Essay vs Research Paper: Key Disparities

Table of contents

  • 1.1 What Is an Essay?
  • 1.2 What Is a Research Paper?
  • 2.1 Purpose and Objective
  • 2.2 Structure and Organization
  • 2.3 Length and Depth
  • 2.4 Sources and Evidence
  • 2.5 Voice and Style
  • 2.6 Audience and Presentation
  • 3 Essay vs Research Paper: 10 Points of Difference
  • 4 What Is the Difference Between Research Paper and Different Types of Papers
  • 5 Let’s Sum Up

Every student needs to write some academic papers for the university. However, even young people with experience can't determine the difference between an essay and a research paper. Although these two areas of academic writing have many similarities, the requirements are still significantly different.

  • In this article, you will get a clear definition of an essay and research paper.
  • We will outline the key differences between these two types of academic writing.
  • You will learn more about the organization, structure, essay and research paper requirements.
  • Finally, you will be able to tell the difference between a research paper and an essay.

To get to the heart of the matter of these two academic assignments, we should start by getting an essay vs research paper definition.

Definition and Overview

What is an essay.

An essay is a short piece of work, the purpose of which is to present individual thoughts regarding a chosen topic. Often, essays do not pretend to be scientific but require a defined structure. The basic requirements for an essay suggest writing a five-paragraph piece that contains an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

What makes your essay unique is your creativity and the novelty of your ideas. To easily structure your thoughts and present them clearly to the reader, you should devote time to drafting an essay . Before you start writing your essay, brainstorm the freshest ideas. Thus, even though all your classmates will use the same five-paragraph structure as you, your ideas will impress the teacher. Experiment with meaning, not form.

What Is a Research Paper?

The difference between an essay and a research paper revolves around the academic approaches. Research work is the depth of study of a selected scientific topic, which should bring scientific novelty by drawing conclusions based on existing research and experiments conducted. For students, it’s not enough to state the facts or express their point of view regarding the topic. Your task is to comprehensively study the subject of research, familiarize yourself with existing opinions, and outline the direction of the upcoming study.

Your teacher will expect you to demonstrate analytical skills, the ability to select reliable sources, and a broad theoretical base on your research topic. Research papers require creativity, erudition, and orientation in the topic.

Key Differences Between Essay and Research Paper

The central difference is the goal of these academic assignments. The essay aims to express an individual point of view and find a creative, fresh approach to an existing topic. A good research paper seeks to introduce scientific novelty by examining existing data and conducting new experiments to analyze the information obtained.

Purpose and Objective

The first and main difference between an essay and a research paper is the purpose of writing . An essay as an academic task has the goal of developing students' creative thinking. It also teaches us a structured presentation of thoughts regarding a certain topic. The student is required to have a non-standard approach, fresh thoughts, and reasoned conclusions on the given topic.

The purpose of the research work is to study a scientific topic in detail. This academic assignment is aimed at assessing the student’s analytical abilities and competence to determine cause-and-effect relationships, filter sources, and formulate logical conclusions. Such work requires theoretical knowledge, preliminary study of existing scientific works, and the ability to formulate goals and research methods.

Moreover, a student is supposed to show the capacity to draw comprehensive conclusions based on available data and information obtained during independent research. This task may seem complicated to students, so they opt for resorting to the help of PapersOwl writing service to save time.

Structure and Organization

To start with, the basic structure of any college essay involves a text consisting of five paragraphs, divided into three main factions: introduction, body part, and conclusion. When students lack time to compose a nicely structured academic essay, they can always pay to write a research paper and have their tasks done by a professional. The introduction presents the topic, sets the main direction for further text, and also works as a bait to motivate the reader to study further work. The introduction is followed by three body paragraphs. Each of the three body paragraphs presents a separate idea.

The last paragraph of any essay is a conclusion. In this paragraph, the college or university student must resume the arguments and ideas presented in the text, summarizing them into the main message of the essay. Often, the idea that you present in your conclusions will be most memorable to the reader.

Consequently, let’s overview the structure of a research paper. Compared to the structure of an essay, the organization of a research paper is much more ornate. This type of work requires a title page and abstract that go before the main body of text. On the title page, the student describes his topic of work, as well as gives contact details. An abstract is a short description of the main ideas and research methods of your work. The research work itself consists of an introduction, background, main part, and conclusions. Also, at the very end, they often add acknowledgments and a list of references, which must be formatted following the required international format.

Length and Depth

The length and depth of analysis between these two academic assignments also differ significantly. As for the essay, it is often a short prose piece whose length does not exceed 1000 words. You are faced with the task of fitting a large array of ideas into a small amount of text. The essay format itself rarely requires rigorous and thorough research of the topic, but you should work on creativity and the presence of a message in your essay. Most academic papers fall in the 300 to 600-word range.

On the other hand, a research paper is a scientific project that includes many theoretical aspects that require analysis and clarification. Thus, the volume is significantly bigger. Basic research paper lengths range from 4,000 to 6,000 words. In this case, you will no doubt have to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the selected sources, formulate a research vector, and spend time conducting your experiments, or ask PapersOwl to do a research paper for you . A research paper is a scientific project that includes many theoretical aspects that require analysis and clarification.

Sources and Evidence

The presence of theoretical sources and references is not a mandatory requirement for an essay. You can state your own thoughts on a given topic without resorting to the help of existing sources. Present your ideas on the topic, giving arguments that seem logical to you. If you do decide to base your paper on existing works, you must be sure to indicate where the information was taken from. And yet, the teacher needs to see your own thoughts rather than a dry listing of existing ideas.

Unlike an essay, a quality research paper must include primary and secondary sources, as well as a specific citation format. Surely, you are not the first person to study this scientific topic. In order not to repeat existing thoughts, you need to conduct a search to form a reliable basis for your study. If you skip this step, you risk basing your paper on misleading scientific findings.

Voice and Style

The very specificity of the essay as an academic paper is the subjective presentation of information. A large percentage of your essay should consist of your perspective and vision of the chosen topic. For this reason, essays often use a less formal and more subjective tone. However, you can still use a large amount of colloquial vocabulary, completely disregarding the norms of formal style. Students often have trouble figuring out the right style for their university assignments. In such cases, a reasonable solution is to seek help from a specialist. When you buy custom-written essays from PapersOwl, you’ll always get a perfectly balanced academic paper.

On the other hand, a research paper is a serious scientific work. The student must maintain a formal tone while complying with all structural requirements. Also, in investigative work, there is little room for subjectivity and a personal approach since an objective style is required. At the same time, do not oversaturate your research work with formalism and standard clichés.

Audience and Presentation

The essay format can be used both in the educational process and in an independent literary style. Therefore, the audience for such a written assignment can be wide and varied. When you’re writing an essay, make sure it’s understandable in academia and for a wide audience.

Research work, on the contrary, is aimed at a range of professionals in the chosen field. Written in scientific language, the goal of this work is to attract the attention of scientists and students of certain majors. Your scientific work should be rich in theory and related terms.

Essay vs Research Paper: 10 Points of Difference

As you may have noticed, research papers and essays have many differences, both global and specific. These two types of academic assignments differ in the purpose of writing, have different structures and formats, and are aimed at testing different skills. And yet, every day, students face difficulties in understanding the basic requirements, which leads to incorrect execution of the task. To summarize the main differences, let's look at the table below.

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What Is the Difference Between Research Paper and Different Types of Papers

There are many types of papers, each focusing on different topics, serving different purposes, and requiring a specific structure. Those are different types of essays that share a common ground but differ in the way they present information and arguments.

Analytical paper. The purpose of such an essay is an in-depth analysis of the chosen topic, studying different approaches and points of view, and formulating one’s own conclusions based on the information studied and scientific evidence.

Argumentative paper. This type of essay takes as a basis an ambiguous topic; the author must take a certain position and provide a number of arguments.

Informative paper. It has an informative purpose — a presentation of information to the reader, preceded by careful analysis and selection of data.

Persuasive paper . The purpose of this paper is to present convincing arguments, using chosen writing techniques, confirming the author’s position regarding the selected scientific topic.

To get a high grade, you need to understand the requirements of academic requirements. No matter how informatively rich your work is, if it does not meet the requirements, it cannot be highly appreciated. Each type of academic assignment has its own clearly defined, unique format. It’s necessary to know the difference between a research paper vs argumentative essay so as not to get confused while completing a college assignment. So before you start writing an assignment, make sure you understand the type of academic writing required of you.

Let’s Sum Up

Research papers and essays are aimed at testing various skills of the student, following different structures, and having several requirements. An essay is a more creative writing task, which involves showing originality and expressing a personal opinion on a certain topic. At the same time, a research paper is a type of scientific writing that adheres to a strict structure and uses a formal tone. Understanding the main differences will make your writing process easier, saving you time researching the requirements. Remember that knowing the essence of the assignment is a key factor in writing a decent paper.

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The Difference between an Essay and a Research Paper: A Comprehensive Comparison

The Difference between an Essay and a Research Paper: A Comprehensive Comparison

Writing is a skill that can take you far in life. From the moment you start school, you’re asked to submit various types of written work. You might think that writing a research paper and an essay is one and the same, but they’re actually quite different. In this article, we’ll delve into the key differences between these two forms of writing and provide you with tips on how to excel in each.

Another major difference between essays and research papers lies in their purposes. Essays are usually more informal and allow the writer to express their thoughts and opinions on a given topic. They can be persuasive or informative, but their main goal is to showcase the writer’s ability to present a well-structured argument. Research papers, on the other hand, have a more formal tone and require extensive research and analysis. They are often used in academic or scientific settings and are meant to contribute new knowledge to the field.

The style of writing also differs between essays and research papers. In essays, writers can use a more creative and personal tone, while research papers require a more objective and formal approach. In essays, it’s appropriate to use the first person pronouns “I” and “we” to express the writer’s thoughts and opinions. In research papers, the focus should be on presenting the facts and findings in an unbiased manner.

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Understanding the basics of an essay and a research paper.

When it comes to academic writing, two common types of assignments that students often encounter are essays and research papers. While both forms of writing serve a similar purpose, there are fundamental differences between them that every student should understand.

The Purpose: While both essays and research papers aim to communicate ideas and knowledge, their purposes differ. Essays are usually written to demonstrate a student’s understanding of a particular topic or to argue a specific point of view. Research papers, however, are meant to contribute to the existing body of knowledge within a particular subject area. They often require extensive research and analysis of existing literature.

The Style of Writing: Another important difference between essays and research papers is the style of writing. Essays tend to be more personal in nature and allow the writer to express their thoughts and opinions. On the other hand, research papers require a more objective and formal tone, relying on evidence and data to support the arguments presented.

The Use of Sources: Essays may include references to support the writer’s claims, but they typically do not require extensive research or citation of sources. Research papers, on the other hand, rely heavily on the use of credible sources to back the claims and arguments made by the writer. This often involves conducting a literature review and citing various scholarly articles, books, or other relevant sources.

The Length: Essays are generally shorter in length compared to research papers. While essays can range from a single paragraph to a few pages, research papers are usually several pages long and can even extend to tens or hundreds of pages, depending on the topic and depth of research required.

The Level of Complexity: Essays are relatively easier to write compared to research papers. Research papers require a higher level of complexity as they involve a more rigorous analysis and investigation of a subject. They often require critical thinking and a deeper understanding of the topic.

The Audience: Essays are usually written for an academic audience, such as professors or classmates. Research papers, on the other hand, are often written for a more specialized audience within a specific field or discipline, such as fellow researchers, scientists, or professionals in the field.

Key Differences: Structure, Purpose, and Length

The purpose of an essay is to present an argument or viewpoint on a given topic. Essays are often assigned as a way for students to demonstrate their understanding of a subject and their ability to communicate their thoughts effectively. They are free-form pieces of writing that allow for creativity and personal expression, although they still require clear and coherent writing.

In contrast, the purpose of a research paper is to contribute to existing knowledge and understanding of a particular topic. Research papers are more focused and objective in nature, often requiring extensive research and analysis. They are meant to explore new ideas or test existing theories, and their primary aim is to contribute to a specific field of study.

The length of an essay can vary depending on the requirements given by the instructor or the purpose of the assignment. Essays can range from a few hundred words to several thousand, with the average length being around 1,000-1,500 words. Since essays are typically shorter, they tend to be easier to write and can be completed within a shorter time frame.

On the other hand, research papers are usually longer and more time-consuming. They can range from several thousand words to tens of thousands, especially in fields such as medical research, where in-depth analysis and extensive reporting are required. Research papers require a significant amount of research, data collection, and critical thinking skills, making them longer and more complex than essays.

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On the other hand, a research paper is more focused on researching and analyzing a specific topic. It requires a more in-depth investigation, which often includes gathering data, conducting experiments, or reviewing existing literature. Research papers are typically longer than essays and often include an abstract and citations to support the arguments presented.

One of the key differences between essays and research papers is the type of research involved. While both may require some form of research, an essay can rely on general knowledge, personal insights, or observations. In contrast, a research paper requires more extensive and rigorous research, using credible sources such as academic journals, books, or scholarly articles.

Another important distinction is the level of objectivity. In an essay, the writer’s personal views and opinions are often more prominent, allowing for a more subjective approach. However, in a research paper, objectivity and critical analysis are crucial to ensure the accuracy and validity of the findings.

To improve the quality of your research and writing, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, when researching, make sure to explore different sources and gather sufficient evidence to support your arguments. Second, to avoid plagiarism, always cite your sources accurately and use quotation marks when directly quoting someone else’s work. Third, pay attention to the required formatting and citation style specified by your assignment or academic institution. Lastly, always proofread and edit your work before submitting it to ensure clarity, coherence, and error-free writing.

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Expert Advice: Choosing the Right Format for Your Assignment

Essentially, essays and research papers are both written pieces, but they differ in their purpose, style, and structure. Essays are typically shorter and more focused, while research papers are longer and require in-depth researching and analysis. Both assignments require you to develop and articulate your thoughts, but in different ways.

When deciding which format to use, consider the requirements of your assignment and the subject matter. If you’re asked to present new information or a novel idea, a research paper may be more appropriate. If you’re asked to express your thoughts or analyze a specific topic, an essay might be the better choice. Remember, the purpose and audience of your assignment will also influence your decision.

While researching and writing a research paper can be more time-consuming and challenging, it can also be a valuable learning experience. Research papers teach you how to gather and analyze information in a structured manner. They allow you to dive deep into a subject and become more knowledgeable about it.

Essays, on the other hand, can be easier to write since they generally require less research and can be more focused. They’re a great way to develop your critical thinking skills and express your opinions on various topics.

Lastly, keep in mind that there are various types of essays and research papers, each with its own defining features. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these different forms so you can pick the appropriate kind for each assignment.

What is the main difference between an essay and a research paper?

The main difference between an essay and a research paper lies in their purpose and structure. An essay is a shorter piece of writing that presents a writer’s argument or perspective on a specific topic. On the other hand, a research paper is a longer and more comprehensive piece of writing that involves in-depth research and analysis of a specific subject.

Which one requires more research: an essay or a research paper?

A research paper requires significantly more research than an essay. While an essay may require some research to support the writer’s arguments, a research paper involves extensive research to gather and analyze data, review existing literature, and draw conclusions based on the findings. This research is often conducted by referring to academic sources, conducting experiments, and analyzing statistical data.

