Term Papers vs. Research Papers

You strive for excellence in everything you do including your academic accomplishments. All though elementary school, middle school, and high school, your classes and assignments came easy to you, as you had natural gift for learning. You studied when necessary, and went into cruise control when able to, keeping your grades at a top level. During high school you were consider one of the best in your class. Your plan for life means you will attend an outstanding college or university. When you arrive on campus, you realize quickly that you are no longer the best. There are hundreds just like you, all hard working and dedicated to getting a great education. The first thing you discover is you no longer are taking quizzes and tests on the subject matter. You are required to write term papers and research papers. These are very closely related assignments.

The project

The production of comprehensive essays is a new tool in learning you are not familiar with, and must get up to speed quickly if you hope to maintain your level of success. In one of your classes you are assigned a term paper, and in another a research paper. You are confused, are they the same? This is a good question. For the most part they are similar assignments. A term paper is the general label for all written work submitted at the end of the term, which is largely what your grade will be based on for the semester. The research paper is a specific type of paper for your course. A research paper can be a term paper, but not all term papers are research papers.


Both of these papers are used as a measuring stick for your level of comprehension of the topic. They will be designed to force you to exhibit your ability to understand the material presented in the class. You well be required to review, examine, and research various sources and materials, and present a concise well written logical paper n the topic. For both term papers and research papers, the topic is assigned by the professor alone or in consultation with you at some point during the course.


The term paper is considering more of an overall assignment, encompassing a number of different variables. The research paper must include detailed and exhaustive research on a topic, using many sources and methods, especially outside of the course. The term paper is assigned at the end of the term, while the research paper can be assigned throughout the term, and as often as the professor feels is necessary.