Sep 03

Difference Between College Research Paper and High School Term Paper

Why are the students, whose writings were considered brilliant in high school, discover that they are not so much successful in college, and their research papers get a lot of criticism on the part of tutors instead of exciting general admiration? And if you did not get any prizes for writings in high school, is there are any chance for you to satisfy college requirements? Understanding the fundamental differences between a college research paper and high school term paper you’ll be able to succeed in fulfilling assignments. Though, you’ll have to put a lot of effort into work.

Argument instead of the statement

Let’s start with the essence behind the differences between these two types of writings rather than with formal signs.

Many college students do not realize that their professors want to get papers of higher level than those that are usually written in high school. For example, in school it was enough to express acquired material clearly and in full details just to show that you managed to understand it. Alternatively, you could express your own smart ideas about received information demonstrating your ability to speculate on the topic.

College professors are more eager to learn whether you are able to present a thoroughgoing argument starting with making a claim in the form of a thesis and then supporting it by facts, which you should find and analyze by your own. Keep in mind that the thesis set forth by you should be really interesting, challenging and encouraging your audience to learn more about the topic. And the reasons you’ll use to support the claim should be convincing enough. But sometimes it is even more important to show that you are aware of objections and ready to answer them with reason – since there is no argument without presentation of different viewpoints and options.

So, the main point of your college research paper is to gather information, think it over, come to a conclusion and then make a compelling argument in favor of your opinion along with giving answers to challenging questions. And this is the main thing that you can learn in college, and that will come in handy later both in building a career and your everyday life – to be able to gather information, analyze it, make a decision and reasonably explain your decisions to other people.

Research paper as a type of term paper

For many students, the problem is to differentiate research paper and term paper, as well as understand what exactly their instructors want from them. The latter is more general term since it may refer to any written work done by a student over an academic term, and by no means all of such papers can be called research papers. It will be quite correct to define a college research paper as a term paper that involves some academic research.

In research papers, students are allowed to present both various views on a specific topic and their own ideas about it. Writing a college research paper involves searching for corresponding material, comparison, evaluation and arranging of information, in-depth understanding of the subject, providing compelling author’s opinion along with mastering conventions of scholarly writing.

Nevertheless, research papers can be of different types like argumentative, cause and effect or analytical. The assignment itself can be formulated so that sometimes it is difficult to understand what your instructor wants from you. Moreover, compared to term papers topics in high school thesis, questions for college papers are often more challenging and puzzling – you are encouraged to think out your own thesis that will be interesting for the reader.

Therefore, if the assignment is not clear to you, don’t hesitate to ask your instructor about his/her expectations and requirements. Don’t make a mistake just relying on your high school experience, since there your term papers were more like essays or summaries, which is not enough for college. More challenging topics, higher requirements your thesis supporting and necessity to represent different viewpoints including those conflicting with yours distinguish college research papers from high school writing.