Can an essay include personal opinions?

Yes, an essay can include personal opinions. In fact, expressing personal opinions is one of the main objectives of an essay. The writer presents their own perspective on the topic and supports it with evidence and examples. However, it is important to note that personal opinions should be backed by logical reasoning and evidence to make the essay more persuasive and credible.

Which one is more common in academic settings: an essay or a research paper?

Both essays and research papers are commonly used in academic settings, but the prevalence of each may depend on the discipline and the level of study. Essays are often assigned in humanities and social sciences courses, where students are required to critically analyze and interpret concepts and theories. Research papers, on the other hand, are more common in scientific and technical fields, where students are expected to conduct original research and contribute new knowledge to their respective fields.

An essay is a short, subjective piece of writing that presents an argument or a point of view, while a research paper is a longer, objective piece of writing that presents a thorough investigation of a topic.

Do essays and research papers require different writing styles?

Yes, essays and research papers require different writing styles. Essays are often more personal and expressive, while research papers require a more formal and objective tone.

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Essay Vs Research Paper

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Essay Vs Research Paper

An essay and a research paper are two different types of academic writing assignments that students are often required to complete during their academic careers.

An Essay is a piece of academic writing that typically presents the author’s personal opinion or interpretation on a particular topic. It is a relatively short piece of writing that may be persuasive, descriptive, or informative in nature. Essays may be assigned to students as homework, in-class assignments, or as part of an exam.

Research Paper

A Research Paper , on the other hand, is a type of academic writing that involves conducting research on a particular topic, analyzing and interpreting the findings, and presenting the results in a written format. Research papers are usually longer and more complex than essays, and require a more extensive analysis of the topic. Research papers are often assigned to students as part of a course, such as a research methods course or a capstone project.

Difference Between Essay and Research Paper

Here’s a comparison table that highlights the differences between essays and research papers:

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Research Papers Vs. Essays (Differences and Similarities)

In high school, college, university, and even professional life, you will write many assignments, including research papers and essays. In school, instructors and professors use essays and research papers to test your understanding of concepts taught in class. It is, therefore, imperative to know the difference between essays and research papers.

You came to the right place if you struggle to get the facts right about essays vs. research papers. This guide guides you through the similarities and differences between the two common papers written at all academic levels.

In a nutshell, research papers focus on facts to argue a point, while essays focus on an individual's understanding of a topic. Understanding the difference between these two pieces of writing will help you succeed in school.

With that said, here is an overview of essays and research papers.

What is an Essay?

An essay is a short piece of writing demonstrating your comprehension, critical thinking, analytical skills, creativity, and awareness of a given topic. The length of the essay will determine the citations it should have and how long it takes to write it. So for a 500 words essay, the instructor will require at least five verifiable sources. Since they are short in length, they usually have five paragraphs starting with an introduction, followed by the body, and then a conclusion.

The main objectives of an essay are to:

  • Inform the reader by providing accurate and proven information about a particular topic
  • Convince the audience of a specific headline using researched evidence
  • Explain a topic by providing in-depth information with flowing content
  • Entertain the readers through humor and other funny statements

Check out our comprehensive guide on how to write a good essay .

Format and Structure

The basic format of an essay is an introduction, body, and conclusion. You must fashion all the ideas- one at a time - in the order that makes sense. To successfully deliver the content to the readers, you must attend to their logic. You have to introduce the arguments, analyze all the data, provide counterarguments and conclude the topic.

You should consider every part of the essay answering basic questions the reader is probably asking. These questions are: what, how, why.

The "what" explains what evidence leads you to your thesis statement, and you must therefore examine all the evidence demonstrating the truth of your fact.

The "how" explains how other arguments can counter your thesis statements. In other words, how does another way of looking at things affect your claims?

The "why" shows why the readers should care about your statements and allows them to learn more about what you are saying in a larger context.

An essay follows different formats depending on the academic style of writing requested; it could be MLA, APA, or Chicago format. For example, the APA style is used in social and health sciences, MLA in liberal arts, Language, Literature, and humanities, and the Chicago style in literature, history, and arts.

However, the structure is as follows:

Introduction

The introduction paragraph sets the stage for what is to come. It has three main parts:

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

The first sentence of the introduction should grab the reader's attention . Next, you should arouse curiosity through an eye-catching statement for the reader to continue reading the essay. You can achieve this by using a joke, statistics, or research findings.

Background Information

Give the readers the context of the essay by providing some background information depending on the essay's subject. Don't give too much information ? mention just a few points you will divulge later in the text. Just make sure you save the evidence for the body of the essay. The length of this information will depend on the scope of your essay.

Thesis Statement

A thesis statement sums up the main ideas of your topic and helps control the essay's narrative. Therefore, the statement should state clearly the main idea you want readers to grasp.

Body (Arguments)

The body is the longest part of the essay, which is organized into different paragraphs. Each paragraph elaborates on one idea and contains between four to five sentences. Every paragraph contains three sections starting with the topic sentence, followed by a supporting sentence and a concluding sentence.

The topic sentence informs the reader about the paragraph, and the supporting sentence expounds on the central idea. And the concluding sentence summarizes what you have talked about.

The conclusion is the last paragraph of the essay. It aims to summarize the essay's main parts, show the essence of your argument, and leave the reader with a sense of closure.

When writing the conclusion paragraph of an essay , you should restate the thesis statement to remind the reader what you talked about, followed by a summary of your arguments and counterarguments. Finally, the last sentence of the paragraph should state your concluding thought.

Types of Essays

There are different types of essays, each with its own objectives. They include:

  • Descriptive
  • Argumentative

Narrative Essays

Narrative essays are mostly personal, and they tell a story. This essay is written from a first-person perspective.

Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays describe something? object, person, place, emotion, or situation from your own perspective.

Expository Essays

Expository essays aim at explaining a topic with facts. This is where you analyze a given piece of information and explain in detail how you have reached your conclusion.

Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay presents both sides of an argument to inform the reader. An instructor will give this type of essay to gauge your debating skills.

Persuasive Essay

The persuasive essay aims to convince the reader. The writing presents logical information with an emotional appeal to the reader to believe your point of view.

What is a Research Paper?

A research paper is academic writing that involves supportive evidence about a given topic. It provides a perspective on a given topic using various sources supported by qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Research papers are usually similar to essays, but they are much longer and involve in-depth research conducted independently. In addition, you must spend time investigating and evaluating multiple sources to offer an interpretation of a given text.

Since the main aim of a research paper is to develop a new argument, you must include a literature review. A literature review is a foundation and support for your research, and it is a survey of academic sources on a given topic that helps you identify theories, methods, and gaps in the existing research.

They are more formal as they involve rigorous and thorough research resulting in a central idea. Only when a paper meets this requirement will the instructor give a good grade. Their aim is to differentiate between opinions and facts, provide a detailed understanding of a given topic, and critique previously written work.

To effectively write a research paper, you must clearly define your research question. If your instructor has already assigned you a topic, there is no need. If not, try to choose an interesting research question.

Choose a research strategy by analyzing the materials you will use for your research. Then evaluate all the sources by focusing on their credibility and whether they support your research question.

Like essays, research papers also have paragraphs and follow the same academic writing formats, but their structure is much different. Their structure is as follows:

  • Materials/methods

Acknowledgments

A title page contains all the vital information about the paper you are writing. The page is usually placed in front of the research paper. It contains your name, the name of the project, and your learning institution. Since it's the first page the reader will see, it should be well formatted. The title on the page should clearly display your thesis statement.

The abstract highlights the main points of your projects to help inform the readers what the paper is about. They are recorded along with keywords to help readers find your content more easily. The abstract should be clear and accurate.

An introduction part allows you to define the topic and establish your voice. The introduction should be interesting enough to get the reader hooked. It usually aims at:

  • Presenting the problem statement, topic, and research investigation in the first part of the introduction
  • Establish the aim and focus of your research in the second part
  • Present the summary of your arguments in the third part

Research papers also have a thesis statement, like essays mostly found at the end of the introduction. It aims to explain what you are trying to prove and provide the main points in the research.

Materials/ Methods

The material/ methods section clearly defines what materials you used to perform your research. The aim is to direct readers to specialized materials, general procedures, and methods to weigh the value of your project. For example, these materials could be questionnaires that provide information about your paper. The materials should be specific and relevant to your field of study.

You should describe in detail how you conducted the analysis in their personal narrative and briefly list the methods used.

The results section is where you report what your findings are based on all the information you gathered with the materials you had. You should state the findings without biases or interpretation, allowing the reader to do that themselves. The findings should only be from your study, and they could be:

  • Quantitative information - is data that can be measured and is presented in graphs, tables, or charts.
  • Qualitative information - which is brief descriptions or explanations and is often presented as lists or essay like form

The discussion section shows the results and outcomes of your paper. It reviews and interprets the findings of the research and allows the readers to see the connection between all the parts of the paper. The discussion should include the following:

  • Results you gathered from the research
  • Discussion of related research
  • Comparison between the research and your initial hypothesis

You must demonstrate your critical thinking skills when developing your arguments and establishing the relationship between each part the same way you would in an essay.

The conclusion section outlines why the research is important to the reader and why they should care. It summarizes all the parts mentioned in the paper and demonstrates the implications of your research. The writing should be on point to deliver your message to the readers.

The acknowledgment section appreciates all the contributors for their efforts in the research. You should mention all the contributors directly involved in your research. They could be:

  • Funding Organization/ Donor
  • Administrative personnel
  • Your professors
  • Work supervisors

The reference section is the last part of your research paper. This section shows that you have clearly and carefully conducted your research. It demonstrates that your work is credible, and readers can rely on it. You should list all the research material used. The average number of references in most research papers is 45.

Types of Research Papers

Like essays, there are different research papers, each requiring different preparation. These are argumentative and analytical research papers:

Argumentative Research Paper

When writing an argumentative research paper, you discuss your topic and then choose the stand you will be taking. The hope is to persuade the reader to take your stand.

Analytical Research Paper

You state your topic in an analytical research paper and take a neutral stance. You will then provide your arguments and facts, leaving the reader to choose their stance. The aim is not to persuade the reader but to present a well-supported analysis of a given topic.

Survey Research Paper

Survey research involves collecting data from a group of people through quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Experimental Research Paper

Based on experimental research or empirical research, this type of paper provides information about the procedures you have used in your research. It is mainly written as a scientific or empirical paper following the IMRAD format.

Definition Paper

In definition papers, you will describe an argument's facts without sharing personal emotions and only provide a list of facts without analyzing them.

What is the Aim of the Research Paper?

Learning how to write a research paper is to:

Provide Knowledge

Through research, you will gain new insights about a particular topic making you more knowledgeable.

Boost the Success, Not Business

The findings of a research paper will influence decision-makers to take positive action. For instance, if you wrote a paper about the importance of using laptops in schools, more laptops will be provided even to learners.

Enhance Public Awareness

By writing compelling research about a given headline and sharing it with the public, you give them an understanding of your ideas. Providing detailed and well-researched information will help the readers see the relevance of your conclusion.

What Are the Differences Between an Essay and a Research Paper?

After looking at each of them individually, what are the differences between them?

  They Have Different Purposes

Even though they are both academic writings, they have different purposes. When an instructor assigns you a research paper, they want to know your deep understanding of a given topic by sharing how you have come to that realization. In other words, it demonstrates your opinions and those of other scientists. On the other hand, an essay shows your opinion about something even though you will research your information, and your point of view about the topic should be unique.

  A Research Paper is More Formal

A research paper involves in-depth research from reputable sources, which you should prove in the form of references. On the other hand, an essay doesn't need in-depth research; it mainly relies on your thoughts and opinion. They are also not as complex as a research paper in terms of headings and subheadings.

  More Time and Effort Are Needed in Writing a Research Paper Than an Essay

A research paper is a long piece of academic writing that requires multiple sources and a deeper understanding of information to reach a conclusion. Since there is tons of information to find and go through, more time is taken to do the research.

So while an essay can be completed in a few hours, a research paper can take days or even weeks to complete.

  Differences in Length

Both essays and research papers are organized the same way. An essay has three parts: an introduction which includes a thesis statement, a body, and a supportive conclusion. You will need to hook your readers when writing the introduction for them to proceed with writing. The body usually has between four to five paragraphs which must be arranged systematically to make sense to the reader. Their word count ranges between 500 and 1000 words with about 5 citations.

Because research papers require in-depth research, they are much longer than essays and are usually referred to as multipage writing. A research paper typically has nine parts arranged in order with between 8 to 100 references. Regardless, both forms of academic writing follow the same organizational structure.

Here is a table that shows the similarities and differences between the two.

Similarities and differences between research paper and essays

More differences and similarities between essays and research papers ( source )

Final Words

An essay and research paper are common types of academic writing assigned to high school, college, and university students. Essays are the shortest pieces of writing which show your understanding of a given topic during a research paper. The above difference will help you in your academic writing journey.

Life is full of demands, and you will juggle work, home duties, family responsibilities, and social life. When you add studies and writing papers to the packed schedule, you might break down mentally.

Do you need help with a research paper or an essay ? GradeCrest is the most preferred place for students and professionals who want their research papers done. We have expert paper writers who can handle papers on various topics and almost all subjects; no subject lacks an expert or is too hard to crack for us. You can order your essay or research paper by filling out the order form on our home page.

difference between research paper & essay

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Major Difference Between Essay and Research Paper

Difference Between Essay and Research Paper

Essay and research papers are different forms of articles that have varying styles and formats. A research paper includes a thorough search of information, facts, and evidence to support the statement of the research paper. However, an essay is a piece of writing that is often written from a personal or limited point of view. Understanding the differences between an essay and a research paper will help one to enhance their writing skills. It will also be useful to write effect essay and research paper as one can easily manage the essay vs research paper encounter.

In this blog post, we will provide you with the major differences between an essay and a research paper .

  • Point of view
  • Need for research
  • Writer’s liberty
  • Structuring rule
  • Methodology

These differences will aid you to differentiate clearly between an essay and a research paper.

