There are many long-form writing assignments you will be required to do when you are in school. In certain career fields, writing research papers will be a part of your job. If you are new to a research paper assignment or task, you may be wondering what a research paper is.

To understand what it is, you may need to understand what researching is. Researching involves locating and analyzing information about a particular topic or thesis. If you want to share the information you found during your research, you may then write a research paper.

A research paper is not meant to be informative. You are supposed to analyze information from various sources and put it into perspective. There are two main types of research papers, namely argumentative and analytical research papers.

An argumentative research essay is written to persuade the reader to the writer’s point of view. An analytical research paper, on the other hand, is written to give a critical interpretation of information from various sources without taking a stand.

Purpose of a Research Paper

To Persuade

If you are writing an argumentative research paper, your goal may be to persuade your readers to come to a similar conclusion as yours. You will come up with a thesis or a claim. You will then back up this claim with evidence from several sources and tailor your argument to align with the thesis.

Your thesis has to be about a controversial or debatable topic for you to write a successful argumentative research essay. It is futile to write an argumentative research essay about why the sun rises from the East as that is a fact.

Learn More About a Topic

This is one of the main aims of an analytical research essay. It is also a reason why a teacher can give you a research paper as an assignment. Suppose you are learning about a new topic in class. Your teacher may decide to assign you a research essay on that topic. You will go through the existing sources on this topic, evaluate them, and compose a paper that elaborates on your perspective from the sources available. If the task seems overwhelming, you can choose to do it yourself or use a WritePaper for me writer to do it for you.

Help in Debates

You may write a research paper, particularly an argumentative research paper, if you are organizing your thoughts for a debate. Let’s say you have been given the topic ‘Children should not be allowed to play violent video games.’ You may choose to follow the next steps:

  1. Gather any relevant sources on the topic at hand. You will look for articles, journals, and even other research papers that highlight the effects of video games on children.
  2. Evaluate your sources. Not all sources are legitimate and credible. You may need to do your research to decide which sources you will use to inform your arguments.
  3. Critically think and evaluate all the sources you are left with after eliminating the illegitimate sources in step two.
  4. Organize your ideas in the format you feel best suits you. There are many types of ordering to pick from when organizing your ideas, including chronological and climactic.
  5. Compose your research paper. You will attempt to write it the same way you will argue your points during the debate.

When researched like this, there is a chance that you will find both arguments for and against the topic. You will therefore be better placed to prepare counterarguments for your opponents.

Teach Logical and Critical Thinking

We live in a world where fake news is a normal part of our everyday lives. Besides internet fees (which may also be free in some cases), it is virtually free to post things on the internet. This has contributed to a phenomenon called information overload as there is too much information out there.

A teacher may assign a research paper assignment to his/her students to teach them to think critically before accepting anything they come across on the internet. A research paper will teach them how to evaluate sources, look for multiple sources, and use logic and critical thinking to come to correct conclusions.

Aid in Decision Making

When you are stuck between two options, it may seem excessive to write a research paper to solve your dilemma. However, the process of preparing to write one may be useful to you in making that decision. The research paper will be useful to someone else who may face the same dilemma in the future.

The process of analyzing several sources, evaluating their decision, and forming your own perspective about a topic will help you make more informed decisions than if you had just done surface level searches for the solution.

Prove a Point

If you are having an argument with someone over a particular topic, a research paper is a great way to prove your point. Just like when you are persuading and debating, you will organize your thoughts in a way that makes sense then present the paper to your opponent.

You need to remember that while a research paper is many things, it is not a summary of a particular topic. You need to think critically about the topic at hand and interpret all the information you gathered from various sources. As you have seen, a research paper will not only be useful to you in the school setup. You will be able to use the skills learned while researching and writing research papers in many areas, including your life and your job.