Writing analytical research papers
A laptop placed on a table

Research papers have become the backbone of scholarly discourse in today’s ever-evolving world. These papers bring many benefits: from unraveling complex problems to exploring new ideas. This article will demystify the secrets of writing analytical papers.

By understanding their purpose, we will equip you with the tools to excel in your scholarly endeavors. Finally, you will get the answer to the question, “What are the two types of research?” and learn to select the option that best fits your academic needs.

The Researcher’s Toolkit: Understanding Research Papers

Writing a paper requires many resources, including time, investigations, source studying, and editing. And the result is definitely worth the endeavor. Thus, a research paper is not simply a piece of writing demonstrating a scholar’s opinion. It also serves as a valuable contribution to the specific field. Nevertheless, it also is a scholar’s chance to deepen their understanding of a particular topic.

So, what is a research paper supposed to look like? And what do you need to know before writing a research paper? One of the main steps is choosing a topic. It should intrigue readers and be original enough to leave enough room for future study.

Once you have settled on your writing topic, it’s time to move to the second point — choosing the proper paper type. But what are different types of research? Let’s start our journey and examine them in more detail. 

Different Types of Papers to Consider

What are the two types of research?
Two people considering different types of research

Before writing a paper, look through the types of research papers and choose the one that best suits your aims. When doing so, consider your theme, supporting data, and procedure, and select the best theoretical framework to suit your study.

So now we are going to learn different types of research. Prepare to learn more about the two most common variations: analytical and argumentative papers.

Analytical Research Paper

This type of writing often starts as a question. Then, it analyzes various viewpoints while going through available sources. Notably, the author is to stay neutral throughout the paper. Your main aim is to explore all the data provided and make precise decisions in the conclusion section. Such studies should remain objective and evidence-based while avoiding supporting a single position.

Argumentative Research Paper

If you have ever wondered whether a research paper can be argumentative, the answer is yes. In this type of research paper, the author chooses the side of an argument they want to defend. Then, they follow it throughout the writing, providing details and trying to persuade readers. In an argumentative paper, you should examine both points, offer pros and cons, and state why your side is predominant. Remember to remain objective throughout the examination and rely heavily on available and proven facts.

Now you are aware of what are two types of research papers. Although scholars commonly use these ones, there are also other options to consider in academia. Let’s also learn what are the different types of research papers to use in the academic environment.

  • Cause and Effect Paper: This type is devoted to the “What?” and “Why?” aspects, studying the potential outcomes of particular actions or behaviors. Through thorough analysis, it ultimately reaches a definitive conclusion.
  • Interpretative Paper: To write such a paper, one has to obtain information from a specific case study. These reports rely only on available studies without expressing emotions or trying to convince others.
  • Experimental Research Paper: As implied by its name, an experimental paper aims to conduct an experiment and come up with a conclusion. It should contain insightful observations, valuable data, and a comprehensive study.
  • Definition Paper: This type is less favored by students. However, there is a big goal behind it as it can build a solid foundation for future studies. It won’t include personal opinions or experiments but will list solely previous studies on a specific topic.
  • Survey Research Paper: For this paper, a researcher should conduct a study, gather data, and come up with a comprehensive conclusion.
  • Compare & Contrast Paper: This paper examines two works or studies in parallel. For instance, it can study two business models or compare two philosophical ideas.

What Is an Argumentative Research Paper?

Argumentative research papers are academic writings that require a strong stance on a particular topic or issue. These papers aim to convince the reader to adopt the writer’s point of view or take specific actions.

How to Write an Argumentative Research Paper

Writing a compelling argument requires a systematic approach. Here are vital steps to follow in your analytical research paper examples:

✅ Select a compelling topic: Choose a debatable, relevant, and exciting topic for you and your intended audience. It should be a topic that allows different perspectives and creates room for argumentation.

✅ Conduct thorough research: Gather various credible sources to support your argument. These include scholarly articles, reputable websites, books, and expert opinions. 

✅ Develop a clear thesis statement: This statement sets the tone for the paper. It also guides the reader’s understanding of your argument.

✅ Create an outline: List any of your thoughts and arguments by creating an outline. It helps to structure your writing and ensure you cover all the necessary points logically.

✅ Write a compelling introduction: Provide background information and state your thesis statement. Grab the reader’s attention and establish the importance of the issue at hand.

✅ Present and analyze supporting evidence: Present your arguments and provide supporting evidence. Each section should focus on a single point and include sufficient evidence to back it up.

✅ Address counterarguments: Anticipate and address opposing viewpoints. Acknowledge the validity of counterarguments, but explain why your position is more robust.

✅ Craft a firm conclusion: Summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement. Don’t forget to reinforce the significance of your argument. 

Example of an Argumentative Paper

To illustrate the process and structure of an argumentative paper, let’s consider the topic of “The Impact of Social Media on Society.” Let’s learn what a research paper looks like:

Thesis Statement: The use of social media has impacted society and led to positive and negative consequences.

