What Are the Most Popular Types of Research Papers?

There are different academic writing styles and forms, much of which you will encounter in college. A research paper is a top-level academic writing that involves comprehensive and deep research; it is a complex form of academic writing. Knowing what type of research paper your instructor requires is essential because they don’t all follow the same preparation pattern. We will discuss “what is a research paper” and the main popular and different types of research papers in this article.

Understanding an academic paper: what is a research paper?

A research paper is a scientific writing of experiments to improve and obtain new knowledge. It involves establishing laws that manifest in nature and society, testing scientific hypotheses, and confirming projects through science. An entire research paper is based on a writer’s thoughts and prior knowledge of a topic and the analysis of the acquired data. Not many students like these types of papers because it requires in-depth studying, reporting, and data analysis.

However, appreciated or not, a research paper is important because it benefits both the students and the world. On the one hand, it equips students with proper research and analytical skills, providing valuable knowledge for societal developments.

What are the types of research papers?

While there are many types of research papers, only a few are characterized as the “main” types. Each of these major types of studies requires an unconventional approach to writing them. Here is an overview of the types of research papers to help you differentiate between them.

Argumentative research paper

An argumentative research paper is also a persuasive paper; it presents two sides of a controversial matter. The goals of research in this type of academic writing are to make readers see things from your perspective. In this paper, you will include the arguments of the different researchers you’re studying, but you’ll favor one side over the other. Your arguments will try to persuade the reader of your side, supported with statistical data and facts, and not too emotional.

Analytical research paper

Analytical research papers aren’t as complicated as they sound; it is a form of writing that involves questions. First, you pose a question and collect relevant data from other authors with different viewpoints, focusing on their findings and conclusions. Then, you will make a personal conclusion about the topic, remaining neutral and refraining from approving or disapproving either side. There are many types of research questions available that you can draw inspiration from to come up with yours.

Interpretive research paper

Interpretive research papers require that you use the knowledge gained from a case study to do my paper. It involves writing your paper using an established theoretical framework and backing your statement and conclusion with sufficient data. Students in social science and literature are often tasked with writing these types of papers.

Definition research paper

This research paper type is a highly informative text type, requiring only bare objective arguments and facts. A definition research paper comprises unanalyzed facts from various sources. This type of research paper describes objective arguments and facts without including personal opinions and perspectives.

Cause and effect research paper

These types of research papers are the first high school, and college students have to write. It involves tracing expected results from a specific action and answering the “Why” and “What” questions. These papers are used to track probable results from an action in a clear and understandable logical progression. Business and education fields often use this method; it outlines predicted and expected results depending on certain conditions.

Compare and contrast research paper

This research paper analyzes the differences between two criteria, including subjects, authors, leadership styles, and viewpoints. It is a common assignment for literature, social science, and several other study fields. However, it requires sufficient information to describe both sides in the paper, comparing and contrasting both but supporting one.

Reports research paper

Reports research paper outlines the case of a study; it includes the breakdown summary, among other things. In addition, this research paper type includes identifying a central issue and recommendations; it is basically a detailed and logical summary of a case study situation.


There are several other types of research papers; these seven are considered the main types. With this, you can differentiate between the types of essays and cope well with your writing assignments. Understanding a research paper type is paramount because they follow different writing structures and formats. Once you know what type of research paper you’re writing, you will learn how to direct your reading and writing.

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