Although many people think that a term paper and a research paper are the same, these are two different academic papers. The truth is that they have a few similar features. However, there are differences to be considered in order to bring out the differences between these two papers.
1. Content of the two papers
When one is writing a term paper they do so to illustrate or indicate the knowledge they have gained from a given subject. This kind of paper is normally assigned at the end of a term or semester and it accounts for a major percentage of the term’s grade. A term paper is quite intensive and extensive as it takes a word count of between 3000 and 5000. This paper gives room for the candidate to conduct a critical examination of the learned topics as well as opinions from the writer. Therefore, this paper has a large section of arguments and persuasions. However, these arguments and/or persuasions should always be supported by facts that have been obtained from a wide variety of credible sources such as textbooks and magazines.
2. The topic of a term paper can either be chosen by the student or it can be assigned by the subject instructor. If the instructor chooses the topic for the writer he or she highlights all the requirements of the paper. Other times the instructor might not provide much information concerning the paper. For example, in the school of law students might be directed to identify and choose a case in the relevant case study and conduct a critical analysis on it. No matter what kind of instructions given for a term paper, any persuasion or argument should reflect your understanding of the term work.
3. A research paper is simply an academic study paper that is normally done with the aim of answering a particular theoretical question. It is the theoretical question assigned that prompts the writer to conduct research. This paper requires the writer to interpret the research question and convert it into significant research work.
4. A research paper should have a central statement about which the writer should write with the aim of supporting it. The central statement of the research paper can be in form of a claim that should be defended or a question that has to be discussed. A research paper can have a word count of up to 5000 words but if the instructor has indicated the required word count the writer should limit them to that. A research paper is mostly assigned by the subject instructor. While a term paper is assigned at a specific time (end of a term), a research paper can be assigned at any time of the semester.
5. Another difference between a research paper and a term paper is the sources of information. The sources of information for a research paper are easier to identify when compared with the sources of information for a term paper. For a term paper, there are detailed ways of collecting data or information depending on the kind of subject. For technical subjects, the writer may be required to conduct interviews and administer questionnaires in order to obtain reliable data. On the other hand, Information for a research paper can be obtained from readily available sources such as the internet and library.