Difference Between an Essay & a Paper

Jennifer brozak.

Research papers are more in depth pieces of writing than essays.

Whether you’re in middle school, high school or toiling away at college, paper writing is a fundamental facet of schooling. While essays and other forms of creative writing are common in English classes, you’ll also need to understand how to write informative pieces, such as research or term papers. By understanding the difference between the various types of writing styles, you’ll be able to draft compelling prose that is appropriate for any given assignment.

Explore this article

  • What Is an Essay?
  • What Is a Research Paper?
  • What Is the Difference Between a Research Paper and Term Paper?
  • Avoid Getting a Free Essay Writer

1 What Is an Essay?

One of the most common forms of writing is the essay. Starting in your later elementary school years and into middle school, you’ll likely be exposed to the five-paragraph essay, which is a fundamental starting point for creating longer-length writing assignments as you move upward through the higher grades. While they’re typically shorter pieces of writing (often under 1,000 words), they allow teachers to evaluate students on different writing, reading and analysis skills, including the art of persuasion and exposition.

Essays can take on many forms: They can be narrative, or tell a story; expository, or require investigation and evidential support; descriptive, in which a student is required to describe, creatively, a person, place or object; and finally, persuasive, in which a student is asked to argue a specific position on a particular topic.

As a whole, paper essay writing typically allows for more creativity than more formal writing styles, such as research papers.

2 What Is a Research Paper?

The phrase “research paper” can conjure anxiety in even the most adequate student writers. However, this need not be the case. In fact, it’s helpful to think of a research paper as an inflated essay. The structure will basically be the same, but you’ll need a thesis statement (which is not required in some forms of essay writing), significant research and evidence to support your ideas. You’ll also be required to include several credible sources in your paper, which will be listed on a reference page. And consider this: If you choose a subject you’re interested in researching, writing an informative paper can actually be quite a rewarding experience.

3 What Is the Difference Between a Research Paper and Term Paper?

Teachers, especially college professors, sometimes refer to longer research papers as “term papers,” which are similar in their structure and format. They’re expanded essays that will require evidence and credible sources to support your ideas. The difference lies in the subject matter. Research papers may allow you to cover a topic outside of the general subject matter (such as writing a persuasive research paper about global warming in an English class), while term papers will focus solely on the subject matter discussed in the course. High-quality research and term paper examples can be found on numerous sites, such as the Purdue University Online Writing Lab.

4 Avoid Getting a Free Essay Writer

A note of caution about submitting any writing assignment: While the Internet abounds with sources to help you in your quest to write the perfect paper, avoid using “essay generators” or hiring a free essay writer or buying papers from a database. Even if you’re procrastinating and panicking about finishing your assignment, it’s always better to turn in your own work. Not only do many teachers utilize online plagiarism checkers, but they also learn to recognize a student’s specific writing style over the course of an academic year. While it’s perfectly fine to use a term paper example as a guideline, it’s always better to submit your own paper or essay with minor errors than to attempt to pass off someone else’s writing as your own.

  • 1 SUNY Empire State College: Research Writing: Elements and Steps
  • 2 Enago Academy: How to Avoid Plagiarism in Research Papers (Part1 )

About the Author

Jennifer Brozak earned her state teaching certificate in Secondary English and Communications from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., and her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Pittsburgh. A former high school English teacher, Jennifer enjoys writing articles about parenting and education and has contributed to Reader's Digest, Mamapedia, Shmoop and more.

Related Articles

How to Write a Research Paper in a Day

How to Write a Research Paper in a Day

How to Write a Rough Draft

How to Write a Rough Draft

What Are Good College Essays?

What Are Good College Essays?

How to Make Your Writing More Interesting for Middle School

How to Make Your Writing More Interesting for Middle...

Plagiarism Checkers for Students

Plagiarism Checkers for Students

Challenges Facing Essay Writing

Challenges Facing Essay Writing

What Is a Narrative Response?

What Is a Narrative Response?

How to Start an Interview Summary Paper

How to Start an Interview Summary Paper

What Is a Lead-in Statement?

What Is a Lead-in Statement?

What Are the Benefits of Using an Outline When Writing?

What Are the Benefits of Using an Outline When Writing?

How to Write a Spanish Essay

How to Write a Spanish Essay

How to Use Contractions in a College Essay

How to Use Contractions in a College Essay

What Is a Subjective Essay?

What Is a Subjective Essay?

What Makes Up a Well-Written Essay in High School?

What Makes Up a Well-Written Essay in High School?

How to Start an Informative Paper

How to Start an Informative Paper

How to Write a Graduate-Level Research paper

How to Write a Graduate-Level Research paper

Plagiarism Vs. Paraphrasing

Plagiarism Vs. Paraphrasing

What Is an Objective in a Synthesis Paper?

What Is an Objective in a Synthesis Paper?

Tips on Writing on Unlined Paper

Tips on Writing on Unlined Paper

Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. Whether you’re studying times tables or applying to college, Classroom has the answers.

  • Accessibility
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Copyright Policy
  • Manage Preferences

© 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Based on the Word Net lexical database for the English Language. See disclaimer .

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • The four main types of essay | Quick guide with examples

The Four Main Types of Essay | Quick Guide with Examples

Published on September 4, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.

Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and descriptive essays are about exercising creativity and writing in an interesting way. At university level, argumentative essays are the most common type. 

Essay type Skills tested Example prompt
Has the rise of the internet had a positive or negative impact on education?
Explain how the invention of the printing press changed European society in the 15th century.
Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself.
Describe an object that has sentimental value for you.

In high school and college, you will also often have to write textual analysis essays, which test your skills in close reading and interpretation.

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes


Table of contents

Argumentative essays, expository essays, narrative essays, descriptive essays, textual analysis essays, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about types of essays.

An argumentative essay presents an extended, evidence-based argument. It requires a strong thesis statement —a clearly defined stance on your topic. Your aim is to convince the reader of your thesis using evidence (such as quotations ) and analysis.

Argumentative essays test your ability to research and present your own position on a topic. This is the most common type of essay at college level—most papers you write will involve some kind of argumentation.

The essay is divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion:

  • The introduction provides your topic and thesis statement
  • The body presents your evidence and arguments
  • The conclusion summarizes your argument and emphasizes its importance

The example below is a paragraph from the body of an argumentative essay about the effects of the internet on education. Mouse over it to learn more.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a topic. It doesn’t require an original argument, just a balanced and well-organized view of the topic.

Expository essays test your familiarity with a topic and your ability to organize and convey information. They are commonly assigned at high school or in exam questions at college level.

The introduction of an expository essay states your topic and provides some general background, the body presents the details, and the conclusion summarizes the information presented.

A typical body paragraph from an expository essay about the invention of the printing press is shown below. Mouse over it to learn more.

The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.

A narrative essay is one that tells a story. This is usually a story about a personal experience you had, but it may also be an imaginative exploration of something you have not experienced.

Narrative essays test your ability to build up a narrative in an engaging, well-structured way. They are much more personal and creative than other kinds of academic writing . Writing a personal statement for an application requires the same skills as a narrative essay.

A narrative essay isn’t strictly divided into introduction, body, and conclusion, but it should still begin by setting up the narrative and finish by expressing the point of the story—what you learned from your experience, or why it made an impression on you.

Mouse over the example below, a short narrative essay responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” to explore its structure.

Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.

Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.

A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.

The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.

A descriptive essay provides a detailed sensory description of something. Like narrative essays, they allow you to be more creative than most academic writing, but they are more tightly focused than narrative essays. You might describe a specific place or object, rather than telling a whole story.

Descriptive essays test your ability to use language creatively, making striking word choices to convey a memorable picture of what you’re describing.

A descriptive essay can be quite loosely structured, though it should usually begin by introducing the object of your description and end by drawing an overall picture of it. The important thing is to use careful word choices and figurative language to create an original description of your object.

Mouse over the example below, a response to the prompt “Describe a place you love to spend time in,” to learn more about descriptive essays.

On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green extending from the back of the house, and I sit on a lawn chair at the far end to read and relax. I am in my small peaceful paradise: the shade of the tree, the feel of the grass on my feet, the gentle activity of the fish in the pond beside me.

My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above. From his perch he can watch over his little kingdom and keep an eye on the neighbours. He does this until the barking of next door’s dog scares him from his post and he bolts for the cat flap to govern from the safety of the kitchen.

With that, I am left alone with the fish, whose whole world is the pond by my feet. The fish explore the pond every day as if for the first time, prodding and inspecting every stone. I sometimes feel the same about sitting here in the garden; I know the place better than anyone, but whenever I return I still feel compelled to pay attention to all its details and novelties—a new bird perched in the tree, the growth of the grass, and the movement of the insects it shelters…

Sitting out in the garden, I feel serene. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.

Though every essay type tests your writing skills, some essays also test your ability to read carefully and critically. In a textual analysis essay, you don’t just present information on a topic, but closely analyze a text to explain how it achieves certain effects.

Rhetorical analysis

A rhetorical analysis looks at a persuasive text (e.g. a speech, an essay, a political cartoon) in terms of the rhetorical devices it uses, and evaluates their effectiveness.

The goal is not to state whether you agree with the author’s argument but to look at how they have constructed it.

The introduction of a rhetorical analysis presents the text, some background information, and your thesis statement; the body comprises the analysis itself; and the conclusion wraps up your analysis of the text, emphasizing its relevance to broader concerns.

The example below is from a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech . Mouse over it to learn more.

King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.

Literary analysis

A literary analysis essay presents a close reading of a work of literature—e.g. a poem or novel—to explore the choices made by the author and how they help to convey the text’s theme. It is not simply a book report or a review, but an in-depth interpretation of the text.

Literary analysis looks at things like setting, characters, themes, and figurative language. The goal is to closely analyze what the author conveys and how.

The introduction of a literary analysis essay presents the text and background, and provides your thesis statement; the body consists of close readings of the text with quotations and analysis in support of your argument; and the conclusion emphasizes what your approach tells us about the text.

Mouse over the example below, the introduction to a literary analysis essay on Frankenstein , to learn more.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

College essays

  • Choosing Essay Topic
  • Write a College Essay
  • Write a Diversity Essay
  • College Essay Format & Structure
  • Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.

Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”

The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.

Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:

  • In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
  • In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
  • In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, July 23). The Four Main Types of Essay | Quick Guide with Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved July 10, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/essay-types/

Is this article helpful?

Jack Caulfield

Jack Caulfield

Other students also liked, how to write an argumentative essay | examples & tips, how to write an expository essay, how to write an essay outline | guidelines & examples, what is your plagiarism score.

  • Robertson Library

What is the difference between a paper and an essay?

Usually, nothing!

Papers and essays are the same thing. A research paper is a paper or essay that uses information from other sources, such as books and articles.

A paper or essay might also be referred to as an assignment . An assignment is any work you need to do for a course. 

Instructors often use project to describe large assignments. Some projects include writing a paper.

If you are unsure of your assignment or paper requirements, ask your instructor. They are the ones who will be marking your work, so they will know what is needed for a good grade.

If you want to know more about how to write a research paper, you should make an appointment at the Writing Centre .

English Forward

Difference Between Research Paper and Essay

October 23, 2023

difference between a paper and essay

Description: Comparison of research papers vs. essays, along with the explanation of the differences and similarities between the two types of academic papers. A short guide to understanding essay writing and research writing with definitions of the terms “essay” and “research paper”.

How Does Research Paper Differ From Essay?

Students often have to deal with two different types of academic writing assignments: an essay and a research paper. Writing essays and research papers can be difficult and confusing due to the many similarities they have. To avoid confusion when writing either of these, it’s important to learn their differences. Understanding the differences between an essay and a research paper is also a great way to improve your academic writing skills. This article aims to help you understand the key differences between essay and research paper writing assignments when you come across them. We’ll study their features, look for relevant academic terminology, and learn what differentiates them. To get to the bottom of the difference between these two academic assignments, we should first define essay vs research paper.

What is an Essay?

An essay is a short piece of writing that aims to express personal views on a particular topic. It should have at least three pieces of evidence to back up the argument. Essays are typically shorter in length and less complex than research writing. At the same time, essay writing has its own specifics, so using expert proofreading services is a good idea if you aren’t confident in your skills. It’s likely that you’ll write your first essay and research paper when in high school or college. Then arises the question, “Who will write my paper for me ?” A good essay should always have a creative component, so having good writing skills is a must. Essays often aren’t as scientific as research papers, yet they nevertheless need a clear structure. The basic essay writing guidelines recommend following a five-paragraph structure with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

What is a Research Paper?

A research paper is the in-depth study of a chosen scientific topic that aims to generate new scientific findings based on previous studies and experiments. It isn’t enough for students to just state the facts or give their opinion on this topic. Your professor will evaluate your ability to think critically, choose trustworthy sources, and have a solid theoretical grounding in the topic of your research. Writing a research paper takes originality, knowledge, and subject matter expertise. Compared to traditional essay writing, research work has a different objective and structure. Research papers use data from primary sources like books on the topic, academic papers, interviews, web sources, and journals. The basic research writing guidelines recommend following this pattern: introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusions/recommendations. Research papers may also include acknowledgments, a brief biography of the author for some Master’s or Ph.D. works, references, endnotes, footnotes, and so on.

Key Differences Between Essay and Research Paper

The biggest difference between a research paper and an essay is that a research paper must have a strict methodology and set of study objectives. A research paper should outline a problem and the approaches that can be used to solve it effectively. Meanwhile, an essay can present a personal opinion without any references. Now let us go over other key differences between an essay and a research paper. The following comparison table outlines the key differences between essays and research papers:

Essay Research paper
A typical essay has 5 paragraphs, which is shorter than a research paper. A research paper usually needs to be at least 8 pages long, depending on the assignment
It needs to reflect your personal opinion or interpretation of a particular topic. A good research paper focuses on gathering data and studying multiple points of view on the chosen topic while also incorporating the author’s insights and ideas.
Most essays don’t require in-depth knowledge of the topic at hand. For instance, an essay can simply rely on your personal opinion and minimal research, if any. In-depth research is mandatory in research writing to get a full understanding of a certain topic by learning from previous studies in research. Research papers can incorporate different types of research based on the nature of the study topic.
While essay writing can be narrative and philosophical, which is uncommon in research writing, it also incorporates other academic writing styles. Writing in a descriptive style is necessary for all of these types of essays. The narration in an essay must be consistent and have a neutral tone throughout. A research paper uses different writing styles. The most common ones include argumentative writing, analytical writing, and cause-and-effect writing. A research paper must be evidence-based; therefore, the content should be clear and to the point.
Essays can be finished in a few days or weeks and are often assigned as shorter-term tasks. Depending on the complexity of the assignment, writing a research paper may take months or even years.
The essay writer demonstrates their writing skills by structuring their ideas logically and coherently. The author expresses their ideas on paper by using style, academic formatting, logic, and other writing specifics. The perspective of the audience is also taken into account. The writing is well-structured and includes examples and data that support it. In the research paper, the author compares different sources of information about the topic and provides an overall summary with their own thoughts on the topic. The author presents the topic from their point of view, backed up by research.
The personal essay gives the writer the chance to use a more casual and entertaining language than academic works, which should be free of any slang or derogatory terminology. In contrast, research papers should have a clear academic tone. The use of personal pronouns like “I” or “you” in your statements will also undermine the impersonal nature of the research paper.

Similarities Differences Between Essay and Research Paper

It makes sense that you could find it challenging to tell the difference between an essay and a research paper since there’re so many similarities between the two types of academic papers. That’s why it’s important to learn about the similarities of the two as well.

  • Research: Basic research is still necessary in both. Even though you don’t need to do in-depth study for an essay, you still need to at least fact-check your information. However, for a research paper, you’ll need to cite more sources to demonstrate that you’re doing more than simply skimming the topic.
  • Structure: The research paper has multiple paragraphs, much like an essay. Although the structure is a little different, the material presented in each paragraph should be in an easy-to-follow format to save the reader’s time from having to wade through irrelevant data and concepts. There should be an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion in both types of papers. When you want to conduct research, there’re some differences, but there’re also a few similarities because you need to present the topic properly.
  • Thesis statement: Both types of papers should have a thesis statement that presents an opinion, an argument, or a hypothesis. Even though it isn’t always required for an essay, adding a thesis statement will make your essay sound even more scientific.
  • Format and Style: Your professor might recommend a specific format for your paper depending on the topic matter and the class itself. The liberal arts and humanities normally utilize the MLA and Chicago/Turabian formats, while the social sciences typically use the APA format. Both research papers and essays must follow specific formatting guidelines for headers, footers, in-text citations, reference pages, and other elements. These forms guarantee consistency and point readers to the relevant sources.

Research papers and essays are two different types of writing. We can draw the conclusion that the key differences between essays and research papers are those relating to purpose, structure, and format. Even though these two types of papers have many things in common, essays and research papers are written for different purposes. The requirements for a research paper are stricter because it must follow the right structure, format, and methodology. However, an essay is more forgiving because it has a descriptive narrative that allows the author to express their own opinions. Please be advised that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the author or his/her sources and do not necessarily reflect those of English Forward. This includes, but is not limited to, third-party content contained on or accessible through the English Forward websites and web pages or sites displayed as search results or contained within a directory of links on the English Forward network.