  • Length :  Length is one of the most important elements of a piece of writing. One of the key differences between an essay and vs research paper is the length. This is because the length of a research paper is usually long as it includes several chapters. However, in an essay, the length can be altered and is usually shorter than in a research paper. The length makes a research paper more time-consuming as it is multi-page writing. An essay can be finished within less time due to its short length. We suggest that writing a research paper would require a long length so keep adequate time in hand.
  • Point of view:   The point of view of an article is extremely important as it determines the purpose of the writing. In the discussion of essay vs research paper, we can say that the point of view is different in both these writing. In an essay, the students can showcase their personal opinion through the article which needs to be backed by supporting sources. However, in a research paper, the point of view of people on a given topic is analyzed. Generally, a scientist or an organization’s perspective on a topic is considered for writing a research paper. The opinion of people that might be related to the research topic area is also included in writing the research paper.
  • Need for research :  We know that an essay vs research paper has several differences among which, the requirement for research is significant. The need for conducting in-depth research is essential to writing a research paper. Types of research papers may need several kinds of research based on the nature of the research topic. While for an essay in-depth research is not mandatory. This is because in an essay individuals can opine their thoughts which may not require in-depth research. A majority portion of an essay comes from a personal viewpoint which is what makes it different from a research paper. In a research paper, a proper investigation of the research issue is required.
  • Aim :  The aim of an essay vs a research paper is different due to the varying nature of the two writing styles. An essay aims to understand the writing skills and capabilities of the writer. Individuals can practice their writing capabilities by writing an essay as one enjoys the liberty of exploring personal ideas to write an essay. On the other hand, a research paper aims to analyze a matter with depth and evidence. Types of essays can differ in their approach to writing style but their aim remains focused on determining the writer's writing skills. A research paper focuses on findings that shed light on the research issue. We can state that the aim is entirely different between essay and research paper which clearly defines its differences.
  • Knowledge :  Knowledge is important to write any piece article. However, the necessity to know about a topic is a key difference between an essay and vs research paper. This is because writing a research paper requires the individual to gain adequate knowledge and understanding regarding the topic. It is essential to have a proper understanding of the research matter to be able to analyze the findings efficiently. In an essay, the individual does not need to have in-depth knowledge about the essay topic. For instance, one may not be entirely familiar with the topic of the essay which is not an issue to write an essay. In the case of a research paper, individuals need to gather relevant knowledge about the topic. We suggest it is better to have basic information regarding the topic for any writing style, for an essay the need is not mandatory.
  • Writer’s liberty :  Types of research papers show that in research the writer needs to abstain from sharing a personal opinion, whereas, n an essay, one has the liberty to share their personal opinion. Essay vs research paper reflects on the writer’s liberty which is significantly different in both write-ups. Essays can expose the personal preference and view of the writer as that freedom is given to the individual. Although, in the case of writing a research paper strictly staying in line with facts and evidence is advisory. We suggest that during writing a research paper keeping personal views away is highly useful as it would help individuals to make sure that the research paper is efficient.
  • Structuring rule :  We understand that structuring is an important part of a writing piece. In the context of essay vs research, paper structuring becomes a major differentiating point. An essay allows an individual to play around with the structure of the essay. Usually, an introduction, main body, and conclusion are broad sections of an essay. Students have the freedom to experiment with the structure depending on the topic and its nature. A non-negotiable structure must be maintained in a research paper. This is due to the strict structuring rule of a research paper that needs to be abided by the writer. A proper introduction, chapters, and conclusion need to be given in a research paper.
  • Types :  Several types of essays are present such as narrative, descriptive, comparative, academic, philosophical, and argumentative. In all these types of essays, the writer requires to write descriptive typewriting. An essay needs to maintain a narration that has a balanced tone throughout the writing. Types of research papers include argumentative and analytical writing. A research paper involves an analytical approach to writing research. The narration is different in an essay vs research paper which needs to be well maintained by the writer. We know that an essay provides with liberty to be flexible with the structure which is why the narration can be descriptive. However, in a research paper, the content has to be concise and to the point, as it is entirely evidence-based. It is essential to make the writing narrative clear right from the beginning to help the reader easily identify whether it is an essay or a research paper.
  • Format :   The formatting is one of the major differences between essay vs research paper writing. The format of an essay has broader divisions into the introduction, main body, and conclusion. Although, the main body usually needs to have 3 paragraphs which can increase based on the total word count of the essay. While in a research paper, several divisions are mandatory. An introduction, body, and conclusion are also included in the research paper. However, an abstract, acknowledgment, references, and title page are important parts of a research paper. The formatting of a research paper has more divisions than an essay. The writer must maintain the formatting styles properly for an essay as well as a research paper. This is because the format reflects the article type.
  • Methodology :  A methodology is a process that describes the methods and steps used to complete a research. We can say that in an essay vs a research paper, a methodology is a mandatory part of a research paper, unlike an essay. Writing a research paper needs to include a particular chapter on methodology in which the steps discussed in detail that has been used to collect data. In an essay, no such requirement is present as a methodology pattern is not maintained in an essay. An essay has a narrative pattern that does not include methodology. A specific methodology needs to be mentioned in a research paper which is not required in an essay as one specific methodology is not used.

Examples of Research Paper;

  • Research Paper on Shampoo Assignment
  • Research Paper on Chinese Government Censor SNS (social networking site)
  • Research Paper on SAP S/4HANA Finance (pdf)
  • The Process of Writing an English Research Paper
  • Indian food Research Papers
  • SCM Globe Research Paper

Examples of Reflective Essay; 

  • Reflective Essay On Health Education To Delay Type 2 Diabetes Complication In Adults
  • NURSING 3004 - Reflective Essay On Mental Health- Nursing
  • Essay on Mental Health and Mental Illness
  • Essay on Importance of Mental Health
  • Reflective Essay - Paramedic Emergency Clinical Placement
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Essay
  • ALHLT 3933 - Healthcare Issue - Case study
  • Essay on “The Old Gun” by Mo Yan
  • Essay on Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • NURS1018 - Obesity in Australia - Essay

To conclude…

Essay and research papers are two different types of writing. We can conclude that the major differences between essays and research papers include the factors related to aim, structure, and format. The aim and purpose of an essay are entirely different from a research paper. An essay provides certain liberties of sharing the personal opinion and thoughts of the writer in the article. In a research paper, we know that the writer's personal opinion cannot be expressed. A research paper is stricter as it maintains a proper structure, formatting style, and methodology. While an essay is more lenient as it has a descriptive narrative in which individuals can explore their perspectives.

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The Difference between an Essay and a Research Paper

If you don't know the difference between an essay and a research paper, you are not alone. The descriptions of the two types of writing are similar, but there are key differences. Most importantly, the difference is the work involved. If you're preparing to write your first research paper, get comfortable. It's going to take time and a lot of study.

Essay vs. Research Paper

For an essay, the most important viewpoint on the topic being written about is the writer's. After an essay writer does some research on their topic, they will develop a thesis statement and write body paragraphs with topic sentences that relate back to the thesis statement in order to develop their argument. An essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes the writer's point of view on the topic.

For a research paper, the most important viewpoint is that of others who have written on the topic. A research paper presents all the findings and conclusions other researchers have drawn.

The average essay will include approximately five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

A research paper can get quite lengthy. Unless the topic being discussed is very new and there hasn't been a lot of prior research by other scholars, presenting all of the other conclusions reached on the topic may require many pages of writing.

Doing research for an essay is important and finding outside sources to support your argument may take some time, but research for a good research paper should be comprehensive. In other words, you'll need to know what every other scholar has argued about your topic in order to fully complete a research paper.

Essays have four basic types and structures: expository (presenting the information), descriptive (painting a picture for a reader using words), persuasive (arguing your point of view), and narrative (telling a story).

Research papers come in many different forms, but the most common are compare and contrast, argumentative, analytical, cause and effect, and interpretive. While a persuasive essay and an argumentative research paper use similar tones, a research paper must include as many of the existing arguments as possible for the writer's conclusion to be considered soundly formed.

No matter which type of writing you'll do, it's important to pick a topic that interests you. After all, you're going to be doing a lot of reading and writing about it. You'll just do a lot more reading and writing with a research paper than you will with an essay.

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Blog article cover Essay vs. Research Paper: Understanding the Key Differences

Essay vs. Research Paper: Understanding the Key Differences

Table of Contents:

1.What an Essay is? 2.What is a Research Paper? 3.Difference Between Essay and Research Paper 4.Uncovering Common Ground Between Essay and Research Paper 5.Choosing the Appropriate Format for Your Academic Needs

What an Essay is?

To understand what an essays research paper is, you need to understand the essence of such writing. Professors exceptionally often assign students this type of work to test their skills in constructing sentences and proving their points of view. Through research paper writing, you can effectively improve your skills and learn how to prove a position, gather and sort information, work with sources, and even speak in front of an audience. All these essential and valuable skills will come in handy, including in later life.

Cover to the article: Essay vs. Research Paper

First of all, a paper essay is a unique research paper , which is most often found among creative assignments for students. Therefore, Bid4Papers writers regularly help students to conduct such work and get good grades. It is required not only to be able to write well but also to combine arguments, facts, and evidence creatively. All this will help you, along with statistics, to effectively prove a particular point of view.

It usually starts with tiny essays, which are often found in school. But already in college, you will face much work and the need to create scientific material carefully. You will also have to utilize academic writing skills and use evidence that will support your thoughts. Usually, at least three paragraphs at a time are required. In general, an essay about research will require you to follow a classic structure:

  • one-paragraph introductions;
  • the main body with evidence for three paragraphs;
  • one-paragraph conclusion.

This is usually the structure that is most common in all types of essays, of which there are also quite a few. When wondering what an essay is, you will also quickly discover that there can be many directions for such papers. Starting from persuasive and argumentative to expository or critical. You can create each of these throughout your college career because professors love this research paper and regularly offer to complete it. It’s also a great way to improve your grades.

Here’s how essay vs article differs in accomplishing the work:

  • more often than not, the length of the essay is much smaller and contains about 1000 words or less. Usually, you can go a little beyond that, and if you have 1100 words, no one will reproach you;
  • students write and discuss this type of research paper on a specific topic . That is, you don’t need to delve too much into related topics so that one thought is constantly maintained;
  • periodically essays can be written as a response to a supervisor’s question;
  • you must use quotations and references to other scientific works from which you take thoughts. This is a mandatory requirement, and without it, you may receive a reduced essay score;
  • most of the time, headings and subheadings can be used sparingly and confusingly. You can develop your own structure for these headings;
  • the key goal of such a paper is to analyze and criticize the topic that the student has chosen, which again proves working with one specific topic;
  • you can use a subjective tone in this type of research paper, which is usually unacceptable for a research paper.

Essay vs. Research Paper photo 1

As an additional distinction, an essay on article often does not involve the use of a large number of photos, graphs, and other design elements. It is not uncommon to find just text divided by subheadings and lists.

This type of work often has the advantage of not using methodology or data samples. Thanks to this, writing such a letter becomes much easier, and students most often cope with the task without additional problems, getting excellent results.

What is a Research Paper?

Asking how to write paper research, you must realize it is technically an essay too. It is usually called much more information and sources, and such work has a different purpose, unlike a regular essay.

The main difference is that using the methodology, information from books, and scientific articles here is necessary. It can also be various interviews or surveys, social research, and other interesting sources. It is necessary to refer to facts, use the language of evidence, and not provide subjective information. At the same time, the information should always be properly presented so the audience can understand and comprehend it without too many problems. Easy to read form and easy to understand language.

Most often, paper vs essay has the following difference:

  • contains the methodology, which can be presented in two different ways. Qualitative and quantitative, depending on the student’s preference and the research paper’s objective, and they can also be mixed;
  • the initial part of the paper usually utilizes at least one research question that the student or researcher investigates;
  • it is mandatory to include a list of references and sources that were used during the writing of the paper;
  • the methods and objectives of your research paper must be explained in a mandatory manner. Separately it is worth saying about the wording because it should be clear and logical;
  • even the heading on a research paper can cause problems because its writing should be given special attention to give the most useful data to the reader from the very beginning;
  • most often, the paper itself includes a discussion of the results of the work done so that the readers can better understand the result achieved;
  • the choice of sources is given much more time because you can not give unreliable information or encounter unbiased statistics.

Essay vs. Research Paper photo 2

It is also interesting to note that such papers often include a discussion of the limitations of the researcher. An objective writing academic research paper requires you to be able to talk about mistakes or problems, such as the inaccessibility of certain pieces of information. All this is done to clarify to the readers what your conclusions could have been based on and why they are the way they are.

Among other things, compare article vs. essay often by the content of references, footnotes, and appendices to the research paper. Thanks to all this, you can provide much more helpful information and explain part of your research. Most often, such papers are 30-50 pages long, which can cause many problems for students. Writing takes a lot of time and effort, so you are guaranteed to do a good job.

Difference Between Essay and Research Paper

The difference between essay and research paper is quite extensive, but at the same time, these papers have something in common. Our Bid4Papers experts have provided information to help you identify the type of research paper before you first reading it. It is essential to distinguish between research papers because the expectations of the professor in the quality of performance and even the tone of how the material is presented while writing depend on it.

It is also essential to understand the difference between report and essay. All research papers should be properly written and obey specific requirements. Only in this case will you be able to evaluate your work positively. This allows you to work effectively with different research papers and gradually learn more information to write your own.

In any case, the main difference is the strictness of writing rules. An essay is a more free form, where many inaccuracies and a more subjective tone of narration are allowed. At the same time, a research paper is necessarily objective but can be with the author’s vision. In the first case, you may not formalize footnotes or sources. But with a serious research paper, you can not do so because the professor will not accept such a result.

Uncovering Common Ground Between Essay and Research Paper

Contrasting essay vs paper is unnecessary because the two types of papers have many standard features. They are reflected because the scientific community has a certain approach to creating work. Thanks to such typical rules, everyone can quickly familiarize themselves with the article and find the necessary information regardless of what kind of writing it is.

Essay vs. Research Paper photo 3

Here are the three main reasons to consider such papers at least similar:

  • structure. The most important indicator of the similarity of such research papers is the ability to quickly see the document’s structure and go to the necessary point. That is, always the work will begin with an introduction, then there will be the central part with arguments, and in the end, there will be a concluding paragraph . Their size may vary, arguments may increase over time, and intermediate conclusions may appear. But in fact, the structures in both cases will be very similar;
  • a strong thesis . In this regard, there are no indulgences for those who write essays . You must create a relevant, truthful, and exciting thesis reflecting all your further work. At the same time, this article element must necessarily be strengthened with arguments and facts, statistics, figures, and sociological surveys. Most often, the thesis you will have to learn to write anyway, so you should not ignore it even in those letters where the teacher emphasized that it is not necessary;
  • researching the topic. In any case, an essay about paper or vice versa will require the student to study the chosen choice and all the positions presented carefully. Without this, you cannot create a convincing base of argument and argument. This is the only way you will get the right reaction from the audience and maintain your credibility as the author of this research paper. Superficial knowledge will never lead you to a positive result!

Among other things, research essay papers are similar also due to the scrupulous approach of the authors to errors, grammatical and punctuation problems. All such papers should be carefully proofread. The editing process is one of the most important and valuable for any such work.

Among other things, an essay can be made the same as a scientific paper. It is enough to follow the rules of working with sources, adding references, and actively using footnotes. There are no restrictions on this, especially if you are trying to write the work qualitatively. Therefore, one type of work can be very similar to another.

Choosing the Appropriate Format for Your Academic Needs

Asking the question is a research paper an essay, you should not forget that first of all, yes, it is, and secondly, you can choose the type of your academic writing. You must correctly determine what you are writing and do your work well. Often, the final grade and respect from the instructor to the student who tried to do it right depends on it.

The best recommendation from the experts at Bid4Papers is to ask your instructor for more information. Writing a research paper instead of an essay is good only if allowed. Otherwise, you will spend much more time and achieve only subjective results.

At the same time, writing a research paper as a regular essay will be a big problem because the professor will not evaluate such an assignment fulfillment. Your academic research essay may not be subject to review if there are only five paragraphs and they do not contain additional helpful information. That’s why you must choose carefully and settle on the option that will be the most correct for you.

