The Difference Between Term Papers and Research Papers

The Difference Between Term Papers and Research Papers
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When studying in college, you have to write essays and many other papers. Sometimes, it may be difficult to understand the difference between papers of different kinds. It may be especially difficult to find the difference when you’re asked to write a term paper or research paper. Why should you know the difference? The reason is that these papers have different purposes and structures. An essay is a simple task. The only thing you need to do is consider a certain problem, writing an introduction, body, and conclusion. When writing research papers and term papers, understanding the difference between these two types of writing is necessary for you to meet the instructions. Both of these types of papers should demonstrate your knowledge of a certain problem and provide analysis. Experts from College-Writers service prepared this quick guide for you so that you can understand the differences.

Research Paper

  • A research paper focuses on a specific problem. Usually, research papers consider problems that haven’t been fully covered before, or which results raise doubts. Research papers always have a similar structure, regardless of the subject. Every research paper should have a title page, table of contents, a discussion section, and conclusions or recommendations. There are specific guidelines for each of these sections. No matter what is the problem that you investigate, the structure should remain the same.
  • This type of writing requires you to spend some time researching your topic. You may conduct different types of research, surveys, or interviews. You may also use experiments and observations. Depending on the purpose of your study and the hypothesis, a research paper may take a few days or even a few years to write.
  • Usually, research papers are lengthy. The shortest research papers are 10 pages long, but other papers may exceed 100 pages. It’s hard to find a research paper that would be shorter than 10 pages because, in this case, it would be difficult to prove the hypothesis and to consider all the important details.
  • A research paper may include materials from different years and courses. You may benefit from previous research in this field, and materials from the past might help you analyze the literature and discuss the background.

Term Paper

  • Usually, students write term papers after a certain period of studying, as a part of a course. Courses are divided into terms, and when a term ends, students should complete this task, demonstrating what they have learned during this period of time. Usually, grades for term papers are especially important for the overall grade.
  • Term papers should check students’ knowledge. Having a certain theme, students should write an essay or take a test devoted to this theme.
  • Unlike research papers, term papers can have different structures. They may look like an essay or a set of questions with answers. A term paper may also be a test, review, or annotated bibliography.
  • The length of term papers may also vary. There are 20 pages long papers, as well as term papers with only one page. Usually, the length of a term paper depends on the professor.
  • A term paper focuses on the material learned during the course. Quite often, such papers cover all the themes studied during a certain period of time.

Your term paper may require you to conduct research. However, if you need to write a research paper, it will not be a term paper. Even though both of these types of papers should check your knowledge, they are completely different. The educational process is complex and it requires motivation. Students want to understand why their knowledge is useful and how they can apply it in the future. Such papers also help students see how others appreciate their skills.

You can become a better student if you know the difference between research papers and term papers. This knowledge will certainly help you improve your grades. Usually, teachers explain the differences between these two types of papers but they may miss some important information that helps draw this distinction. The easiest way to understand what exactly you should write is to know the purpose and structure of each of these tasks.

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