7 Common Pitfalls in English Translations

The top 10 slang words of young people nowadays, leave a comment cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Show Buttons

What’s The Difference Between An Article, A Paper, And An Essay? (Detailed Analysis)

School and college life revolves around different types of writing, including opinion articles, review articles, research papers, and essays. Each of these has a different length, structure, and level of research.

You can write articles on various topics and niches if you gather enough information. It is possible to format an interview into an article so that it can be published in a magazine or online publication.

A paper, on the other hand, is longer than an essay or article, and one must follow a specific sequence. There is an abstract at the beginning, followed by a paragraph, a conclusion, and citations at the end. 

There are a few paragraphs in the essay, all of which should be transitioned smoothly. The purpose of the essay is to persuade the reader through your logic and ideas. Different types of essays require different thoughts and writing processes. 

This article is all about differentiating between an article, paper, and essay, so if it interests you, stick around while we explore these topics.   Let’s get into it .

Page Contents

What Is An Article?

Articles are read by thousands of people around the globe and are generally written to educate people about something they’re unaware of. They are either published on an online website, magazine, or newspaper.

In the article, the writer expresses his or her perspective on a certain topic. The articles, mainly, are written to make people aware of a particular topic. 

What is an article?

Instructional articles include “how-to topics”. Interestingly, Google is crowded with this type of content. Look at these examples: 
The objective of this type of article is to convince the reader. 
Educating the reader is the main reason for generating these articles. These types of articles mostly help readers solve a specific problem. 
The components of a review article are similar to the research paper. Both start with an abstract, and an introduction and are always winded up on a conclusion. 

What Is A Paper? 

The purpose of writing a research paper is to fill the gaps other authors left while writing on a similar topic.

There’s a structure that one must follow while writing a paper . Before writing a paper, make sure you’ve read the relevant papers.

Another important step is knowing your audience. It’s worth noting that the papers have a different outline of the paper than the essay or article. 

What is a research paper?

Structure of the Paper 

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • References 

Steps To Write A Paper 

  • First of all, you need to pick a topic that you’re interested in. Choosing a topic you’re not interested in is never a good idea. 
  • Read at least five relevant papers. There’s no need to read the papers thoroughly; you should only go through the abstract part, the introduction paragraph, and the conclusion.
  • Write down the findings and gaps that you can work on. Most of your writing covers areas that other papers do not cover. 
  • The paper always starts with an introduction. Your thesis statement also goes here. 
  • Since the body part of a paper is almost 8 to 12 pages, you can add as many paragraphs as you want. 
  • In the end, you conclude your findings and give references to the sources. 

What Is An Essay?

The word essay originates from the Latin word ‘exagium’ which refers to the presentation of the case .

An essay is all about giving a verdict on the issue after looking at all sides of the topic with an open mind. However, you need to consider all the evidence . 

Essay writing comes with tremendous benefits. It builds a habit of looking at topics from various angles. Additionally, you get an opportunity to express your opinion after thorough research. 

There are three parts to the essay: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. 


One has to catch the reader’s attention from the first line of the introduction. The purpose of this is to arouse curiosity, which then leads your readers to read more.

In the introduction section, you give a little bit of an overview of the topic you’re writing about. It gives readers an insight into what’s coming next .

This would prevent most people from reading the bottom of your essay. Therefore, it’s really important to keep your audience hooked and curious.

Starting the introduction with some statistics or research findings is the best way to accomplish this. The most important thing to write in the introduction is the thesis statement. 

When writing a paragraph in the body section, it’s important to keep sentences linked with each other. They must be coherent.

There should also be backing to your ideas from some relevant studies or sources. The best way to do this is by citing quotations, statistics, and research papers.

Additionally, you should never include irrelevant data in your essay. 

The conclusion part includes a summary of the whole essay. You also write your findings or main points in this section of the essay. 

Is the Article Different From The Essay? 

There is always a thesis statement in an essay, along with reliable sources supporting the argument whereas an article solely represents your idea or opinion.

You’ll see very few articles that are written to persuade someone, while essays are only meant to persuade the readers. 

Is Article Different From The Essay? 

The tone and the structure of the article are indeed different from the essay. The articles are written in simple English, so users of all ages will be able to understand them.

The length of both pieces of writing also differs. There is no limit to the word count when writing an article. An essay can be as long as a page or as short as a paragraph.

It is recommended that an essay be between 1500 and 2000 words in length. 

Articles, Papers, and Essays: Differences and Similarities

 It can be as short as a paragraph and as long as an essay.The length of a paper is between 8 to 15 pages. The word count of an essay falls between 1500 to 2000 words. 
 The tone of the article depends on the niche you’re writing in. It can either be formal or informal. The tone of the paper is scholarly. Like other academic writings, the tone of the essay is formal unless you’re writing with humor.
  • Articles, papers, and essays have different purposes in academic and professional writing.
  • Articles inform readers on diverse topics. They engagingly present the author’s viewpoint. They’re often found in magazines or online platforms.
  • Research papers have sections like abstracts, introductions, reviews, methodologies, findings, and conclusions. They aim to fill gaps in the literature .
  • Essays look at different sides of a topic. They give a conclusion backed by facts and careful thinking.
  • Articles can be long or short and can be written in many different ways. Papers need a lot of research and must sound serious and smart. Essays use smart arguments to convince people.
  • These are different types of writing with different lengths, tones, and reasons for writing. Essays try to convince people of something. Papers are written to share information. Articles give people information that’s easy to understand.
  • Knowing these differences is crucial. It helps you communicate well especially when you’re doing school or college work.
  • There are different types of academic writing. Each type has its purpose. They each have different ways to make things easy to understand.
  • When you get the little details of these types of writing, it makes it easier to understand how they work. This helps both in school and at work.

Other Articles

  • Spear and a Lance-What is the difference?
  • The Difference Between A High-res Flac 24/96+ and A Normal Uncompressed 16-bit CD
  • What’s the Difference Between Tin Foil and Aluminum?

help for assessment

  • Customer Reviews
  • Extended Essays
  • IB Internal Assessment
  • Theory of Knowledge
  • Literature Review
  • Dissertations
  • Essay Writing
  • Research Writing
  • Assignment Help
  • Capstone Projects
  • College Application
  • Online Class

Essay vs Research Paper: Understanding the Differences

Author Image

by  Antony W

June 26, 2024

difference between a paper and essay

This is the most comprehensive guide on essay vs research paper . 

We’ll look at the differences and similarities between the two papers so that you can approach either assignment with clarity and certainty.

To begin with, essays and research paper examine your research, writing and analytical skills. They also require adherence to strict formatting and the inclusion of citation and bibliography.

What’s an Essay?

what's an essay

An essay is a written academic assignment that requires you to look into an issue and then provide your personal opinion while using credible sources and verifiable evidence to support your work.

In addition to knowing the different types of essays , you need to have excellent research and writing skills to earn full marks.

The length of an essay varies from topic to topic, with the shorter one being 500 words and longer ones can go up to 4,000 words. 

Shorter essays don’t require extended research and you can therefore write them in one sitting.

Longer essays, on the other hand, demand in-depth research and attention to details. They can be quite time consuming to write and edit, which part of the reasons why students seek for writing help. 

What Essays Do Students Write in School? 

types of academic essays main

The following are some of the most common essays that you’ll write in high school, college, or university.

1. Descriptive Essays

If asked to write a descriptive essay, focus on explaining the characteristics of a subject or issue.

Descriptive essays require some literary devices ,  such as similes and metaphors, to read well and communicate your message.

2. Comparison Essays

In a compare and contrast essay ,  you have to explain the differences and similarities between two subject. You can organize your writing based either on individual points or on the subjects.

3. Analytical Essays

Analytical essays don’t just appear in academic journals, newspapers, and magazines. They’re also common in academic settings.

In analytical essay writing ,  your work is to provide a substantive analysis of the topic without being biased.

3. Reflective Essays

In reflective essay writing ,  students have to examine experiences and explore the changes, challenges, developments, and growth that those experiences bring.

The standard format for a reflective essay is the same for all, but the format may change a little depending on the audience.

4. Argumentative Essays 

In argumentative essay writing ,  you have to take a stance on an issue and use objective evidence to support your position.

5. Academic Essays 

Written at college and university levels, academic essay cover content in your coursework to gauge your writing skills and intelligence’s level.

These essays tend to be longer with the word count ranging between 3,000 and 5,000 words.

What’s a Research Paper?

research paper steps

A research paper   is an academic assignment that requires students to express their views on a subject using supportive sources such as books and journal articles.

They’re longer than typical essays and therefore take more time to research, write, and proofread.

In the case where you have more demanding assignments and a research paper waiting for you to complete, you can take advantage of our research paper writing service to get the project done in time.

Types of Research Papers

what is a research paper types

The following are the common types of research papers that you’ll write in college or university:

1. Analytical Research Paper

With this type of research paper, you choose a topic, collect information from credible sources, and use the data to draw your conclusion on the subject.

Maintain a neutral position when writing an analytical research paper.

2. Argumentative Research Paper

In argumentative research paper, you look into two controversial issues in the same document.

While you’ll look into both sides of the argument, you’ll have to take a side and use information from different reliable sources to persuade reader to take your side.

3. Experimental Research

Experimental research papers are practical in form. Your instructor expects you to describe procedures you used in your experiment, accompanied by in-depth data analysis and a written report.

4. Survey Research Paper

With survey research papers, you have to collect information from as many respondents as you can find. Then, you have to analyze the information and write a final report.

Essay vs Research Paper: What are the Differences?

essay vs research paper details

In this section, we’ll look at the differences between essays and research papers to give you more insight.

Differences in Writing

Since the primary objective of a research paper is to present a deeper knowledge of the subject, you have to do extensive research from different sources. 

You also have to do a deep data analysis before writing so you can make a concrete conclusion. 

Moreover, you have to be very conversant with the primary sources   on the subject to write a good research paper.  

With an essay, your goal is to show your teacher that you have good research and writing skills and can articulate your ideas in a way that shows your understanding of the given topic.

As such, essays won’t require deep research. In essay writing,   you don’t necessarily have to be familiar with the main sources on a given subject although it’s important to.

Differences in Outline and Length

An essay has three parts: an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion. The body section has at least 3 paragraphs , but there can be more depending on the subject, research, and the number of ideas you’d like to present.

A research paper has more sections. Your work needs to feature a title page, an abstract (summary of the research), the main body (divided into sections such as methodology and results), a conclusion, references, acknowledgements, and references.

An essay can be as short as one page, especially if it’s on a topic that doesn’t require extensive research. In some cases, you may have to make your essay longer .  So check the prompt to know how long your instructor expects you to make the essay.

On the other hand, a research paper is longer than a typical essay’s length and can span up to 8 pages or more.

Differences in Presentation

In essay writing,   students present their personal views on a given issue or subject and use reliable academic sources to support their opinions.

In research paper writing, you have to present other scientists and researchers’ point of views of a subject and also add your opinion as a writer. Therefore, you must not only logically organize your ideas but also formulate them academically.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

Academic Editing and Proofreading

  • Tips to Self-Edit Your Dissertation
  • Guide to Essay Editing: Methods, Tips, & Examples
  • Journal Article Proofreading: Process, Cost, & Checklist
  • The A–Z of Dissertation Editing: Standard Rates & Involved Steps
  • Research Paper Editing | Guide to a Perfect Research Paper
  • Dissertation Proofreading | Definition & Standard Rates
  • Thesis Proofreading | Definition, Importance & Standard Pricing
  • Research Paper Proofreading | Definition, Significance & Standard Rates
  • Essay Proofreading | Options, Cost & Checklist
  • Top 10 Paper Editing Services of 2024 (Costs & Features)
  • Top 10 Essay Checkers in 2024 (Free & Paid)
  • Top 10 AI Proofreaders to Perfect Your Writing in 2024
  • Top 10 English Correctors to Perfect Your Text in 2024
  • Top 10 Essay Editing Services of 2024
  • 10 Advanced AI Text Editors to Transform Writing in 2024

Academic Research

  • Research Paper Outline: Templates & Examples
  • How to Write a Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide
  • How to Write a Lab Report: Examples from Academic Editors
  • Research Methodology Guide: Writing Tips, Types, & Examples
  • The 10 Best Essential Resources for Academic Research
  • 100+ Useful ChatGPT Prompts for Thesis Writing in 2024
  • Best ChatGPT Prompts for Academic Writing (100+ Prompts!)
  • Sampling Methods Guide: Types, Strategies, and Examples
  • Independent vs. Dependent Variables | Meaning & Examples

Academic Writing & Publishing

  • Difference Between Paper Editing and Peer Review
  • What are the different types of peer review?
  • How to deal with rejection from a journal?
  • Editing and Proofreading Academic Papers: A Short Guide
  • How to Carry Out Secondary Research
  • The Results Section of a Dissertation
  • Checklist: Is my Article Ready for Submitting to Journals?
  • Types of Research Articles to Boost Your Research Profile
  • 8 Types of Peer Review Processes You Should Know
  • The Ethics of Academic Research
  • How does LaTeX based proofreading work?
  • How to Improve Your Scientific Writing: A Short Guide
  • Chicago Title, Cover Page & Body | Paper Format Guidelines
  • How to Write a Thesis Statement: Examples & Tips
  • Chicago Style Citation: Quick Guide & Examples
  • The A-Z Of Publishing Your Article in A Journal
  • What is Journal Article Editing? 3 Reasons You Need It
  • 5 Powerful Personal Statement Examples (Template Included)
  • Complete Guide to MLA Format (9th Edition)
  • How to Cite a Book in APA Style | Format & Examples
  • How to Start a Research Paper | Step-by-step Guide
  • APA Citations Made Easy with Our Concise Guide for 2024
  • A Step-by-Step Guide to APA Formatting Style (7th Edition)
  • Top 10 Online Dissertation Editing Services of 2024
  • Academic Writing in 2024: 5 Key Dos & Don’ts + Examples
  • What Are the Standard Book Sizes for Publishing Your Book?
  • MLA Works Cited Page: Quick Tips & Examples
  • 2024’s Top 10 Thesis Statement Generators (Free Included!)
  • Top 10 Title Page Generators for Students in 2024
  • What Is an Open Access Journal? 10 Myths Busted!
  • Primary vs. Secondary Sources: Definition, Types & Examples
  • How To Write a College Admissions Essay That Stands Out
  • How to Write a Dissertation & Thesis Conclusion (+ Examples)
  • APA Journal Citation: 7 Types, In-Text Rules, & Examples
  • What Is Predatory Publishing and How to Avoid It!
  • What Is Plagiarism? Meaning, Types & Examples
  • How to Write a Strong Dissertation & Thesis Introduction
  • How to Cite a Book in MLA Format (9th Edition)
  • How to Cite a Website in MLA Format | 9th Edition Rules
  • 10 Best AI Conclusion Generators (Features & Pricing)
  • Top 10 Academic Editing Services of 2024 [with Pricing]
  • Additional Resources
  • Plagiarism: How to avoid it in your thesis?
  • Final Submission Checklist | Dissertation & Thesis
  • 7 Useful MS Word Formatting Tips for Dissertation Writing
  • How to Write a MEAL Paragraph: Writing Plan Explained in Detail
  • Em Dash vs. En Dash vs. Hyphen: When to Use Which
  • The 10 Best Citation Generators in 2024 | Free & Paid Plans!
  • 2024’s Top 10 Self-Help Books for Better Living
  • Citation and Referencing
  • Citing References: APA, MLA, and Chicago
  • How to Cite Sources in the MLA Format
  • MLA Citation Examples: Cite Essays, Websites, Movies & More
  • Citations and References: What Are They and Why They Matter
  • APA Headings & Subheadings | Formatting Guidelines & Examples
  • Formatting an APA Reference Page | Template & Examples
  • Research Paper Format: APA, MLA, & Chicago Style
  • How to Create an MLA Title Page | Format, Steps, & Examples
  • How to Create an MLA Header | Format Guidelines & Examples
  • MLA Annotated Bibliography | Guidelines and Examples
  • APA Website Citation (7th Edition) Guide | Format & Examples
  • APA Citation Examples: The Bible, TED Talk, PPT & More
  • APA Header Format: 5 Steps & Running Head Examples
  • APA Title Page Format Simplified | Examples + Free Template
  • How to Write an Abstract in MLA Format: Tips & Examples
  • 10 Best Free Plagiarism Checkers of 2024 [100% Free Tools]
  • 5 Reasons to Cite Your Sources Properly | Avoid Plagiarism!
  • Dissertation Writing Guide
  • Writing a Dissertation Proposal
  • The Acknowledgments Section of a Dissertation
  • The Table of Contents Page of a Dissertation
  • The Introduction Chapter of a Dissertation
  • The Literature Review of a Dissertation
  • The Only Dissertation Toolkit You’ll Ever Need!
  • 5 Thesis Writing Tips for Master Procrastinators
  • How to Write a Dissertation | 5 Tips from Academic Editors
  • The Title Page of a Dissertation
  • The 5 Things to Look for in a Dissertation Editing Service
  • Top 10 Dissertation Editing & Proofreading Services
  • Why is it important to add references to your thesis?
  • Thesis Editing | Definition, Scope & Standard Rates
  • Expert Formatting Tips on MS Word for Dissertations
  • A 7-Step Guide on How to Choose a Dissertation Topic
  • 350 Best Dissertation Topic Ideas for All Streams in 2024
  • A Guide on How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper
  • Dissertation Defense: What to Expect and How to Prepare
  • Essay Writing Guide
  • Essential Research Tips for Essay Writing
  • What Is a Mind Map? Free Mind Map Templates & Examples
  • How to Write an Essay Outline: 5 Examples & Free Template
  • How to Write an Essay Header: MLA and APA Essay Headers

What Is an Essay? Structure, Parts, and Types

  • How to Write an Essay in 8 Simple Steps (Examples Included)
  • 8 Types of Essays | Quick Summary with Examples
  • Expository Essays | Step-by-Step Manual with Examples
  • Narrative Essay | Step-by-Step Guide with Examples
  • How to Write an Argumentative Essay (Examples Included)
  • Guide to a Perfect Descriptive Essay [Examples & Outline Included]
  • How to Start an Essay: 4 Introduction Paragraph Examples
  • How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay (Examples Included!)
  • How to Write an Impactful Personal Statement (Examples Included)
  • Literary Analysis Essay: 5 Steps to a Perfect Assignment
  • Compare and Contrast Essay | Quick Guide with Examples
  • Top 10 Essay Writing Tools in 2024 | Plan, Write, Get Feedback
  • Top AI Essay Writers in 2024: 10 Must-Haves
  • 100 Best College Essay Topics & How to Pick the Perfect One!
  • College Essay Format: Tips, Examples, and Free Template
  • Structure of an Essay: 5 Tips to Write an Outstanding Essay

Still have questions? Leave a comment

Add Comment

Checklist: Dissertation Proposal

Enter your email id to get the downloadable right in your inbox!

