Throughout college, you will be asked to write many different types of term papers. These assignments will have different word counts, formatting requests, subject matter, etc. Understanding the different types of term papers and their requirements will help you get the very best grades throughout your time in school.

    Below, you'll get a basic overview of the 5 different types of term papers, so you can get a good start on all of your academic writing assignments.

    1. Argument papers

    As their name implies, argumentative papers present a strong argument. The author gives an overview of both sides of a contested issue, analyzes all different aspects of each argument, and presents information from top researchers. In the end, the author is expected to favor a side in the argument, but you have to be careful to remain unbiased. Each side of the argument must be accurately portrayed.

    2. Definition papers

    Definition papers are as straightforward as you can get. You simply provide information on a given topic. There is no room for analysis or emotion. You simply present facts from your research. Think of this as a resource someone else would use when researching a topic for their own argument or analysis papers.

    3. Compare and contrast papers

    Compare and contrast papers can be used in a range of different subjects. In literature, for example, you may be assigned a paper in which you have to compare and contrast two different pieces of work or two different authors. In political philosophy, you may have to write a paper comparing and contrasting governments from two different countries. You are to provide a thesis and then support it with information from the two different topics.

    4. Analytical papers

    Analytical papers are similar to argument papers in that you provide different viewpoints from various experts on a particular topic. The key difference though is that you analyze the arguments from a factual point of view, rather than adding in opinion. For example, you may wish to focus on the methodology the researcher used or discuss his particular findings from a factual standpoint.

    5. Interpretive papers

    Interpretive papers give you the most room to express your critical thinking skills and opinions. For example, you may be asked to write a paper discussing a piece of art. You'd want to focus on the techniques used by the artist, art theory, and things of that nature. These types of papers are about showing your ability to apply theoretical principles in real world situations.

    Now that you understand the different types of term papers, you will be well prepared for success.