Common Types of Papers – ipl A+ Research & Writing

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Common Types of Papers

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Research papers
Sample essays
Argumentative, persuasive essays
Narrative, descriptive and reaction/response essays
Comparison/contrast and cause/effect essays

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Research papers

Research Papers (U Wisconsin-Madison)
Brief (one page) overview of the steps in doing a research paper.
Writing a General Research Paper (Roane State CC)
“Research papers place an emphasis on the development of a student’s critical thinking and writing skills. To write an effective paper, students must be able to incorporate the ideas of others with their own ideas and analysis.”
Writing Research Papers: A Step-by-Step Procedure (Purdue U)
Brief checklist of steps needed to accomplish the research and writing process.

Sample essays

Essay Writing (U Victoria)
An extensive guide to writing all kinds of essays, including the two samples listed below.
The Essay – A Sample Expository Essay (U Victoria)
A complete, successful expository essay to use as an example.
The Essay – A Sample Literary Essay (U Victoria)
A complete, successful literary essay to use as an example.

Argumentative, persuasive essays

Essentials of Effective Persuasive Essays (Hamilton College)
Writing Argumentative Essays (123HelpMe)
Also sample essays at: and
Writing Evaluation Essays (Roane State CC)
“Evaluative essays seek to prompt readers to examine their own values and to perhaps accept the view of the writer…. These share some features with argumentative essays.”

Narrative, descriptive and reaction/response essays

The Definition Essay (St. Cloud U)
How to approach a definition essay and the different ways of defining things, including a sample essay.
Writing Descriptive Essays
“There are several methods writers use to describe something in an essay. They may choose vivid, fresh language, or they may use examples, or they might take something ordinary and by comparing it with something extraordinary, make it interesting, or they may use their senses.” Includes samples at: and
Descriptive Essays (St. Cloud U)
“Descriptive writing portrays people, places, things, moments and theories with enough vivid detail to help the reader create a mental picture of what is being written about.”
Narrative Essays (St. Cloud U)
Writing in the first person. “As a mode of expository writing, the narrative approach, more than any other, offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves.”
Writing Narrative Essays (Roane State CC)
“Narrative writing tells a story. In essays the narrative writing could also be considered a reflection or an exploration of the author’s values told as a story.” Samples at: and
Writing a Process Essay (St. Cloud U)
“A process paper either tells the reader how to do something or describes how something is done.”
Writing a Reaction or Response Essay (St. Cloud U)
How to approach this kind of paper, including suggested outline. “Reaction or response papers are usually requested by teachers so that you’ll consider carefully what you think or feel about something you’ve read.”

Comparison/contrast, cause/effect essays

Writing Cause and Effect Essays (Roane State CC)
Writing Comparison and Contrast Essays (Roane State CC)
Comparison/Contrast Essays (Temple U)
Short checklist of what to consider in doing comparison/contrast essays.
Comparison/Contrast Essays (St. Cloud U)
How to approach and outline this type of paper.

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A+ Research & Writing for high school and college students was created by Kathryn L. Schwartz