Examples: Edited Papers

Need editing and proofreading services.


  • Tags: Academic Writing , Essay , Essay Writing

Writing an effective and impactful essay is crucial to your academic or professional success. Whether it’s getting into the college of your dreams or scoring high on a major assignment, writing a well-structured essay will help you achieve it all. But before you learn how to write an essay , you need to know its basic components.

In this article, we will understand what an essay is, how long it should be, and its different parts and types. We will also take a detailed look at relevant examples to better understand the essay structure.

Get an A+ with our essay editing and proofreading services! Learn more

What is an essay?

An essay is a concise piece of nonfiction writing that aims to either inform the reader about a topic or argue a particular perspective. It can either be formal or informal in nature. Most academic essays are highly formal, whereas informal essays are commonly found in journal entries, social media, or even blog posts.

As we can see from this essay definition, the beauty of essays lies in their versatility. From the exploration of complex scientific concepts to the history and evolution of everyday objects, they can cover a vast range of topics.

How long is an essay?

The length of an essay can vary from a few hundred to several thousand words but typically falls between 500–5,000 words. However, there are exceptions to this norm, such as Joan Didion and David Sedaris who have written entire books of essays.

Let’s take a look at the different types of essays and their lengths with the help of the following table:

How many paragraphs are in an essay?

Typically, an essay has five paragraphs: an introduction, a conclusion, and three body paragraphs. However, there is no set rule about the number of paragraphs in an essay.

The number of paragraphs can vary depending on the type and scope of your essay. An expository or argumentative essay may require more body paragraphs to include all the necessary information, whereas a narrative essay may need fewer.

Structure of an essay

To enhance the coherence and readability of your essay, it’s important to follow certain rules regarding the structure. Take a look:

1. Arrange your information from the most simple to the most complex bits. You can start the body paragraph off with a general statement and then move on to specifics.

2. Provide the necessary background information at the beginning of your essay to give the reader the context behind your thesis statement.

3. Select topic statements that provide value, more information, or evidence for your thesis statement.

There are also various essay structures , such as the compare and contrast structure, chronological structure, problem method solution structure, and signposting structure that you can follow to create an organized and impactful essay.

Parts of an essay

An impactful, well-structured essay comes down to three important parts: the introduction, body, and conclusion.

1. The introduction sets the stage for your essay and is typically a paragraph long. It should grab the reader’s attention and give them a clear idea of what your essay will be about.

2. The body is where you dive deeper into your topic and present your arguments and evidence. It usually consists of two paragraphs, but this can vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing.

3. The conclusion brings your essay to a close and is typically one paragraph long. It should summarize the main points of the essay and leave the reader with something to think about.

The length of your paragraphs can vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing. So, make sure you take the time to plan out your essay structure so each section flows smoothly into the next.


When it comes to writing an essay, the introduction is a critical component that sets the tone for the entire piece. A well-crafted introduction not only grabs the reader’s attention but also provides them with a clear understanding of what the essay is all about. An essay editor can help you achieve this, but it’s best to know the brief yourself!

Let’s take a look at how to write an attractive and informative introductory paragraph.

1. Construct an attractive hook

To grab the reader’s attention, an opening statement or hook is crucial. This can be achieved by incorporating a surprising statistic, a shocking fact, or an interesting anecdote into the beginning of your piece.

For example, if you’re writing an essay about water conservation you can begin your essay with, “Clean drinking water, a fundamental human need, remains out of reach for more than one billion people worldwide. It deprives them of a basic human right and jeopardizes their health and wellbeing.”

2. Provide sufficient context or background information

An effective introduction should begin with a brief description or background of your topic. This will help provide context and set the stage for your discussion.

For example, if you’re writing an essay about climate change, you start by describing the current state of the planet and the impact that human activity is having on it.

3. Construct a well-rounded and comprehensive thesis statement

A good introduction should also include the main message or thesis statement of your essay. This is the central argument that you’ll be making throughout the piece. It should be clear, concise, and ideally placed toward the end of the introduction.

By including these elements in your introduction, you’ll be setting yourself up for success in the rest of your essay.

Let’s take a look at an example.

Essay introduction example

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

The Wright Brothers’ invention of the airplane in 1903 revolutionized the way humans travel and explore the world. Prior to this invention, transportation relied on trains, boats, and cars, which limited the distance and speed of travel. However, the airplane made air travel a reality, allowing people to reach far-off destinations in mere hours. This breakthrough paved the way for modern-day air travel, transforming the world into a smaller, more connected place. In this essay, we will explore the impact of the Wright Brothers’ invention on modern-day travel, including the growth of the aviation industry, increased accessibility of air travel to the general public, and the economic and cultural benefits of air travel.

Body paragraphs

You can persuade your readers and make your thesis statement compelling by providing evidence, examples, and logical reasoning. To write a fool-proof and authoritative essay, you need to provide multiple well-structured, substantial arguments.

Let’s take a look at how this can be done:

1. Write a topic sentence for each paragraph

The beginning of each of your body paragraphs should contain the main arguments that you’d like to address. They should provide ground for your thesis statement and make it well-rounded. You can arrange these arguments in several formats depending on the type of essay you’re writing.

2. Provide the supporting information

The next point of your body paragraph should provide supporting information to back up your main argument. Depending on the type of essay, you can elaborate on your main argument with the help of relevant statistics, key information, examples, or even personal anecdotes.

3. Analyze the supporting information

After providing relevant details and supporting information, it is important to analyze it and link it back to your main argument.

4. Create a smooth transition to the next paragraph

End one body paragraph with a smooth transition to the next. There are many ways in which this can be done, but the most common way is to give a gist of your main argument along with the supporting information with transitory words such as “however” “in addition to” “therefore”.

Here’s an example of a body paragraph.

Essay body paragraph example

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting information
  • Analysis of the information
  • Smooth transition to the next paragraph

The Wright Brothers’ invention of the airplane revolutionized air travel. They achieved the first-ever successful powered flight with the Wright Flyer in 1903, after years of conducting experiments and studying flight principles. Despite their first flight lasting only 12 seconds, it was a significant milestone that paved the way for modern aviation. The Wright Brothers’ success can be attributed to their systematic approach to problem-solving, which included numerous experiments with gliders, the development of a wind tunnel to test their designs, and meticulous analysis and recording of their results. Their dedication and ingenuity forever changed the way we travel, making modern aviation possible.

A powerful concluding statement separates a good essay from a brilliant one. To create a powerful conclusion, you need to start with a strong foundation.

Let’s take a look at how to construct an impactful concluding statement.

1. Restructure your thesis statement

To conclude your essay effectively, don’t just restate your thesis statement. Instead, use what you’ve learned throughout your essay and modify your thesis statement accordingly. This will help you create a conclusion that ties together all of the arguments you’ve presented.

2. Summarize the main points of your essay

The next point of your conclusion consists of a summary of the main arguments of your essay. It is crucial to effectively summarize the gist of your essay into one, well-structured paragraph.

3. Create a lasting impression with your concluding statement

Conclude your essay by including a key takeaway, or a powerful statement that creates a lasting impression on the reader. This can include the broader implications or consequences of your essay topic.

Here’s an example of a concluding paragraph.

Essay conclusion example

  • Restated thesis statement
  • Summary of the main points
  • Broader implications of the thesis statement

The Wright Brothers’ invention of the airplane forever changed history by paving the way for modern aviation and countless aerospace advancements. Their persistence, innovation, and dedication to problem-solving led to the first successful powered flight in 1903, sparking a revolution in transportation that transformed the world. Today, air travel remains an integral part of our globalized society, highlighting the undeniable impact of the Wright Brothers’ contribution to human civilization.

Types of essays

Most essays are derived from the combination or variation of these four main types of essays . let’s take a closer look at these types.

1. Narrative essay

A narrative essay is a type of writing that involves telling a story, often based on personal experiences. It is a form of creative nonfiction that allows you to use storytelling techniques to convey a message or a theme.

2. Descriptive essay

A descriptive essay aims to provide an immersive experience for the reader by using sensory descriptors. Unlike a narrative essay, which tells a story, a descriptive essay has a narrower scope and focuses on one particular aspect of a story.

3. Argumentative essays

An argumentative essay is a type of essay that aims to persuade the reader to adopt a particular stance based on factual evidence and is one of the most common forms of college essays.

4. Expository essays

An expository essay is a common format used in school and college exams to assess your understanding of a specific topic. The purpose of an expository essay is to present and explore a topic thoroughly without taking any particular stance or expressing personal opinions.

While this article demonstrates what is an essay and describes its types, you may also have other doubts. As experts who provide essay editing and proofreading services , we’re here to help. 

Our team has created a list of resources to clarify any doubts about writing essays. Keep reading to write engaging and well-organized essays!

  • How to Write an Essay in 8 Simple Steps
  • How to Write an Essay Header
  • How to Write an Essay Outline

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an argumentative and an expository essay, what is the difference between a narrative and a descriptive essay, what is an essay format, what is the meaning of essay, what is the purpose of writing an essay.

Found this article helpful?

Leave a Comment: Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Your vs. You’re: When to Use Your and You’re

Your organization needs a technical editor: here’s why, your guide to the best ebook readers in 2024, writing for the web: 7 expert tips for web content writing.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Get carefully curated resources about writing, editing, and publishing in the comfort of your inbox.

How to Copyright Your Book?

If you’ve thought about copyrighting your book, you’re on the right path.

© 2024 All rights reserved

  • Terms of service
  • Privacy policy
  • Self Publishing Guide
  • Pre-Publishing Steps
  • Fiction Writing Tips
  • Traditional Publishing
  • Academic Writing and Publishing
  • Partner with us
  • Annual report
  • Website content
  • Marketing material
  • Job Applicant
  • Cover letter
  • Resource Center
  • Case studies

The Writing Planet


50 % off  on all orders

What Is The Difference Between Research Paper and Essay

Defference between research paper and essay

Whether you are a high school or university student, it is essential to realize that academic writing involves the development of essays and research papers. The ability to compose these types of assignments is essential for academic achievement. Unfortunately, an essay and a research paper share many similarities, and the majority of students do not comprehend the differences between the two; thus, they wind up producing a research paper instead of an essay, and vice versa.

It is important to note that an essay and a research paper share qualities, such as the necessity for extensive study, writing abilities, a specified length, the requirement for citations, and the ability to construct a bibliography.

Difference between Research Paper and Essay

What Is An Essay Exactly?

An essay is a sort of academic writing that often consists of less than five paragraphs. Writing an essay, unlike other forms of writing, demands a significant level of imagination as well as exceptional writing abilities. Remember that a high-quality paper must be rationally organized and backed by evidence that can be verified.

A common purpose of an essay is to communicate one’s opinion on a certain issue. Your perspective is formed by how you interpret and utilize external sources. The number of citations utilized in an essay is determined by the length of the paper. For instance, the majority of instructors want at least five references for an essay of 500 words.

Essay writing is one of the most common tasks assigned to high school and college students. It is essential to note that essays are often brief writings (less than one thousand words) whose primary purpose is to allow teachers to evaluate students’ writing, reading, persuasive, and analytical abilities.

Types of Essays

The types of classifications for essays are presented below.

Academic Essays

Typically, academic essays are required at the college and university level. Remember that these papers are based on the information supplied in your coursework as well as external sources. These articles are also longer, ranging from 3000-5000 words in length. Most importantly, these tests are meant to evaluate students’ intelligence.

Descriptive Essays

The purpose of descriptive essays is to stimulate the reader’s senses by describing the characteristics of a certain topic or issue. To produce an excellent descriptive essay, you must use the appropriate devices, such as adjectives, similes, metaphors, etc.

Personal Story Essays

A narrative essay is a factual or fictitious summary of your life experiences intended to enlighten the audience. Typically, narrative essays are written in the first person to enhance the reader’s understanding of the author’s experience.

Narrative essays are written from the author’s perspective and are meant to captivate the reader with the story’s progression. To create an engaging story, you must use correct writing techniques, such as character development, setting, climax, and resolution.

Comparative Essays

A comparison essay contrasts and compares two subjects to demonstrate their similarities and differences. It is essential to keep in mind that a comparison essay is intriguing when two contrasting things, such as apples and mangoes, are compared.

The opening paragraph of a comparison essay has a thesis statement that highlights the two subjects to be contrasted. For instance, “organic bananas may be more expensive than naturally grown bananas, but they are worth the extra expense.”

Comparison essays might be organized according to topics or specific points. It is vital to remember that the order depends on the article’s purpose and readership.

Essays on Philosophy

A philosophical essay employs a logical argument to support or defend a stance. The objective of a philosophical essay is to enable you to effectively express ideas to your audience using appropriate language.

The steps to creating an excellent philosophical essay are as follows.

  • Mention the claim to be shown;
  • Support or offer an argument for the claim;
  • Justify why the argument is acceptable;
  • Demonstrate that the propositions are true;
  • Consider and respond to criticism of your claim; and
  • Summarize the evidence presented.

It is crucial to remember that the topic you choose will determine the quality of your philosophical essay. Consequently, ensure that the topic you select is both engaging and capable of withstanding a complete academic investigation.

What Is A Research Paper Exactly?

The research paper is described as an original piece of writing that contains the study’s findings. “Research” refers to the continual investigation of various methods to justify the central purpose statement or issue under consideration. There are typically two types of research papers: quantitative and qualitative.

For cognitively bright children, the word “research paper” elicits a flutter of excitement. This is not always the case, though. In reality, it is best to think of a research paper as an enlarged essay. In general, the framework of both types of writing is similar; however, you may be required to include a thesis question (which is not typically required for other essay types), conduct extensive research, and provide evidence to support your beliefs. It is possible that you may be expected to incorporate a number of trustworthy sources into your work, which will be listed as references. And, perhaps most importantly, focusing on the informative article will be more enjoyable if you choose a topic that you are interested in researching.

Students are encouraged to do research, but their conclusions must be supported by trustworthy sources. The normal length for a research paper is between 5 and 15 pages. After obtaining all necessary material from several sources, the student’s work will be organized into a framework for their consideration. Teachers regularly set these tasks for pupils in order to teach them how to balance their writing abilities and to encourage structural uniformity and the use of the standard format.

In addition, research papers are frequently used to gain authentic information on a particular topic, after which the student collects evidence during the exploratory phase and summarizes the results by providing a basic analysis or disposition. It is advisable that you seek free research paper samples before writing your own, as this will help you grasp the whole concept.

APA, Chicago, and MLA, to name a few, are citation formats frequently used in research articles. The text has a consistent emphasis and considerable study, and it provides precise information and an understanding of the subject while separating opinions from facts. The paper’s results and conclusions are also effective. Among other names, a research paper is sometimes known as a research project and a term paper.

Types of Research Papers

As a student, it is crucial to comprehend the many types of research papers, as each requires a unique writing strategy. The kind of articles that follow is indicated.

Research Analysis

In an analytical research report, you compile information from the findings of other researchers to draw a conclusion on a certain topic. In this essay, it is preferable to maintain objectivity and avoid expressing positive or negative opinions.

Research Paper With An Argument

In a single text, an argumentative research paper discusses two disputed topics. It is vital to remember that while writing these essays, you should provide information from several scholars to support either side of the topic, but you should favor one side over the other as you attempt to persuade the reader to your position. In addition, this type of research paper has more than one hundred great argumentative topics.

Descriptive Research Paper

A descriptive research paper delivers information without the author’s personal opinion. It is essential to use a range of sources without evaluating the content when writing this piece.