It is also essential to choose the correct option because the goals are different:

  • essays are necessary for students to learn how to write research papers and improve their skills, as well as to talk about a particular topic;
  • a research paper will be required if you want to show the results of your research on a particular issue, topic, or position of the parties to a conflict. It is a more in-depth work that has an enormous scope.

Essay vs. Research Paper photo 4

Try to write your first cumulative essay now or, to save time, seek help from the Bid4Papers platform writers. Specialists will be able to adhere to all the requirements and guarantee to write a valuable and correct text of an essay or research paper. In any case, we wish you good luck with writing and choosing the right research paper!

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Types of research papers

difference between research paper & essay

Analytical research paper

Argumentative or persuasive paper, definition paper, compare and contrast paper, cause and effect paper, interpretative paper, experimental research paper, survey research paper, frequently asked questions about the different types of research papers, related articles.

There are multiple different types of research papers. It is important to know which type of research paper is required for your assignment, as each type of research paper requires different preparation. Below is a list of the most common types of research papers.

➡️ Read more:  What is a research paper?

In an analytical research paper you:

  • pose a question
  • collect relevant data from other researchers
  • analyze their different viewpoints

You focus on the findings and conclusions of other researchers and then make a personal conclusion about the topic. It is important to stay neutral and not show your own negative or positive position on the matter.

The argumentative paper presents two sides of a controversial issue in one paper. It is aimed at getting the reader on the side of your point of view.

You should include and cite findings and arguments of different researchers on both sides of the issue, but then favor one side over the other and try to persuade the reader of your side. Your arguments should not be too emotional though, they still need to be supported with logical facts and statistical data.

Tip: Avoid expressing too much emotion in a persuasive paper.

The definition paper solely describes facts or objective arguments without using any personal emotion or opinion of the author. Its only purpose is to provide information. You should include facts from a variety of sources, but leave those facts unanalyzed.

Compare and contrast papers are used to analyze the difference between two:

Make sure to sufficiently describe both sides in the paper, and then move on to comparing and contrasting both thesis and supporting one.

Cause and effect papers are usually the first types of research papers that high school and college students write. They trace probable or expected results from a specific action and answer the main questions "Why?" and "What?", which reflect effects and causes.

In business and education fields, cause and effect papers will help trace a range of results that could arise from a particular action or situation.

An interpretative paper requires you to use knowledge that you have gained from a particular case study, for example a legal situation in law studies. You need to write the paper based on an established theoretical framework and use valid supporting data to back up your statement and conclusion.

This type of research paper basically describes a particular experiment in detail. It is common in fields like:

Experiments are aimed to explain a certain outcome or phenomenon with certain actions. You need to describe your experiment with supporting data and then analyze it sufficiently.

This research paper demands the conduction of a survey that includes asking questions to respondents. The conductor of the survey then collects all the information from the survey and analyzes it to present it in the research paper.

➡️ Ready to start your research paper? Take a look at our guide on how to start a research paper .

In an analytical research paper, you pose a question and then collect relevant data from other researchers to analyze their different viewpoints. You focus on the findings and conclusions of other researchers and then make a personal conclusion about the topic.

The definition paper solely describes facts or objective arguments without using any personal emotion or opinion of the author. Its only purpose is to provide information.

Cause and effect papers are usually the first types of research papers that high school and college students are confronted with. The answer questions like "Why?" and "What?", which reflect effects and causes. In business and education fields, cause and effect papers will help trace a range of results that could arise from a particular action or situation.

This type of research paper describes a particular experiment in detail. It is common in fields like biology, chemistry or physics. Experiments are aimed to explain a certain outcome or phenomenon with certain actions.

difference between research paper & essay

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Difference Between an Essay and a Research Paper - Every Nook and Cranny

The differences between the personal essay and the research paper are pretty clear and apparent. These two types of academic papers require different approaches that are, though, similar to a certain extent. The writer is required to adhere to some basic rules, as this task aims to verify whether that the student possesses exceptional writing skills and ascertain their overall competence. In particular, the rules include complying with the length requirements (e.g., a one-page essay, a 5-page research paper), formatting requirements (APA, MLA, Harvard, etc.), citing requirements (proper punctuation), etc.

Sometimes, especially after performing a lot of different writing tasks, some students still do not understand what is the difference between a research paper and an essay. These are the two most common assignments they are required to do both in high school and college. Unlike formal and academic papers which should be devoid of any slang or offensive terms, the personal essay provides the writer with an opportunity to use a more relaxed, sophisticated and entertaining language. Research papers, on the other hand, should not contain any 'colorful' adjectives that don't really say much or are simply used to create an image. The wording should be clear and direct, showing an apparent connection to the evidence presented.

What is an essay?

This is a type of academic paper students get taught how to write as early as the junior school. Being an opinion paper (not in all cases), it usually consists of five paragraphs: the Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Essays can be descriptive, personal, persuasive, critical, etc., with each type requiring to utilize different writing skills and implement different details. The main goal of writing the essay is to engage the reader by arousing their curiosity.

Once you understand the basic structure of the essay, you should choose a topic which is easy to write about and which will require little time and effort to explore. Once the basics are firmly grasped, you can concentrate on more pressing issues, such as improving the quality of your content and final presentation.

As stated before, every individual writing an essay should follow some basic rules or a structure. If you feel that you lack skills, consider sticking with the basic five-paragraph-essay setting. This format provides you with a simple and straightforward template for constructing your essay. The traditional five-paragraph-essay consists of the following:

  • Introduction.
  • Body (1st paragraph). Narration. This section, which may be combined with the introduction, basically provides a snapshot of the background information on the topic or argument and briefly explains the connection to relevant issues (that will be addressed in the essay).
  • Body (2nd paragraph). Affirmation. This part is very crucial to your paper because it provides the clear evidence and support to defend your claim.
  • Body (3rd paragraph). Negation. The negation merely handles any counter-claims when necessary. It discusses possible counter-arguments that may arise in opposition to your stance and explains them accordingly. Depending on your topic, you may find that this section does not need to be very lengthy.
  • Conclusion.

Quite simple, right? The essay structure types may be slightly different, depending on the kind of essay, but you should keep in mind that each section of your essay carries a different argument, opinion, viewpoint, information, or idea. The five-part-essay is ideal for writing argumentative, critical, persuasive, and expository essays.

Basically, what is included in the body depends on the type of essay. The conclusion summarizes the introduction and restates the body. No new ideas or information are included here.

What is a research paper?

This is a typical academic paper that aims to assess the student's analytical skills. The student is to provide in-depth research on information by presenting all the acquired facts, statistics, figures, and data, before carrying out the subject topic assignment. It involves conducting comprehensive research in a selected field for the sake of either informing or explaining something to the reader in a manner they can easily understand.

The research paper may involve thorough and investigative research through the use of literary or other available sources, as well as original research, such as an experiment or case study.

Apart from allowing the student to be judgemental and critical, research paper gives them an opportunity to present their own point of view to the reader in an easy-to-understand way. It also aims to engage the reader by arousing their interest. The research paper should be impersonal, so avoid using personal pronouns such as "I" or "you" in your statements. The reader is usually presented with a new viewpoint at the end, but like in the case with an essay, it's also important to find a way to engage them by inspiring their curiosity.

Just like the essay, the research paper also comprises various paragraphs. The structure is somewhat different, but the information provided in each of the paragraphs should be in an easy-to-follow sequence so that the reader does not waste their time trying to sort out some irrelevant facts and ideas.

The student can choose any type of structure that they feel can be interesting to the reader. Let's have a look at the basic structure of the research paper:

  • Page title - lets the reader know of the purpose of the paper.
  • Abstract - a summary of your research. It is similar to a mini-thesis in which you clearly explain your main objectives and related points.
  • Introduction - helps the reader decide whether they want to continue reading or not, which is why it should be catchy, grabbing their attention at once.
  • Background/Literature Review - provides the reader with more detailed information on your topic, explaining the work done in the area and demonstrating that you've read and researched the topic considerably and are aware of the relevant issues.
  • Body - divided into various sections, e.g., materials/methods, results, discussion, etc.
  • Acknowledgments.
  • References.

The structure of a research paper is pretty much similar to that of the essay, which makes them the two most popular types of academic papers.

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Although research paper assignments may vary widely, there are essentially two basic types of research papers. These are argumentative and analytical .

Argumentative

In an argumentative research paper, a student both states the topic they will be exploring and immediately establishes the position they will argue regarding that topic in a thesis statement . This type of paper hopes to persuade its reader to adopt the view presented.

 Example : a paper that argues the merits of early exposure to reading for children would be an argumentative essay.

An analytical research paper states the topic that the writer will be exploring, usually in the form of a question, initially taking a neutral stance. The body of the paper will present multifaceted information and, ultimately, the writer will state their conclusion, based on the information that has unfolded throughout the course of the essay. This type of paper hopes to offer a well-supported critical analysis without necessarily persuading the reader to any particular way of thinking.

Example : a paper that explores the use of metaphor in one of Shakespeare's sonnets would be an example of an analytical essay.

*Please note that this LibGuide will primarily be concerning itself with argumentative or rhetorical research papers.

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Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide

Published on September 24, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on March 27, 2023.

Writing a Research Paper Introduction

The introduction to a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the reader. It has several key goals:

  • Present your topic and get the reader interested
  • Provide background or summarize existing research
  • Position your own approach
  • Detail your specific research problem and problem statement
  • Give an overview of the paper’s structure

The introduction looks slightly different depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument by engaging with a variety of sources.

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Table of contents

Step 1: introduce your topic, step 2: describe the background, step 3: establish your research problem, step 4: specify your objective(s), step 5: map out your paper, research paper introduction examples, frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

The first job of the introduction is to tell the reader what your topic is and why it’s interesting or important. This is generally accomplished with a strong opening hook.

The hook is a striking opening sentence that clearly conveys the relevance of your topic. Think of an interesting fact or statistic, a strong statement, a question, or a brief anecdote that will get the reader wondering about your topic.

For example, the following could be an effective hook for an argumentative paper about the environmental impact of cattle farming:

A more empirical paper investigating the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues in adolescent girls might use the following hook:

Don’t feel that your hook necessarily has to be deeply impressive or creative. Clarity and relevance are still more important than catchiness. The key thing is to guide the reader into your topic and situate your ideas.

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difference between research paper & essay

This part of the introduction differs depending on what approach your paper is taking.

In a more argumentative paper, you’ll explore some general background here. In a more empirical paper, this is the place to review previous research and establish how yours fits in.

Argumentative paper: Background information

After you’ve caught your reader’s attention, specify a bit more, providing context and narrowing down your topic.

Provide only the most relevant background information. The introduction isn’t the place to get too in-depth; if more background is essential to your paper, it can appear in the body .

Empirical paper: Describing previous research

For a paper describing original research, you’ll instead provide an overview of the most relevant research that has already been conducted. This is a sort of miniature literature review —a sketch of the current state of research into your topic, boiled down to a few sentences.

This should be informed by genuine engagement with the literature. Your search can be less extensive than in a full literature review, but a clear sense of the relevant research is crucial to inform your own work.

Begin by establishing the kinds of research that have been done, and end with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to respond to.

The next step is to clarify how your own research fits in and what problem it addresses.

Argumentative paper: Emphasize importance

In an argumentative research paper, you can simply state the problem you intend to discuss, and what is original or important about your argument.

Empirical paper: Relate to the literature

In an empirical research paper, try to lead into the problem on the basis of your discussion of the literature. Think in terms of these questions:

  • What research gap is your work intended to fill?
  • What limitations in previous work does it address?
  • What contribution to knowledge does it make?

You can make the connection between your problem and the existing research using phrases like the following.

Now you’ll get into the specifics of what you intend to find out or express in your research paper.

The way you frame your research objectives varies. An argumentative paper presents a thesis statement, while an empirical paper generally poses a research question (sometimes with a hypothesis as to the answer).

Argumentative paper: Thesis statement

The thesis statement expresses the position that the rest of the paper will present evidence and arguments for. It can be presented in one or two sentences, and should state your position clearly and directly, without providing specific arguments for it at this point.

Empirical paper: Research question and hypothesis

The research question is the question you want to answer in an empirical research paper.

Present your research question clearly and directly, with a minimum of discussion at this point. The rest of the paper will be taken up with discussing and investigating this question; here you just need to express it.

A research question can be framed either directly or indirectly.

  • This study set out to answer the following question: What effects does daily use of Instagram have on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls?
  • We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls.

If your research involved testing hypotheses , these should be stated along with your research question. They are usually presented in the past tense, since the hypothesis will already have been tested by the time you are writing up your paper.

For example, the following hypothesis might respond to the research question above:

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The final part of the introduction is often dedicated to a brief overview of the rest of the paper.

In a paper structured using the standard scientific “introduction, methods, results, discussion” format, this isn’t always necessary. But if your paper is structured in a less predictable way, it’s important to describe the shape of it for the reader.

If included, the overview should be concise, direct, and written in the present tense.

  • This paper will first discuss several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then will go on to …
  • This paper first discusses several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then goes on to …

Full examples of research paper introductions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.

  • Argumentative paper
  • Empirical paper

Are cows responsible for climate change? A recent study (RIVM, 2019) shows that cattle farmers account for two thirds of agricultural nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These emissions result from nitrogen in manure, which can degrade into ammonia and enter the atmosphere. The study’s calculations show that agriculture is the main source of nitrogen pollution, accounting for 46% of the country’s total emissions. By comparison, road traffic and households are responsible for 6.1% each, the industrial sector for 1%. While efforts are being made to mitigate these emissions, policymakers are reluctant to reckon with the scale of the problem. The approach presented here is a radical one, but commensurate with the issue. This paper argues that the Dutch government must stimulate and subsidize livestock farmers, especially cattle farmers, to transition to sustainable vegetable farming. It first establishes the inadequacy of current mitigation measures, then discusses the various advantages of the results proposed, and finally addresses potential objections to the plan on economic grounds.

The rise of social media has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the prevalence of body image issues among women and girls. This correlation has received significant academic attention: Various empirical studies have been conducted into Facebook usage among adolescent girls (Tiggermann & Slater, 2013; Meier & Gray, 2014). These studies have consistently found that the visual and interactive aspects of the platform have the greatest influence on body image issues. Despite this, highly visual social media (HVSM) such as Instagram have yet to be robustly researched. This paper sets out to address this research gap. We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls. It was hypothesized that daily Instagram use would be associated with an increase in body image concerns and a decrease in self-esteem ratings.

The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem

and your problem statement

  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an overview of the paper

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

The way you present your research problem in your introduction varies depending on the nature of your research paper . A research paper that presents a sustained argument will usually encapsulate this argument in a thesis statement .

A research paper designed to present the results of empirical research tends to present a research question that it seeks to answer. It may also include a hypothesis —a prediction that will be confirmed or disproved by your research.

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Difference Between Research Paper and Essay

Whether you are a student of a high school or a middle school or toiling away the college, one of the fundamental facet of academics is paper writing. Essays and other kinds of the creative writing are most common attributes of the English studies. Other than this, you also need to know about writing the informative writings like term or research papers. But knowing the difference amid the different kinds of the writing ways, you will be able to know the compelling prose of draft which is accepted for all forms of assignments.

