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Writing a Research Paper

Types of research papers.

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Although research paper assignments may vary widely, there are essentially two basic types of research papers. These are argumentative and analytical .


In an argumentative research paper, a student both states the topic they will be exploring and immediately establishes the position they will argue regarding that topic in a thesis statement . This type of paper hopes to persuade its reader to adopt the view presented.

 Example : a paper that argues the merits of early exposure to reading for children would be an argumentative essay.

An analytical research paper states the topic that the writer will be exploring, usually in the form of a question, initially taking a neutral stance. The body of the paper will present multifaceted information and, ultimately, the writer will state their conclusion, based on the information that has unfolded throughout the course of the essay. This type of paper hopes to offer a well-supported critical analysis without necessarily persuading the reader to any particular way of thinking.

Example : a paper that explores the use of metaphor in one of Shakespeare's sonnets would be an example of an analytical essay.

*Please note that this LibGuide will primarily be concerning itself with argumentative or rhetorical research papers.

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The Differences between an Analytical and an Argumentative Paper

When you are considering how to write a research paper, one of the things to ask yourself is what you are trying to achieve with it, which will govern whether you use the analytical or the argumentative style.

The purpose of the analytical approach is to define, explain, and interpret information such as an event, book, poem, play, work of art, or even a person. You will use this approach to answer a particular question objectively. It requires that you approach the subject with no pre-conceived conclusions.

When writing a paper using the argumentative approach, also sometimes known as the persuasive approach, you make a statement proposing only one side of an argument. It is an attempt to convince your reader of the validity of your opinion as opposed to others, through evaluation and persuasion.

The Analytical Paper

If you are taking the analytical approach to write a research paper, you will need to assemble data from reliable sources, which you cite by paraphrasing. You must have a genuine knowledge of the subject if you select the analytical approach as it is meant to make use of your research to provide an objective picture of the data that is available on the subject. This enables you to present a conclusion based on all available information, not just your opinion. Once you have achieved familiarity with the topic, you will be able to restructure and relocate the concepts that underlie the basic topic in your paper. When writing your analytical paper, remember to use the present tense, avoid the first person, as well as the use of contractions.

The Argumentative Paper

When constructing an argumentative paper, you aim to create a thesis that presents your opinion of why the reader should only consider one particular side of an argument. To do this, you must investigate your topic thoroughly and evaluate the evidence you discover in your research to be able to establish a position on the topic. You must then support your position by providing credible and trustworthy sources from previously published materials. In persuading your readers to your point of view, you may need to produce empirical research results by collecting data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments.

Your resulting paper will demonstrate your ability to counter any arguments to the contrary to your stated chosen position using reliable data and sound reasoning. Be sure to use good transitional words and phrases when moving between arguments to demonstrate your logical progression of thought.

Tips on Formatting

As mentioned earlier, you will need to cite references to demonstrate a strong analysis or argument for your paper. When you refer to works by other authors, it is essential that you cite them accurately so your reader can validate the references. The citation style will vary based upon the writing format given to you by your professor, whether APA , MLA , or another.

To ensure that you do not lose points for formatting errors, you can use formatting software for accuracy. By using the proper software, you can save time during the editing process, and this will allow you to focus your attention on what matters most, the content.

For more information about APA or MLA formats, contact us today.

David Plaut

David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. 

Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).

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a research paper might be analytical or argumentative

Research Papers: Argument or Analysis?

Understanding assignments part ii.


Last week on our blog we talked about different types of assignments, including literary analysis, summary, and response or reflection essays. This week we’ll talk about two different types of research papers: analytical research papers and argumentative research papers.

A research paper is a type of essay that requires the writer to investigate and integrate sources related to his or her subject. It is not a summary, nor an exposition, nor an opinion piece, but might take on elements of all of those genres. Research papers offer an informed study of a topic that engage outside source material, including primary and secondary sources, to offer other perspectives on an issue.

Argumentative Research Paper

The goal of an argument paper is to persuade the audience of the merits of a debatable topic. If the topic is not debatable, meaning there are two sides to the topic, it is not considered argumentative.  The writer of an argument paper must make a claim (the thesis statement) and back it up with source material. Outside research is included to support and prove your point, or claim (thesis). The writer of a successful argument paper will spend a good amount of time pouring over research that best supports his or her argument. The argument paper will also include opposition. If there is no opposition, there is no argument.