Survey Study Research Paper

A survey involves collecting data from respondents, analyzing the data, and producing a report with the findings.

Experimental Research Paper

In an experimental research paper, you discuss the procedures used in the experiment, evaluate the outcomes, and then write the report.

Comparisons of an Essay and a Research Paper

The main difference between a research paper and an essay is that research papers are often lengthier than essays, which are typically four to five paragraphs long. A research paper is a longer piece of writing than one page. In contrast to research papers, which usually involve an argument for or study of a topic, essays provide responses to questions.

Research papers use information from various sources to support their points, whereas essays depend mostly on the author’s own opinions and experiences.

The purpose of creating a research paper is to conduct and publish a report that contains the author’s unique and exhaustive study on a particular topic. Essays are written with a specific purpose in mind: to analyze previously published content on a specified topic. When writing essays, one may express one’s own opinions on a certain topic.

A research report reveals the author’s in-depth investigation of a certain issue. This is considered “primary literature” in academic circles. There is no original research included in essays, only already published content. The term for this kind of literature is secondary literature.

Data Collection

After the creation of research questions, the acquisition of raw data, and the preparation of research papers, researchers perform studies. The author chooses a topic and provides a summary of previously published material as well as his or her own viewpoint on the subject.

The content of the research paper is based on the analysis and application of past research. The substance of the articles provides an overview and foundational knowledge of the subject.

A research paper describes each part of the investigation, including the hypothesis, literature evaluation, methods, and findings. On a certain topic, essays summarize existing research and perspectives.

? ? ?Word Count

The word count of a research paper may range between 3000 and 12000. The average length of an essay, on the other hand, is between 3000 and 5000 words.

Due to their similarities, an essay and a research report are difficult to differentiate. In order to prevent confusion when writing, it is crucial for students to comprehend these distinctions. Numerous research papers are around eight pages long, and they are often longer than essays. The length of a research paper makes its composition more challenging than that of an essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

How different are essays and research papers.

An extended essay in which you offer your own analysis, viewpoint, or argument is called a research paper. Writing an essay requires using all you know and have thought about the subject.

What are the similarities between an essay and a research report?

There is a lot of overlap between the essay structure and the research paper format. Each has an introductory and concluding paragraph. Each written assignment features a clear thesis statement or research subject at the outset, often toward the end of the introductory paragraph.

To what end does one typically write such a paper?

A research paper’s goal is not only to educate the reader on what others have said about a topic; rather, it is to intelligently give a separate position on the situation at hand by drawing on and engaging the sources. There are two primary types of research papers used for this purpose.

Previous Posts

difference between a paper and essay

Write My Research Paper for Me to get an ‘A ‘ grade?

Research Paper Help

Research Paper Help – Professional Writing Assistance

How to Write an Outline for an Essay

How to Write an Outline for an Essay

  • Key Differences

Know the Differences & Comparisons

Difference Between Article and Essay

article vs essay

An article is nothing but a piece of writing commonly found in newspapers or websites which contain fact-based information on a specific topic. It is published with the aim of making the reader aware of something and keeping them up to date.

An essay is a literary work, which often discusses ideas, experiences and concepts in a clear and coherent way. It reflects the author’s personal view, knowledge and research on a specific topic.

Content: Article Vs Essay

Comparison chart.

Basis for ComparisonArticleEssay
MeaningAn article refers to a written piece of information, usually appears in newspaper, magazine, encyclopedias and website.An essay is a piece of literary work, wherein a particular issue or topic is analysed and discussed.
ToneConversationalEducational and Analytical
Headings and SubheadingsYesNo
ReaderAlways written with a specific objective and reader group in mind.Not written with a specific reader group in mind.
Backed byPhotographs, charts and reports.Not required
Citation and ReferenceNot RequiredRequired

Definition of Article

An ‘article’ can be described as any form of written information which is produced either in a printed or electronic form, in newspaper, magazine, journal or website. It aims at spreading news, results of surveys, academic analysis or debates.

An article targets a large group of people, in order to fascinate the readers and engage them. Hence, it should be such that to retain the interest of the readers.

It discusses stories, reports and describes news, present balanced argument, express opinion, provides facts, offers advice, compares and contrast etc. in a formal or informal manner, depending upon the type of audience.

For writing an article one needs to perform a thorough research on the matter, so as to provide original and authentic information to the readers.

Components of Article

  • Title : An article contains a noticeable title which should be intriguing and should not be very long and descriptive. However, it should be such that which suggests the theme or issue of the information provided.
  • Introduction : The introduction part must clearly define the topic, by giving a brief overview of the situation or event.
  • Body : An introduction is followed by the main body which presents the complete information or news, in an elaborative way, to let the reader know about the exact situation.
  • Conclusion : The article ends with a conclusion, which sums up the entire topic with a recommendation or comment.

Definition of Essay

An essay is just a formal and comprehensive piece of literature, in which a particular topic is discussed thoroughly. It usually highlights the writer’s outlook, knowledge and experiences on that particular topic. It is a short literary work, which elucidates, argues and analyzes a specific topic.

The word essay is originated from the Latin term ‘exagium’ which means ‘presentation of a case’. Hence, writing an essay means to state the reasons or causes of something, or why something should be done or should be the case, which validates a particular viewpoint, analysis, experience, stories, facts or interpretation.

An essay is written with the intent to convince or inform the reader about something. Further, for writing an essay one needs to have good knowledge of the subject to explain the concept, thoroughly. If not so, the writer will end up repeating the same points again and again.

Components of the Essay

  • Title : It should be a succinct statement of the proposition.
  • Introduction : The introduction section of the essay, should be so interesting which instantly grabs the attention of the reader and makes them read the essay further. Hence, one can start with a quote to make it more thought-provoking.
  • Body : In the main body of the essay, evidence or reasons in support of the writer’s ideas or arguments are provided. One should make sure that there is a sync in the paragraphs of the main body, as well as they,  should maintain a logical flow.
  • Conclusion : In this part, the writer wraps up all the points in a summarized and simplified manner.

Key Differences Between Article and Essay

Upcoming points will discuss the difference between article and essay:

  • An article refers to a written work, published in newspapers, journals, website, magazines etc, containing news or information, in a specific format. On the other hand, an essay is a continuous piece of writing, written with the aim of convincing the reader with the argument or merely informing the reader about the fact.
  • An article is objective in the sense that it is based on facts and evidence, and simply describes the topic or narrate the event. As against, an essay is subjective, because it is based on fact or research-based opinion or outlook of a person on a specific topic. It analyses, argues and criticizes the topic.
  • The tone used in an article is conversational, so as to make the article easy to understand and also keeping the interest of the reader intact. On the contrary, an essay uses educational and analytical tone.
  • An article may contain headings, which makes it attractive and readable. In contrast, an essay does not have any headings, sections or bullet points, however, it is a coherent and organized form of writing.
  • An article is always written with a definite objective, which is to inform or make the readers aware of something. Further, it is written to cater to a specific niche of audience. Conversely, an essay is written in response to a particular assertion or question. Moreover, it is not written with a specific group of readers in mind.
  • An article is often supported by photographs, charts, statistics, graphs and tables. As opposed, an essay is not supported by any photographs, charts, or graphs.
  • Citations and references are a must in case of an essay, whereas there is no such requirement in case of an article.

By and large, an article is meant to inform the reader about something, through news, featured stories, product descriptions, reports, etc. On the flip side, an essay offers an analysis of a particular topic, while reflecting a detailed account of a person’s view on it.

You Might Also Like:

abstract vs introduction

Anna H. Smith says

November 15, 2020 at 6:21 pm

Great! Thank you for explaining the difference between an article and an academic essay so eloquently. Your information is so detailed and very helpful. it’s very educative, Thanks for sharing.

Sunita Singh says

December 12, 2020 at 7:11 am

Thank you! That’s quite helpful.

Saba Zia says

March 8, 2021 at 12:33 am

Great job!! Thank u for sharing this explanation and detailed difference between essay and article. It is really helpful.

Khushi Chaudhary says

February 7, 2021 at 2:38 pm

Thank you so much! It is really very easy to understand & helpful for my test.

Dury Frizza says

July 25, 2022 at 8:18 pm

Thanks a lot for sharing such a clear and easily understood explanation!!!!.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

difference between a paper and essay

What’s The Difference Between An Article A Paper And An Essay

Avatar photo

Table of Contents

When it comes to writing, you may wonder what the difference is between an essay, article, and paper. Even the most experienced writers sometimes confuse these terms, but once you understand what they represent, you’ll be able to choose which kind of writing suits your purposes best. With a little help from an essay writer service, you can be certain that each one of your pieces of writing will be polished and ready to impress upon completion.


There are three main types of academic writing: essays, articles, and papers. While these categories are similar, there are some major differences. This post will help you identify what separates these terms from one another. Here’s a quick breakdown of each type of academic writing.

Essay vs. Article vs. Paper

Why are they different? What’s in a title? We hear them used all of the time interchangeably in different contexts, but what makes these three so different from one another? To understand how essay writing differs from articles and papers, we need to look at how each differs from another. So let’s get started by exploring some of their main differences: Essay vs. Article vs. Paper – Key Differences 1. Length 2. Subject Matter 3. Author 4. Purpose 5. Audience.

Essays are typically 1–3 pages long. Articles vary in length but run longer than essays. Papers typically range from 10 to 15 pages or more. It’s important to note that essay writer services have very different writing styles. Some writers write with a conversational tone, while others use a formal style for essays and articles. The best way to figure out which type of writing fits your needs is by looking at samples of their work or asking them about their process.

  The three types of writing are intended for different purposes. The purpose is often reflected in both length and tone. For example, a paper is generally longer than an essay or an article because it must be more comprehensive. It also tends to be more formal because it’s intended to be read by experts in a particular field (e.g., doctors reading a medical journal). On the other hand, an essay is usually shorter than a paper because it doesn’t have to cover as much ground and can take a more casual tone since it’s not necessarily directed at experts. Finally, articles tend to fall between essays and papers in terms of length, formality, and audience (i.e., they’re generally shorter than papers but longer than essays).

The difference between essays, articles, and papers can be found in the audience. In other words, you will write them for different people and in different situations. If you need to explain something (from a textbook or another piece of writing) or if you are explaining a procedure to someone new to that topic, then your best bet would be to write an essay. Alternatively, if your purpose is simply to inform someone about something they might find interesting, articles would do just fine. Finally, if you want to share some information with a large group of people with similar interests, then a paper would be your choice. So which one should you choose? It depends on what exactly it is that you want to achieve with your writing.

Subject Matter

There are a few distinct differences in subject matter for these different types of written work. Essays should be focused and concise; articles cover a broader scope. For example, if you were writing about gun control in America from a historical standpoint, your essay would focus on one distinct period throughout American history (likely before modern times), while your articles could each look at a different time during which gun laws were passed, enacted or changed. Papers are similar to essays in that they have a narrow focus, but papers typically take on more of an academic tone than essays do. Papers may also have footnotes, bibliographies, and other citations within them. It’s important to note that there isn’t always a clear distinction between essay and paper; some papers can even read like essays!

Unlike essays and articles, papers do not focus on a single topic. Papers are meant to convey complex information that may have been derived from numerous sources of information. Papers are also typically longer than essays or articles, ranging from five to more than 20 pages in length. This makes papers a relatively demanding form of academic writing. While essays often focus on personal reflections or observations, papers delve into specific topics with objective research findings drawn from secondary sources such as newspapers, journals, or books. An essay writer can be anyone who writes essays for money. An essay writer can be someone who has experience working with students in high school, college, or university-level institutions.

Join the thousands who have sharpened their business writing skills with our award winning courses.

Copyright © 2024 Businesswritingblog.com.


Research Papers Vs. Essays (Differences and Similarities)

In high school, college, university, and even professional life, you will write many assignments, including research papers and essays. In school, instructors and professors use essays and research papers to test your understanding of concepts taught in class. It is, therefore, imperative to know the difference between essays and research papers.

You came to the right place if you struggle to get the facts right about essays vs. research papers. This guide guides you through the similarities and differences between the two common papers written at all academic levels.

In a nutshell, research papers focus on facts to argue a point, while essays focus on an individual's understanding of a topic. Understanding the difference between these two pieces of writing will help you succeed in school.

With that said, here is an overview of essays and research papers.

What is an Essay?

An essay is a short piece of writing demonstrating your comprehension, critical thinking, analytical skills, creativity, and awareness of a given topic. The length of the essay will determine the citations it should have and how long it takes to write it. So for a 500 words essay, the instructor will require at least five verifiable sources. Since they are short in length, they usually have five paragraphs starting with an introduction, followed by the body, and then a conclusion.

The main objectives of an essay are to:

  • Inform the reader by providing accurate and proven information about a particular topic
  • Convince the audience of a specific headline using researched evidence
  • Explain a topic by providing in-depth information with flowing content
  • Entertain the readers through humor and other funny statements

Check out our comprehensive guide on how to write a good essay .

Format and Structure

The basic format of an essay is an introduction, body, and conclusion. You must fashion all the ideas- one at a time - in the order that makes sense. To successfully deliver the content to the readers, you must attend to their logic. You have to introduce the arguments, analyze all the data, provide counterarguments and conclude the topic.

You should consider every part of the essay answering basic questions the reader is probably asking. These questions are: what, how, why.

The "what" explains what evidence leads you to your thesis statement, and you must therefore examine all the evidence demonstrating the truth of your fact.

The "how" explains how other arguments can counter your thesis statements. In other words, how does another way of looking at things affect your claims?

The "why" shows why the readers should care about your statements and allows them to learn more about what you are saying in a larger context.

An essay follows different formats depending on the academic style of writing requested; it could be MLA, APA, or Chicago format. For example, the APA style is used in social and health sciences, MLA in liberal arts, Language, Literature, and humanities, and the Chicago style in literature, history, and arts.

However, the structure is as follows:


The introduction paragraph sets the stage for what is to come. It has three main parts:

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

The first sentence of the introduction should grab the reader's attention . Next, you should arouse curiosity through an eye-catching statement for the reader to continue reading the essay. You can achieve this by using a joke, statistics, or research findings.

Background Information

Give the readers the context of the essay by providing some background information depending on the essay's subject. Don't give too much information — mention just a few points you will divulge later in the text. Just make sure you save the evidence for the body of the essay. The length of this information will depend on the scope of your essay.

Thesis Statement

A thesis statement sums up the main ideas of your topic and helps control the essay's narrative. Therefore, the statement should state clearly the main idea you want readers to grasp.

Body (Arguments)

The body is the longest part of the essay, which is organized into different paragraphs. Each paragraph elaborates on one idea and contains between four to five sentences. Every paragraph contains three sections starting with the topic sentence, followed by a supporting sentence and a concluding sentence.

The topic sentence informs the reader about the paragraph, and the supporting sentence expounds on the central idea. And the concluding sentence summarizes what you have talked about.

The conclusion is the last paragraph of the essay. It aims to summarize the essay's main parts, show the essence of your argument, and leave the reader with a sense of closure.

When writing the conclusion paragraph of an essay , you should restate the thesis statement to remind the reader what you talked about, followed by a summary of your arguments and counterarguments. Finally, the last sentence of the paragraph should state your concluding thought.

Types of Essays

There are different types of essays, each with its own objectives. They include:

  • Descriptive
  • Argumentative

Narrative Essays

Narrative essays are mostly personal, and they tell a story. This essay is written from a first-person perspective.

Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays describe something— object, person, place, emotion, or situation from your own perspective.

Expository Essays

Expository essays aim at explaining a topic with facts. This is where you analyze a given piece of information and explain in detail how you have reached your conclusion.

Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay presents both sides of an argument to inform the reader. An instructor will give this type of essay to gauge your debating skills.

Persuasive Essay

The persuasive essay aims to convince the reader. The writing presents logical information with an emotional appeal to the reader to believe your point of view.

What is a Research Paper?

A research paper is academic writing that involves supportive evidence about a given topic. It provides a perspective on a given topic using various sources supported by qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Research papers are usually similar to essays, but they are much longer and involve in-depth research conducted independently. In addition, you must spend time investigating and evaluating multiple sources to offer an interpretation of a given text.

Since the main aim of a research paper is to develop a new argument, you must include a literature review. A literature review is a foundation and support for your research, and it is a survey of academic sources on a given topic that helps you identify theories, methods, and gaps in the existing research.

They are more formal as they involve rigorous and thorough research resulting in a central idea. Only when a paper meets this requirement will the instructor give a good grade. Their aim is to differentiate between opinions and facts, provide a detailed understanding of a given topic, and critique previously written work.

To effectively write a research paper, you must clearly define your research question. If your instructor has already assigned you a topic, there is no need. If not, try to choose an interesting research question.

Choose a research strategy by analyzing the materials you will use for your research. Then evaluate all the sources by focusing on their credibility and whether they support your research question.

Like essays, research papers also have paragraphs and follow the same academic writing formats, but their structure is much different. Their structure is as follows:

  • Materials/methods


A title page contains all the vital information about the paper you are writing. The page is usually placed in front of the research paper. It contains your name, the name of the project, and your learning institution. Since it's the first page the reader will see, it should be well formatted. The title on the page should clearly display your thesis statement.

