Types of Academic Papers

What is so special about academic papers? First, any academic paper should be written in accordance to some accepted rules. The top thing is to follow the academic writing style and formatting.

There are few types of academic papers:

  • Empirical research
  • Literature review
  • General format

Now, we will focus on each of the types. Empirical research appears to be the most complex and irritating problem of all students. It is complicated because it requires a research to be conducted. This research has to follow Statistics class guidelines: gathering and analyzing a particular data sample or few samples, providing direct observation or unique experiment, testing a hypothesis (claim), testing the arguments finding enough evidence to support the outcomes, and, at last, replicating the conclusions in follow-up studies. Empirical research is the most frequently met reason for students attending Statistics course to fail. Sometimes, the amount of data is that huge a student can hardly cope with it. Ph.D. level is the one that asks for empirical research papers. Undergraduate tasks may involve only mini-projects to be observed.

A literature review is far easier, but its possibilities of free flow of imagination are limited by different research sources which a student has to shove off. In other words, it’s a comprehensive summary of some reading (book, article, blog, composition). This type of writing also has almost nothing to do with author’s personality. The work should be completely based on primary resources and findings (results). Sometimes, a large sample of sources is taken in order to compare and take to the bottom of the question. In the end, the student has to state whether the proposed literature (or the one he found) support the research query and there is enough evidence to support the outcomes. All the author can mention from his side is the reasons for him to change the tune or remain the same. Both graduate and undergraduate levels may involve such task.

General format papers include case study reports and overviews, reviews, reflection or application papers, term papers, and other kinds of essays. This category is the most admirable by the students as far as it demands minimum efforts and knowledge. Besides, it is all about students personality, his skills and preferences. The format for them is a standard MLA, but sometimes it happens that APA is preferred.

All of these types are united by a single structure (introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs, one conclusion section) and the involvement of primary or secondary sources along with inserting citations into the text. While literature review requires a lot of citations and references, general format papers as well as empirical research can contain minimum references. Also, some works have to include footnotes. These footnotes must be recalled once more in the reference list. APA papers, in addition, must have an abstract where the whole material is summarized in one short passage (no more than 200 words).

Wondering how to write an academic paper? Each academic writing style has own guidelines for the paper’s structure. Whether it should be Times New Roman or Arial, 12 or 14 font, double-spaced or single-spaced – all of the information must be given to the students. Otherwise, it means that they can choose any writing style on their own. It is the same for choosing a topic. When a student receives a particular assignment, he has to keep to the point and discuss only relevant issues. But whenever the topic is not prescribed, the students are allowed to choose. It doesn’t necessarily mean choosing a topic by yourself is easier. Life is not a bed of roses, as we know. The trap I that students simply get stuck while choosing a single subject from the variety of possible themes. As a result, many of them fail to select a winning one.

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