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The goal of a research paper is not to inform the reader what others have to say about a topic, but to draw on what others have to say about a topic and engage the sources in order to thoughtfully offer a unique perspective on the issue at hand.This is accomplished through two major types of research papers.
Thesis statement A thesis statement is a sentence, which delineates the topic, predicts how the topic will be developed and says something precise about the topic.
The key point here is not only to announce a topic, but to be precise with the conclusions you made about the topic.
Primary and secondary sources are the heart of a research paper, and provide its nourishment; without the support of and interaction with these sources, the research paper would morph into a different genre of writing (e.g., an encyclopedic article).
The research paper serves not only to further the field in which it is written, but also to provide the student with an exceptional opportunity to increase her knowledge in that field.
Such a paper is often an exercise in exploration and evaluation.
For example, perhaps one is interested in the Old English poem Though his topic may be debatable and controversial, it is not the student's intent to persuade the audience that his ideas are right while those of others are wrong.Argumentative research paper: The argumentative research paper consists of an introduction in which the writer clearly introduces the topic and informs his audience exactly which stance he intends to take; this stance is often identified as the thesis statement.An important goal of the argumentative research paper is persuasion, which means the topic chosen should be debatable or controversial.Analytical research paper: The analytical research paper often begins with the student asking a question (a.k.a.a research question) on which he has taken no stance.In this sentence, the writer is not challenging the current accepted stance that both firsthand and secondhand cigarette smoke is dangerous; rather, she is positing that the social acceptance of the latter over the former is indicative of a cultural double-standard of sorts.The student would support this thesis throughout her paper by means of both primary and secondary sources, with the intent to persuade her audience that her particular interpretation of the situation is viable.Nevertheless, unlike a thesis statement, purpose statement does not provide particular conclusions made by the writer.Just like a thesis statement, a purpose statement is located at the end of the intro paragraph, or may take the form of a separate paragraph in large papers, such as dissertations etc.It is also possible to identify a research paper by what it is not.A research paper is not simply an informed summary of a topic by means of primary and secondary sources.