The abstract highlights the main points of your projects to help inform the readers what the paper is about. They are recorded along with keywords to help readers find your content more easily. The abstract should be clear and accurate.

An introduction part allows you to define the topic and establish your voice. The introduction should be interesting enough to get the reader hooked. It usually aims at:

  • Presenting the problem statement, topic, and research investigation in the first part of the introduction
  • Establish the aim and focus of your research in the second part
  • Present the summary of your arguments in the third part

Research papers also have a thesis statement, like essays mostly found at the end of the introduction. It aims to explain what you are trying to prove and provide the main points in the research.

Materials/ Methods

The material/ methods section clearly defines what materials you used to perform your research. The aim is to direct readers to specialized materials, general procedures, and methods to weigh the value of your project. For example, these materials could be questionnaires that provide information about your paper. The materials should be specific and relevant to your field of study.

You should describe in detail how you conducted the analysis in their personal narrative and briefly list the methods used.

The results section is where you report what your findings are based on all the information you gathered with the materials you had. You should state the findings without biases or interpretation, allowing the reader to do that themselves. The findings should only be from your study, and they could be:

  • Quantitative information - is data that can be measured and is presented in graphs, tables, or charts.
  • Qualitative information - which is brief descriptions or explanations and is often presented as lists or essay like form

The discussion section shows the results and outcomes of your paper. It reviews and interprets the findings of the research and allows the readers to see the connection between all the parts of the paper. The discussion should include the following:

  • Results you gathered from the research
  • Discussion of related research
  • Comparison between the research and your initial hypothesis

You must demonstrate your critical thinking skills when developing your arguments and establishing the relationship between each part the same way you would in an essay.

The conclusion section outlines why the research is important to the reader and why they should care. It summarizes all the parts mentioned in the paper and demonstrates the implications of your research. The writing should be on point to deliver your message to the readers.

The acknowledgment section appreciates all the contributors for their efforts in the research. You should mention all the contributors directly involved in your research. They could be:

  • Funding Organization/ Donor
  • Administrative personnel
  • Your professors
  • Work supervisors

The reference section is the last part of your research paper. This section shows that you have clearly and carefully conducted your research. It demonstrates that your work is credible, and readers can rely on it. You should list all the research material used. The average number of references in most research papers is 45.

Types of Research Papers

Like essays, there are different research papers, each requiring different preparation. These are argumentative and analytical research papers:

Argumentative Research Paper

When writing an argumentative research paper, you discuss your topic and then choose the stand you will be taking. The hope is to persuade the reader to take your stand.

Analytical Research Paper

You state your topic in an analytical research paper and take a neutral stance. You will then provide your arguments and facts, leaving the reader to choose their stance. The aim is not to persuade the reader but to present a well-supported analysis of a given topic.

Survey Research Paper

Survey research involves collecting data from a group of people through quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Experimental Research Paper

Based on experimental research or empirical research, this type of paper provides information about the procedures you have used in your research. It is mainly written as a scientific or empirical paper following the IMRAD format.

Definition Paper

In definition papers, you will describe an argument's facts without sharing personal emotions and only provide a list of facts without analyzing them.

What is the Aim of the Research Paper?

Learning how to write a research paper is to:

Provide Knowledge

Through research, you will gain new insights about a particular topic making you more knowledgeable.

Boost the Success, Not Business

The findings of a research paper will influence decision-makers to take positive action. For instance, if you wrote a paper about the importance of using laptops in schools, more laptops will be provided even to learners.

Enhance Public Awareness

By writing compelling research about a given headline and sharing it with the public, you give them an understanding of your ideas. Providing detailed and well-researched information will help the readers see the relevance of your conclusion.

What Are the Differences Between an Essay and a Research Paper?

After looking at each of them individually, what are the differences between them?

  They Have Different Purposes

Even though they are both academic writings, they have different purposes. When an instructor assigns you a research paper, they want to know your deep understanding of a given topic by sharing how you have come to that realization. In other words, it demonstrates your opinions and those of other scientists. On the other hand, an essay shows your opinion about something even though you will research your information, and your point of view about the topic should be unique.

  A Research Paper is More Formal

A research paper involves in-depth research from reputable sources, which you should prove in the form of references. On the other hand, an essay doesn't need in-depth research; it mainly relies on your thoughts and opinion. They are also not as complex as a research paper in terms of headings and subheadings.

  More Time and Effort Are Needed in Writing a Research Paper Than an Essay

A research paper is a long piece of academic writing that requires multiple sources and a deeper understanding of information to reach a conclusion. Since there is tons of information to find and go through, more time is taken to do the research.

So while an essay can be completed in a few hours, a research paper can take days or even weeks to complete.

  Differences in Length

Both essays and research papers are organized the same way. An essay has three parts: an introduction which includes a thesis statement, a body, and a supportive conclusion. You will need to hook your readers when writing the introduction for them to proceed with writing. The body usually has between four to five paragraphs which must be arranged systematically to make sense to the reader. Their word count ranges between 500 and 1000 words with about 5 citations.

They are both academic styles of writing

A research paper requires thorough research about a topic with more citations, while essays need a basic understanding with a few citations

Both require a comprehensive understanding of a given topic

Research papers help in building your knowledge about a given topic, while essays test your writing skills

They both have a thesis statement

A research paper is a long form of writing with about 8 pages or more, while the words in essays range between 500 to 1000

They both have an organizational structure

It takes days or weeks to write a research paper compared to an essay which needs a few hours

Because research papers require in-depth research, they are much longer than essays and are usually referred to as multipage writing. A research paper typically has nine parts arranged in order with between 8 to 100 references. Regardless, both forms of academic writing follow the same organizational structure.

Here is a table that shows the similarities and differences between the two.

Similarities and differences between research paper and essays

More differences and similarities between essays and research papers ( source )

Final Words

An essay and research paper are common types of academic writing assigned to high school, college, and university students. Essays are the shortest pieces of writing which show your understanding of a given topic during a research paper. The above difference will help you in your academic writing journey.

Life is full of demands, and you will juggle work, home duties, family responsibilities, and social life. When you add studies and writing papers to the packed schedule, you might break down mentally.

Do you need help with a research paper or an essay ? GradeCrest is the most preferred place for students and professionals who want their research papers done. We have expert paper writers who can handle papers on various topics and almost all subjects; no subject lacks an expert or is too hard to crack for us. You can order your essay or research paper by filling out the order form on our home page.


Gradecrest is a professional writing service that provides original model papers. We offer personalized services along with research materials for assistance purposes only. All the materials from our website should be used with proper references. See our Terms of Use Page for proper details.

paypal logo

  • Privacy Policy

Research Method

Home » Essay Vs Research Paper

Essay Vs Research Paper

Table of Contents

Essay Vs Research Paper

An essay and a research paper are two different types of academic writing assignments that students are often required to complete during their academic careers.

An Essay is a piece of academic writing that typically presents the author’s personal opinion or interpretation on a particular topic. It is a relatively short piece of writing that may be persuasive, descriptive, or informative in nature. Essays may be assigned to students as homework, in-class assignments, or as part of an exam.

Research Paper

A Research Paper , on the other hand, is a type of academic writing that involves conducting research on a particular topic, analyzing and interpreting the findings, and presenting the results in a written format. Research papers are usually longer and more complex than essays, and require a more extensive analysis of the topic. Research papers are often assigned to students as part of a course, such as a research methods course or a capstone project.

Difference Between Essay and Research Paper

Here’s a comparison table that highlights the differences between essays and research papers:

EssayResearch Paper
To present the author’s personal opinion or interpretation on a particular topicTo conduct research on a particular topic, analyze the findings, and present the results
Shorter in length, typically a few pagesLonger in length, typically several pages or more
Minimal research required, if anyExtensive research required
May or may not require sources, depending on the assignmentRequires sources to support arguments and analysis
Flexible in terms of structure and formatFollows a specific format and structure, such as an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and conclusion
Can be creative, persuasive, descriptive, or informativeFollows a formal academic writing style and tone
Writing a personal response to a book or articleConducting a literature review and empirical research on a particular topic

Also see Research Methods

About the author

' src=

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

You may also like

Market Research Vs Marketing Research

Market Research Vs Marketing Research

Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research

Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research

Exploratory Vs Explanatory Research

Exploratory Vs Explanatory Research

Inductive Vs Deductive Research

Inductive Vs Deductive Research

Correlational Research Vs Experimental Research

Correlational Research Vs Experimental Research

Research Hypothesis Vs Null Hypothesis

Research Hypothesis Vs Null Hypothesis

Differences Between an Essay and a Research Paper

The majority of college students will easily identify an essay by stating that it is always shorter and does not contain those complex analytical elements that are always typical for an average research paper. While it’s true to some extent, the core difference with essay writing is that you have to make your opinion and thoughts clear by supporting it with some evidence . Now the research paper will require not only your opinion but the ideas and thoughts of other people. You must present a clever synthesis of the information to show that you have done your research correctly. Without a doubt, the length will also play an important matter, but will not always be the same for every task!

The Main Differences Between an Essay & Research Paper

Personal opinion vs data synthesis., length and structure., the presence of methodology..

A good research paper always implements a certain methodology or the way how you would like to achieve your scientific objectives. It can be quantitative (numeric data and variables), qualitative (sorted by category), or a mixture of both.

Please enable JavaScript

Comparison & Presentation.

The different types of essay writing & research.

Is there a difference between an APA essay format and APA research paper?

An APA paper (essay, research paper, or something else) all follow the same rules for formatting . You can read about the formatting rules on the  APA Help  guide (especially the Formatting Guide ).

As for the difference between an Essay and a Research Paper, it depends on what your instructor assigned.

  • A Research Paper will obviously contain research sources with citations.
  • An Essay may or may not contain research, depending on what the assignment indicates. Ask the instructor if an assigned essay should contain research and citations.

Thank you for using ASK US. For more information, please contact your Baker librarians .

  • Last Updated Mar 02, 2021
  • Answered By Baker Librarians

FAQ Actions

  • Share on Facebook

Comments (0)

We'll answer you within 3 hours m - f 8:00 am - 4:00 pm..


The Difference between an Essay and a Thesis

There's a reason you won't be asked to write multiple theses for one class or even in one academic year. While you definitely need to have some knowledge on a topic to write an essay, writing a thesis requires you to become an expert on your topic. In other words, a thesis is a lot of work.

What to Include?

Essay vs. Thesis

An essay should include an introduction that includes a thesis statement, which is one sentence that summarizes the writer's purpose or point, just as a full thesis does. An essay will then traditionally include three or more body paragraphs with topic sentences that elaborate on the point and a conclusion paragraph that explains how the points made in the body of the essay prove the writer's thesis statement.

Most essays can and do include outside arguments from written pieces of work to help support the writer's conclusions. A short bibliography, or works cited page, should be included at the end of an essay that refers to or quotes other written works.

A thesis traditionally includes an abstract as well as an entire section of several paragraphs that introduce the writer's topic and the outside works a writer will be analyzing to reach their conclusions. The introductory section is followed by a body of writing that examines prior written works on the topic and proposes how to look at the topic from a new angle. A final section should both summarize the points made and explain how the thesis writer synthesized those prior works to form the new and original conclusion the thesis writer has reached on that topic.

An average essay is anywhere from one to five pages long. Five to seven paragraphs, including the introduction and conclusion paragraphs, are sufficient for an essay, although some are longer.

The average thesis for an undergraduate writer is 40 to 60 pages long and an average graduate or doctoral thesis is between 60 to 100 pages.

What's the Point?

The point of an essay can be to tell a story, describe an event or other topic, persuade a reader to agree with a certain viewpoint, or relate information in a strictly factual way.

The point of a thesis is to look at information in a new way and present a comprehensive look at how the topic has been analyzed before. A thesis uses the knowledge learned from an entire college program to create an expert opinion that can be fully explained and supported.

  • How it works

researchprospect post subheader

What is the Difference Between Essays and Reports?

Published by Alaxendra Bets at August 19th, 2021 , Revised On August 23, 2023

What is the difference between essays and reports? Report writing is a specialised skill that your academic tutor would like you to develop.

Whether you are writing a report in university or business, report writing skills are equally important to get your message across to the readers effectively.

Generally, your academic tutor decides what form of writing you must undertake and will provide the layout requirements in the assignment brief.

However, as you move towards university-level study, you will have the freedom of choice to decide what form of writing you must undertake to address the problem question .

This means that you will need a critical evaluation of what form of writing will be the most appropriate for you, considering a given academic assignment’s requirements.

Whether you are a student or a professional, it is important to understand the key differences between an  essay and a report to work out why you should prefer one form of writing over the other.

This article lists the most notable differences between a report and an essay, so whenever you are unsure about which form of writing is the most suitable, you will know exactly what decision is right or wrong.

Difference Between Essays and Reports – Purpose

Purpose of a report.

Typically you will be  asked to write a report  if you must present an  analysis of practical research results. All reports start with the topic background, research aim, and objectives to provide details of what your work will examine.

You may also include a  hypothesis  in your report if you are testing a proposition with your research. Depending on your topic’s nature and the report writing guidelines laid out by your tutor, you may also have to include a separate section for future recommendations in your report.

Purpose of an Essay

On the other hand, Essays find answers to a question using the researcher’s own critical evaluation of the existing theories. An essay does not directly include any practical research because it only uses the existing literature material.

Difference Between Essays and Reports – Content

The report starts with introducing the topic and lists the aim and objectives your practical research will address.

It quickly moves to report chronological actions such as gathering data and presenting findings from primary research activities and laboratory experiments before the writer finally provides an assessment of the results in the conclusion  and recommendations for future sections.

The  content of an essay  depends on the  essay question  you need to answer. Whether your essay must be evaluative,  argumentative ,  narrative , discursive, or descriptive  will be determined by the nature of your essay question.

However, in general, all essays involve a synthesis of knowledge obtained from existing literature on the given question and the writer’s personal arguments and opinions based on the evidence collected during research.

Whether you have been asked to write an essay or a report, ResearchProspect writers can help you achieve the highest academic grade. We have a large team of academic writers who can meet every bit of your requirements regardless of your academic level and the academic subject.

Difference Between Essays and Reports – Formatting

A report and an essay format are similar as both include an  introduction ,  main body , and  conclusion sections. Reports include methodology and analysis in the main body and have a fixed structure.

It is recommended to check your school’s formatting guidelines if you are unsure how to format your report. Further, you can get our professional report writing service that will help you achieve your desired grades.

If you are writing an essay, the essay question’s critical evaluation will determine the  structure you must follow in your essay.

Stuck on a report writing assignment? We can help!

Our report writing service Features:

  • Expert UK Writers
  • Plagiarism-free
  • Timely Delivery
  • Thorough Research
  • Rigorous Quality Control

Expert UK Writers

Features of a Report Features of an Essay
Involves recommendations for future Does not include headings or subheading in normal circumstances
Makes use of tables, graphs, figures, and illustrations Does not make use of sub-headings
Use bullet points Does not include figures, charts, graphs or tables
Includes numbered/labelled headings and subheadings. Is written in a narrative, the argumentative or descriptive style depends on the essay question
It is written in a very formal style It is not produced for a specific audience
It is written with a specific purpose and audience in mind Is idea based, descriptive or argumentative?
All information is fact-based and informative Uses a semi-structured format

Difference Between Essays and Reports in a Table

Reports Essays
Reports are written with a specific purpose and audience in mind. Essays are written to demonstrate that the author fully understands the research question and can answer it with research.
All reports start with a purpose but also include details of events/results of research. As a researcher, you will be expected to describe the findings and events and critically analyze them to propose future work recommendations. You will be required to base your essay on arguments, counter-arguments, opinions, and evidence.
Reports may also have separate conclusions and recommendations chapters. An essay will usually end with a conclusion section, but it may also have an additional recommendations section in some cases.

Despite describing these differences, it may not be easy to distinguish between an essay and a report. For example , in some academic disciplines, essays are structured like reports, with headings separating the different parts of an essay. The best practice regarding the style and format suitable to your academic discipline would be to consult your academic tutor.

Learn More About Our Essay Services Order Now

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you differentiate between an essay or a report.

An essay is a concise piece of writing that presents an argument, opinion, or analysis with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. A report is a structured document that conveys information, often including data, findings, and recommendations, typically with headings, sections, and sometimes visual aids.

You May Also Like

The following article will discuss the five elements that are essential to report writing. These components should be considered when beginning any report.

Before diving into the how-to, grasping what critical discussion entails is essential. Essay writing help often emphasises the importance of this step. Critical discussion requires a deeper level of analysis where you explain a topic and evaluate and dissect its various facets.

Here are some tips on writing the main body paragraphs of an essay to help you correctly plan and organize the most critical part of your academic essay.






  • How It Works

The Key Differences between Shiites and Sunnis

This essay is about the historical and theological differences between Shiites and Sunnis the two main sects of Islam. It explains how the initial split occurred over the rightful successor to the Prophet Muhammad leading Sunnis to favor elective leadership while Shiites support lineage-based succession. The essay highlights differences in religious practices such as the observance of Ashura and theological concepts like the role of the Imams. It also touches on how political and social factors have reinforced the divide throughout history. Despite these differences the essay emphasizes commonalities that unite Muslims and the importance of inter-sect dialogue and cooperation.