The topic for an argument paper must be debatable and is often controversial. Read the following examples of arguments, and decide if they are debatable:

  • Body piercing is popular among the youth of today.
  • There are a lot of benefits to using computers in grade school.
  • There are some negative and positive aspects to lowering the drinking age.

If you guessed they are not debatable, you are right. How can you reword each one to make it an argumentative thesis statement?

Analytical Research Paper

An analytical research paper differs from the argument paper in that it often begins with a research question which the writer will explore and evaluate. An analysis leads us to determine what something “means”; what is the “how” or “why” behind a topic? A thesis statement in an analytical paper will most often answer a “how” or “why” question.

Some examples of analytical thesis statement might be

  • Childhood obesity may result from environmental factors, socio-economic factors, and genetics.
  • An analysis of the sandhill crane reveals conflicting research on their once-believed monogamous mating habits.

As you can see, the thesis statements above do not present the topic in the form of an argument, but in the form of a statement that clearly communicates or forecasts the essays’ contents. The analysis will often analyze different points of view on an issue or topic, but may not necessarily support either side of the issue. The topic may very well be debatable, but the writer’s purpose is not necessarily to persuade the reader of a position, as in the argument paper.

Other Types of Analysis Papers

Literature instructors will often require students to write a literary analysis paper on an assigned reading (see last week’s blog post). A literary analysis paper attempts to present an idea about a text through careful examination of the text’s components, incorporating the writer’s insights. A literary analysis research  paper will incorporate outside research or sources other than the primary text. The literary analysis will significantly expand a reader’s understanding of a text, often by making an assertion about the text.  The writer might introduce a theory or interpretation (the thesis statement) about the text, then fully “analyze” this interpretation through close reading, textual support, and secondary source material.

Academic jargon can often be difficult for the new students to understand. Always refer to your assignment objectives and ask your instructor to clarify any ambiguous or confusing lingo.

For more information on research papers, visit the following links:

Purdue Owl Research Thesis Statement Examples Literary Analysis Thesis Statement Examples

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7 thoughts on “ Research Papers: Argument or Analysis? ”

Hi, I am currently working on an argument essay, in my english comp1 class. I have no experience doing research papers and I feel overwhelmed with my dead line approaching. My question to you is, how do I know that the information I am using is reliable? I prefer to use our library database but this past weekend it was not working properly and now I feel behind, what should I do to get back on track?

Usually, if you are using information from library databases, the sources are reliable. That does not necessarily mean they are “peer reviewed,” which meets very stringent standards. One way to meausre if sources are reliable is to see if they have used other sources in their article or essay. Does the writer cite research? Of course, this all depends on your topic; you’ll find lots of quality research and sources for some arguments, but you may not find any “peer reviewed” research on the pros or cons of a college football playoff system. In the event you your libary databases are down for an extended period of time, Google search engine has a “Google Scholar” link that houses academic work and peer reviewed research. It’s more focused on research and more selective than a regular Google search. Hope this helps!

Thank you, it was very helpfull. I had no idea about the scholar search engine, I will be using it.

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Genre and the Research Paper

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This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.

Research: What it is.

A research paper is the culmination and final product of an involved process of research, critical thinking, source evaluation, organization, and composition. It is, perhaps, helpful to think of the research paper as a living thing, which grows and changes as the student explores, interprets, and evaluates sources related to a specific topic. Primary and secondary sources are the heart of a research paper, and provide its nourishment; without the support of and interaction with these sources, the research paper would morph into a different genre of writing (e.g., an encyclopedic article). The research paper serves not only to further the field in which it is written, but also to provide the student with an exceptional opportunity to increase her knowledge in that field. It is also possible to identify a research paper by what it is not.

Research: What it is not.