Research Paper and Essay

Definition of Essay

One of the highly common kinds of writing is writing essays. Initiating the later elementary level of school years and then in the middle school, you are most likely get exposed to the small essays, which are the basic starting point of making the long length essay writing as you move to the higher classes. While these essays are usually short pieces of the writing (not more than 1000 words), they let teachers to judge the students on various writing, analysis and reading skills, also the art of exposition and persuasion.

Essays can take any of the shape like they can be told like a story or can be narrative; need to have an investigation or exposition, descriptive where students need to describe, creative, and lastly, persuasive, where students are expected to give argument on a particular topic or any position.

Overall, essay writing usually lets for much creativity as compared to formal writings like in case of the research paper.

Types of Essays

Essays have now become an important part of the formal education systems and the structure of essay makes the fundamentals of the sufficient writing skills in students. During the initial years of schooling, the students are let to know the structure of 5-paragraph essays which involve the introduction of the topic including the thesis objective, followed by the body of 3 paragraphs along with the main thesis and conclusion. The exhibition of the thoughts of writer in the essay is usually judged on the basis of logics, coherence, and factualness of the written material.

There are different kinds of the essays;

  • Academic Essays
  • Descriptive Essays
  • Narrative Essays
  • Comparison Essays
  • Philosophical Essays

essays

Research Paper Definition

A research paper is defined as the piece of plagiarism free writing of research. Here the word ‘research’ refers to the repetitive search done in different directions for proving the central objective statement or question. Usually there are two forms of the research papers, quantitative papers and qualitative papers

The word “research paper” incur the conjure anxiety among the highly intellectual students. But, this may not be always true. Actually, it is helpful to take research paper as the inflated form of essays. Basically, the structure of both writings is almost same, however you may need the thesis question here (which isn’t included in most kinds of the essay writing), deep research as well as proves for supporting the ideas. You may also need to add few credible sources in the paper, which are listed in form of references. And most important, if you select the subject in which you have an interest in doing research, working on the informative paper makes your experience more rewarding.

Students are encouraged and also need some support for their findings using the facts taken from the reputable references. Typical research papers range 5 to 15 pages in length.

The work of students will get organize in a framework after compilation of all the proper info taken from the various sources. The instructors usually assign these tasks to the students for teaching them how to create balance in the writing skills, and encouraging the structural discipline as well as known formatting.

Moreover, as per the famous research guides for the students, the research papers usually gather the genuine info on the given topic and after then they gather data during the stage of investigation, a student has to sum up giving the concise and clear analysis or disposition. Before writing a paper it is recommended to look for free research paper examples as it may definitely help you to know the actual idea.

The research papers use different major kinds of the citation formats like APA , Chicago, and MLA. The paper is provided with the consistent focus, clear research, and gives a deep understanding of the subject or topic while distinguishing the opinions and facts, and is reliable when it comes to findings and conclusion. Most of the times a research paper is also termed as the research project or term paper too.

For sure, most of the research papers have the thesis statements in accordance with the given topic. And, sometimes the students may need to write down any of the two kinds of the research papers given below;

  • Argumentative Research Paper
  • Analytical Research Paper

research paper types

A research paper comprises of the speculative variable as well as constants which are geared to prove the basic statement of research paper of the main constant. A research paper is focused on the single scholar statement and few times may be just a summary of this statement. This paper circulates around the central statement and is referred as the procedure of giving the methodological proof of the given statement. Both qualitative and quantitative papers have this methodology, presented in different forms as per the requirements of the particular topic.

Differences Between Essay and Research Paper

  • The main difference amid research paper and essay is that paper is usually longer in length, while essays include 4 to 5 paragraphs. Research paper is considered as the multi-page writing. Moreover, the research papers generally give argument tor analysis of a point, while essays give answers to the questions.
  • Research papers depend on the knowledge of other people for proving the point while essays majorly depend on the experiences and thoughts of writer.
  • The purpose of writing research paper is to carry out and write a report including the unique and detailed form of the research done by the author on some particular topic. While the goal of writing essays is to analyze critically already published work done on some particular topic. One can also describe his thoughts about some topic while writing essays.
  • Research paper shows the genuine research done by the writer on some topic. This is called as the primary literature. Essays include the content of already published articles and don’t have any genuine research. This is called as the secondary literature.
  • The writer of research paper makes the research question, gathers the raw data and then conduct the genuine research. In essays, writer selects a particular topic and then makes a summary of already done literature while discussing his own point of views.
  • The content of research paper is written on the basis of analysis and conduction of research done. On the other hand, content of essays includes an overview along with the basic understanding of a topic.
  • In research paper, each step of research is written, including hypothesis, literature review, methodology and conclusions. Essays describe the overall studies and point of views on a topic.
  • Word count of research paper ranges between 3000 to 12, 000. While the word count of essays ranges between 3000 to 5000.

A Comparison Between Research Paper and Essay

Difference Between Research Paper and Essay

While you are passing through your academic life, the writing skills mater a lot. Whether you are writing an essay or a research paper, keep in mind the objective of your writing, styling of writing, way of doing it in a perfect form. To know the basic differences between both kinds of writings, is an important step to take in an academic world.

One has to know the difference between these kinds of writing not only when turning to a research paper writing service, like but also when working on the assignment on their own. This will help to meet all the academic requirements and get the best possible results.

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When incorporating references into your intro, you do not necessarily need to describe every single study in complete detail, particularly if different studies use similar methodologies. Certainly you want to summarize briefly key articles, though, and point out differences in methods or findings of relevant studies when necessary. Don t make one mistake typical of a novice APA-paper writer by stating overtly why you re including a particular article (e.g., This article is relevant to my study because ). It should be obvious to the reader why you re including a reference without your explicitly saying so. DO NOT quote from the articles, instead paraphrase by putting the information in your own words.

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Difference Between an Essay & a Paper

Jennifer brozak.

Research papers are more in depth pieces of writing than essays.

Whether you’re in middle school, high school or toiling away at college, paper writing is a fundamental facet of schooling. While essays and other forms of creative writing are common in English classes, you’ll also need to understand how to write informative pieces, such as research or term papers. By understanding the difference between the various types of writing styles, you’ll be able to draft compelling prose that is appropriate for any given assignment.

Explore this article

  • What Is an Essay?
  • What Is a Research Paper?
  • What Is the Difference Between a Research Paper and Term Paper?
  • Avoid Getting a Free Essay Writer

1 What Is an Essay?

One of the most common forms of writing is the essay. Starting in your later elementary school years and into middle school, you’ll likely be exposed to the five-paragraph essay, which is a fundamental starting point for creating longer-length writing assignments as you move upward through the higher grades. While they’re typically shorter pieces of writing (often under 1,000 words), they allow teachers to evaluate students on different writing, reading and analysis skills, including the art of persuasion and exposition.

Essays can take on many forms: They can be narrative, or tell a story; expository, or require investigation and evidential support; descriptive, in which a student is required to describe, creatively, a person, place or object; and finally, persuasive, in which a student is asked to argue a specific position on a particular topic.

As a whole, paper essay writing typically allows for more creativity than more formal writing styles, such as research papers.

2 What Is a Research Paper?

The phrase “research paper” can conjure anxiety in even the most adequate student writers. However, this need not be the case. In fact, it’s helpful to think of a research paper as an inflated essay. The structure will basically be the same, but you’ll need a thesis statement (which is not required in some forms of essay writing), significant research and evidence to support your ideas. You’ll also be required to include several credible sources in your paper, which will be listed on a reference page. And consider this: If you choose a subject you’re interested in researching, writing an informative paper can actually be quite a rewarding experience.

3 What Is the Difference Between a Research Paper and Term Paper?

Teachers, especially college professors, sometimes refer to longer research papers as “term papers,” which are similar in their structure and format. They’re expanded essays that will require evidence and credible sources to support your ideas. The difference lies in the subject matter. Research papers may allow you to cover a topic outside of the general subject matter (such as writing a persuasive research paper about global warming in an English class), while term papers will focus solely on the subject matter discussed in the course. High-quality research and term paper examples can be found on numerous sites, such as the Purdue University Online Writing Lab.

4 Avoid Getting a Free Essay Writer

A note of caution about submitting any writing assignment: While the Internet abounds with sources to help you in your quest to write the perfect paper, avoid using “essay generators” or hiring a free essay writer or buying papers from a database. Even if you’re procrastinating and panicking about finishing your assignment, it’s always better to turn in your own work. Not only do many teachers utilize online plagiarism checkers, but they also learn to recognize a student’s specific writing style over the course of an academic year. While it’s perfectly fine to use a term paper example as a guideline, it’s always better to submit your own paper or essay with minor errors than to attempt to pass off someone else’s writing as your own.

  • 1 SUNY Empire State College: Research Writing: Elements and Steps
  • 2 Enago Academy: How to Avoid Plagiarism in Research Papers (Part1 )

About the Author

Jennifer Brozak earned her state teaching certificate in Secondary English and Communications from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., and her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Pittsburgh. A former high school English teacher, Jennifer enjoys writing articles about parenting and education and has contributed to Reader's Digest, Mamapedia, Shmoop and more.

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Literature Review vs Research Paper: What’s the Difference?

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by  Antony W

January 8, 2023

literature review vs research paper

This is a complete student’s guide to understanding literature review vs research paper.

We’ll teach you what they’re, explain why they’re important, state the difference between the two, and link you to our comprehensive guide on how to write them.

Literature Review Writing Help

Writing a literature review for a thesis, a research paper, or as a standalone assignment takes time. Much of your time will go into research, not to mention you have other assignments to complete. 

If you find writing in college or university overwhelming, get in touch with our literature review writers for hire at 25% discounts and enjoy the flexibility and convenience that comes with professional writing help. We’ll help you do everything, from research and outlining to custom writing and proofreading.

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review is a secondary source of information that provides an overview of existing knowledge, which you can use to identify gaps or flaws in existing research. In literature review writing, students have to find and read existing publications such as journal articles, analyze the information, and then state their findings.

literature review steps

Credit: Pubrica

You’ll write a literature review to demonstrate your understanding on the topic, show gaps in existing research, and develop an effective methodology and a theoretical framework for your research project.

Your instructor may ask you to write a literature review as a standalone assignment. Even if that’s the case, the rules for writing a review paper don’t change.

In other words, you’ll still focus on evaluating the current research and find gaps around the topic.

Types of Literature Reviews

There are three types of review papers and they’re a follows:

 1. Meta-analysis

In meta-analysis review paper, you combine and compare answers from already published studies on a given subject.

2. Narrative Review

A narrative review paper looks into existing information or research already conducted on a given topic.

3. Systematic Review

You need to do three things if asked to write a systematic review paper.

First, read and understand the question asked. Second, look into research already conducted on the topic. Third, search for the answer to the question from the established research you just read.

What’s a Research Paper?

A research paper is an assignment in which you present your own argument, evaluation, or interpretation of an issue based on independent research.

research paper steps

In a research paper project, you’ll draw some conclusions from what experts have already done, find gaps in their studies, and then draw your own conclusions.

While a research paper is like an academic essay, it tends to be longer and more detailed.

Since they require extended research and attention to details, research papers can take a lot of time to write.

If well researched, your research paper can demonstrate your knowledge about a topic, your ability to engage with multiple sources, and your willingness to contribute original thoughts to an ongoing debate.

Types of Research Papers

 There are two types of research papers and they’re as follows:

 1. Analytical Research Papers

 Similar to analytical essay , and usually in the form of a question, an analytical research paper looks at an issue from a neutral point and gives a clear analysis of the issue.

Your goal is to make the reader understand both sides of the issue in question and leave it to them to decide what side of the analysis to accept.

Unlike an argumentative research paper, an analytical research paper doesn’t include counterarguments. And you can only draw your conclusion based on the information stretched out all through the analysis.

2. Argumentative Research Papers

In an argumentative research paper, you state the subject under study, look into both sides of an issue, pick a stance, and then use solid evidence and objective reasons to defend your position.

In   argumentative writing, your goal isn’t to persuade your audience to take an action. 

Rather, it’s to convince them that your position on the research question is more accurate than the opposing point of views.

Regardless of the type of research paper that you write, you’ll have to follow the standard outline for the assignment to be acceptable for review and marking.

Also, all research paper, regardless of the research question under investigation must include a literature review.

Literature Review vs Research Paper

The table below shows the differences between a literature review (review paper) and a research paper. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. is there a literature review in a research paper.

A research paper assignment must include a literature review immediately after the introduction chapter.

The chapter is significant because your research work would otherwise be incomplete without knowledge of existing literature. 

2. How Many Literature Review Should Be in Research Paper?

Your research paper  should have only one literature review. Make sure you write the review based on the instructions from your teacher.

Before you start, check the required length, number of sources to summarize, and the format to use. Doing so will help you score top grades for the assignment. 

3. What is the Difference Between Research and Literature?

Whereas literature focuses on gathering, reading, and summarizing information on already established studies, original research involves coming up with new concepts, theories, and ideas that might fill existing gaps in the available literature.

4. How Long is a Literature Review?

How long a literature review should be will depend on several factors, including the level of education, the length of the assignment, the target audience, and the purpose of the review.

For example, a 150-page dissertation can have a literature review of 40 pages on average.

Make sure you talk to your instructor to determine the required length of the assignment.

5. How Does a Literature Review Look Like?

Your literature review shouldn’t be a focus on original research or new information. Rather, it should give a clear overview of the already existing work on the selected topic.

The information to review can come from various sources, including scholarly journal articles , government reports, credible websites, and academic-based books. 

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

difference between research paper & essay

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Research Paper vs Report: Breaking Down the Difference

The purpose of this article is to discuss the distinct differences between a research paper and a report. As academic writing has evolved, so too have the structures used to convey information in an organized and succinct manner. The distinctions between these two types of scholarly work are important for any student or researcher engaging in research-based activities as they can make all the difference when it comes to effectively conveying ideas and results accurately. This article will take an in-depth look at both reports and papers, discussing their similarities, differences, components, uses, and best practices for producing quality products that serve their intended purpose properly.

I. Introduction to Research Paper and Report Writing

Ii. defining the differences between a research paper and report, iii. creating an outline for your project, iv. structuring the body of your work, v. ensuring proper citation techniques are utilized in your work, vi. finalizing, editing and publishing the completed project, vii. conclusion: comparing the benefits of writing either a research paper or report.

Research Paper and Report Writing: Writing research papers and reports can be challenging, especially for students who are new to the field of academic writing. Yet these two distinct forms of written communication are essential components in higher education. It is important to understand the differences between a research paper and a report so that one can approach each assignment with clarity of purpose and expectation from their readers.

In academic writing, there are two distinct types of documents which have important distinctions: the research paper and the report. Both styles require different approaches in terms of structure and content.

A research paper is a type of composition that requires its author to investigate an idea or concept through scholarly sources; it must then be presented in a written format. This style typically focuses on one particular point or argument with evidence used to back up assertions made throughout the document.

The main purpose of this type of work is usually to inform readers about certain topics while utilizing personal analysis as well as gathering information from credible sources. As such, it often contains detailed descriptions and explanations based upon current findings within relevant subject areas.

