DETROIT – Being in college is not just enthralling but can be equally tiring too. Students are required to put up with a lot, from recurring exam stress to daily assignments in the form of essays, articles, research papers, review articles, project reports, etc.

When it comes to writing these papers, many students get confused about what different types of papers require and how they differ from one another. This is why today we will look into two types of academic papers – an essay and a research paper, and try to determine their similarities and differences.

Both an essay and a research paper are usually written using a similar structure. While essays promote outside-the-box thinking and creativity, a research paper, on the other hand, puts your information search and analysis ability to the test. Despite this prominent difference, there are several similarities between essays and research papers. As in school or university you will likely be required to write both of them, let us take a look at what makes an essay similar to a research paper.


Whether it is an essay or a research paper, they both start with an introduction, contain body paragraphs, and end with a conclusion. Additionally, they both need a thesis statement. A thesis statement gives readers an idea of what to expect from your text even before going too deep into it. A thesis statement is generally put at the beginning of the paper to ensure that readers know what the text is about.

Students are also supposed to write dissertations during their academic career, however, some may find this writing assignment extra difficult, and they will be right. Therefore, it may be challenging to write one for some students. Numerous websites can be a lifesaver in this regard, offering online dissertation help to students. With an expert by your side, writing a dissertation has never been easier.


Both essays and research papers require some research, however, the amount of needed research varies drastically. A research paper requires you to perform in-depth research as opposed to writing an essay. Although doing research can be tedious, it can also have several benefits for you as a student, and some of them are as follows:

  • Gives you an opportunity to expand your knowledge.
  • Builds credibility and helps you reach more people.
  • Allows you to learn about different perspectives on the same topic.
  • Fosters critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Sources’ credibility

Citing sources is important in essays and research papers alike. If you are writing an essay, you will be required to credit the source of the idea or what shaped your narrative. On the other hand, research papers require one to cite several sources to keep the information credible and devoid of any plagiarism. It is always recommended that you choose only credible sources to cite – be it in an essay or a research paper. To help you out, you can try citation and writing tools to get the job done more quickly and efficiently.


Regardless of the type of paper you are working for, you need some creativity to pull the information you gathered into an interesting and cohesive piece of writing. Because of this, every student should work on their creative writing. To do that, you can start journaling or writing short stories. Reading will also help to boost your creativity.

Final Words

Student life can be overwhelming as students have to deal with never-ending written assignments and tests. While you can manage to prepare for the tests easily enough, the constant struggle with written assignments is as real as it gets. Essays and research papers can be challenging as well as confusing to write for the numerous similarities they share. Therefore, it is important to know these similarities before going ahead with writing either of them. In this article, we have mentioned some key similarities for students to keep in mind if they are looking to write an essay or a research paper.

Author: Joanne Elliot

Joanne Elliot is a content writer who has copious experience in the industry. Her expertise involves writing articles, blog posts, essays, dissertations, and social media blog posts. She also loves travelling and baking in her free time.