How it works

The split between Shiites and Sunnis in Islam is a big deal starting just after Prophet Muhammad died in 632 AD. It all boils down to who should lead the Muslim community. Sunnis the majority think the leader should be elected so they picked Abu Bakr Muhammad’s close buddy as the first caliph. On the flip side Shiites believe leadership should stay in Muhammad’s family backing Ali Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law as the rightful heir. This difference set off a feud over lineage versus election that still impacts Islamic politics today.

Apart from leadership these groups have different religious practices and ways of interpreting Islamic law. Sunnis follow the Prophet’s practices and sayings recorded in the Hadith along with the Quran. Shiites also respect the Hadith but really focus on teachings from Imams who they see as leaders appointed by God from Muhammad’s family. This has led to variations in rituals religious rules and even how laws are understood between the two groups.

During Ashura a big Shiite event honoring the martyrdom of Imam Hussein Muhammad’s grandson at the Battle of Karbala Shiites mourn and reenact the battle highlighting themes of sacrifice. Sunnis also mark Ashura but they do it more quietly fasting and thinking about history in a broader sense.

Theological differences also come into play like how they see the end times and who stands between people and God. Shiites believe in the Imamate where Imams guide both spiritually and politically with divine help. Sunnis don’t go for the idea of leaders picked by God after Muhammad pushing for a more direct link between believers and God guided by scholars and community leaders not just family lines.

Politics and social stuff have made the Sunni-Shiite split worse over time. In Islamic history fights over power and land often turned into fights over religion too backing up the split. Sunni-run empires like the Umayyads and Abbasids and Shiite dynasties like the Fatimids show how politics and religion mixed. Today places like Saudi Arabia and Iran are seen as big reps of Sunni and Shiite Islam affecting who they team up with and fight against in the Middle East.

Even with all these differences it’s key to remember what Sunnis and Shiites share. They both stick to the basics of Islam like believing in one God following Muhammad as a prophet caring about the Quran and the Five Pillars of Islam. Plus many Muslims no matter if they’re Sunni or Shiite want to work together and focus on what they have in common not what divides them. They’re always talking and working together to bridge gaps and understand each other better.

The Sunni-Shiite split is a big deal in Islamic history and today’s Muslim world. Knowing about it gives you a better idea of Islam and how Muslims live today. It helps you see the differences and the history behind them showing how religion politics and culture mix up in human societies.

Remember this essay is just a start. For more help or to make sure your essay is spot on reach out to experts at EduBirdie.


Cite this page

The Key Differences Between Shiites and Sunnis. (2024, Jul 06). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/the-key-differences-between-shiites-and-sunnis/

"The Key Differences Between Shiites and Sunnis." PapersOwl.com , 6 Jul 2024, https://papersowl.com/examples/the-key-differences-between-shiites-and-sunnis/

PapersOwl.com. (2024). The Key Differences Between Shiites and Sunnis . [Online]. Available at: https://papersowl.com/examples/the-key-differences-between-shiites-and-sunnis/ [Accessed: 11 Jul. 2024]

"The Key Differences Between Shiites and Sunnis." PapersOwl.com, Jul 06, 2024. Accessed July 11, 2024. https://papersowl.com/examples/the-key-differences-between-shiites-and-sunnis/

"The Key Differences Between Shiites and Sunnis," PapersOwl.com , 06-Jul-2024. [Online]. Available: https://papersowl.com/examples/the-key-differences-between-shiites-and-sunnis/. [Accessed: 11-Jul-2024]

PapersOwl.com. (2024). The Key Differences Between Shiites and Sunnis . [Online]. Available at: https://papersowl.com/examples/the-key-differences-between-shiites-and-sunnis/ [Accessed: 11-Jul-2024]

Don't let plagiarism ruin your grade

Hire a writer to get a unique paper crafted to your needs.


Our writers will help you fix any mistakes and get an A+!

Please check your inbox.

You can order an original essay written according to your instructions.

Trusted by over 1 million students worldwide

1. Tell Us Your Requirements

2. Pick your perfect writer

3. Get Your Paper and Pay

Hi! I'm Amy, your personal assistant!

Don't know where to start? Give me your paper requirements and I connect you to an academic expert.

short deadlines

100% Plagiarism-Free

Certified writers

  • Essay Editor

The Impact of Gender Roles on Society and Culture

1. introduction.

The term gender role refers to society's concept of how men and women are expected to act and behave. In other words, society as a whole considers how men and women should act and what is expected of them. These roles are a product of the physiological and psychological conditioning of males and females, families, friends, teachers, and the media. When people speak of the difference between men and women, they are often drawing on the difference between males and females. Sex is biological and includes physical attributes such as organs, chromosomes, and hormones. Typically, a baby's sexual identity is determined at birth, by the appearance of its external genitalia. Gender, on the other hand, refers to the social, cultural, and psychological attributes of both men and women. It's within a society that determines what is considered masculine and what is considered feminine. Societies transform the biological difference between men and women into social meanings. In many societies, men are considered to be the "stronger" sex, while women are the "weaker" sex. In creating this dichotomy, society has created gender roles. The creation of these roles is a product of society's perception of how people should behave. For some, their role is easy, for others it is a confused and complicated tangle. Social expectations guide people's behavior, but they also cause them to wonder who they are. In the "Thirteen Songs," the Aztec women and men comment frequently on the roles society gives them: "Oh different things, when you take thought, when you consider them in your heart: Yours is a tangle. My desolation is irrevocable, my destruction is irretrievable. I am lost in this world." The poets see the role as inescapable and believe society to be responsible for their inevitable fate. The greatest source of peace is in abdicating oneself to the will of society.

2. Historical Perspectives

In examining past societies, one often begins with a description of the lifestyle and environment of the people and then discusses the roles fulfilled by males and females within these societies. The ability to carry out the roles, and often to accept and seek fulfillment in these roles by the society as a whole, provides the primary means through which the individual can find meaning in life. This need is primarily a social rather than biological one. Most males and females possess relatively fragile biologically based differences and are capable of performing the massive social and economic functions demanded by societies for survival and propagation. Without the sex-related role expectations that provide each person with a basic pattern for living and adapting, the complexities of the world and other people might seem overwhelming. Despite a shared belief on the part of the people in past historical settings in the rightness of these roles, the structure of the roles for males and females has differed widely from one society and time period to another in prehistory. Changes in male and female roles have seldom been rapid and dramatic. They have varied depending on specific society's needs, on the cultures they have chosen, and how they have chosen to fulfill the needs by assigning the spheres of activity to either sex. Prehistoric societies did not share a single, fixed, and tidy pattern of male and female activities. There has been a great deal of variation in societies all over the planet. These sexual role differences and unique orientations have affected almost all aspects of life. Male/female interactions today are deeply indebted to these past historical patterns. Such interactions were initially established to perform the social and economic functions of a particular historical culture.

2.1. Gender Roles in Ancient Societies

In ancient societies, people tended to be rigid due to geographical and social barriers that had been well established. This visual aspect will affect how men and women are physically designed. In early societies, humans were doing some activities close to both men and women, but due to very active social structure and recognition as leader and provider, men began to gain social acceptance and power over women. Women are assigned to primary and secondary tasks such as plant gathering, firewood collection, and cooking. During the Greek archaic, classical, and Hellenistic periods, there was great respect for the man who was seen as a defender of ideals in the social and individual struggle. The woman's restricted living samples and limited their activities within the rules drawn by men. "In ancient Greece, men are considered more important than women and they do not accept their value while they fight for their lives at the age of seven, right after the women give birth to children". Girls were prepared for marriage. In the ancient Greek family, it was the man who represented the joint family outside the mother and character. In the ancient Greek laws, the woman was seen as a means of service to the man for various jobs.

2.2. Gender Roles in the Middle Ages

1. Introduction: Definitions and Terms Gender issues have always been a concern for medieval historians. D. H. Greenlow himself stated this as much as sixty years ago. So it is rather strange that we still have so little to say about the most general questions. Indeed, the relative indifference of historians has been noted by the specialists of the word "gender" themselves. This paper aims to try and alleviate this to a small extent by considering the question of changing definitions of men and women in the early Middle Ages. The title of the work on which I am engaged is "Changing Gender." Its burden is the ways in which men and women were conceptualized by late antique and post-Roman societies and how this, in turn, structured the social relationships between them. In order to be able to follow the numerous subtle interactions that I hope to uncover between biological and cultural sex, we first have to establish the two poles of the structure in some detail. We have to ask, what are the cultural gender roles assigned to men and women?

3. Gender Roles in Modern Society

Now that we have concepts about gender roles, let's take a look at gender roles in modern society. As days pass by, more and more sectors move into modern society. This modern society adopts changes that affect the broad society in social and cultural values, so that traditional roles of men and women are transforming. Since the Industrial Revolution, there has been a sufficient increase in women's labor force participation. This fueled the debates around gender roles and its implications in modern society, as a lack of consensus among academics expressing predominantly traditional views about women's place in society, and flourishing the feminist protest movements demanding equality and the abolition of patriarchal attitudes. Gender roles have been different from one culture to another and each one has been changing throughout the times due to variety factors, mostly coming from women and their protests for equality, freedom, and desire for self-affirmation in modern society. In the period of modern society, the roles of women change also eliminate certain differences in male and female behaviors. In this way, modern women have powerful, independent careers, forge into social and business worlds previously excluded. Depending on the country, culture, and education, women's capacity of decision and the position in society has been different. But, in general, women have the right to vote, compete in the masculine field and become industrials, politicians, leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, and any formal position in society, being in the workforce or home. It brings opportunities for women, but it likewise brings further changes and responsibilities.

3.1. Workplace Dynamics

Despite the fact that women have, for many years, been a major part of the labor force as a result of wartime needs, or even just as a result of the need for two incomes within many families, the still-existing view that a female's place is at home in a traditional role means that women have to fight more to get well-paid careers than men who are in competition with them. If a man in a well-paid career has to leave a job in order to move with her husband, or because her job involves a transfer to another region, the reaction is usually one of sympathy that she has found herself in this position, but if a male is in the same position, he would not be readily believed or understood if he said that he would like to give up his career to stay with his wife and be a homemaker for a while. There are revealing reasons why the woman would be more readily excused, usually to do with the roles placed upon her by society.

3.2. Media Representation

Not only do gender norms emerge in social and cultural developmental processes, they are also spread and reinforced by different agents. The mass media have been identified as one of the most important contributors to the consolidation of gender roles. In general, the media comply with the expectations from the 'book of rules', reinforcing the traditional interpersonal attitudes that the reader already has about men and women. Studies have shown television, film, and magazines to be especially powerful agents of socialization as far as women's and men's social roles are concerned. A process in which only the 'consistencies' are observed, leaving aside the realities in life. The increasing use of media sources in people's daily lives results in growing exposure to media content, particularly the stereotyped representation of men and women, boys and girls. Several studies have shown patterns of frequent stereotyping in print, film and TV media. Lack of variety, and the tendency to show men and women in stereotyped occupations, housewives, sex-objects and compulsive consumers, fit with a growing trend for information visualization and popularization. The positioning of men and women reproduces women as dependents, subordinate, and playing the role of a decorative object. The misrepresentation is always associated with a hypocritical moral discourse, transforming the banal into a social problem.

4. Cultural Influences

In society, gender becomes a construct, an identity that is created and reinforced, and a performance that is expected of individuals based on the sex of their biological bodies. Gender identity is constructed by social expectations and experiences, and influences how people should look, act, and feel based on their sex. Culture is also a significant influence on gender roles in our society. Context of cultural traditions can have great influence on how the different categories of people of each culture interact with each other. Cultural beliefs determine the practices of each culture. Two people of different cultures interact with each other and may be interaction of either cultures, whereas they way have to integrate can contradict the gender roles culturally assigned to them. We live in a world that is annually achieving progress and we have the great potential to transform it equally in the goal of a better society. The norms of gender and its identity have also direct link with generations of the past. Our societies could shape it only be reinforced cultural beliefs and the continuation of tradition, which implies deep changes in a more conscious society. There are still widespread and persistent discrimination and inequality in our society against women, girls and people of other sexes perceived as feminine. Many of these are based not only on violence, exploitation or control over women's bodies, but also on harmful gender norms. Our beliefs about the differences between the sexes should not block opportunity and choice for the citizens of today's world. We should achieve and help others to take a more constructive and less restrictive approach to gender and to culture.

5. Challenges and Future Directions

According to a classical study by historian Sydel Silverman, early anthropologists largely ignored the extent of gender as a cultural variable in their descriptions of a wide range of societies. At the same time, they more often than not classified the role activities, positions, and status of men as more significant and powerful than those of women, so working with a biased sample, they perceived bias. This classical study also claims that early anthropologists did recognize the power of culture to shape different family structures, marriage, residence, and descent patterns and that explanations of comparative sex roles were submerged in these analyses. There are many reasons for this legacy. Early anthropological research on non-Western people themselves lived within the sex/gender system of their own culture, and their beliefs and experiences predisposed them to take particular sets of data seriously, allowing them to interpret this data in particular ways – what we refer to here as selective perception. Taking non-Western people seriously meant applying the concept of cultural relativism to the sex-gender system of ancestral society, so sex-gender systems that differed from the speaker's growing appreciation of European-American ethnocentrism compelled a need for cross-cultural comparisons, and as an empirical matter, certain kinds of comparative data tended to stand out more to the classical anthropologists than others. For example, the fact that most societies were patrilineal and patrilocal gave the late nineteenth-century and twentieth-century anthropologists a universal to explain, and since the structure of residence and descent rules strongly affected the power, influence, wealth, and property of the family members, the classification of sex roles into power was hardly coincidental.

Related articles

The impact of 'la norma' on cultural norms and social behavior.

1. Introduction Superstitions and other components of the Santa Clara Church and Hispanic cultural folklore contribute to the construction of a common social identity for its members. These are important resources that people with an immigrant background who arrive in new destinations need to foster a sense of community link between each other and with the native culture. This is done in order to strengthen the cultural bridge, enhance their sense of belonging to society, gain notoriety, and fe ...

The Impact of Emperor Nero de Rome on Ancient Roman Society and Culture

1. Introduction Nero was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus in December of the year 37 in Antium, into the imperial line. He became emperor in 54 and ruled until 68, and his murder was followed by civil war on a scale not seen since the murder of Julius Caesar, almost two centuries before. Civil wars did have long and profound political impacts as well as human costs in lives and suffering. For even when they were relatively short in time and were settled by peace agreements and amnesties, they c ...

La importancia del análisis histórico de la evolución cultural y política en América Latina

1. Introducción Sea que pretendemos inscribir nuestra reflexión en lo que ha de ser un necesario balance de los procesos de crisis, el hecho de que intencionemos hacerlo desde una perspectiva eminentemente histórica no debe volvernos ostensiblemente antihistóricos, de tal suerte que el balance quede extrañamente exento de historia. En rigor, en el espléndido banquete iberoamericano que abrió hace más de una década un venezolano insigne, nos corresponde participar ejerciendo el papel de contrati ...

Exploring the Impact of Cultural Influences in Ámbito de la Education System

1. Introduction Education, in every sense of conceiving it, is the most important factor determining the shape of a culture. This view opens on some points that can orientate an application of Ámbito de la Education discipline, as described by its developers Michael Cole and the Laboratory of Comparative Research of Human Culture and gives support to an associated teaching practice. These directions are those of Major and Zone of Proximal Development. We will find that, in fact, the questions t ...

The Impact of Urbanization on the Culture and Economy of New York City

1. Introduction Urbanization has major impacts on a wide range of variables, including local culture and the economic pressures of city life. New York City, having served as a major immigration, culture, and business hub for many years, offers an interesting lens through which to explore these impacts. This research project looks at the literature which has discussed the impacts of urbanization and how these have been evident in New York, and in particular, present-day New York. I argue that th ...

The Influence of 'Ficas de la' in Latin American Literature and Culture

1. Introduction No literary genre is more rooted in popular culture than the "ficas de la," yet no Latin American cultural phenomenon has fallen into neglect as much as this significant form of art. Although a great amount of fItica history and criticism has already been written by renowned scholars such as Ricardo Rojas in Argentina, Enrique Bernardo Nfifiez in Venezuela, Isabel Aretz in Brazil, Celestino Gorostiza in Mexico, and Manuel lturriaga in Chile, in recent decades very few books and ...

The Impact of Urbanization on Modern Culture in New York City, Missouri

1. Introduction Framework After the technology of mechanism is set, the influence of technology on society is an interesting object to study. In particular, in the period of globalization since the second world war, the change of industrial structure is a phenomenon that draws people's attention. Mentioned industrial structure as agriculture, industry and service industry, it develops with the growth of the economy. As a result of industrial structure change, industrial safety in the sense of o ...

El ámbito de la globalización y su impacto en la cultura contemporánea

1. Introducción a la globalización y la cultura contemporánea La geopolítica, el nacimiento de la informatización y de la tecnología en general, la implantación de la democracia, la difusión de la economía en el mundo y el itinerario de las migraciones a nivel universal, son hechos de gran envergadura y a nivel mundial. Hechos que todos juntos hacen que se haya pasado de los localismos cerrados y homogéneos a unos globalismos abiertos, difusos, diversos, rápidos y complejísimos. La globalizació ...