A research paper is not simply an informed summary of a topic by means of primary and secondary sources. It is neither a book report nor an opinion piece nor an expository essay consisting solely of one's interpretation of a text nor an overview of a particular topic. Instead, it is a genre that requires one to spend time investigating and evaluating sources with the intent to offer interpretations of the texts, and not unconscious regurgitations of those sources. The goal of a research paper is not to inform the reader what others have to say about a topic, but to draw on what others have to say about a topic and engage the sources in order to thoughtfully offer a unique perspective on the issue at hand. This is accomplished through two major types of research papers.

Two major types of research papers.

Argumentative research paper:

The argumentative research paper consists of an introduction in which the writer clearly introduces the topic and informs his audience exactly which stance he intends to take; this stance is often identified as the thesis statement . An important goal of the argumentative research paper is persuasion, which means the topic chosen should be debatable or controversial. For example, it would be difficult for a student to successfully argue in favor of the following stance.

Perhaps 25 years ago this topic would have been debatable; however, today, it is assumed that smoking cigarettes is, indeed, harmful to one's health. A better thesis would be the following.

In this sentence, the writer is not challenging the current accepted stance that both firsthand and secondhand cigarette smoke is dangerous; rather, she is positing that the social acceptance of the latter over the former is indicative of a cultural double-standard of sorts. The student would support this thesis throughout her paper by means of both primary and secondary sources, with the intent to persuade her audience that her particular interpretation of the situation is viable.

Analytical research paper:

The analytical research paper often begins with the student asking a question (a.k.a. a research question) on which he has taken no stance. Such a paper is often an exercise in exploration and evaluation. For example, perhaps one is interested in the Old English poem Beowulf . He has read the poem intently and desires to offer a fresh reading of the poem to the academic community. His question may be as follows.

His research may lead him to the following conclusion.

Though his topic may be debatable and controversial, it is not the student's intent to persuade the audience that his ideas are right while those of others are wrong. Instead, his goal is to offer a critical interpretation of primary and secondary sources throughout the paper--sources that should, ultimately, buttress his particular analysis of the topic. The following is an example of what his thesis statement may look like once he has completed his research.

This statement does not negate the traditional readings of Beowulf ; instead, it offers a fresh and detailed reading of the poem that will be supported by the student's research.

It is typically not until the student has begun the writing process that his thesis statement begins to take solid form. In fact, the thesis statement in an analytical paper is often more fluid than the thesis in an argumentative paper. Such is one of the benefits of approaching the topic without a predetermined stance.

a research paper might be analytical or argumentative


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What Are Different Types of Research Papers?

The choice of your research paper topics , your research methodologies and the manner by which you analyze your data dictates the type of research paper that you will use. Identifying what type of research paper to use is critical as it will determine how you will write your paper. This will also help you because you will get acquainted with the objectives of your paper, and hence provide a general direction for you as a writer and researcher. To help you identify the different kinds of research papers , came up with a list below which you may use as a reference. is a company who employs experts and professionals in custom paper writing. To identify what are different types of research papers , we have enlisted the basics here below.

Research Paper Types Navigation

  • Argumentative Research Paper
  • Persuasive Research Paper
  • Informative Research Paper
  • Analytical Research Papers
  • Definition Research Paper
  • Compare and Contrast Research Rapers
  • Cause and Effect Research Papers
  • Interpretive Research Papers
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Research Paper Page (Click the Image to Enlarge)

Argumentative research paper

Argumentative research paper presents two sides on research paper topics and the writer assumes a position and presents facts and reasoning to defend his side. As the name suggests you should provide readers with arguments supporting statements and opinions. It is vitally important to choose a good topic for an argumentative research paper . The author should also show his attitude towards presented arguments and speak in favor or against them. The purpose of an argumentative research paper is to convince readers (unlike, for example, analytical paper where the issue is being just explored). The writer uses facts and authoritative opinions to support own thought and ideas. So, having own position is a must for any author writing an argumentative essay .

Persuasive research paper

Persuasive research paper allows the writer to have an opportunity to convince or influence his targeted readers. The term persuasive is commonly used for all essay types as any essay must be persuasive. Persuasive research paper must leave no chances for readers to ask further questions. A persuasive research paper answers all of them. In order to succeed in this type of writing it is imperative to choose a good topic. Surf the Internet to find one, or ask your professor for advice. Secondly, you have to create a well organized structure in order to express your thoughts in a logical order. Do not forget about compliance with requirements to research papers in colleges and universities.

