By: Joe Robertson
Research papers can be easily differentiated from personal essays on the basis of the extensive research that is executed before the writing of such papers. Research papers thus act as that creative output in which the writers' personal thoughts and opinions are merged with theories from already established sources.
However, the technique used in the presentation of the paper may make it fall under two broad categories: 1. Analytical, 2. Argumentative. In fact, the strategy used by the writer to compose his paper will eventually determine the aim and purpose of the paper.
A detailed discussion of these two methods will clarify the concepts presented above:
1. Analytical Papers In an analytical research paper, the aim is to attain a thorough expertise of the concept that is being presented so that it can be broken down and represented from the writers' point of view.
In this form of the research paper, an individual approaches the research question without any pre-conceived notions and ideas about the subject at hand. Thereafter a careful survey of the opinions and views is undertaken. Ultimately when familiarity with the topic is achieved, a person is able to restructure and relocate the concepts that underlie the basic topic in his paper. The very essence of an analytical paper -- critical contemplation and evaluation of the question at hand -- is necessary for an analytical paper.
2. Argumentative Papers This type of a paper may also be termed a persuasive paper. Aside from critical thinking, which is essential for the production of a quality paper, another familiar concept that dominates academic circles is the concept of an argument.
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The persuasive paper takes a conscious stance and argues in favor of one of the arguments with cogent facts and points presented in its favor. The aim is to mould the reader's mind in favor of one possible answer to the research question backed by reliable data and arguments.
To conclude, both approaches require logical thinking and smart evaluation alongside comprehensive research of the available sources. However, the difference is created through the process of writing. Analytical papers provide a more balanced approach where all views pertaining to the question are presented, whereas argumentative papers debate in favor of one logical solution above the others.