What Are the Main Academic Research Paper Types

When in a university or college, you must write different research paper types. These papers play a significant role in finishing your course study or going to the next level of your academic journey. Like the name, this isn’t any paper as it requires extensive research, then you deliver the results in a clear structure. If you have never handled a research paper before, you will realize it is quite challenging and hard, especially gathering ideas and putting them together to make a nice academic paper.

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This guide will help you discover different types of research papers, their characteristics, the challenges, and what each type of academic paper entails.

Academic paper: characteristics of academic writing

If you have been wondering why academic papers are technical and require special attention, it is because teachers use these papers to weigh the understanding levels of students on a given concept. Generally, the following are features of different types of research papers:

  • Formality

In academic writing, all papers are technical and require a special approach to bring out a formal structure. So, you must use formal words and related expressions.

  • Accuracy

An academic paper isn’t any piece of paper where you collect ideas and put them down without minding how accurate they are. You must ensure your piece of writing has clear punctuation and perfect use of grammar and vocabulary.

  • Organization

When given different types of papers to write about, you must have proper organization skills to ensure you fill each section with relevant information. Organization in academic writing includes knowing how to create outlines, formatting, and edit your content. Besides, you must organize your time accurately to ensure you finish your paper on time.

  • Relevance

Different types of academic papers require you to create content only relevant to the subject matter or the topic at large. You don’t need to give unnecessary information that will exhaust the reader. The aim is to use only relevant information while sticking to the main topic.

These are the main characteristics of academic writing, and you can see such papers are quite restricted. In whatever case, always read the instructions and take note of the minor details such as font type, font style, and spacing options, among others. Let us now highlight different types of research papers below.

The different types of research papers

The following are the common research papers you are likely to get:

1. Analytical research paper

This type of academic paper will require you to get a topic in the form of a question, then conduct in-depth research as you focus on the findings and conclusions based on other researchers’ points of view. However, this topic will require you to be neutral; neither should you conclude positively nor negatively.

2. Argumentative research paper

These types of research papers have two sides to the storyline; they involve an argument. You need to convince the reader reasons you picked a given side of the research by supporting your arguments with your findings and citations. However, you should avoid showing emotions in this type of paper but focus on supporting it with logical facts.

3. Experimental research paper

When writing an experimental research paper, the common goal is to explain a specific experiment and the results of some actions. These types of papers are common in physics, chemistry, or biology courses. As you describe the experiment, support it with facts after close analysis.

4. Descriptive research paper

These research paper types aim at describing an incident. It can be a situation, an event, or a phenomenon. Again, this type of paper doesn’t answer why but explains where, how, what, and when types of questions.

That is all what different types of research papers entail. Whichever topic you get, make sure you have a basic understanding of what you need to do and the appropriate research materials.


If you ever thought of only one type of academic paper, then you have been all wrong. There are different types of these papers, and sometimes, teachers give topics based on the subject or a course a student is undertaking.