5 Types of Papers Written in College - Undergrad Success

5 Types of Papers Written in College

5 Types of Papers Written in College

If you are a student, expect that you will be assigned to write all kinds of research papers and essays in your college years. This may sound easy, but if you read through the instructions, guidelines and requirements needed to pass a research paper, you will soon realize that this task requires a lot of work.

The key to writing an A-grade paper is to know the basics of the different types of papers you’ll be writing, along with helpful tips for writing them well.

Your ability to write different papers and essays is crucial for your academic success. Below, the best websites for research papers share information on the five most common types of papers you would be writing in college.

1. Argumentative

An argumentative paper requires you to investigate a certain topic. You need to collect, create, and evaluate evidence. After that, you must take a strong stance on the topic in a brief and concise manner.

Although there are instances in life wherein you may need to have a balanced perspective, writing an argumentative paper is not one of them. You have to choose a side and defend why you chose it by providing facts, expert quotes, and pieces of evidence. Take this as an opportunity to refute what the opposition is saying.

2. Cause and Effect

In writing a cause and effect paper, you must determine a scenario in which a certain event or action caused a specific event to happen. Afterwards, you must explain what occurred and why. This paper will allow your readers to identify patterns as well as understand how things turned out a particular way.

3. Compare/contrast

Comparison refers to stating the differences between two subjects, while contrast refers to focusing on the similarities of two things. Your instructor can ask you to both compare and contrast certain topics, or do just one of those things. Either way, you must ensure that your paper reflects what is expected from you.

The key to writing a compare/contrast paper is to avoid writing about the obvious similarities and differences. Instead, tell your readers something that is not easily noticeable or that they don’t know yet. But this does not imply that you should be a genius to write an A-grade compare/contrast essay. All you need to do is to look at the subject from a new perspective. In-depth research is also necessary to identify how things are alike and how they differ.

When organizing your compare and contrast paper, you have two options – chunking or piercing. Chunking refers to stating everything about the first subject first followed by the second subject. Piercing, on the other hand, requires you to give pieces of information for each subject in every paragraph, organizing the information you want to convey by topic instead of by subject.

4. Definition

A definition paper is perhaps one of the easiest to write because you simply have to describe a certain idea or item. State as many details as possible about the subject you want to tackle, but make sure to choose a topic that is disputable and has a complex meaning.

5. Narrative

In writing a narrative paper, you must tell a story in a way that your readers will learn a lesson or gain insight. Make sure that your story has a point and describes what the main character learned from it. Also, use all your senses when describing the characters, setting, and the plot.

Effective narrative papers let readers visualize everything that is happening in the story in their minds. And the best way to guarantee that this happens is to use concrete details rather than abstract ones. For instance, make the image cleaner and more real, and provide information that can easily be understood and empathized with.

Writing a research paper or an essay in college can be challenging, considering the fact that you have a lot of academic requirements to meet and a limited time in which to finish them all. Fortunately, there is a way to overcome the challenges of paper and essay writing – and that is to get advice and tips from successful writers, apply their ideas, and polish your writing over time.


Taimoor Liaquat is the CEO at MyPerfectWords.com, renowned as the global source for professional writing services at all academic levels. The company’s team of world-class native English-speaking essay writers with advanced degrees at elite US universities ensures high-quality custom content for all clients.


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