Informative research paper

Analytical research papers.

Analytical research paper , essentially a sub-type of an informative research paper , is a type of paper that presents information on the topic. However, instead of merely presenting the information, the writer must be able to conduct factual analysis of the data he or she presents. That is, evaluate his research materials in a manner that is unbiased. Do not confuse analysis with description. Presentation of bold facts has nothing to do with analysis. Development of own analytical skills is a key to success in writing of an analytical research paper . First and foremost, you have to choose the right topic. Trust your experience and sometimes intuition. You should choose topics in which you have deep knowledge, otherwise you will be unable to perform analysis of the selected issues. Analytical research papers are, perhaps, the most difficult to write. So, make proper preparations before sitting down to work.

Definition research paper

Definition research paper is a paper that provides definition or basic information on the topic. Information that is presented in this type of academic paper must be devoid of bias and emotion which proves to the most difficult task. Stating bold facts is the best way to present information. This research paper type can be compared with informative researches , as the purpose of the paper is to provide reader with all possible information on selected topic or issue. In a definition research paper the author is not recommended to present his stance on chosen issues. You have to be impartial. Creativity and personal touch are highly valued in other types of academic writing, such as personal essays, argumentative researches etc.

Compare and contrast research papers

These essay types differ from others both in contents and form. It is really important to choose two (or even maybe more) issues and contrast them. The most common mistake here is that often students just describe the selected topics without any comparison. Why is it important to compare facts and statements? It is because readers can better understand certain issues when they are contrasted. Very often compare and contrast researches concerns historic events and figures, literature characters etc. The right choice of topic is already half of success in writing of compare and contrast research papers .

Cause and effect research papers

These are very interesting types of essays. Cause and effect research papers focus on a certain issue and investigate reasons for its emergence as well as its effects on some other issues, events, people etc. For example, it is very interesting to investigate a historic event in the context of its influence on future events in the country. It is also possible to study what caused certain events in the history. Of course, cause and effect research papers may be related to other issues of science, society etc.

Although reports are considered the simplest form of academic writing by some students, they are not so easy to deal with. Reports are essays or papers that describe writer’s experience related to work, studies etc. For example, you may be asked to write a report on attended seminar or conference. Practical classes are usually followed by assignments to write expensive reports . This form of academic writing is close to journalistic style. You can to combine facts, theory and your own thoughts in one paper.

Interpretive research papers

Interpretive research paper hones the critical and analytical thinking skills of the writer. As the name suggests, a writer must interpret his topic of choice. Usually, this type is used for topics that are related to humanities, such as interpretation on the characters of a literary piece. For example, you may be asked to present your interpretation of a novel or movie character. At that, you have to describe character’s personal qualities and analyze them in the context of the book’s plot, epoch, system of values etc. Readers are interested in your own interpretation of facts, characters and events. So, do not just copy and paste essays and research papers which you will find online.

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Argument in Research Papers

An argumentative research paper needs to support your stand on an issue. An argumentative research paper is analytical, but it uses information as evidence to support its point, much as a lawyer uses evidence to make their case.

For example, you might try to find research to back up the stand that ancient Egyptian women were the first feminists. Notice that this is a very different focus than an analytical focus on the role of the mother in ancient Egyptian society--argument uses evidence to take a stand on an issue whereas analysis uses evidence to support a perspective on a topic.

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Types of research papers

a research paper might be analytical or argumentative

There are multiple different types of research papers. It is important to know which type of research paper is required for your assignment, as each type of research paper requires different preparation. Below is a list of the most common types of research papers.

➡️ Read more:  What is a research paper?

  • Analytical research paper

In an analytical research paper you:

  • pose a question
  • collect relevant data from other researchers
  • analyze their different viewpoints

You focus on the findings and conclusions of other researchers and then make a personal conclusion about the topic. It is important to stay neutral and not show your own negative or positive position on the matter.

  • Argumentative or persuasive paper

The argumentative paper presents two sides of a controversial issue in one paper. It is aimed at getting the reader on the side of your point of view.

