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Differences Thesis and Research Paper: Academic Evaluation

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Several students wrongly assume that a thesis and a research paper are the same. But that’s a misconception. 

Indeed, thesis and research papers are academic writing tasks that students must learn during their learning tenure. 

While the purpose for both remains the same – ‘explaining the performed study in detail,’ several differences exist between them.

Below we discuss the differences between a research paper and a thesis.

Explaining the Definition – Thesis Vs Research Paper

Thesis Paper

It is a long academic piece, the last assignment before the university degree. Such detailed papers need students to complete UG honours, Master, and doctorate degrees.

Typically, the thesis comprises 80-100 pages (even more). They are written in a scholarly tone and enable learners to present crucial research in their chosen study field. 

Furthermore, the thesis writing process can be hectic and tiresome. Students must have sound writing prowess and research and analysing skills. Using them, learners must prove or disapprove of the researched theory with their written pieces. With authentic evidence and arguments, they also give an insightful description of how they reached that conclusion.

In certain degree programs, learners must conduct an oral statement to substantiate their thesis paper before an expert panel.

Chief Facets to Incorporate into a Thesis Paper

  • Thesis title page
  • An Abstract
  • Content index (Table of Content)
  • Listing of figures and tables
  • A strong intro
  • Methodology
  • Research outcome
  • Discussions on the study
  • A compelling conclusion with your stance backed with evidence
  • Suggestions
  • An acknowledgment section to appreciate everyone who helped you 
  • Reference list (bibliography)
  • An Appendices section

Research Paper 

Contrastingly, a research paper comprises quality analysis and research on the study. Students must evaluate their primary and secondary sources and organise and compose the paper using critical thinking skills. Such papers also investigate, interpret and analyse research findings for a specific topic. 

Moreover, a research paper isn’t simply an expository essay presenting the writer’s perspectives and ideas. Nor is it a topic summary written using legitimate sources. Such papers need students to evaluate various sources, interpret the information in their voice and compare their views with that of others.

Research Papers Can Be the Following Assignments: 

  • Analytical research papers
  • Argumentative research papers
  • Expository research papers

Thesis Vs Research Paper – A COMPARATIVE TABLE

A long descriptive paper explaining research on a specific study. It is presented as the final assignment for securing a university degree.Also, a length academic essay/task involving analysis, source evaluation, organising, composing and critical thinking skills.
Thesis papers are not commonly assigned. Students only write it once as their last academic obligation.Students frequently write research papers like argumentative and analytical essays/pieces for homework/term assignments.
Thesis are lengthier than research papers and takes longer to finish.Research papers are shorter than thesis and takes less time to complete.
Students write thesis under direct supervision of their academic overseer.Students write research papers without any academic supervision.
Learners must finish the thesis to attain their advanced university degree.Learners mainly write research papers to improve knowledge on the study and boost their academic writing skills in general.
Thesis deals with a primary academic research question/idea/argument and aims for further research and analysis.Research paper mainly aims to prove whether the central message/question/argument is acceptable or not. It also establishes the writer’s stance backed with relevant evidences.
Its target readers are professors or educational committees.It’s aimed audience are budding researches and aspiring scientists.


Comparing Scope & Depth 

A thesis paper will need comprehensive research on the subject title. Writers must dig deep into the present Literature, critically analyses past studies and present a precise review of pertaining experiments, theories, and chosen methods.

Due to this, the scope and depth of research are more in a thesis paper. It focuses on all facets of the topic. 

For instance, a thesis paper on the History of World Wars will need exhaustive research on all lead-up events, causes, and consequences. It will also compare historic interpretations from both primary and secondary sources.

Research papers must also need wide research. However, the scope for such tasks is narrower. It focuses on particular idea/questions, gives detailed analysis and research findings within a limited word limit. 

The research paper’s scope will be on an exact field or topic angle per the coverage. 

For example, a research paper on a psychological treatment may cover the influence of the therapy on a targeted group of people.

Contribution to the Field & Authenticity 

Thesis papers require authentic research on the field of study. Students must find gaps in the previously performed research, form related questions, and perform wide-ranging analyses to fill those holes. 

