Types of Research Papers

Updated: Apr 25


There are different types of research papers, and each type requires a unique approach. It is necessary for you to know the structure of each paper, as this determines how you present the information you collect from various sources. The tone of your entire paper should correspond with the type of research paper that you have chosen. Let us do a recap of what a research paper is (and what it is not) before we even have a look at the different types that exist.


What is a research paper?



A research paper refers to written work that is created through a research, critical thinking, analysis, composition, and organization process. Research papers are usually based on results that are obtained from specified sources, hence the student should be able to spend enough time carefully reading them and analyzing them.


What a research paper is not

With the list of ideas about what a research paper is, you can agree that it is not:


- A depository of quotations- You are only allowed to use quotations if you need to clarify your findings.

- A rewrite of someone’s ideas-A research paper is not a summary of facts presented in textbooks and the internet.

- A defense of your opinions- A research paper is aimed at the revelation of the truth, not fighting opinions. Opposing opinions is only allowed for persuasive research papers.

- A simple presentation of your views- a major characteristic of research papers is complexity. If your research topic can be addressed through presenting a simple solution then you should consider coming up with a different research problem all the same.

- An emotional persuasion – all vocabulary in your research paper should be neutral. You should only present logical facts that are not accompanied by emotional language.


Now that we have distinguished between what a research paper is and what it is not, we can look at the various types of research papers that you can be asked to write by your professor.


1. Analytical Research Paper

This type of research paper involves the description of multiple points of view, an analysis of points, and coming up with a conclusion. It is about posing a question and documenting the thinking process in a very structured way. This type of paper starts with the presentation and description of a research question, which should be analyzed throughout the rest of the work.


For an analytical research paper, you have to collect relevant data from various researchers, before making your conclusion about the underlying topic. You should also aim for neutrality when writing this type of paper. You should, therefore avoid taking a negative or positive position on the issue at hand. If you want to take the stand that something is better, or you want to disagree with certain aspects of your topic, you should switch to a persuasive research paper ( with the permission of your tutor).


2. Persuasive/ Argumentative Research Paper


This research paper involves the description of the problem from two points of view, the proposition of all pros and cons, and the presentation of your preference. It is aimed at getting the readers to side with a certain point of view. Unlike an analytical research paper, this paper can come up as being emotional. You, however, have to support your arguments with logical facts or statistical data. It is important for anyone writing a persuasive paper to give their preference to certain opinions. Without taking any side, the paper will not be considered a persuasive research paper.


3. Cause and Effect Research Paper

This paper involves the description of a situation, the presentation of all causes and effects, and the presentation of a conclusion. You have probably been requested to write this type of paper as a freshman in high school or college. Most tutors use it to teach their students how to write research papers. The students have to thoroughly study the researched topic, learn how to organize their writing process and know how to apply various formatting styles to their text, as well as their citations and references.


Simply put, a cause and effect paper seeks to provide answers to two main questions: “Why?” and “What?”. This way, the student gets an opportunity to reflect on the effects and causes. It is not a good writing practice for one to mix various causes and effects, as this may come up as if he or she has lost the main focus of the essay.


As the student progresses to higher levels of education, they will find the cause and effect papers particularly useful for tracing the relationship that exists between various variables, as well as the relationship between certain actions and specific results.


4. Report Paper


This is probably one of the easiest types of research papers. It involves the student outlining the work done on a given topic and then summing up their findings. The students have to look through sufficient information presented about a particular event or subject, describe the data, and all outstanding characteristics. The main objective of a report paper is to inform the readers of the research about the main facts of a certain topic, based on all the existing information.


These are the types of research papers that you will encounter in your life as a student. If you are having any problems coming up with any research paper, reach out to Custom Essay Writing today, and get help from nerds.

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