What is a research paper?
Any paper requiring the writer to research a particular topic is a research paper. Unlike essays, which are often based largely on opinion and are written from the author's point of view, research papers are based in fact. A research paper requires you to form an opinion on a topic, research and gain expert knowledge on that topic, and then back up your own opinions and assertions with facts found through your thorough research.
What is the difference between a research paper and a thesis?
A thesis is a document students of higher education write to obtain an academic degree or qualification. Usually, it is longer than a research paper and takes multiple years to complete. Generally associated with graduate/postgraduate studies, it is carried out under the supervision of a professor or other academic of the university.
A major difference between a research paper and a thesis is that the former presents certain facts that have already been **researched and explained by others, whereas the latter starts with a certain scholarly question or statement, which then leads to further research and new findings. This means that a thesis requires the author to input original work and their own findings in a certain field, whereas the research paper can be completed with extensive research only.
Another difference between a research paper and a thesis is that a research paper in a scholarly context is usually part of a subject or requirement for a class, and does not count as a separate subject, whereas the thesis is usually considered as a separate module, requiring supervision of a professor or other academic of the university, and being graded separately.
More on research papers
- What are the different types of research papers?
- How do you start a research paper?
- How do you write a research paper outline?