You should include and cite findings and arguments of different researchers on both sides of the issue, but then favor one side over the other and try to persuade the reader of your side. Your arguments should not be too emotional though, they still need to be supported with logical facts and statistical data.

Tip: Avoid expressing too much emotion in a persuasive paper.

  • Definition paper

The definition paper solely describes facts or objective arguments without using any personal emotion or opinion of the author. Its only purpose is to provide information. You should include facts from a variety of sources, but leave those facts unanalyzed.

  • Compare and contrast paper

Compare and contrast papers are used to analyze the difference between two:

Make sure to sufficiently describe both sides in the paper, and then move on to comparing and contrasting both thesis and supporting one.

  • Cause and effect paper

Cause and effect papers are usually the first types of research papers that high school and college students write. They trace probable or expected results from a specific action and answer the main questions "Why?" and "What?", which reflect effects and causes.

In business and education fields, cause and effect papers will help trace a range of results that could arise from a particular action or situation.

  • Interpretative paper

An interpretative paper requires you to use knowledge that you have gained from a particular case study, for example a legal situation in law studies. You need to write the paper based on an established theoretical framework and use valid supporting data to back up your statement and conclusion.

  • Experimental research paper

This type of research paper basically describes a particular experiment in detail. It is common in fields like:

Experiments are aimed to explain a certain outcome or phenomenon with certain actions. You need to describe your experiment with supporting data and then analyze it sufficiently.

  • Survey research paper

This research paper demands the conduction of a survey that includes asking questions to respondents. The conductor of the survey then collects all the information from the survey and analyzes it to present it in the research paper.

➡️ Ready to start your research paper? Take a look at our guide on how to start a research paper .

  • Frequently Asked Questions about the different types of research papers

In an analytical research paper, you pose a question and then collect relevant data from other researchers to analyze their different viewpoints. You focus on the findings and conclusions of other researchers and then make a personal conclusion about the topic.

The definition paper solely describes facts or objective arguments without using any personal emotion or opinion of the author. Its only purpose is to provide information.

Cause and effect papers are usually the first types of research papers that high school and college students are confronted with. The answer questions like "Why?" and "What?", which reflect effects and causes. In business and education fields, cause and effect papers will help trace a range of results that could arise from a particular action or situation.

This type of research paper describes a particular experiment in detail. It is common in fields like biology, chemistry or physics. Experiments are aimed to explain a certain outcome or phenomenon with certain actions.

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a research paper might be analytical or argumentative

How to Write an Analytical Research Paper

A research paper is one of the most frequently assigned papers along with different types of essays. Research papers can be classified into types as well as essays. There are seven common types of research papers: analytical, argumentative, experimental, definition, problem-solution, cause and effect, and research reports.

how to write an analytical research paper

Each of these types has particular features and purposes. We have decided to provide you with an informative guide on how to write an analytical research paper. Therefore, we will give you exhaustive writing instructions, analyze general traits of this paper, and share a few helpful tips with you. Our well-educated writer has also created a great analytical research paper sample with comments. You can use it as an example for your own work.

What Is an Analytical Research Paper?

An analytical research paper is an academic piece of writing that is aimed at analyzing different points of view from multiple sources on a particular topic. In contrast to an argumentative research paper, you don’t have to persuade your readers that your personal point of view is correct and others are wrong. The main purpose of the analytical research paper is to present a few different opinions and to draw logical conclusions. Although your topic may be controversial and debatable, you don’t have to choose one side. You may evaluate the works of researchers on the chosen topic, but you should always remain objective.

Don’t confuse analytical and definition research papers. Definition papers don’t require deep analysis, as they simply gather and categorize data on a certain topic to inform readers. All information left unanalyzed may serve as an excellent framework for future analytical or argumentative papers.

As well as a problem-solution research paper, the analytical paper may include a few recommendations in the concluding section. However, the search for solutions is not the main goal of the analytical paper, and this function is optional.

analytical research

Analytical Research Paper: Special Features

We hope that you won’t confuse an analytical research paper with any other type of writing after our explanation. Now, let’s figure out what characteristics are necessary for a high-quality analytical research paper! You are welcome to use this list both to evaluate yours or other authors’ works.

