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Term Paper vs Research Paper

What is the Difference Between a Research Paper and a Term Paper?

Although you may think that a term paper and a research paper are the same, these are two different types of academic papers. The truth is that they have a few similar features. However, there are differences to be considered in order to bring out the differences between these two types of papers. This article will help you answer the term paper vs research paper question.

The content of a College Term Paper vs Research Paper

One of the general differences to consider is the content of the two papers. When you are writing a term paper you do so to illustrate or indicate the knowledge you have gained from a given subject.

A term paper normally comes at the end of a term or semester and it accounts for a major percentage of the terms grade. A term paper is quite intensive and extensive as it takes a word count of between 3000 and 5000.

This paper gives you roam to conduct a critical examination of the learned topics as well as present your own opinions. Therefore, this paper has a large section of arguments and persuasions. However, these arguments and/or persuasions should always be supported by facts that have been obtained from a wide variety of credible sources such as textbooks and magazines. If you are struggling with term papers and essays, you can buy college essay papers from to improve your grades.


The topic of a term paper is either be chosen by the student or it is assigned by the instructor.

Your professor is also going to give you the general structure of the term paper as per the university requirement. If the instructor chooses a topic for you, he or she highlights all the requirements of the paper. Your professor may also provide a grading rubric.

Other times the instructor might not provide much information concerning the paper. For example, in the school of law students might be directed to identify and choose a case in the relevant case study and conduct a critical analysis on it. No matter what kind of instructions that is given for a term paper, any persuasion or argument should reflect your understanding of the term work.

Features of a Research Paper

A research paper is an academic paper which is done to answer a particular theoretical question. It is the theoretical question assigned that prompts you to conduct a research.  This paper requires a student to interpret the research question and convert it into a significant research work.

Thesis Statement

Therefore, a research paper should have a central statement about which you should write with the aim of supporting it.  The central statement of the research paper can be in form of a claim that should be defended or a question that has to be discussed.  A research paper can have a word count of up to 5000 words. In many cases though, your instructor indicates the required word count and you should go by the given word count. A research paper is mostly assigned by the subject instructor. While a term paper is assigned at a specific time, a research paper is assigned at any time of the semester.

Source of Information

Another difference between a research paper and a term paper is the sources of information. The sources of information for a research paper are easier to identify. This is not the case for the sources of information for a term paper. For a term paper, there are ways of collecting data or information depending on the subject. For technical subjects, you may conduct interviews and administer questionnaires in order to obtain reliable data. On the other hand, you can obtain information for a term paper from readily available sources. These include such as internet and library.

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