A research paper is an expanded essay that presents your own interpretation or evaluation or argument. When you write an essay, you use everything that you personally know and have thought about a subject. When you write a research paper, you build upon what you know about the subject and make a deliberate attempt to find out what experts know. A research paper involves surveying a field of knowledge in order to find the best possible information in that field. A research paper analyzes a perspective or argues a point. A research paper is more than the sum of your sources, more than a collection of different pieces of information about a topic, and more than a review of the literature in a field. Regardless of the type of research paper you are writing, your finished research paper should present your own thinking backed up by others' ideas and information.
For more information on doing research and writing a research paper of your own, make an appointment with your librarian or check out the sources below.
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