1. Complex informative basis

Good sources are necessary for any research, especially for an analytical research paper. You have to gather the opinions on your topic from different perspectives. However, we don’t recommend you to use commercial websites and personal blogs as sources for your research paper. They are unreliable and frequently present unverified information.

2. Proper formatting style

As you know, there are different formatting styles: APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. Their guides specify the rules of citation, paper structure, the format of footnotes, and other formalities. You should always ask your instructor about proper formatting style as this factor may influence your grade.

3. An acute and interesting topic

The first characteristic works for all analytical research papers but doesn’t apply to historical ones. However, even research about ancient events should be interesting for your readers. No doubt, you are not creating your paper for the general public, so you are allowed to use terminology and complex words.

4. Logical structure

There is no universal template for an analytical research paper. Still, you should be logical and consistent: put an abstract at the beginning of your paper, an introduction before the research study, and conclusion at the end. Remember that readers should easily follow your thoughts without any difficulties. If your analytical research paper is rather long, compose a table of contents.

5. Critical interpretation of sources

You shouldn’t simply say that you agree or disagree with a particular author. Analyze his or her argumentation, and only after that will you have the opportunity to evaluate the conclusions objectively. Remain critical, realistic, and unbiased. Don’t allow external factors to influence your judgment.

6. No logical fallacies

Logical mistakes are common for those who begin their path in the world of science and research. Look at the topic from different angles in order to get a full picture. The more you know, the higher the chances that you will avoid fallacies. You may also find a list of logical mistakes on the internet and check your work.

7. A fresh perspective

Gathering others’ opinions is not your only goal. You should also present your own thoughts and offer a new point of view on the topic. Try to be original and creative, as nobody likes plagiarists. Even if your topic is not extremely unique, you can always find an aspect that hasn’t been covered by previous researchers yet.

8. A relevant thesis statement

Put your thesis statement in the introduction. Remember that it should reflect your research question and establish the structure of the whole paper. Surprisingly, we recommend you to compose your introduction along with the thesis statement second to last. This method will help you to create the most relevant introduction.

9. A formal writing style

No jargon, no colloquial language, no exclamation marks. You probably know all these “NOs.” Still, we will list a few things that you should avoid in your analytical research paper:

  • contractions
  • figures of speech and metaphors
  • ambiguous meanings
  • texting-style words
  • first-person narration
  • first and second person pronouns

10. Immaculate objectiveness

analytical research paper

Analytical Research Paper Outline: Proper Structure

The appropriate structure for an analytical research paper may vary. It depends on your topic and discipline. We highly recommend you to ask your instructor about the required sections, otherwise, you risk getting a low grade. However, the main sections remain the same. Let’s take a closer look at each part of the paper.

Title page. You may think that the only function of the title page is to identify the author and inform the reader about the topic of the paper. You are totally right. The title page is not a part of your analytical research paper which you should worry about. If you are able to compose a serious scientific paper, we are sure that you also can write your name, title of your work, date, and affiliation. When it comes to titling your work, don’t forget about keywords and conciseness.

Abstract. Every guide usually claims an abstract to be an optional section of your analytical research paper. However, it plays such an important role that it would be a huge mistake to ignore this section. An abstract is like a nice dress for a girl: it attracts and intrigues. You should present the whole work in 150-200 words, so readers will be able to decide if they need to spend some time to read your paper. No doubt, your abstract must be perfect! Write it last, when your paper will be prepared. In such a way, an abstract will reflect all main aspects of your work: thesis statement, sources, findings, and conclusions.

Introduction. The introductory part has three main functions. First of all, you provide your readers with background information related to your topic. You shouldn’t start with the story about Adam and Eve, but make sure that your readers will be informed. Next, state the problem clearly and concisely. Your problem statement establishes the goals and structure of your paper, so be attentive and accurate. Finally, describe the previous studies related to your topic. Mention how they correlate with your methods and what aspects of the chosen theme they cover.

Literature review. As we mentioned above, an analytical research paper requires a good informative basis consisting of relevant, authoritative, and reliable sources. In this section, you should provide your readers with the findings on your topic made by previous researchers. Cite all sources properly in order to avoid plagiarism. A literature review proves that your analytical research paper is not baseless and that readers should take it seriously.