Watch CBS News

What is Project 2025? What to know about the conservative blueprint for a second Trump administration

By Melissa Quinn , Jacob Rosen

Updated on: July 11, 2024 / 9:40 AM EDT / CBS News

Washington — Voters in recent weeks have begun to hear the name "Project 2025" invoked more and more by President Biden and Democrats, as they seek to sound the alarm about what could be in store if former President Donald Trump wins a second term in the White House.

Overseen by the conservative Heritage Foundation, the multi-pronged initiative includes a detailed blueprint for the next Republican president to usher in a sweeping overhaul of the executive branch.

Trump and his campaign have worked to distance themselves from Project 2025, with the former president going so far as to call some of the proposals "abysmal." But Democrats have continued to tie the transition project to Trump, especially as they find themselves mired in their own controversy over whether Mr. Biden should withdraw from the 2024 presidential contest following his startling debate performance last month.

Here is what to know about Project 2025:

What is Project 2025?

Project 2025 is a proposed presidential transition project that is composed of four pillars: a policy guide for the next presidential administration; a LinkedIn-style database of personnel who could serve in the next administration; training for that pool of candidates dubbed the "Presidential Administration Academy;" and a playbook of actions to be taken within the first 180 days in office.

It is led by two former Trump administration officials: Paul Dans, who was chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management and serves as director of the project, and Spencer Chretien, former special assistant to Trump and now the project's associate director.

Project 2025 is spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation, but includes an advisory board consisting of more than 100 conservative groups.

Much of the focus on — and criticism of — Project 2025 involves its first pillar, the nearly 900-page policy book that lays out an overhaul of the federal government. Called "Mandate for Leadership 2025: The Conservative Promise," the book builds on a "Mandate for Leadership" first published in January 1981, which sought to serve as a roadmap for Ronald Reagan's incoming administration.

The recommendations outlined in the sprawling plan reach every corner of the executive branch, from the Executive Office of the President to the Department of Homeland Security to the little-known Export-Import Bank. 

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with advisers in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D,C., on June 25, 2019.

The Heritage Foundation also created a "Mandate for Leadership" in 2015 ahead of Trump's first term. Two years into his presidency, it touted that Trump had instituted 64% of its policy recommendations, ranging from leaving the Paris Climate Accords, increasing military spending, and increasing off-shore drilling and developing federal lands. In July 2020, the Heritage Foundation gave its updated version of the book to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. 

The authors of many chapters are familiar names from the Trump administration, such as Russ Vought, who led the Office of Management and Budget; former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller; and Roger Severino, who was director of the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Vought is the policy director for the 2024 Republican National Committee's platform committee, which released its proposed platform on Monday. 

John McEntee, former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office under Trump, is a senior advisor to the Heritage Foundation, and said that the group will "integrate a lot of our work" with the Trump campaign when the official transition efforts are announced in the next few months.

Candidates interested in applying for the Heritage Foundation's "Presidential Personnel Database" are vetted on a number of political stances, such as whether they agree or disagree with statements like "life has a right to legal protection from conception to natural death," and "the President should be able to advance his/her agenda through the bureaucracy without hindrance from unelected federal officials."

The contributions from ex-Trump administration officials have led its critics to tie Project 2025 to his reelection campaign, though the former president has attempted to distance himself from the initiative.

What are the Project 2025 plans?

Some of the policies in the Project 2025 agenda have been discussed by Republicans for years or pushed by Trump himself: less federal intervention in education and more support for school choice; work requirements for able-bodied, childless adults on food stamps; and a secure border with increased enforcement of immigration laws, mass deportations and construction of a border wall. 

But others have come under scrutiny in part because of the current political landscape. 

Abortion and social issues

In recommendations for the Department of Health and Human Services, the agenda calls for the Food and Drug Administration to reverse its 24-year-old approval of the widely used abortion pill mifepristone. Other proposed actions targeting medication abortion include reinstating more stringent rules for mifepristone's use, which would permit it to be taken up to seven weeks into a pregnancy, instead of the current 10 weeks, and requiring it to be dispensed in-person instead of through the mail.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that is on the Project 2025 advisory board, was involved in a legal challenge to mifepristone's 2000 approval and more recent actions from the FDA that made it easier to obtain. But the Supreme Court rejected the case brought by a group of anti-abortion rights doctors and medical associations on procedural grounds.

The policy book also recommends the Justice Department enforce the Comstock Act against providers and distributors of abortion pills. That 1873 law prohibits drugs, medicines or instruments used in abortions from being sent through the mail.


Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade , the volume states that the Justice Department "in the next conservative administration should therefore announce its intent to enforce federal law against providers and distributors of such pills."

The guide recommends the next secretary of Health and Human Services get rid of the Reproductive Healthcare Access Task Force established by the Biden administration before Roe's reversal and create a "pro-life task force to ensure that all of the department's divisions seek to use their authority to promote the life and health of women and their unborn children."

In a section titled "The Family Agenda," the proposal recommends the Health and Human Services chief "proudly state that men and women are biological realities," and that "married men and women are the ideal, natural family structure because all children have a right to be raised by the men and women who conceived them."

Further, a program within the Health and Human Services Department should "maintain a biblically based, social science-reinforced definition of marriage and family."

During his first four years in office, Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military. Mr. Biden reversed that policy , but the Project 2025 policy book calls for the ban to be reinstated.

Targeting federal agencies, employees and policies

The agenda takes aim at longstanding federal agencies, like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. The agency is a component of the Commerce Department and the policy guide calls for it to be downsized. 

NOAA's six offices, including the National Weather Service and National Marine Fisheries Service, "form a colossal operation that has become one of the main drivers of the climate change alarm industry and, as such, is harmful to future U.S. prosperity," the guide states. 

The Department of Homeland Security, established in 2002, should be dismantled and its agencies either combined with others, or moved under the purview of other departments altogether, the policy book states. For example, immigration-related entities from the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Health and Human Services should form a standalone, Cabinet-level border and immigration agency staffed by more than 100,000 employees, according to the agenda.

The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen on a law enforcement vehicle in Washington on March 7, 2017.

If the policy recommendations are implemented, another federal agency that could come under the knife by the next administration, with action from Congress, is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The agenda seeks to bring a push by conservatives to target diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, initiatives in higher education to the executive branch by wiping away a slew of DEI-related positions, policies and programs and calling for the elimination of funding for partners that promote DEI practices.

It states that U.S. Agency for International Development staff and grantees that "engage in ideological agitation on behalf of the DEI agenda" should be terminated. At the Treasury Department, the guide says the next administration should "treat the participation in any critical race theory or DEI initiative without objecting on constitutional or moral grounds, as per se grounds for termination of employment."

The Project 2025 policy book also takes aim at more innocuous functions of government. It calls for the next presidential administration to eliminate or reform the dietary guidelines that have been published by the Department of Agriculture for more than 40 years, which the authors claim have been "infiltrated" by issues like climate change and sustainability.


Trump made immigration a cornerstone of his last two presidential runs and has continued to hammer the issue during his 2024 campaign. Project 2025's agenda not only recommends finishing the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but urges the next administration to "take a creative and aggressive approach" to responding to drug cartels at the border. This approach includes using active-duty military personnel and the National Guard to help with arrest operations along the southern border.

A memo from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that prohibits enforcement actions from taking place at "sensitive" places like schools, playgrounds and churches should be rolled back, the policy guide states. 

When the Homeland Security secretary determines there is an "actual or anticipated mass migration of aliens" that presents "urgent circumstances" warranting a federal response, the agenda says the secretary can make rules and regulations, including through their expulsion, for as long as necessary. These rules, the guide states, aren't subject to the Administration Procedure Act, which governs the agency rule-making process.

What do Trump and his advisers say about Project 2025?

In a post to his social media platform on July 5, Trump wrote , "I know nothing about Project 2025. I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they're saying and some of the things they're saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal. Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them."

Trump's pushback to the initiative came after Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts said in a podcast interview that the nation is "in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be."

The former president continued to disavow the initiative this week, writing in another social media post  that he knows nothing about Project 2025.

"I have not seen it, have no idea who is in charge of it, and, unlike our very well received Republican Platform, had nothing to do with it," Trump wrote. "The Radical Left Democrats are having a field day, however, trying to hook me into whatever policies are stated or said. It is pure disinformation on their part. By now, after all of these years, everyone knows where I stand on EVERYTHING!"

While the former president said he doesn't know who is in charge of the initiative, the project's director, Dans, and associate director, Chretien, were high-ranking officials in his administration. Additionally, Ben Carson, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Trump; John Ratcliffe, former director of National Intelligence in the Trump administration; and Peter Navarro, who served as a top trade adviser to Trump in the White House, are listed as either authors or contributors to the policy agenda.

Still, even before Roberts' comments during "The War Room" podcast — typically hosted by conservative commentator Steve Bannon, who reported to federal prison to begin serving a four-month sentence last week — Trump's top campaign advisers have stressed that Project 2025 has no official ties to his reelection bid.

Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, senior advisers to the Trump campaign, said in a November statement that 2024 policy announcements will be made by Trump or his campaign team.

"Any personnel lists, policy agendas, or government plans published anywhere are merely suggestions," they said.

While the efforts by outside organizations are "appreciated," Wiles and LaCivita said, "none of these groups or individuals speak for President Trump or his campaign."

In response to Trump's post last week, Project 2025 reiterated that it was separate from the Trump campaign.

"As we've been saying for more than two years now, Project 2025 does not speak for any candidate or campaign. We are a coalition of more than 110 conservative groups advocating policy & personnel recommendations for the next conservative president. But it is ultimately up to that president, who we believe will be President Trump, to decide which recommendations to implement," a statement on the project's X account said.

The initiative has also pushed back on Democrats' claims about its policy proposals and accused them of lying about what the agenda contains.

What do Democrats say?

Despite their attempts to keep some distance from Project 2025, Democrats continue to connect Trump with the transition effort. The Biden-Harris campaign frequently posts about the project on X, tying it to a second Trump term.

Mr. Biden himself accused his Republican opponent of lying about his connections to the Project 2025 agenda, saying in a statement that the agenda was written for Trump and "should scare every single American." He claimed on his campaign social media account  Wednesday that Project 2025 "will destroy America."

Congressional Democrats have also begun pivoting to Project 2025 when asked in interviews about Mr. Biden's fitness for a second term following his lackluster showing at the June 27 debate, the first in which he went head-to-head with Trump.

"Trump is all about Project 2025," Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman told CNN on Monday. "I mean, that's what we really should be voting on right now. It's like, do we want the kind of president that is all about Project '25?"

Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, one of Mr. Biden's closest allies on Capitol Hill, told reporters Monday that the agenda for the next Republican president was the sole topic he would talk about.

"Project 2025, that's my only concern," he said. "I don't want you or my granddaughter to live under that government."

In a statement reiterating her support for Mr. Biden, Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida called Project 2025 "MAGA Republicans' draconian 920-page plan to end U.S. democracy, give handouts to the wealthy and strip Americans of their freedoms."

What are Republicans saying about Project 2025?

Two GOP senators under consideration to serve as Trump's running mate sought to put space between the White House hopeful and Project 2025, casting it as merely the product of a think tank that puts forth ideas.

"It's the work of a think tank, of a center-right think tank, and that's what think tanks do," Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

He said Trump's message to voters focuses on "restoring common sense, working-class values, and making our decisions on the basis of that."

Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance raised a similar sentiment in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," saying organizations will have good ideas and bad ideas.

"It's a 900-page document," he said Sunday. "I guarantee there are things that Trump likes and dislikes about that 900-page document. But he is the person who will determine the agenda of the next administration."

Jaala Brown contributed to this report.

Melissa Quinn is a politics reporter for CBSNews.com. She has written for outlets including the Washington Examiner, Daily Signal and Alexandria Times. Melissa covers U.S. politics, with a focus on the Supreme Court and federal courts.

More from CBS News

Tips on Detecting & Improving AI-generated Text

As generative AI tools become increasingly sophisticated and widely used, the ability to distinguish between AI-generated and human-written text has become a hot topic. While AI can be an incredibly powerful tool for writing and research, it’s important to understand its strengths, limitations, and potential “tells” that may indicate its use. Below are some tips for detecting AI-generated text and, more importantly, how to improve and personalize AI-assisted writing to make it truly your own.

Last week’s Inside Higher Ed offers tips on how to distinguish AI-generated text from human-written text.  The author, a literature professor, generated 50+ essays with AI and compared them to characteristics she had come to expect from text written by humans.  Her findings are in bold below, supplemented by my own experience.

  • AI-generated essays are often confidently wrong.

Oh yes, I’ve found the confidence thing to be absolutely true.  Generative AI is like the world’s biggest people pleaser.  It tells you what it thinks you want to hear and goes all in on its response. But it’s worth noting that many times, it’s confidently right .  So here’s my first tip, and it’s a big one: It’s up to you as the user to do your due diligence in vetting the response.

  • AI essays tend to get straight to the point and AI-generated essays are often list-like

Yeah, these two can be AI “tells,” but they also point to one of the major strengths of generative AI:  organization of ideas.  I frequently use AI to refine my own writing to help me order my thoughts and cut to the chase.

Sometimes it organizes its responses into lists.  So, here’s my 2nd tip – and it’s a theme I’ll be repeating throughout:  if you don’t want a list, then ask it to put it in narrative or some other format.  Generative AI is really good at following directions so tell it exactly what you want.

  • AI-generated work is often banal,  AI-generated essays are often repetitive, the paragraphs of AI-generated essays also often begin with formulaic transitional phrases , and AI-generated text tends to remain in the third person

Yes, I’ve seen all these things in AI-generated writing.  Out-of-the-box, it can be formulaic and fairly bland.  But I’ve also seen it generate some really wild and creative stuff when I’ve asked it to do so.

So, I’m going to repeat my 2nd tip: If you don’t want it to be banal, repetitive, formulaic, or in the third person, then tell it that.  Be descriptive enough in your prompts to direct it to do what you want.  Tell it who you are, who your reader is, and what tone you’re looking for.  Think of the responses it provides as suggestions for you to take or leave.  In exchanges with AI, I’ll often say something like, “No, I don’t like that.  Try this instead.”  Or “Yes, that’s what I was thinking of.  Give me more of that.”

And remember that 1st tip again: AI may have helped you or even fully generated the text, but if you’re putting that text out into the world, you better make sure that you’re comfortable and confident having your name on it.  Always vet the content.

  • AI-produced text tends to discuss “readers” being “challenged” to “confront” ideologies or being “invited” to “reflect” on key topics

Yeah, using flowery, sophisticated-sounding words is something I’ve observed.  In fact, there’s a new study from Cornell that explores “excess word usage” as a way to detect generative AI use in academic texts.  The authors examined abstracts in PubMed from 2010-24 and found that there was an “unprecedented increase in excess style words” in recent scholarship which they attribute to ChatGPT usage.

Per the article, the following real 2023 abstracts illustrate this ChatGPT-style flowery excess language:

By meticulously delving into the intricate web connecting […] and […], this comprehensive chapter takes a deep dive into their involvement as significant risk factors for […]. A comprehensive grasp of the intricate interplay between […] and […] is pivotal for effective therapeutic strategies. Initially, we delve into the intricacies of […], accentuating its indispensability in cellular physiology, the enzymatic labyrinth governing its flux, and the pivotal […] mechanisms.

So, going back to tip 2, if you don’t want it to use these types of flowery, sophisticated-sounding excess words, then prompt it to put it in another tone.  You’d be amazed at the many different tones and voices it can give you, such as 1st-year law student, new associate, or experienced attorney.  You can also ask it to put it in the tone of a specific Supreme Court Justice or well-known author.  Whether this raises IP issues is another ball of wax.

I recommend reading the full Inside Higher Ed article for further discussion of each point.

As someone who uses AI almost every day and teaches law students about the ethical and effective use of generative AI, I believe it’s valuable to be aware of these potential “tells” while also recognizing their limitations. While there are indeed characteristics that may hint at AI-generated content, it’s important to remember that they are not foolproof indicators.

The key is not to focus solely on detection, but rather on how to use AI effectively and ethically as a writing tool. By providing clear, specific prompts and actively refining AI-generated content, we can use the power of AI while maintaining our unique voice and ensuring the final product reflects our own thoughts and insights. This approach transforms AI from a potential shortcut into a valuable writing assistant, much like spell-check or grammar tools.

Remember, the goal is not to outsource our thinking to AI, but to use it as a tool to enhance our own abilities and productivity. As we continue to explore the possibilities and challenges of AI in research and writing, I encourage you to experiment with these tools responsibly and always prioritize your own critical thinking and analysis.

And by way of full disclosure: I used Claude.AI to help me organize my ideas and suggest phrasing for this post.  Can you tell?

Suggestions or feedback?

MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Machine learning
  • Social justice
  • Black holes
  • Classes and programs


  • Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Brain and Cognitive Sciences
  • Architecture
  • Political Science
  • Mechanical Engineering

Centers, Labs, & Programs

  • Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)
  • Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
  • Lincoln Laboratory
  • School of Architecture + Planning
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
  • Sloan School of Management
  • School of Science
  • MIT Schwarzman College of Computing

Researchers study differences in attitudes toward Covid-19 vaccines between women and men in Africa

Press contact :.