Everything in the thesis paper must share novel insights, methods, and hypotheses contributing to the field’s advancement.

For instance, a computer science thesis will require students to find a fresh algorithm or application for solving intricate issues.

A research paper also needs authenticity, except on a narrower scope than a thesis. It highlights several angles and facets of the title topic and presents deep analysis and research findings in a restricted context.

Formatting & Structuring 

A thesis paper adheres to a particular format and structure. It features different sections (stated above).

The format presents a detailed framework for performing research and analysis. Plus, every segment comprises a purpose and helps achieve proper coherence throughout the paper.

A research paper’s structure is more flexible. Most times, it depends on the study and assignment guidelines. 

Still, its standard format includes the following –

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Intro
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • Research analysis and outcome
  • Study discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Citation index 

Students find it easier to write research papers due to the format’s flexibility. They can tweak the structure to suit the study while sustaining a proper flow of data and arguments. 

Task Evaluation & Target Audience

The thesis paper is written for university professors, committee members, or field exponents. These delegates review the research methods, framework, analysis of different data, and importance to its study field.

The target readers are lesser and only restricted to the academic fraternity. Occasionally, it involves the faculty team, student mentors, and other budding researchers. During the evaluation, the focus is on originality, research depth, and overall work quality. 

A research paper has a larger audience, researchers, tutors, scholars, and other professionals in the study field. The evaluation process is also different. It is done through peer review before publishing or shown at conferences.

The review process also differs per the assignment guidelines. The focus is on originality, relevance, contextual accuracy, clear framework, and significance of the study for improving current field knowledge and data.

Completion Time & Paper Length

A thesis is lengthier, so it will take longer to finish. Furthermore, it needs more analysis and research to compensate for its higher word limit. 

Generally, the time for finishing a thesis paper can extend to many semesters, months, or even years. Students can properly perform in-depth research, collect data and supporting evidence, perform various experiments, etc, within that duration. 

A research paper takes less time to complete. The length is shorter, and the topic coverage is often limited. Moreover, students can take a stance after reviewing what others say for writing clarity to finish the paper concisely in a semester or a week. 

Objective & Intention

A thesis is a compilation of a learner’s academic tenure. It shows their increased knowledge, writing confidence, and mastery over their chosen study field. Moreover, it also reveals their skills to perform research independently. 

It aims to present fresh knowledge, hypothesis, and methods/approaches to its target audience and community. Its objective is also to progress the understanding of the study among experts and build awareness. 

For students, the thesis objective is to establish themselves as specialists in the presented study and procure their advanced PhD or Master’s degree without hitches. 

The research paper aims to showcase the outcome of a particular investigative study to its targeted audience. It shares new data, analysis and raises vital questions or topics for further research.

Moreover, research papers can either be impartial or concise pieces of a larger field of research. It always shares useful knowledge for current academic debates.

Now that you know the difference between a research paper and a thesis, let’s shift to the next segment.

Examining Thesis versus Research Paper: Academic Comparison

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Thesis Statement Example for Research Paper

What is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement concisely describes the topic’s main arguments and ideas. It informs readers what follows in the body section and creates interest and anticipation.

Every academic writing piece – thesis, research paper, academic essay/article, etc., must have a thesis statement. It should be 1-2 lines and can be viewed as qualitative, quantitative, or mixed research approaches. 

A Thesis Statement’s Importance:

  • A thesis statement hints at the author’s main argument. It outlines the research focus and evidence supporting it. 
  • Such statements help writers maintain focus and allow them to organise and refine their views and stance on the coverage.
  • Moreover, thesis statements determine the connection between facts and its substantiating evidence. 

The Formula for Compiling a Thesis Statement

Many students ask how to craft a solid thesis statement on their topic. It’s not that difficult. 

  • Firstly, you must specify coverage and have a sound understanding of it. 

For example – Increasing suicides among American teenagers

  • Secondly, you must present your assertion on the chosen title topic.

For example – Face–to–faceconversations or therapy can help determine a teen’s suicidal cause and reduce it from happening. (Topic assertion).

