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9 Different Types Of Research Papers: A Concise Guide

Are you looking to learn more about the various types of research papers? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be discussing all the major types of research papers and how to approach each one. From analytical to argumentative papers, we’ll cover it all – so let’s dive in and start exploring!

What are Research Papers?

A research paper is a piece of academic writing based on its author’s original research on a particular topic, and the analysis and interpretation of the research findings. It can be either a term paper, a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation.

This type of paper requires a student to conduct intensive research on a specific topic and analyze the findings in order to present their own conclusions. In order to write a good research paper, students need to have strong analytical and writing skills, as well as knowledge of the subject matter.

Types of Research Papers

There are four main types of research papers: analytical, argumentative, experimental, and interpretive.

Analytical research papers analyze a given topic. They break down the subject into smaller parts and then evaluate how well the topic holds up under scrutiny. Argumentative research papers take a position on a given issue and try to persuade the reader to see things from the writer’s perspective. Experimental papers present new data that has been collected through observation or testing. Interpretive papers offer new interpretations of data or existing ideas.

1. Argumentative/Persuasive Paper

An argumentative or persuasive research paper is one in which you take a position on a controversial issue and attempt to convince your reader to agree with your position. In order to write a successful argumentative research paper, you must first choose a topic that is debatable and on which there are two clear sides. Once you have chosen your topic, you will need to do some research and develop an argument for your position. To support your argument, you will need to use evidence from both primary and secondary sources. In persuasive papers, it is often helpful to try to anticipate and address counterarguments from the opposing side. Finally, be sure to edit and proofread your paper before submitting it.

2. Analytical Paper

An analytical paper is a type of research paper that presents an argument or interpretation based on a close analysis of existing evidence. It is different from other types of research papers, which simply present a new piece of research without any attempt to synthesize or interpret the information.

An analytical paper must be based on a clear thesis that sets out the main argument or interpretation that will be presented. The thesis should be supported by evidence from the primary sources (texts, documents, etc.), and this evidence must be critically analyzed in order to support the thesis. In addition to evidence from primary sources, an analytical paper may also make use of secondary sources (e.g. scholarly articles about the topic) in order to provide context or background information.

3. Descriptive Paper

Descriptive research papers are used to describe a phenomenon or event. This type of research paper is usually written in the form of an essay and is often used to provide background information on a topic or issue. Descriptive research papers can also be used to evaluate data from surveys or experiments.

4. Cause and Effect Paper

A cause and effect paper looks at the reasons (or causes) for something, and then examines the results (or effects). For example, you could write a cause and effect paper on the topic of global warming. In this type of paper, you would first discuss the factors that contribute to global warming (the causes), and then discuss the effects of global warming on our environment and our health.

5. Comparative/Contrast Paper

When you write a comparative or contrast paper, you are looking at two or more things and noting the similarities and/or differences. These papers can be written about objects, people, events, etc. You might compare two theories, two historical figures, two medical treatments, etc. The key to writing a successful comparative/contrast paper is to find enough similarities and differences to fill the required length of your paper without repeating yourself too much.

6. Meta-Analysis Paper

As the name suggests, a meta-analysis research paper is a paper that analyses other research papers. In other words, it is a paper that looks at the big picture of a particular research topic by critically evaluating all of the existing research on that topic.

A meta-analysis research paper can be an extremely valuable tool for anyone interested in getting a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge on a particular topic. By bringing together all of the existing research on a topic, a meta-analysis allows you to see the forest for the trees, so to speak. It can help you identify gaps in the existing research, and it can also give you some insights into future directions for research on that topic.

If you’re thinking about writing a meta-analysis research paper, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, because meta-analyses are such comprehensive papers, they tend to be quite long – usually 20 or more pages. Second, because you’ll be critically evaluating other people’s work, it’s important to make sure that your own analysis is rigorous and fair. And finally, becausemeta-analyses can be quite technical, it’s often helpful to have at least some background in statistics before attempting to write one.

7. Qualitative Research Paper

Qualitative research papers are based on qualitative data, which is data that can’t be measured numerically. This type of data includes things like observations and experiences. Qualitative research papers are often used in fields like sociology and psychology. They’re also used in education, anthropology, and other social sciences.

There are a few different ways to collect qualitative data. One way is to do field research, which involves going out into the field and observing people and their behavior. Another way is to do interviews. You can also use focus groups, which are small groups of people who discuss a topic together.

Once you’ve collected your data, you need to analyze it. This can be done using various methods, such as content analysis or thematic analysis. Once you’ve analyzed your data, you can start writing your paper. In a qualitative paper, you’ll need to provide a detailed description of your findings. You should also interpret your findings and discuss their implications.

8. Review Paper

A review paper is a type of research paper that provides a critical evaluation of a document, article, or book. Review papers are written in order to provide a critical assessment of the work under review and to identify any gaps in the existing research. In order to write a successful review paper, it is important to have a clear understanding of what the work being reviewed is about and what its main arguments are. It is also important to be familiar with the different types of reviews that exist in order to choose the most appropriate one for the work being assessed. This article provides an overview of the different types of review papers and offers tips on how to write a successful review paper.

9. Policy Research Paper

A policy research paper is a type of research paper that analyzes a particular policy issue and provides recommendations for policymaking. Policy research papers can be used to inform decision-makers about the potential consequences of proposed policies, as well as the costs and benefits of alternative policy options.

Policy research papers typically follow a standard format, which includes an introduction, a literature review, a discussion of methodology, and a conclusion. The introduction should briefly describe the policy issue under consideration and explain why it is important. The literature review should survey the existing scholarly literature on the topic and identify key debates and arguments. The discussion of methodology should explain how the researcher collected and analyzed data for the paper. The conclusion should offer specific recommendations for policymakers based on the findings of the research.


Research papers can be a daunting task, but if you have the right knowledge and approach, they become much easier. We hope that this guide has helped you to better understand the different types of research papers, their purpose, and how to go about writing them. Research is an integral part of academia and understanding what type of paper works best for your needs will help ensure success. So take some time to evaluate your research goals and objectives before deciding which type of paper suits your needs best.

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