Woman with a patterned cloth face mask sits at a market stall in Kampala, Uganda. Most other people in the market are also wearing masks

Previous image Next image

While many studies over the past several years have examined people’s access to and attitudes toward Covid-19 vaccines, few studies in sub-Saharan Africa have looked at whether there were differences in vaccination rates and intention between men and women. In a new study appearing in the journal  Frontiers in Global Women’s Health , researchers found that while women and men self-reported similar Covid-19 vaccination rates in 2022, unvaccinated men expressed more intention to get vaccinated than unvaccinated women.

Women tend to have better health-seeking behaviors than men overall. However, most studies relating to Covid-19 vaccination have found that intention has been lower among women. “We wondered whether this would hold true at the uptake level,” says Rawlance Ndejjo, a leader of the new study and an assistant lecturer in the Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health at Makerere University.

The comparable vaccination rates between men and women in the study is “a good thing to see,” adds Lula Chen, research director at MIT Governance Lab (GOV/LAB) and a co-author of the new study. “There wasn’t anything gendered about how [the vaccine] was being advertised or who was actually getting access to it.”

Women’s lower intention to vaccinate seemed to be driven by concerns about vaccine safety, suggesting that providing factual information about vaccine safety from trusted sources, like the Ministry of Health, could increase uptake.

The work is a collaboration between scholars from the MIT GOV/LAB, Makerere University’s School of Public Health in Uganda, University of Kinshasa’s School of Public Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), University of Ibadan’s College of Medicine in Nigeria, and Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal. 

Studying vaccine availability and uptake in sub-Saharan Africa

The authors’ collaboration began in 2021 with research into Covid-19 vaccination rates, people’s willingness to get vaccinated, and how people’s  trust in different authorities shaped attitudes toward vaccines in Uganda, the DRC, Senegal, and Nigeria.  A survey in Uganda found that people who received information about Covid-19 from health workers were more likely to be vaccinated, stressing the important role people who work in the health-care system can play in vaccination efforts.

Work from other scientists has found that women were less likely to accept Covid-19 vaccines than men, and that in low- and middle-income countries, women also may be less likely to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and less likely to intend to get vaccinated, possibly due to factors including lower levels of education, work obligations, and domestic care obligations.

Previous studies in sub-Saharan Africa that focused on differences between men and women with intention and willingness to vaccinate were inconclusive, Ndejjo says. “You would hardly find actual studies on uptake of the vaccines,” he adds. For the new paper, the researchers aimed to dig into uptake.

People who trust the government and health officials were more likely to get vaccinated

The researchers relied on phone survey data collected from adults in the four countries between March and July 2022. The surveys asked people about whether they’d been vaccinated and whether those who were unvaccinated intended to get vaccinated, as well as their attitudes toward Covid-19, their trust in different authorities, demographic information, and more.

Overall, 48.5 percent of men said they had been vaccinated, compared to 47.9 percent of women. Trust in authorities seemed to play a role in people’s decision to vaccinate — receiving information from health workers about Covid-19 and higher trust in the Ministry of Health were both correlated with getting vaccinated for men, whereas higher trust in the government was correlated with vaccine uptake in women.

Lower interest in vaccines among women seemed related to safety concerns

A smaller percentage of unvaccinated women (54 percent) said they intended to get vaccinated, compared to 63.4 percent of men. More unvaccinated women said they had concerns about the vaccine’s safety than unvaccinated men, which could be driving their lower intention.

The researchers also found that unvaccinated women and men over 40 had similar levels of intention to get vaccinated — lower intention in women under 40 may have driven the difference between men and women. Younger women could have concerns about vaccines related to pregnancy, Chen says. If this is the case, the research suggests that officials need to provide additional reassurance to pregnant people about vaccine safety, she adds.

Trust in authorities also contributed to people’s intention to vaccinate. Trust in the Ministry of Health was tied to higher intention to vaccinate for both men and women. Men with more trust in the World Health Organization were also more likely to intend to vaccinate.

“There’s a need to deal with a lot of the myths and misconceptions that exist,” Ndejjo says, as well as ensure that people’s concerns related to vaccine safety and effectiveness are addressed. Officials need “to work with trusted sources of information to bridge some of the gaps that we observe,” he adds. People need to be supported in their decision-making so they can make the best decisions for their health.

“This research highlights linkages between citizen trust in government, their willingness to get vaccines, and, importantly, the differences between men and women on this issue — differences that policymakers will need to understand in order to design more targeted, gender-specific public health interventions,” says study co-author Lily L. Tsai, who is MIT GOV/LAB’s director and founder and the Ford Professor of Political Science at MIT.

This project was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Share this news article on:

Related links.

  • MIT Governance Lab
  • Department of Political Science

Related Topics

  • Public health
  • Political science
  • Health sciences and technology
  • Race and gender
  • School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences

Related Articles

Several people, seen from the back, sit in plastic chairs at a table while health care workers inject vaccine.

Championing health workers to lead vaccination efforts in Uganda

Black map of Sierra Leone with cyan dots representing cities and towns, as well as lines in between these nodes.

Study finds lockdowns effective at reducing travel in Sierra Leone

Accurate and trustworthy messaging about the coronavirus are critical to ensuring citizens are educated to take proper preventative action.

Informing Covid-19 preparedness in Sierra Leone

Previous item Next item

More MIT News

Cargo ship in ocean

Study finds health risks in switching ships from diesel to ammonia fuel

Read full story →

Madison Myers headshot

Making meaningful climate change through novel technologies

Five students converse around a whiteboard.

Empowering future innovators through a social impact lens

A woman and three men flank the microbioreactor system, which is about the size of a small printer

A new way to miniaturize cell production for cancer treatment

Deborah Fitzgerald stands at a lectern with an open laptop and some papers in front of her

Investigating the past to see technology’s future

A woman in uniform sitting in a locker room with helmet in lap, head down, and eyes closed, being consoled by a colleague.

A new strategy to cope with emotional stress

  • More news on MIT News homepage →

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, USA

  • Map (opens in new window)
  • Events (opens in new window)
  • People (opens in new window)
  • Careers (opens in new window)
  • Accessibility
  • Social Media Hub
  • MIT on Facebook
  • MIT on YouTube
  • MIT on Instagram

Help | Advanced Search

Computer Science > Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

Title: onediff: a generalist model for image difference.

Abstract: In computer vision, Image Difference Captioning (IDC) is crucial for accurately describing variations between closely related images. Traditional IDC methods often rely on specialist models, which restrict their applicability across varied contexts. This paper introduces the OneDiff model, a novel generalist approach that utilizes a robust vision-language model architecture, integrating a siamese image encoder with a Visual Delta Module. This innovative configuration allows for the precise detection and articulation of fine-grained differences between image pairs. OneDiff is trained through a dual-phase strategy, encompassing Coupled Sample Training and multi-task learning across a diverse array of data types, supported by our newly developed DiffCap Dataset. This dataset merges real-world and synthetic data, enhancing the training process and bolstering the model's robustness. Extensive testing on diverse IDC benchmarks, such as Spot-the-Diff, CLEVR-Change, and Birds-to-Words, shows that OneDiff consistently outperforms existing state-of-the-art models in accuracy and adaptability, achieving improvements of up to 85\% CIDEr points in average. By setting a new benchmark in IDC, OneDiff paves the way for more versatile and effective applications in detecting and describing visual differences. The code, models, and data will be made publicly available.
Subjects: Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (cs.CV); Multimedia (cs.MM)
Cite as: [cs.CV]
  (or [cs.CV] for this version)
  Focus to learn more arXiv-issued DOI via DataCite

Submission history

Access paper:.

  • HTML (experimental)
  • Other Formats

References & Citations

  • Google Scholar
  • Semantic Scholar

BibTeX formatted citation

BibSonomy logo

Bibliographic and Citation Tools

Code, data and media associated with this article, recommenders and search tools.

  • Institution

arXivLabs: experimental projects with community collaborators

arXivLabs is a framework that allows collaborators to develop and share new arXiv features directly on our website.

Both individuals and organizations that work with arXivLabs have embraced and accepted our values of openness, community, excellence, and user data privacy. arXiv is committed to these values and only works with partners that adhere to them.

Have an idea for a project that will add value for arXiv's community? Learn more about arXivLabs .


  1. Research Paper vs Essay: The Difference Explained

    difference between a paper and essay

  2. Difference Between Research Paper and Essay Writing

    difference between a paper and essay

  3. What are the differences between essay and article?

    difference between a paper and essay

  4. 😝 Research paper vs essay. Research Paper vs. Research Proposals: 3 Key

    difference between a paper and essay

  5. Difference Between Essay and Research Paper

    difference between a paper and essay

  6. Difference Essay

    difference between a paper and essay


  1. I see my difference between paper drawings and digital drawings

  2. A2 Chemistry Topic: Thin Layer Chromatography

  3. paper essay in English, #learnonline #essayparagraph #english #learnenglish #paper

  4. Difference between Article and Essay || Article vs Essay || Difference World

  5. 🤩 How to make Hard Cricket Ball at home

  6. TEDSpeaks Arbitrage: Exchange Secrets Revealed


  1. Difference Between an Essay & a Paper

    Understanding the difference between the various types of writing styles, including research papers and essays, will help you craft compelling prose that is appropriate. As a whole, paper essay writing typically allows for more creativity than more formal writing styles, such as research papers.

  2. The Four Main Types of Essay

    The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept. Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can ...

  3. What is the difference between a paper and an essay?

    Papers and essays are the same thing. A research paper is a paper or essay that uses information from other sources, such as books and articles. A paper or essay might also be referred to as an assignment. An assignment is any work you need to do for a course. Instructors often use project to describe large assignments.

  4. Difference Between an Essay and Research Paper

    The difference between an essay and a research paper revolves around the academic approaches. Research work is the depth of study of a selected scientific topic, which should bring scientific novelty by drawing conclusions based on existing research and experiments conducted.

  5. Difference Between Research Paper and Essay

    The biggest difference between a research paper and an essay is that a research paper must have a strict methodology and set of study objectives. A research paper should outline a problem and the approaches that can be used to solve it effectively. Meanwhile, an essay can present a personal opinion without any references.

  6. What's The Difference Between An Article, A Paper, And An Essay

    Paper: Essay : Length : It can be as short as a paragraph and as long as an essay. The length of a paper is between 8 to 15 pages. The word count of an essay falls between 1500 to 2000 words. Tone : The tone of the article depends on the niche you're writing in. It can either be formal or informal. The tone of the paper is scholarly.

  7. Essay vs Research Paper: What are the Differences?

    Differences in Outline and Length. An essay has three parts: an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion. The body section has at least 3 paragraphs, but there can be more depending on the subject, research, and the number of ideas you'd like to present. A research paper has more sections.

  8. What Is an Essay? Structure, Parts, and Types

    The main difference between argumentative and expository essays lies in their objectives. While an argumentative essay seeks to persuade the reader to adopt a particular viewpoint by taking a clear stance on a topic, while an expository essay aims to present a comprehensive and unbiased analysis of a subject without taking any specific position.

  9. The Difference Between a Research Paper and an Essay

    A Research Paper has a more detailed outline compared to an essay. An Essay is usually shorter than a Research Paper (500 - 800 words), whereas a Research Paper can reach up to 5000 or more depending on its depth. When attempting to distinguish between a research paper and an essay, it is useful to consider their content and purpose. While ...

  10. PDF What is the Difference Between a Research Paper and an Essay?

    Different flavors of Essays include but are not limited to: academic, narrative, and philosophical. The academic essay is common at the collegiate level. This type of essay commonly includes a literature review. The literature review is an evaluation of information that is read. It should describe, summarize, evaluate and clarify the chosen piece.

  11. RESEARCH PAPERS Flashcards

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like The major difference between a research paper and an essay is _____., A list of potential sources of information for a paper is a(n) _____., An index to hundreds of popular magazines found in the library is the _____. and more.

  12. What's the difference between an essay and a paragraph?

    An essay is a formal writing sample of a given topic composed of multiple paragraphs. The largest difference between the two types of writing is that the essay usually involves more preparation work.

  13. What Is The Difference Between Research Paper and Essay

    The main difference between a research paper and an essay is that research papers are often lengthier than essays, which are typically four to five paragraphs long. A research paper is a longer piece of writing than one page.

  14. Essay VS Research Paper: 6 Key Differences

    Essays can expose a writer's opinion if wanted. In research papers, Writers should abstain from personal opinions and stay in line with facts only. 3. Purpose: The essay's main point is to ...

  15. Difference Between Article and Essay (with Comparison Chart)

    Knowing the difference between article and essay will help you to understand the two forms of literature accurately. An article is meant to inform the reader about something. On the flip side, an essay offers an analysis of a particular topic, while reflecting a detailed account of a person's view on it.

  16. What's The Difference Between An Article A Paper And An Essay

    Essays are typically 1-3 pages long. Articles vary in length but run longer than essays. Papers typically range from 10 to 15 pages or more. It's important to note that essay writer services have very different writing styles. Some writers write with a conversational tone, while others use a formal style for essays and articles.

  17. Essay Vs. Research Paper: Know the Differences

    More differences and similarities between essays and research papers . Final Words. An essay and research paper are common types of academic writing assigned to high school, college, and university students. Essays are the shortest pieces of writing which show your understanding of a given topic during a research paper. The above difference ...

  18. Essay Vs Research Paper

    Here's a comparison table that highlights the differences between essays and research papers: Essay. Research Paper. Purpose. To present the author's personal opinion or interpretation on a particular topic. To conduct research on a particular topic, analyze the findings, and present the results. Length. Shorter in length, typically a few ...

  19. Dissertation vs Essay

    There are many factors to consider when determining the length of a project. Essays are generally shorter than dissertations. The average essay length is 2,000-2,500 words, while the average dissertation is 10,000-15,000. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. Some research papers are shorter than 2,000 words, and some dissertations ...

  20. Differences Between an Essay and a Research Paper

    Another important difference between essays and research papers is the use of comparison methods and the way how information is being presented. While an essay will revolve around a certain opinion and focus on structure and writing skills, a good research paper compares and analyzes different opinions.

  21. Is there a difference between an APA essay format and APA research paper?

    Answer. An APA paper (essay, research paper, or something else) all follow the same rules for formatting. You can read about the formatting rules on the APA Help guide (especially the Formatting Guide ). As for the difference between an Essay and a Research Paper, it depends on what your instructor assigned.

  22. Essay vs. Thesis

    An average essay is anywhere from one to five pages long. Five to seven paragraphs, including the introduction and conclusion paragraphs, are sufficient for an essay, although some are longer. The average thesis for an undergraduate writer is 40 to 60 pages long and an average graduate or doctoral thesis is between 60 to 100 pages.

  23. What is the Difference Between Essays and Reports?

    Difference Between Essays and Reports in a Table. Reports. Essays. Reports are written with a specific purpose and audience in mind. Essays are written to demonstrate that the author fully understands the research question and can answer it with research. All reports start with a purpose but also include details of events/results of research.

  24. The Key Differences between Shiites and Sunnis

    Essay Example: The split between Shiites and Sunnis in Islam is a big deal starting just after Prophet Muhammad died in 632 AD. It all boils down to who should lead the Muslim community. Sunnis the majority think the leader should be elected so they picked Abu Bakr Muhammad's close buddy as

  25. 'It's not a political essay, it's a medical one': Dr. Sanjay Gupta

    Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks about troubling behaviors demonstrated by President Joe Biden during the recent CNN debate. These include slow responses, trouble finding words ...

  26. The Impact of Gender Roles on Society and Culture

    1. Introduction The term gender role refers to society's concept of how men and women are expected to act and behave. In other words, society as a whole considers how men and women should act and what is expected of them. These roles are a product of the physiological and psychological conditioning of males and females, families, friends, teachers, and the media. When people speak of the ...

  27. What is Project 2025? What to know about the conservative blueprint for

    Here is what to know about Project 2025: What is Project 2025? Project 2025 is a proposed presidential transition project that is composed of four pillars: a policy guide for the next presidential ...

  28. Tips on Detecting & Improving AI-generated Text

    The author, a literature professor, generated 50+ essays with AI and compared them to characteristics she had come to expect from text written by humans. Her findings are in bold below, supplemented by my own experience. AI-generated essays are often confidently wrong. Oh yes, I've found the confidence thing to be absolutely true.

  29. Researchers study differences in attitudes toward Covid-19 vaccines

    Previous studies in sub-Saharan Africa that focused on differences between men and women with intention and willingness to vaccinate were inconclusive, Ndejjo says. "You would hardly find actual studies on uptake of the vaccines," he adds. For the new paper, the researchers aimed to dig into uptake.

  30. [2407.05645] OneDiff: A Generalist Model for Image Difference

    In computer vision, Image Difference Captioning (IDC) is crucial for accurately describing variations between closely related images. Traditional IDC methods often rely on specialist models, which restrict their applicability across varied contexts. This paper introduces the OneDiff model, a novel generalist approach that utilizes a robust vision-language model architecture, integrating a ...