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Difference Between an Essay and Research Paper

Difference Between an Essay and Research Paper

Published by on 2021-06-30 17:06:45

Composing academic papers remains one of the most tricky types of assignments for many students. The essays and the research papers are currently the most common writings assigned to young learners. However, there are still many blind spots in distinguishing these two types of homework, which make the process of composing the papers even more challenging. What is the most important difference between a research paper and a simple essay? How to write each assignment in a fast and top-notch way? It’s time to clarify this issue and come up with brilliant papers in a class.

The Essay: Top Things You Need to Know

To find out the difference between essay and research paper, one should understand the core concepts and features of both types of academic assignments. So, let’s start by exploring the keys to writing a winning essay. 

The essay is probably the first type of academic writing you’ve met on your learning path. The fact is that essays are usually assigned at elementary school. Of course, these assignments are short and simple, but they remain a starting point for improving your writing skills. Moreover, students usually need to compose more complicated essays in middle and high school, as well as in college.

As a rule, this writing is compact and precise; it usually takes not more than 1000 words. Essays are aimed at elevating your writing skills to a high level, as well as sharpening your ability to collect, analyze, and structure various types of data. There are various types of essays, where each type of academic paper has different requirements and approaches to writing. For example, some papers suppose coming up with an advanced description of a chosen event or phenomenon, while the others require putting some persuading techniques into practice. Anyway, essays can help you open up your creativity. 

Top Essay’s Features

  1. The essay is usually short. Its length doesn’t exceed 1000 words. In most cases, you are expected to compose 5-paragraph writing.
  2. The majority of essays show off the writer’s opinion on a particular topic. The additional resources are used to support this viewpoint and prove its correctness.
  3. Essays don’t require doing advanced research. In most cases, students can use a limited number of resources and don’t need to explore the chosen subject for hours.
  4. The main purpose of writing is to represent brilliant writing skills, the ability to cover the topic and support your ideas with powerful arguments. 
  5. You need to have a deep understanding of the chosen field to come up with your own ideas and solutions. 
  6. The essays are usually written from the writer’s viewpoint and contain personal conclusions, thoughts, and examples. 
  7. Composing this type of academic paper doesn’t suppose to use any particular methodologies. It has a simple and clear structure. 

What Is the Most Important Difference Between a Research Paper and a Simple Essay?


To put it short, the essay is considered one of the simplest types of academic writing. It is assigned on various subjects and should reflect your individual views, ideas, or experience. 

Research Paper: The Basics 

This type of academic paper is unique writing that calls for making advanced research on a chosen topic. The students are expected to conduct research in different directions to determine the strongest points of a particular subject or issue. After collecting all the facts, arguments, and examples, learners should develop solid and polished writing. 

It is also worth mentioning that research papers can be divided into qualitative and quantitative. The research done by the student should be formalized in the form of references. A research paper should not only contain the results of exploring a chosen subject, but it should also be informative and plagiarism-free. You need to show off an in-depth understanding of the selected niche and impress the reader with the most fitting and trustworthy facts. If you would like to discover whether there is any difference between a term paper and a research paper, you should know that these types of academic papers have different focuses and requirements. 

Top Features of the Research Paper

  1. This academic assignment is a more complicated one and requires coming up with about eight pages of writing.
  2. The unique feature of the research paper is that it often represents both the writer's thoughts and the viewpoints of scientists/industry leaders/influencers/professionals.
  3. It requires doing complex research and an ability to cover the topic from different sides. 
  4. The paper’s main goal is to represent a deep knowledge in a specified area and demonstrate an ability to collect and analyze different data types.
  5. The research paper should reflect a top-notch logic and contain only proven facts and examples.
  6. Writing this type of assignment supposes the use of different methodologies. 

Essay vs Research Paper: Which One Is Easier? 

These types of academic assignments reckon for various skills and the ability to conduct research. Although the essay is a shorter and easier type of paper, it still requires having excellent writing skills and an ability to structure your ideas and opinions. 

The research paper is a more advanced piece of writing with the necessity to collect facts, examples and show off top-notch analytical skills. Moreover, you need to pay attention to the objective of writing, voice, tone, and style to create a winning paper. 

Many students understand the differences between various types of academic papers but still believe writing is too difficult for them. If you are faced with similar issues, no worries. You can order paper of any complexity right now and receive an assignment of premium quality right when you need it.