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Similarities and Differences between a research essay and a research paper - 2022 Guide

Research and essay papers are common assignments that are assigned to students to assess their writing abilities. On one hand, essays help students in demonstrating their writing skills using personal information and descriptions.

On the contrary, research papers offer students a chance to present their ideas or arguments and also, demonstrate them via an understanding of a specified topic. They both have differences yet a lot is common between them.

In my school life, I knew what they both were! But I always mixed them up because, on that level, research papers were not taught in-depth. I always wanted a professional essay writer to write my essay because of this confusion. However, in college life, I got to identify the difference between both.

Didn’t want to get my hands dirty in school, lol.

Some of the similarities that research paper and essay have in common are:

Thinking deeper

In both types of documents, critical thinking is very important to analyze and assess the topic on multiple levels. Different skills are utilized to do that such as reflection, comparison and analysis. However, both these documents integrate this process but in entirely different ways. Both research papers and essays make it mandatory for students to synthesize and draw conclusions from the material they are using.

In a research essay, you may use critical thinking to establish how your experience with something has changed you or how you have matured after encountering a certain experience. In a research paper, the perspective of other authors help you conclude the specific topic that you are discussing.

In both cases, critical thinking matters but from a different perspective, one personal and one from an outside source.

Gathering Data

Both documents indeed require information and it could be of a different kind, but it requires the source material that you are synthesizing. In a research paper, you have to read outside material or any class reading assigned to you before getting started.

You also have to cite those sources to establish the logic and credibility through in-text citations and reference or work cited pages.

A research paper without reference or a work cited page is no research paper so you must ensure that you have listed all the sources at the end of the paper.

In essays, however, you have to either narrate your personal experience and bank on the knowledge or use websites, articles or books to teach the audience about the subject you are discussing.

Building a solid structure:

Another key similarity between those documents has to build a solid organization. Typically, the organization of the paper such as introduction, body and conclusion apply to both. Ask any essay writer to provide you with samples, and you will understand what I am talking about. Also, the most important part is the introduction where the writer has to grab the reader’s attention.

Both essays and research papers require full-length body paragraphs and topic sentences. Writers have to make sure that there is a clear transition from one paragraph to the next paragraph.

Another similarity is that both documents require the purpose of the research paper or essay. You have to show readers why this topic is important and why they should care about it.

Constructing the main idea

The next similarity is both papers have a main idea or theme and you have to work around it. The central point is the thesis statement and makes sure you know how to craft a perfect thesis statement. You can hire an essay writing service to do that for you if you are tight on a deadline. However, I’d recommend practising it yourself because it’s very useful in the long run.

I know it sounds terrifying but you don’t have to worry about it, rather get yourself to work and you will see it’s not that difficult at all.

Another important thing to note is, you have to understand the differences to learn about the similarities.

The thesis statement has to be written at the end of the introductory paragraph as it will make it easier for the readers to know what they are expecting in the main body. It can also be said that the thesis statement tells about the writer’s intentions.

Research questions

A research question is always mandatory in a research paper or research essay. It helps the readers understand what the writer wants to prove. To do that, you have to select a topic that is not too broad or not too narrow. If you are choosing a broader topic, you have to narrow it down.

For example, if you are writing about tourist spots, you cannot just write about Hawaii, you might wanna put forth this question as, “Is Hawaii the best tourist spot?” that narrows your focus on one specific topic.

Like just don’t go for general topics or narrow their focus on specific subjects.

Maybe go through those samples to clearly understand my point. Don’t worry too much, you will get there after a bit of reading. The samples are of great help.

That’s it for the key points that I wanted to share with you guys. I hope you had a great time reading this and aren’t bored of my “how-to” thing.

Always go with an open mind because that will not frustrate you. If you keep this mentality, “I can’t do it” you will never learn. Keep reading and learning because it’s the key to becoming a better person.