  • Thirdly, you must justify your topic assertion.

For example – Openly talking about problems face-to-face or in therapy can ease teenagers’ minds and comfort them. (Justifying the assertion)

Thesis Statement Example for Your Writing Aid

Teens today face a lot of stress to meet daily expectations, and talking to parents/therapists can help them confront their issues and overcome suicidal tendencies with proper help. 

More Thesis Statement Example for Research Paper

(A) Thesis Statement for Expository Research Papers 

It highlights an issue and lists crucial facets worth discussing in the research paper.

Take, for instance –

  • Topic – Kid’s anxiety
  • Crucial facets –higher intelligence levels, peer pressure, and meeting everyone’s expectations

Thesis statement – Kid’s anxiety results and further increases due to constant peer pressure, meeting everyone’s expectations and achieving higher intelligence levels to match standards. 

(B) Thesis Statement for Analytical Research Papers 

It analyses, interprets, and investigates the title topic’s every angle. The statement hints at all major points researched and presents a rational outcome. 

Take for instance 

  • Topic – Fossil Fuel & its Alternative energy sources.
  • Crucial facets –Hydroelectric power and solar energy are prominent alternative sources to fossil fuels.

Thesis Statement – After analysing extensively, the outcome is that Hydroelectric power and solar energy are currently the prominent alternatives to fossil fuels.

(C) Thesis Statement for Argumentative Research Papers 

The statement denotes the author/writer’s stance on a particular topic covered with reasons and supporting evidence to convince target readers.

Take for Instance 

  • Topic – Should animal cruelty be banned?
  • Writer’s Stance –Animal cruelty, like inhumane experimentation, must be banned!

Thesis statement – Inhumane animal experiments and cruelty must be prohibited as it is immoral, abusive, and hurtful, and that 80% of experiments conducted are novice and flawed. 

More Tips on Writing Thesis Statements for Research Papers

  • Thesis statements must always be proven. So, provide supporting evidence for your topic arguments.
  • The topic must be interesting and known to the general masses. Furthermore, since research papers have limited topic coverage, restrict your focus to a particular aspect. 
  • Include the coverage’s major points that immediately capture the reader’s interest.
  • Ensure the statement is concise but precise and presents the necessary scope for detailed arguments and validations.
  • The statement must also be forceful to show the audience that you are presenting a compelling argument worth knowing. You must have an assertive tone for your position against others’ existing opinions.

What to Avoid in a Thesis Statement?

  • A research thesis statement must not make outrageous claims. Nor should it mock or insult the views of others. 

For Example – US Religious extremists will ban HS textbooks and legislate their Puritanical principles.

  • It must not mention any obvious or vague fact that doesn’t inform anything new but leads to a dead end. 

For Example –Ad firms use sex to promote and sell their products!

  • It must not hint at something too expansive. 

For Example – Abraham Lincoln’s life was troublesome, long, and challenging at every step.

  • The thesis statement must also not be too narrow.

For Example – Beer commercials are considered offensive to the viewers.

  • It must not be a blatant declaration of what you will write below.

For Example, I will explain how the digestive system functions in this paper. 

How Can Tutor You on Writing Thesis & Research Papers from the Concept Stage?

Most first-year students struggle to grasp their assignment requirements. Statistics reveal that 65% of them fail to understand the topic and what the instructor expects from them.

While this data may seem alarming, there is no serious cause for concern. Writing academic research papers is always challenging for the best of writers. So, it’s no surprise to see freshman-year apprentices struggling. aims to end its assignment troubles. We have dedicated tutors to guide students on their various writing tasks. Our experts have Masters/Ph.D. credentials with sufficient academic writing experience. 

Once we receive an order, we assign a competent tutor to work with the student side-by-side and guide them at every step. 

Our Academic Writing Help Covers the Following Assignments

  • Thesis/Dissertations
  • Research papers 
  • Academic Essays
  • Case Study tasks 
  • Subject-wise homework
  • Programming and other technical writing projects
  • Business reports
  • Lab reports
  • Term papers
  • Coursework help
  • Research proposals 

Additional Assignment Writing Assistance

  • Editing and proofreading services 
  • Referencing guidance
  • Bibliography help
  • Assignment tutoring and brainstorming 
  • Free academic tools to use 
  • Pre-crafted samples/examples on all types of academic assignments.