It’s also worth noting that most research papers will contain conclusions drawn by their authors regarding their respective fields – although these can take many forms including opinions, deductions, predictions etc.

A report differs from a research paper primarily because its focus lies more upon summarizing existing material rather than introducing new ideas. It’s generally defined as an orderly account containing facts pertaining to some aspect or aspects being investigated; reports tend not to offer recommendations nor do they include critical assessments. Reports are designed for specific audiences – academics, businesses etc., meaning they should always adhere closely to established guidelines depending on their target reader-base. Additionally, while visual elements may be included such as diagrams/charts/pictures etc.; text makes up the majority of any given report – usually accompanied by headings so points can easily be referenced at later stages.

Organizing Your Ideas Developing an outline for your project is one of the most important steps in the writing process. Not only will it help you get organized, but it also helps to set up a timeline and structure that can be followed while working on each section. Additionally, creating an outline allows you to brainstorm ideas related to your topic and decide which points are worth exploring further during research. When crafting an outline, two main elements must be taken into account: the type of paper being written (research paper or report) as well as its purpose (informative or persuasive). Depending on whether a student is tasked with producing a research paper or report for their assignment, they should tailor their outlining approach accordingly. Research papers typically include more detailed information compared to reports because they explore topics from different angles and require greater analysis from the author’s end; whereas reports focus mainly on summarising collected data rather than drawing conclusions about them.

When writing a research paper, you are creating something that is meant to be read and understood by an audience. It’s important to structure the body of your work in such a way as to make it easier for readers to follow along with the information being presented. The same holds true when structuring reports.

  • Research Paper:

When putting together your research paper, create clear and concise points which explain why or how certain things occur within the subject material being discussed. Additionally, try including sources from credible authors who have conducted similar studies on this topic for added credibility. Finally, use subheadings throughout each section of your essay so that readers can easily move between topics without having to re-read previous paragraphs or pages.

Correct Citation Practices for Reports and Research Papers

Having the correct citation practices in place is essential to any report or research paper. Properly citing sources helps ensure accuracy of information, provides readers with further resources for additional context, and helps to protect you from plagiarism. To create effective citations, there are a few key steps that should be followed.

The first step is understanding the difference between reports and research papers – as each type will have different requirements when it comes to citation techniques. A report is an organized collection of facts related to a certain topic; these types of documents usually do not require citations but still need accurate documentation if needed information came from another source (such as books or articles). On the other hand, a research paper requires more than just listing facts – it requires critical analysis which means citations must be used throughout in order reference work done by other authors. When creating citations within this kind of document its important they follow whatever format has been specified (e.g., APA style).

  • (Italicize) Report: An organized collection of facts relating to a certain topic.
  • (Bold) Research Paper: Requires critical analysis and needs references throughout using an appropriate citation style such as APA.

The process of finalizing, editing and publishing a completed project can be overwhelming but also highly rewarding. Once you have achieved the desired results from your hard work and research, it’s time to bring all the pieces together for presentation to an audience.

It is important to note that there are different approaches when finalizing projects depending on whether it is a report or a research paper. Reports typically involve summarizing findings in easy-to-understand language, while research papers may require more depth as well as citing sources throughout the document.

  • When finalizing reports:

Ensure data accuracy by verifying facts before presenting them; make sure content is concisely written with clarity; review any visuals included in order to ensure they accurately portray ideas being discussed; proofread multiple times before sharing information with colleagues or readership at large.

  • When finalizing research papers:

Perform extensive literature reviews on topics related to main argument(s) made within paper; include citations where appropriate according to chosen formatting style guidelines (APA, MLA etc); double check if any interviews conducted during course of investigation need additional context added prior to submission/publication; use own voice throughout text but remain objective when making statements about other scholars’ works.

In conclusion, both research papers and reports offer distinct advantages. While it may be difficult to definitively say which type of writing is better overall, the right one for a given situation can depend on an individual’s needs or interests.

Research papers are beneficial when trying to dive deeply into any given topic. They often involve extensive research from outside sources as well as original analysis by the author. Additionally, they can also provide valuable perspectives that help readers gain new insights about their subject matter in a unique way.

On the other hand, reports present information in a more straightforward manner with fewer details than what’s found in research papers but still enough substance to make them useful for decision-making processes or problem solving tasks where precise facts need to be presented quickly and accurately. They tend to focus more on summaries rather than interpretations while avoiding excessive technical jargon so they remain accessible even if readers don’t have expert knowledge of the subject being discussed.

  • It’s clear that each form of writing has its own set of benefits

, making them both essential components of scholarly communication no matter what field you specialize in!

English: In conclusion, the difference between a research paper and a report is of great significance. Research papers require more in-depth exploration into the subject matter while reports are typically summaries or reviews of relevant information on an issue. It is important to recognize this distinction when approaching any writing assignment that may require either format. By understanding what constitutes each type of document, students can develop their skills in both areas as well as become better equipped to tackle challenging academic tasks with confidence.

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  • Published: 19 February 2024

Genomic data in the All of Us Research Program

The all of us research program genomics investigators.

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  • Genetic variation
  • Genome-wide association studies

Comprehensively mapping the genetic basis of human disease across diverse individuals is a long-standing goal for the field of human genetics 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 . The All of Us Research Program is a longitudinal cohort study aiming to enrol a diverse group of at least one million individuals across the USA to accelerate biomedical research and improve human health 5 , 6 . Here we describe the programme’s genomics data release of 245,388 clinical-grade genome sequences. This resource is unique in its diversity as 77% of participants are from communities that are historically under-represented in biomedical research and 46% are individuals from under-represented racial and ethnic minorities. All of Us identified more than 1 billion genetic variants, including more than 275 million previously unreported genetic variants, more than 3.9 million of which had coding consequences. Leveraging linkage between genomic data and the longitudinal electronic health record, we evaluated 3,724 genetic variants associated with 117 diseases and found high replication rates across both participants of European ancestry and participants of African ancestry. Summary-level data are publicly available, and individual-level data can be accessed by researchers through the All of Us Researcher Workbench using a unique data passport model with a median time from initial researcher registration to data access of 29 hours. We anticipate that this diverse dataset will advance the promise of genomic medicine for all.

Comprehensively identifying genetic variation and cataloguing its contribution to health and disease, in conjunction with environmental and lifestyle factors, is a central goal of human health research 1 , 2 . A key limitation in efforts to build this catalogue has been the historic under-representation of large subsets of individuals in biomedical research including individuals from diverse ancestries, individuals with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds 3 , 4 . The All of Us Research Program (All of Us) aims to address this gap by enrolling and collecting comprehensive health data on at least one million individuals who reflect the diversity across the USA 5 , 6 . An essential component of All of Us is the generation of whole-genome sequence (WGS) and genotyping data on one million participants. All of Us is committed to making this dataset broadly useful—not only by democratizing access to this dataset across the scientific community but also to return value to the participants themselves by returning individual DNA results, such as genetic ancestry, hereditary disease risk and pharmacogenetics according to clinical standards, to those who wish to receive these research results.

Here we describe the release of WGS data from 245,388 All of Us participants and demonstrate the impact of this high-quality data in genetic and health studies. We carried out a series of data harmonization and quality control (QC) procedures and conducted analyses characterizing the properties of the dataset including genetic ancestry and relatedness. We validated the data by replicating well-established genotype–phenotype associations including low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and 117 additional diseases. These data are available through the All of Us Researcher Workbench, a cloud platform that embodies and enables programme priorities, facilitating equitable data and compute access while ensuring responsible conduct of research and protecting participant privacy through a passport data access model.

The All of Us Research Program

To accelerate health research, All of Us is committed to curating and releasing research data early and often 6 . Less than five years after national enrolment began in 2018, this fifth data release includes data from more than 413,000 All of Us participants. Summary data are made available through a public Data Browser, and individual-level participant data are made available to researchers through the Researcher Workbench (Fig. 1a and Data availability).

figure 1

a , The All of Us Research Hub contains a publicly accessible Data Browser for exploration of summary phenotypic and genomic data. The Researcher Workbench is a secure cloud-based environment of participant-level data in a Controlled Tier that is widely accessible to researchers. b , All of Us participants have rich phenotype data from a combination of physical measurements, survey responses, EHRs, wearables and genomic data. Dots indicate the presence of the specific data type for the given number of participants. c , Overall summary of participants under-represented in biomedical research (UBR) with data available in the Controlled Tier. The All of Us logo in a is reproduced with permission of the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program.

Participant data include a rich combination of phenotypic and genomic data (Fig. 1b ). Participants are asked to complete consent for research use of data, sharing of electronic health records (EHRs), donation of biospecimens (blood or saliva, and urine), in-person provision of physical measurements (height, weight and blood pressure) and surveys initially covering demographics, lifestyle and overall health 7 . Participants are also consented for recontact. EHR data, harmonized using the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership Common Data Model 8 ( Methods ), are available for more than 287,000 participants (69.42%) from more than 50 health care provider organizations. The EHR dataset is longitudinal, with a quarter of participants having 10 years of EHR data (Extended Data Fig. 1 ). Data include 245,388 WGSs and genome-wide genotyping on 312,925 participants. Sequenced and genotyped individuals in this data release were not prioritized on the basis of any clinical or phenotypic feature. Notably, 99% of participants with WGS data also have survey data and physical measurements, and 84% also have EHR data. In this data release, 77% of individuals with genomic data identify with groups historically under-represented in biomedical research, including 46% who self-identify with a racial or ethnic minority group (Fig. 1c , Supplementary Table 1 and Supplementary Note ).

Scaling the All of Us infrastructure

The genomic dataset generated from All of Us participants is a resource for research and discovery and serves as the basis for return of individual health-related DNA results to participants. Consequently, the US Food and Drug Administration determined that All of Us met the criteria for a significant risk device study. As such, the entire All of Us genomics effort from sample acquisition to sequencing meets clinical laboratory standards 9 .

All of Us participants were recruited through a national network of partners, starting in 2018, as previously described 5 . Participants may enrol through All of Us - funded health care provider organizations or direct volunteer pathways and all biospecimens, including blood and saliva, are sent to the central All of Us Biobank for processing and storage. Genomics data for this release were generated from blood-derived DNA. The programme began return of actionable genomic results in December 2022. As of April 2023, approximately 51,000 individuals were sent notifications asking whether they wanted to view their results, and approximately half have accepted. Return continues on an ongoing basis.

The All of Us Data and Research Center maintains all participant information and biospecimen ID linkage to ensure that participant confidentiality and coded identifiers (participant and aliquot level) are used to track each sample through the All of Us genomics workflow. This workflow facilitates weekly automated aliquot and plating requests to the Biobank, supplies relevant metadata for the sample shipments to the Genome Centers, and contains a feedback loop to inform action on samples that fail QC at any stage. Further, the consent status of each participant is checked before sample shipment to confirm that they are still active. Although all participants with genomic data are consented for the same general research use category, the programme accommodates different preferences for the return of genomic data to participants and only data for those individuals who have consented for return of individual health-related DNA results are distributed to the All of Us Clinical Validation Labs for further evaluation and health-related clinical reporting. All participants in All of Us that choose to get health-related DNA results have the option to schedule a genetic counselling appointment to discuss their results. Individuals with positive findings who choose to obtain results are required to schedule an appointment with a genetic counsellor to receive those findings.

Genome sequencing

To satisfy the requirements for clinical accuracy, precision and consistency across DNA sample extraction and sequencing, the All of Us Genome Centers and Biobank harmonized laboratory protocols, established standard QC methodologies and metrics, and conducted a series of validation experiments using previously characterized clinical samples and commercially available reference standards 9 . Briefly, PCR-free barcoded WGS libraries were constructed with the Illumina Kapa HyperPrep kit. Libraries were pooled and sequenced on the Illumina NovaSeq 6000 instrument. After demultiplexing, initial QC analysis is performed with the Illumina DRAGEN pipeline (Supplementary Table 2 ) leveraging lane, library, flow cell, barcode and sample level metrics as well as assessing contamination, mapping quality and concordance to genotyping array data independently processed from a different aliquot of DNA. The Genome Centers use these metrics to determine whether each sample meets programme specifications and then submits sequencing data to the Data and Research Center for further QC, joint calling and distribution to the research community ( Methods ).

This effort to harmonize sequencing methods, multi-level QC and use of identical data processing protocols mitigated the variability in sequencing location and protocols that often leads to batch effects in large genomic datasets 9 . As a result, the data are not only of clinical-grade quality, but also consistent in coverage (≥30× mean) and uniformity across Genome Centers (Supplementary Figs. 1 – 5 ).

Joint calling and variant discovery

We carried out joint calling across the entire All of Us WGS dataset (Extended Data Fig. 2 ). Joint calling leverages information across samples to prune artefact variants, which increases sensitivity, and enables flagging samples with potential issues that were missed during single-sample QC 10 (Supplementary Table 3 ). Scaling conventional approaches to whole-genome joint calling beyond 50,000 individuals is a notable computational challenge 11 , 12 . To address this, we developed a new cloud variant storage solution, the Genomic Variant Store (GVS), which is based on a schema designed for querying and rendering variants in which the variants are stored in GVS and rendered to an analysable variant file, as opposed to the variant file being the primary storage mechanism (Code availability). We carried out QC on the joint call set on the basis of the approach developed for gnomAD 3.1 (ref.  13 ). This included flagging samples with outlying values in eight metrics (Supplementary Table 4 , Supplementary Fig. 2 and Methods ).

To calculate the sensitivity and precision of the joint call dataset, we included four well-characterized samples. We sequenced the National Institute of Standards and Technology reference materials (DNA samples) from the Genome in a Bottle consortium 13 and carried out variant calling as described above. We used the corresponding published set of variant calls for each sample as the ground truth in our sensitivity and precision calculations 14 . The overall sensitivity for single-nucleotide variants was over 98.7% and precision was more than 99.9%. For short insertions or deletions, the sensitivity was over 97% and precision was more than 99.6% (Supplementary Table 5 and Methods ).

The joint call set included more than 1 billion genetic variants. We annotated the joint call dataset on the basis of functional annotation (for example, gene symbol and protein change) using Illumina Nirvana 15 . We defined coding variants as those inducing an amino acid change on a canonical ENSEMBL transcript and found 272,051,104 non-coding and 3,913,722 coding variants that have not been described previously in dbSNP 16 v153 (Extended Data Table 1 ). A total of 3,912,832 (99.98%) of the coding variants are rare (allelic frequency < 0.01) and the remaining 883 (0.02%) are common (allelic frequency > 0.01). Of the coding variants, 454 (0.01%) are common in one or more of the non-European computed ancestries in All of Us, rare among participants of European ancestry, and have an allelic number greater than 1,000 (Extended Data Table 2 and Extended Data Fig. 3 ). The distributions of pathogenic, or likely pathogenic, ClinVar variant counts per participant, stratified by computed ancestry, filtered to only those variants that are found in individuals with an allele count of <40 are shown in Extended Data Fig. 4 . The potential medical implications of these known and new variants with respect to variant pathogenicity by ancestry are highlighted in a companion paper 17 . In particular, we find that the European ancestry subset has the highest rate of pathogenic variation (2.1%), which was twice the rate of pathogenic variation in individuals of East Asian ancestry 17 .The lower frequency of variants in East Asian individuals may be partially explained by the fact the sample size in that group is small and there may be knowledge bias in the variant databases that is reducing the number of findings in some of the less-studied ancestry groups.

