Research Paper vs. Term paper

Research paper and term paper are school projects or assignments that teachers give to a student to test how much they have learns from the class. The two may appear to be the same, as they both require students to conduct investigation, scientific inquiry and literature review. They have similar features they both contain introduction a body and a conclusion. But, they have also differences that students must take into consideration.

A term paper is relatively short compared with a research paper. A term paper may be about ten to fifteen pages long while a research paper is not always longer than 15 pages. A term paper is given to students to test how much knowledge he had acquired on a particular subject. It is usually given at the end of the term hence the name and it accounts for a significant percentage of the final exam. The term paper allows students to critical evaluate a certain topic that was discussed in class. A term paper usually allows students to express their opinions and it may contain the arguments or persuasion of students to convince the readers that the students’ opinions are valid. Student’s arguments must be supported by facts taken from a number of reliable sources such as academic journals, academic papers, and scholarly textbooks.

A research paper, on the other hand, is given to students to answer theoretical questions, a hypothesis or a research question. The students are required to analyze and interpret the information obtain in the research and turn the information into a scholastic paper. A research paper may include statistical analysis, survey results or a review of a literature review that typically aims to answer the research question. A research paper is focused on the research question which students formulated. A term paper is focused on a topic given by the teacher. A typical research question in psychology will be “What is the relationship of low selfconcept and suicidal ideation”; if it is a term paper the title would be “the importance of the positive selfconcept.” The research paper can be assigned at any time of the term on the other hand term paper is always given at the end of the term.

Both term papers and research papers have outlined. Both papers are also divided into sections such as introduction body and conclusion. The body is usually divided into several sub-topics. In a research paper, there is a literature review section and there is often an explanation of the methodology used by the students. A research paper may also involve the study of particular subjects or participants. Document analysis, surveys, and experiments may also be conducted. The results of the experiments or surveys or experiments are evaluated often times statistical treatments are utilized such as percentage and mean. In a higher level research paper, complicated statistical techniques may be employed such as t-test, ANOVA, and chi-square and regression analysis. Term papers usually do not have statistical treatment. The argument of the students is supported by facts taken from academic research papers and textbooks. Academic research papers can be used by a source in term papers. But term papers usually are not used as a source in research papers.

A research paper may usually have a work cited page. A term paper may also cite the source the students have utilized in their argument. However, term papers may not need in-depth research and investigation as students were only making arguments based on what they have learned from the class during the entire term. However, when it comes to grading, a term paper is usually comprised of a large portion of a term grade, making it more important than a research paper in the eyes of students.

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