  1. Introduction
    • A. Background information on the rise of social media
    • B. Thesis statement: The role of social networks on society
  2. Positive Impact of Social Media
    • A. Increased connectivity and communication
    • B. Facilitation of social and political movements
    • C. Enhanced access to information and diverse perspectives
  3. Negative Impact of Social Media
    • A. Privacy and security concerns
    • B. Spread of misinformation and fake news
    • C. Adverse effects on mental health and well-being
  4. Counter Arguments and Rebuttal
    • A. Counterargument: Social media promotes social interaction and community building
    • B. Rebuttal: The superficial nature of online interactions and the potential for cyberbullying
  5. Conclusion
    • A. Recap of main points
    • B. Restatement of thesis statement
    • C. Call to action: Encouraging responsible social media use and critical thinking skills

What Is an Analytical Research Paper?

Writing an analysis research paper
The process of writing an analytical paper involves much examination

A research analysis paper analyzes and interprets complex ideas, concepts, or data sets. Unlike argumentative writings, analysis research explores and examines a subject. These papers often involve the study of primary and secondary sources. They also include the identification of trends and the development of insightful interpretations.

How to Write an Analytical Research Paper

Consider the following steps:

✅ Select a focused and engaging topic: Choose one that allows for in-depth analysis and is curious. Consider relevant sources and ensure your theme aligns with your research interests.

✅ Conduct comprehensive research: Gather various sources, including scholarly articles, books, and websites. Take thorough notes and analyze previously-written critical analysis research papers. It will help to identify key insights and patterns.

✅ Develop a strong thesis statement: It should articulate your main argument or analysis. It should be specific, concise and provide a roadmap for the investigation.

✅ Organize your research: Create an outline highlighting your paper’s main points and sections.

✅ Analyze and interpret the evidence: In the body paragraphs, present the evidence and data that support your analysis. Each section should focus on a specific aspect.

✅ Use appropriate citation and referencing: Ensure you cite and reference all sources correctly. Use a consistent citation style, such as APA or MLA, and follow the guidelines for in-text citations and the reference list.

Example of an Analytical Paper

Our topic for this analytical research paper example is “The Symbolism of Light and Darkness in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.” Here is the outline example of how should a research paper look:

Thesis Statement: In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the contrasting symbolism of light and darkness is a powerful motif that highlights the characters’ moral decay and the disruption of the natural order.

  1. Introduction
    • A. Background information on Macbeth and the play’s themes
    • B. Thesis statement: The symbolism of light and darkness in Macbeth
  2. Symbolism of Light
    • A. Analysis of scenes and characters associated with light
    • B. Examination of the symbolic meaning of light in the play
  3. Symbolism of Darkness
    • A. Analysis of scenes and characters related to darkness
    • B. Exploration of the symbolic meaning of darkness in the play
  4. Analysis of Character Development
    • A. Macbeth’s descent into darkness and moral corruption
    • B. Lady Macbeth’s manipulation and transformation
  5. Disruption of Natural Order
    • A. Exploration of how the symbolism of light and darkness reflects the disruption of the natural order
    • B. Analysis of the consequences of this disruption
  6. Conclusion
    • A. Recap of main points
    • B. Restatement of thesis statement
    • C. Reflection on the significance of the symbolism of light and darkness in Macbeth

Comparing Argumentative and Analytical Research

Now you know that all types of papers in research have different purposes. We found some district differences when we compared argumentative and analytical reports. Clearly, the main difference concerns the purpose of research papers in question.

Argumentative writing is a common type of research papers that aims to convince a reader to adopt some point of view. Thus, it should list solid arguments agitating for a specific issue. Such reports usually follow a particular template structure. It means they include an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

By contrast, an analytical paper analyzes and provides complex ideas to help readers better understand a topic. The best example of analytical research paper is objective and relies on reputable sources. Besides, it can have a flexible structure depending on the topic and objectives.

Choosing the Most Suitable Paper Type

✔️If you want to agitate and convince readers, choose argumentative papers. However, note that you can use these papers only in a limited number of scientific fields where one can debate and discuss. These include law, philosophy, social science, etc. If you want to prove that your point of view is the most true, go for this paper type.

✔️An analytical paper is the right choice if you’re up to discussing a complex topic while studying all the nuances. They are most common for fields that require a deep study of multiple sources, such as literature, social science, and humanities. The analytical examination is for those who want to get a clear picture and dig deep to uncover all points.


All the different research paper types are crucial components that add to scholarly knowledge and help to immerse yourself into a subject. However, it is necessary to understand all the peculiarities and differences between paper types. It will help you to choose the one more suitable for your study. 

The good news is that scholars commonly choose between argumentative and analytical papers. Actually, there is one main difference between the two. The former aims to protect a single point of view, while the latter studies all the available data in scope. 

Now, when you can clearly answer the question, “What are the two main types of research papers?” you can start your academic journey. Hope this article will help in your endeavors. Good luck, and may your study be productive!