Research design. This section has no strict structure, as its content depends on the work that you have done to create your paper. Mention all aspects of the working process: problem statement, objectives, sources of data, data collection, methods, etc. The purpose of the research design is to explain to readers how exactly you have gathered information to get your results.

Conclusion. The concluding part of your analytical research paper can be presented as a whole or can be divided into subsections: summary, discussion, and recommendations. The choice depends on you, but we highly recommend you to pick the second option. When you divide the text into a few subsections, you facilitate the reading process a lot. In the summary, you display all your findings and observations in a brief and understandable manner. Consider the use of diagrams, charts, and tables. The discussion section demonstrates how the results of your work are relevant to previous researches on this topic and their importance for further investigations. In your recommendations, give some instructions for the researchers who want to continue your study.

writing an analytical research paper

Steps to Write an Analytical Research Paper

Surprisingly, the writing stage is not the only thing you need to do to get a perfect analytical research paper. Let’s figure out what steps might be important to start your work and to bring your paper to perfection at the end.

1. Choose a topic

Sometimes, fortune smiles on students, and they get an opportunity of free choice. That doesn’t happen every day, but you should always be ready to face this occurrence. The chosen topic should satisfy three criteria: it should be interesting, narrow, and acute. Check out our list of amazing analytical research paper topics !

2. Specify all details

Nobody will accuse you of extreme curiosity if you ask your instructor for additional attention to your questions. Specify all unclear aspects. Pay special attention to the formatting style and requirements related to word limit and structure.

3. Find reliable sources

A complex informative basis is the key to a high-quality analytical research paper. Make sure that your sources are reliable and modern. Personal blogs and ancient manuscripts are not allowed!

4. Make notes

Memory is not perfect. Even geniuses have to make notes from time to time. Moreover, it is hard to memorize all the sources that you use during your working process. If you don’t mention all studies that serve as a basis for your paper, you will be accused as a plagiarist. That would not look good on your resume.

5. Brainstorm ideas

Drink a cup of tea and eat your favorite sweets. You have to be inspired and relaxed. Your brain should be full of energy to generate a few creative ideas. New approaches, unusual methods, interesting details – all these things will increase the value of your analytical research paper.

6. Make an outline

Planning is the root of everything. A good outline will let you structure your disjointed thoughts and ideas and imagine a future structure of your paper. Try to make a list of all sections and mention key phrases and words that you are planning to include in the text. You may also draw a pyramid, circle, or any other figure that helps you to create a starting point for your work.

7. Write the first draft

Don’t expect to get a perfect draft in the first try. Some writers edit their novels for years! We know that you don’t have years to accomplish your assignment. However, try to do your best.

8. Edit your paper

This step may seem boring. Actually, it is rather boring to read and reread your own paper over and over again. Actually, we recommend you to have some rest when your analytical research paper will be finished. Your brain will be able to focus on spelling and formatting only after a good nap.

9. Proofread the text

If you are sure that the main parts of your paper can not be better, then it is the right moment to focus on smaller details: spelling, wording, and punctuation. Even the most insignificant mistakes will spoil the overall impression. Be accurate and attentive!

10. Get feedback

A fresh perspective never hurts. Apply to your peers, colleagues, roommates, parents, distant cousins, or imaginary friends. In short, apply to anybody who is able to read your paper and say a few words about its quality.

Analytical Research Paper: Example Analyzed

The best way to learn more about writing an analytical research paper is to read good examples provided by experienced authors. Luckily for you, we have one great sample right here. Moreover, we have asked our writer to leave some comments on her analytical research paper. In such a manner, you will be informed about the functions of each section in this analytical research paper example . Don’t hesitate to use our text as a template for your own work. Please, don’t commit plagiarism, as you can be accused of academic dishonesty.

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analytical research paper outline

We are 100% sure that you now know enough about how to write an analytical research paper. At least, we have done everything possible to teach you. Now, it is up to you. We strongly believe in your talents and writing skills. After reading this article attentively, you can firmly say: “I know everything to write my research paper without stress!” You have no chances to compose a bad analytical research paper!

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