7 Research Papers You’ll Write Before Graduating

The amount of writing one has to do in college or university is exhausting. Papers come in many shapes and sizes, so it’s easy to get confused. The problem is, if your professor specified a definition paper in the requirements and you wrote an amazing argumentative essay, you will not be getting that A you so desire. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to consult before starting any assignment.

Argumentative papers

This type of writing requires the author to describe two opposing opinions on a single subject. While the student needs to pick a side to defend, they still have to remain impartial and unbiased. This can be done by using hard facts and thoroughly analyzing each side of the argument.

Analytical papers

While in argumentative papers the author usually defends a point of view, the purpose of analytical writing is to describe all the positions people take on a particular issue. A good way to do this is by analyzing the works of scholars who have researched the topic previously.

Definition papers

This type of writing is fairly easy, because it does not involve analysis. There is no need to include a discussion of the issue or varying perspectives. All a student needs to do is present objective information on the subject in question. This type of paper can later be used for research by other scholars.

Compare and contrast papers

Compare and contrast writing is pretty self explanatory. This type of papers is widely used in all kinds of disciplines to discover the commonalities and differences of two separate subjects. Keep in mind that the thesis posed in the beginning needs to be supported in the main body of the essay.

Cause and effect papers

Business students will be particularly familiar with this type of papers by the time they graduate. Cause and effect essays logically follow the probable results of a specified action or event. The important thing to remember is that the author needs to present a full range of possible effects, not just the desired ones.


Reports are usually used to describe case studies and such. They follow a rigid format and need to be free of emotions and present opinions supported with evidence. Authors start by identifying the issue and should provide recommendations on how to solve it. An executive summary, graphs, tables, and an appendix are often required to add substance to your writing.

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Interpretive papers

This type of writing is mostly used in humanities and social sciences, where professors need to present a lot of theoretical information during a class. The purpose of these papers is to see how student can apply the knowledge gained during the course. The best way to succeed is to stick to the established framework and use of the relevant data.

Whatever the type of writing may be, always make sure that you understand the requirements before starting any work. If you feel something still seems confusing, don’t be afraid to consult with your professor or visit the campus writing center.


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