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The Research Essay or Term Paper

About the Research Essay

The research or term paper enables you to write a report or express an opinion on a topic by gathering and evaluating various materials. The research essay can be an intellectually satisfying experience. It will also give you practice using the resources of the library. You should expect to spend much more time on a research paper than on other types of essays. Unless it is a report, the research essay should not just be rehashing of other people's ideas on a topic. It should express your own ideas. While reading other author's ideas, you should evaluate them and formulate your own opinions. Only about 15% to 20% of your essay will be borrowed from other sources.

A few types of research papers:

  1. The report: In a report you use all available resources to dig up as much information as possible on a subject and present it in an objective and clear manner.
  2. Solving a problem: You must first identify and describe the problem, and then suggest and evaluate certain solutions, finally coming up with the solution which you consider to be the most suitable.
  3. The argumentative research essay: In this essay you take a stand on a controversial issue and argue in favor of one side of that issue. Look for something new to say on the subject. You must acknowledge and deal with the opposing points-of-view.