Genetic ancestry and relatedness

Genetic ancestry inference confirmed that 51.1% of the All of Us WGS dataset is derived from individuals of non-European ancestry. Briefly, the ancestry categories are based on the same labels used in gnomAD 18 . We trained a classifier on a 16-dimensional principal component analysis (PCA) space of a diverse reference based on 3,202 samples and 151,159 autosomal single-nucleotide polymorphisms. We projected the All of Us samples into the PCA space of the training data, based on the same single-nucleotide polymorphisms from the WGS data, and generated categorical ancestry predictions from the trained classifier ( Methods ). Continuous genetic ancestry fractions for All of Us samples were inferred using the same PCA data, and participants’ patterns of ancestry and admixture were compared to their self-identified race and ethnicity (Fig. 2 and Methods ). Continuous ancestry inference carried out using genome-wide genotypes yields highly concordant estimates.

figure 2

a , b , Uniform manifold approximation and projection (UMAP) representations of All of Us WGS PCA data with self-described race ( a ) and ethnicity ( b ) labels. c , Proportion of genetic ancestry per individual in six distinct and coherent ancestry groups defined by Human Genome Diversity Project and 1000 Genomes samples.

Kinship estimation confirmed that All of Us WGS data consist largely of unrelated individuals with about 85% (215,107) having no first- or second-degree relatives in the dataset (Supplementary Fig. 6 ). As many genomic analyses leverage unrelated individuals, we identified the smallest set of samples that are required to be removed from the remaining individuals that had first- or second-degree relatives and retained one individual from each kindred. This procedure yielded a maximal independent set of 231,442 individuals (about 94%) with genome sequence data in the current release ( Methods ).

Genetic determinants of LDL-C

As a measure of data quality and utility, we carried out a single-variant genome-wide association study (GWAS) for LDL-C, a trait with well-established genomic architecture ( Methods ). Of the 245,388 WGS participants, 91,749 had one or more LDL-C measurements. The All of Us LDL-C GWAS identified 20 well-established genome-wide significant loci, with minimal genomic inflation (Fig. 3 , Extended Data Table 3 and Supplementary Fig. 7 ). We compared the results to those of a recent multi-ethnic LDL-C GWAS in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) TOPMed study that included 66,329 ancestrally diverse (56% non-European ancestry) individuals 19 . We found a strong correlation between the effect estimates for NHLBI TOPMed genome-wide significant loci and those of All of Us ( R 2  = 0.98, P  < 1.61 × 10 −45 ; Fig. 3 , inset). Notably, the per-locus effect sizes observed in All of Us are decreased compared to those in TOPMed, which is in part due to differences in the underlying statistical model, differences in the ancestral composition of these datasets and differences in laboratory value ascertainment between EHR-derived data and epidemiology studies. A companion manuscript extended this work to identify common and rare genetic associations for three diseases (atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes) and two quantitative traits (height and LDL-C) in the All of Us dataset and identified very high concordance with previous efforts across all of these diseases and traits 20 .

figure 3

Manhattan plot demonstrating robust replication of 20 well-established LDL-C genetic loci among 91,749 individuals with 1 or more LDL-C measurements. The red horizontal line denotes the genome wide significance threshold of P = 5 × 10 –8 . Inset, effect estimate ( β ) comparison between NHLBI TOPMed LDL-C GWAS ( x  axis) and All of Us LDL-C GWAS ( y  axis) for the subset of 194 independent variants clumped (window 250 kb, r2 0.5) that reached genome-wide significance in NHLBI TOPMed.

Genotype-by-phenotype associations

As another measure of data quality and utility, we tested replication rates of previously reported phenotype–genotype associations in the five predicted genetic ancestry populations present in the Phenotype/Genotype Reference Map (PGRM): AFR, African ancestry; AMR, Latino/admixed American ancestry; EAS, East Asian ancestry; EUR, European ancestry; SAS, South Asian ancestry. The PGRM contains published associations in the GWAS catalogue in these ancestry populations that map to International Classification of Diseases-based phenotype codes 21 . This replication study specifically looked across 4,947 variants, calculating replication rates for powered associations in each ancestry population. The overall replication rates for associations powered at 80% were: 72.0% (18/25) in AFR, 100% (13/13) in AMR, 46.6% (7/15) in EAS, 74.9% (1,064/1,421) in EUR, and 100% (1/1) in SAS. With the exception of the EAS ancestry results, these powered replication rates are comparable to those of the published PGRM analysis where the replication rates of several single-site EHR-linked biobanks ranges from 76% to 85%. These results demonstrate the utility of the data and also highlight opportunities for further work understanding the specifics of the All of Us population and the potential contribution of gene–environment interactions to genotype–phenotype mapping and motivates the development of methods for multi-site EHR phenotype data extraction, harmonization and genetic association studies.

More broadly, the All of Us resource highlights the opportunities to identify genotype–phenotype associations that differ across diverse populations 22 . For example, the Duffy blood group locus ( ACKR1 ) is more prevalent in individuals of AFR ancestry and individuals of AMR ancestry than in individuals of EUR ancestry. Although the phenome-wide association study of this locus highlights the well-established association of the Duffy blood group with lower white blood cell counts both in individuals of AFR and AMR ancestry 23 , 24 , it also revealed genetic-ancestry-specific phenotype patterns, with minimal phenotypic associations in individuals of EAS ancestry and individuals of EUR ancestry (Fig. 4 and Extended Data Table 4 ). Conversely, rs9273363 in the HLA-DQB1 locus is associated with increased risk of type 1 diabetes 25 , 26 and diabetic complications across ancestries, but only associates with increased risk of coeliac disease in individuals of EUR ancestry (Extended Data Fig. 5 ). Similarly, the TCF7L2 locus 27 strongly associates with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and associated complications across several ancestries (Extended Data Fig. 6 ). Association testing results are available in Supplementary Dataset 1 .

figure 4

Results of genetic-ancestry-stratified phenome-wide association analysis among unrelated individuals highlighting ancestry-specific disease associations across the four most common genetic ancestries of participant. Bonferroni-adjusted phenome-wide significance threshold (<2.88 × 10 −5 ) is plotted as a red horizontal line. AFR ( n  = 34,037, minor allele fraction (MAF) 0.82); AMR ( n  = 28,901, MAF 0.10); EAS ( n  = 32,55, MAF 0.003); EUR ( n  = 101,613, MAF 0.007).

The cloud-based Researcher Workbench

All of Us genomic data are available in a secure, access-controlled cloud-based analysis environment: the All of Us Researcher Workbench. Unlike traditional data access models that require per-project approval, access in the Researcher Workbench is governed by a data passport model based on a researcher’s authenticated identity, institutional affiliation, and completion of self-service training and compliance attestation 28 . After gaining access, a researcher may create a new workspace at any time to conduct a study, provided that they comply with all Data Use Policies and self-declare their research purpose. This information is regularly audited and made accessible publicly on the All of Us Research Projects Directory. This streamlined access model is guided by the principles that: participants are research partners and maintaining their privacy and data security is paramount; their data should be made as accessible as possible for authorized researchers; and we should continually seek to remove unnecessary barriers to accessing and using All of Us data.

For researchers at institutions with an existing institutional data use agreement, access can be gained as soon as they complete the required verification and compliance steps. As of August 2023, 556 institutions have agreements in place, allowing more than 5,000 approved researchers to actively work on more than 4,400 projects. The median time for a researcher from initial registration to completion of these requirements is 28.6 h (10th percentile: 48 min, 90th percentile: 14.9 days), a fraction of the weeks to months it can take to assemble a project-specific application and have it reviewed by an access board with conventional access models.

Given that the size of the project’s phenotypic and genomic dataset is expected to reach 4.75 PB in 2023, the use of a central data store and cloud analysis tools will save funders an estimated US$16.5 million per year when compared to the typical approach of allowing researchers to download genomic data. Storing one copy per institution of this data at 556 registered institutions would cost about US$1.16 billion per year. By contrast, storing a central cloud copy costs about US$1.14 million per year, a 99.9% saving. Importantly, cloud infrastructure also democratizes data access particularly for researchers who do not have high-performance local compute resources.

Here we present the All of Us Research Program’s approach to generating diverse clinical-grade genomic data at an unprecedented scale. We present the data release of about 245,000 genome sequences as part of a scalable framework that will grow to include genetic information and health data for one million or more people living across the USA. Our observations permit several conclusions.

First, the All of Us programme is making a notable contribution to improving the study of human biology through purposeful inclusion of under-represented individuals at scale 29 , 30 . Of the participants with genomic data in All of Us, 45.92% self-identified as a non-European race or ethnicity. This diversity enabled identification of more than 275 million new genetic variants across the dataset not previously captured by other large-scale genome aggregation efforts with diverse participants that have submitted variation to dbSNP v153, such as NHLBI TOPMed 31 freeze 8 (Extended Data Table 1 ). In contrast to gnomAD, All of Us permits individual-level genotype access with detailed phenotype data for all participants. Furthermore, unlike many genomics resources, All of Us is uniformly consented for general research use and enables researchers to go from initial account creation to individual-level data access in as little as a few hours. The All of Us cohort is significantly more diverse than those of other large contemporary research studies generating WGS data 32 , 33 . This enables a more equitable future for precision medicine (for example, through constructing polygenic risk scores that are appropriately calibrated to diverse populations 34 , 35 as the eMERGE programme has done leveraging All of Us data 36 , 37 ). Developing new tools and regulatory frameworks to enable analyses across multiple biobanks in the cloud to harness the unique strengths of each is an active area of investigation addressed in a companion paper to this work 38 .

Second, the All of Us Researcher Workbench embodies the programme’s design philosophy of open science, reproducible research, equitable access and transparency to researchers and to research participants 26 . Importantly, for research studies, no group of data users should have privileged access to All of Us resources based on anything other than data protection criteria. Although the All of Us Researcher Workbench initially targeted onboarding US academic, health care and non-profit organizations, it has recently expanded to international researchers. We anticipate further genomic and phenotypic data releases at regular intervals with data available to all researcher communities. We also anticipate additional derived data and functionality to be made available, such as reference data, structural variants and a service for array imputation using the All of Us genomic data.

Third, All of Us enables studying human biology at an unprecedented scale. The programmatic goal of sequencing one million or more genomes has required harnessing the output of multiple sequencing centres. Previous work has focused on achieving functional equivalence in data processing and joint calling pipelines 39 . To achieve clinical-grade data equivalence, All of Us required protocol equivalence at both sequencing production level and data processing across the sequencing centres. Furthermore, previous work has demonstrated the value of joint calling at scale 10 , 18 . The new GVS framework developed by the All of Us programme enables joint calling at extreme scales (Code availability). Finally, the provision of data access through cloud-native tools enables scalable and secure access and analysis to researchers while simultaneously enabling the trust of research participants and transparency underlying the All of Us data passport access model.

The clinical-grade sequencing carried out by All of Us enables not only research, but also the return of value to participants through clinically relevant genetic results and health-related traits to those who opt-in to receiving this information. In the years ahead, we anticipate that this partnership with All of Us participants will enable researchers to move beyond large-scale genomic discovery to understanding the consequences of implementing genomic medicine at scale.

The All of Us cohort

All of Us aims to engage a longitudinal cohort of one million or more US participants, with a focus on including populations that have historically been under-represented in biomedical research. Details of the All of Us cohort have been described previously 5 . Briefly, the primary objective is to build a robust research resource that can facilitate the exploration of biological, clinical, social and environmental determinants of health and disease. The programme will collect and curate health-related data and biospecimens, and these data and biospecimens will be made broadly available for research uses. Health data are obtained through the electronic medical record and through participant surveys. Survey templates can be found on our public website: https://www.researchallofus.org/data-tools/survey-explorer/ . Adults 18 years and older who have the capacity to consent and reside in the USA or a US territory at present are eligible. Informed consent for all participants is conducted in person or through an eConsent platform that includes primary consent, HIPAA Authorization for Research use of EHRs and other external health data, and Consent for Return of Genomic Results. The protocol was reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the All of Us Research Program. The All of Us IRB follows the regulations and guidance of the NIH Office for Human Research Protections for all studies, ensuring that the rights and welfare of research participants are overseen and protected uniformly.

Data accessibility through a ‘data passport’

Authorization for access to participant-level data in All of Us is based on a ‘data passport’ model, through which authorized researchers do not need IRB review for each research project. The data passport is required for gaining data access to the Researcher Workbench and for creating workspaces to carry out research projects using All of Us data. At present, data passports are authorized through a six-step process that includes affiliation with an institution that has signed a Data Use and Registration Agreement, account creation, identity verification, completion of ethics training, and attestation to a data user code of conduct. Results reported follow the All of Us Data and Statistics Dissemination Policy disallowing disclosure of group counts under 20 to protect participant privacy without seeking prior approval 40 .

At present, All of Us gathers EHR data from about 50 health care organizations that are funded to recruit and enrol participants as well as transfer EHR data for those participants who have consented to provide them. Data stewards at each provider organization harmonize their local data to the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) Common Data Model, and then submit it to the All of Us Data and Research Center (DRC) so that it can be linked with other participant data and further curated for research use. OMOP is a common data model standardizing health information from disparate EHRs to common vocabularies and organized into tables according to data domains. EHR data are updated from the recruitment sites and sent to the DRC quarterly. Updated data releases to the research community occur approximately once a year. Supplementary Table 6 outlines the OMOP concepts collected by the DRC quarterly from the recruitment sites.

Biospecimen collection and processing

Participants who consented to participate in All of Us donated fresh whole blood (4 ml EDTA and 10 ml EDTA) as a primary source of DNA. The All of Us Biobank managed by the Mayo Clinic extracted DNA from 4 ml EDTA whole blood, and DNA was stored at −80 °C at an average concentration of 150 ng µl −1 . The buffy coat isolated from 10 ml EDTA whole blood has been used for extracting DNA in the case of initial extraction failure or absence of 4 ml EDTA whole blood. The Biobank plated 2.4 µg DNA with a concentration of 60 ng µl −1 in duplicate for array and WGS samples. The samples are distributed to All of Us Genome Centers weekly, and a negative (empty well) control and National Institute of Standards and Technology controls are incorporated every two months for QC purposes.

Genome Center sample receipt, accession and QC

On receipt of DNA sample shipments, the All of Us Genome Centers carry out an inspection of the packaging and sample containers to ensure that sample integrity has not been compromised during transport and to verify that the sample containers correspond to the shipping manifest. QC of the submitted samples also includes DNA quantification, using routine procedures to confirm volume and concentration (Supplementary Table 7 ). Any issues or discrepancies are recorded, and affected samples are put on hold until resolved. Samples that meet quality thresholds are accessioned in the Laboratory Information Management System, and sample aliquots are prepared for library construction processing (for example, normalized with respect to concentration and volume).