These services will be tailored to your assignment requirements and will take you closer to your desired grades.

We will have your back, regardless of whether you wish to know more about thesis vs research paper differences or seek appropriate writing samples. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Thesis Be Called A Research Paper?

Ans: Yes, a thesis is a type of research paper. It comprises the original research that you submit as the final step to your Master’s/university degree. 

However, they vary per the type of assignment. Contrary to the above thesis definition, a research paper is a novel plagiarism-free essay. It depicts the writer’s evaluation or viewpoints of specific research.

What Is the Different Between Research Papers and Journal Articles?

Ans: A research paper is crafted traditionally by a college/university student on a specific research theme. The professor typically assigns the task. 

A journal article deals with a recently researched or reviewed subject by a field exponent.

What Is the Accepted Thesis Paper Format?

Ans: The thesis paper must have 5 (or more) chapters depending on the writer and scope of research.

It must also have these sections –

  • An introduction
  • Literature review 
  • The methodology
  • Research findings
  • A strong conclusion

Furthermore, the thesis paper must be lengthy and incorporate 8-12 quality references for each 1000 words. The professor determines the word count, and writers must adhere to it. 

What Should Be the Tone for A Thesis?

Ans: It must also adopt a scholarly/informative tone and avoid jargon and boring terms. You must use multisyllabic phrases and present unbiased arguments or perspectives.

What Is the Writing Tone for A Research Paper?

Ans: You must follow a scholarly writing tone for research papers. It should be formal, consistent, to the point, and objective. The arguments must be error-free and backed with legitimate substantiating evidence.

Experts suggest using the writer’s voice in the paper to communicate with readers clearly.

How to Work A Thesis Paper from Scratch?

Ans: Follow the below tips if this is your first attempt at crafting a thesis paper. 

  • Pick a good thesis title on the suggested subject.
  • Determine the literature review. 
  • Read texts from reliable sources and list primary and secondary reference links.
  • Evaluate your sources and check for ambiguity, controversy, complexities, interest, etc.
  • Create an outline for the thesis paper
  • Brainstorm the thesis idea and write down the initial draft. 
  • Keep the thesis statement prominent in the introduction section
  • Arrange all arguments and also focus on counterarguments in the body.

Consult with experts today to know more about crafting an excellent thesis paper.

What Are 3 Must-Include Components of a Thesis Paper?

Ans: All thesis papers must comprise these 3 components. They include as follows –

  • A captivating topic that expresses the main focus of the paper
  • A controlling idea that describes what you intend to discuss and share on the coverage
  • Several sub-topics –depict each facet of the thesis topic with logical reasons, examples, and supporting data.

Connect with our thesis experts today and learn about other key thesis paper components.

Are There Any Similarities Between the Two?

Ans: The purpose of the thesis and research paper are the same, explaining a study in detail. Some even say the writing tone is similar. 

Ask our experts for more similarities between the two. 

Can I Find Writing Samples for Both Online?

Ans: You will find plenty of writing samples for thesis and research papers online. We can provide you with writing references and customised guidance if you want. 

Does the Research Paper Require A Thesis Statement?

Ans: The thesis statement is mandatory for all academic essays and research paper assignments. It provides focus and writing direction. Plus, it hints at what the paper will cover in the body. 

We are here to solve your queries and deliver apt solutions. Get in touch immediately.

Hi, I am Mark, a Literature writer by profession. Fueled by a lifelong passion for Literature, story, and creative expression, I went on to get a PhD in creative writing. Over all these years, my passion has helped me manage a publication of my write ups in prominent websites and e-magazines. I have also been working part-time as a writing expert for for 5+ years now. It’s fun to guide students on academic write ups and bag those top grades like a pro. Apart from my professional life, I am a big-time foodie and travel enthusiast in my personal life. So, when I am not working, I am probably travelling places to try regional delicacies and sharing my experiences with people through my blog. 

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