Compare and Contrast

Essay Vs Research Paper

Essay Vs Research Paper

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
PurposeTo 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
LengthShorter in length, typically a few pagesLonger in length, typically several pages or more
ResearchMinimal research required, if anyExtensive research required
SourcesMay or may not require sources, depending on the assignmentRequires sources to support arguments and analysis
FormatFlexible in terms of structure and formatFollows a specific format and structure, such as an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and conclusion
StyleCan be creative, persuasive, descriptive, or informativeFollows a formal academic writing style and tone
ExampleWriting 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

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer