when you are dealing with an essay, there is more freedom to state your opinion and work depending on what essay type has been requested.

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