WGS library construction, sequencing and primary data QC

The DNA sample is first sheared using a Covaris sonicator and is then size-selected using AMPure XP beads to restrict the range of library insert sizes. Using the PCR Free Kapa HyperPrep library construction kit, enzymatic steps are completed to repair the jagged ends of DNA fragments, add proper A-base segments, and ligate indexed adapter barcode sequences onto samples. Excess adaptors are removed using AMPure XP beads for a final clean-up. Libraries are quantified using quantitative PCR with the Illumina Kapa DNA Quantification Kit and then normalized and pooled for sequencing (Supplementary Table 7 ).

Pooled libraries are loaded on the Illumina NovaSeq 6000 instrument. The data from the initial sequencing run are used to QC individual libraries and to remove non-conforming samples from the pipeline. The data are also used to calibrate the pooling volume of each individual library and re-pool the libraries for additional NovaSeq sequencing to reach an average coverage of 30×.

After demultiplexing, WGS analysis occurs on the Illumina DRAGEN platform. The DRAGEN pipeline consists of highly optimized algorithms for mapping, aligning, sorting, duplicate marking and haplotype variant calling and makes use of platform features such as compression and BCL conversion. Alignment uses the GRCh38dh reference genome. QC data are collected at every stage of the analysis protocol, providing high-resolution metrics required to ensure data consistency for large-scale multiplexing. The DRAGEN pipeline produces a large number of metrics that cover lane, library, flow cell, barcode and sample-level metrics for all runs as well as assessing contamination and mapping quality. The All of Us Genome Centers use these metrics to determine pass or fail for each sample before submitting the CRAM files to the All of Us DRC. For mapping and variant calling, all Genome Centers have harmonized on a set of DRAGEN parameters, which ensures consistency in processing (Supplementary Table 2 ).

Every step through the WGS procedure is rigorously controlled by predefined QC measures. Various control mechanisms and acceptance criteria were established during WGS assay validation. Specific metrics for reviewing and releasing genome data are: mean coverage (threshold of ≥30×), genome coverage (threshold of ≥90% at 20×), coverage of hereditary disease risk genes (threshold of ≥95% at 20×), aligned Q30 bases (threshold of ≥8 × 10 10 ), contamination (threshold of ≤1%) and concordance to independently processed array data.

Array genotyping

Samples are processed for genotyping at three All of Us Genome Centers (Broad, Johns Hopkins University and University of Washington). DNA samples are received from the Biobank and the process is facilitated by the All of Us genomics workflow described above. All three centres used an identical array product, scanners, resource files and genotype calling software for array processing to reduce batch effects. Each centre has its own Laboratory Information Management System that manages workflow control, sample and reagent tracking, and centre-specific liquid handling robotics.

Samples are processed using the Illumina Global Diversity Array (GDA) with Illumina Infinium LCG chemistry using the automated protocol and scanned on Illumina iSCANs with Automated Array Loaders. Illumina IAAP software converts raw data (IDAT files; 2 per sample) into a single GTC file per sample using the BPM file (defines strand, probe sequences and illumicode address) and the EGT file (defines the relationship between intensities and genotype calls). Files used for this data release are: GDA-8v1-0_A5.bpm, GDA-8v1-0_A1_ClusterFile.egt, gentrain v3, reference hg19 and gencall cutoff 0.15. The GDA array assays a total of 1,914,935 variant positions including 1,790,654 single-nucleotide variants, 44,172 indels, 9,935 intensity-only probes for CNV calling, and 70,174 duplicates (same position, different probes). Picard GtcToVcf is used to convert the GTC files to VCF format. Resulting VCF and IDAT files are submitted to the DRC for ingestion and further processing. The VCF file contains assay name, chromosome, position, genotype calls, quality score, raw and normalized intensities, B allele frequency and log R ratio values. Each genome centre is running the GDA array under Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-compliant protocols. The GTC files are parsed and metrics are uploaded to in-house Laboratory Information Management System systems for QC review.

At batch level (each set of 96-well plates run together in the laboratory at one time), each genome centre includes positive control samples that are required to have >98% call rate and >99% concordance to existing data to approve release of the batch of data. At the sample level, the call rate and sex are the key QC determinants 41 . Contamination is also measured using BAFRegress 42 and reported out as metadata. Any sample with a call rate below 98% is repeated one time in the laboratory. Genotyped sex is determined by plotting normalized x versus normalized y intensity values for a batch of samples. Any sample discordant with ‘sex at birth’ reported by the All of Us participant is flagged for further detailed review and repeated one time in the laboratory. If several sex-discordant samples are clustered on an array or on a 96-well plate, the entire array or plate will have data production repeated. Samples identified with sex chromosome aneuploidies are also reported back as metadata (XXX, XXY, XYY and so on). A final processing status of ‘pass’, ‘fail’ or ‘abandon’ is determined before release of data to the All of Us DRC. An array sample will pass if the call rate is >98% and the genotyped sex and sex at birth are concordant (or the sex at birth is not applicable). An array sample will fail if the genotyped sex and the sex at birth are discordant. An array sample will have the status of abandon if the call rate is <98% after at least two attempts at the genome centre.

Data from the arrays are used for participant return of genetic ancestry and non-health-related traits for those who consent, and they are also used to facilitate additional QC of the matched WGS data. Contamination is assessed in the array data to determine whether DNA re-extraction is required before WGS. Re-extraction is prompted by level of contamination combined with consent status for return of results. The arrays are also used to confirm sample identity between the WGS data and the matched array data by assessing concordance at 100 unique sites. To establish concordance, a fingerprint file of these 100 sites is provided to the Genome Centers to assess concordance with the same sites in the WGS data before CRAM submission.

Genomic data curation

As seen in Extended Data Fig. 2 , we generate a joint call set for all WGS samples and make these data available in their entirety and by sample subsets to researchers. A breakdown of the frequencies, stratified by computed ancestries for which we had more than 10,000 participants can be found in Extended Data Fig. 3 . The joint call set process allows us to leverage information across samples to improve QC and increase accuracy.

Single-sample QC

If a sample fails single-sample QC, it is excluded from the release and is not reported in this document. These tests detect sample swaps, cross-individual contamination and sample preparation errors. In some cases, we carry out these tests twice (at both the Genome Center and the DRC), for two reasons: to confirm internal consistency between sites; and to mark samples as passing (or failing) QC on the basis of the research pipeline criteria. The single-sample QC process accepts a higher contamination rate than the clinical pipeline (0.03 for the research pipeline versus 0.01 for the clinical pipeline), but otherwise uses identical thresholds. The list of specific QC processes, passing criteria, error modes addressed and an overview of the results can be found in Supplementary Table 3 .

Joint call set QC

During joint calling, we carry out additional QC steps using information that is available across samples including hard thresholds, population outliers, allele-specific filters, and sensitivity and precision evaluation. Supplementary Table 4 summarizes both the steps that we took and the results obtained for the WGS data. More detailed information about the methods and specific parameters can be found in the All of Us Genomic Research Data Quality Report 36 .

Batch effect analysis

We analysed cross-sequencing centre batch effects in the joint call set. To quantify the batch effect, we calculated Cohen’s d (ref.  43 ) for four metrics (insertion/deletion ratio, single-nucleotide polymorphism count, indel count and single-nucleotide polymorphism transition/transversion ratio) across the three genome sequencing centres (Baylor College of Medicine, Broad Institute and University of Washington), stratified by computed ancestry and seven regions of the genome (whole genome, high-confidence calling, repetitive, GC content of >0.85, GC content of <0.15, low mappability, the ACMG59 genes and regions of large duplications (>1 kb)). Using random batches as a control set, all comparisons had a Cohen’s d of <0.35. Here we report any Cohen’s d results >0.5, which we chose before this analysis and is conventionally the threshold of a medium effect size 44 .

We found that there was an effect size in indel counts (Cohen’s d of 0.53) in the entire genome, between Broad Institute and University of Washington, but this was being driven by repetitive and low-mappability regions. We found no batch effects with Cohen’s d of >0.5 in the ratio metrics or in any metrics in the high-confidence calling, low or high GC content, or ACMG59 regions. A complete list of the batch effects with Cohen’s d of >0.5 are found in Supplementary Table 8 .

Sensitivity and precision evaluation

To determine sensitivity and precision, we included four well-characterized control samples (four National Institute of Standards and Technology Genome in a Bottle samples (HG-001, HG-003, HG-004 and HG-005). The samples were sequenced with the same protocol as All of Us. Of note, these samples were not included in data released to researchers. We used the corresponding published set of variant calls for each sample as the ground truth in our sensitivity and precision calculations. We use the high-confidence calling region, defined by Genome in a Bottle v4.2.1, as the source of ground truth. To be called a true positive, a variant must match the chromosome, position, reference allele, alternate allele and zygosity. In cases of sites with multiple alternative alleles, each alternative allele is considered separately. Sensitivity and precision results are reported in Supplementary Table 5 .

Genetic ancestry inference

We computed categorical ancestry for all WGS samples in All of Us and made these available to researchers. These predictions are also the basis for population allele frequency calculations in the Genomic Variants section of the public Data Browser. We used the high-quality set of sites to determine an ancestry label for each sample. The ancestry categories are based on the same labels used in gnomAD 18 , the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) 45 and 1000 Genomes 1 : African (AFR); Latino/admixed American (AMR); East Asian (EAS); Middle Eastern (MID); European (EUR), composed of Finnish (FIN) and Non-Finnish European (NFE); Other (OTH), not belonging to one of the other ancestries or is an admixture; South Asian (SAS).

We trained a random forest classifier 46 on a training set of the HGDP and 1000 Genomes samples variants on the autosome, obtained from gnomAD 11 . We generated the first 16 principal components (PCs) of the training sample genotypes (using the hwe_normalized_pca in Hail) at the high-quality variant sites for use as the feature vector for each training sample. We used the truth labels from the sample metadata, which can be found alongside the VCFs. Note that we do not train the classifier on the samples labelled as Other. We use the label probabilities (‘confidence’) of the classifier on the other ancestries to determine ancestry of Other.

To determine the ancestry of All of Us samples, we project the All of Us samples into the PCA space of the training data and apply the classifier. As a proxy for the accuracy of our All of Us predictions, we look at the concordance between the survey results and the predicted ancestry. The concordance between self-reported ethnicity and the ancestry predictions was 87.7%.

PC data from All of Us samples and the HGDP and 1000 Genomes samples were used to compute individual participant genetic ancestry fractions for All of Us samples using the Rye program. Rye uses PC data to carry out rapid and accurate genetic ancestry inference on biobank-scale datasets 47 . HGDP and 1000 Genomes reference samples were used to define a set of six distinct and coherent ancestry groups—African, East Asian, European, Middle Eastern, Latino/admixed American and South Asian—corresponding to participant self-identified race and ethnicity groups. Rye was run on the first 16 PCs, using the defined reference ancestry groups to assign ancestry group fractions to individual All of Us participant samples.

Relatedness

We calculated the kinship score using the Hail pc_relate function and reported any pairs with a kinship score above 0.1. The kinship score is half of the fraction of the genetic material shared (ranges from 0.0 to 0.5). We determined the maximal independent set 41 for related samples. We identified a maximally unrelated set of 231,442 samples (94%) for kinship scored greater than 0.1.

LDL-C common variant GWAS

The phenotypic data were extracted from the Curated Data Repository (CDR, Control Tier Dataset v7) in the All of Us Researcher Workbench. The All of Us Cohort Builder and Dataset Builder were used to extract all LDL cholesterol measurements from the Lab and Measurements criteria in EHR data for all participants who have WGS data. The most recent measurements were selected as the phenotype and adjusted for statin use 19 , age and sex. A rank-based inverse normal transformation was applied for this continuous trait to increase power and deflate type I error. Analysis was carried out on the Hail MatrixTable representation of the All of Us WGS joint-called data including removing monomorphic variants, variants with a call rate of <95% and variants with extreme Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium values ( P  < 10 −15 ). A linear regression was carried out with REGENIE 48 on variants with a minor allele frequency >5%, further adjusting for relatedness to the first five ancestry PCs. The final analysis included 34,924 participants and 8,589,520 variants.

Genotype-by-phenotype replication

We tested replication rates of known phenotype–genotype associations in three of the four largest populations: EUR, AFR and EAS. The AMR population was not included because they have no registered GWAS. This method is a conceptual extension of the original GWAS × phenome-wide association study, which replicated 66% of powered associations in a single EHR-linked biobank 49 . The PGRM is an expansion of this work by Bastarache et al., based on associations in the GWAS catalogue 50 in June 2020 (ref.  51 ). After directly matching the Experimental Factor Ontology terms to phecodes, the authors identified 8,085 unique loci and 170 unique phecodes that compose the PGRM. They showed replication rates in several EHR-linked biobanks ranging from 76% to 85%. For this analysis, we used the EUR-, and AFR-based maps, considering only catalogue associations that were P  < 5 × 10 −8 significant.

The main tools used were the Python package Hail for data extraction, plink for genomic associations, and the R packages PheWAS and pgrm for further analysis and visualization. The phenotypes, participant-reported sex at birth, and year of birth were extracted from the All of Us CDR (Controlled Tier Dataset v7). These phenotypes were then loaded into a plink-compatible format using the PheWAS package, and related samples were removed by sub-setting to the maximally unrelated dataset ( n  = 231,442). Only samples with EHR data were kept, filtered by selected loci, annotated with demographic and phenotypic information extracted from the CDR and ancestry prediction information provided by All of Us, ultimately resulting in 181,345 participants for downstream analysis. The variants in the PGRM were filtered by a minimum population-specific allele frequency of >1% or population-specific allele count of >100, leaving 4,986 variants. Results for which there were at least 20 cases in the ancestry group were included. Then, a series of Firth logistic regression tests with phecodes as the outcome and variants as the predictor were carried out, adjusting for age, sex (for non-sex-specific phenotypes) and the first three genomic PC features as covariates. The PGRM was annotated with power calculations based on the case counts and reported allele frequencies. Power of 80% or greater was considered powered for this analysis.

Reporting summary

Further information on research design is available in the  Nature Portfolio Reporting Summary linked to this article.

Data availability

The All of Us Research Hub has a tiered data access data passport model with three data access tiers. The Public Tier dataset contains only aggregate data with identifiers removed. These data are available to the public through Data Snapshots ( https://www.researchallofus.org/data-tools/data-snapshots/ ) and the public Data Browser ( https://databrowser.researchallofus.org/ ). The Registered Tier curated dataset contains individual-level data, available only to approved researchers on the Researcher Workbench. At present, the Registered Tier includes data from EHRs, wearables and surveys, as well as physical measurements taken at the time of participant enrolment. The Controlled Tier dataset contains all data in the Registered Tier and additionally genomic data in the form of WGS and genotyping arrays, previously suppressed demographic data fields from EHRs and surveys, and unshifted dates of events. At present, Registered Tier and Controlled Tier data are available to researchers at academic institutions, non-profit institutions, and both non-profit and for-profit health care institutions. Work is underway to begin extending access to additional audiences, including industry-affiliated researchers. Researchers have the option to register for Registered Tier and/or Controlled Tier access by completing the All of Us Researcher Workbench access process, which includes identity verification and All of Us-specific training in research involving human participants ( https://www.researchallofus.org/register/ ). Researchers may create a new workspace at any time to conduct any research study, provided that they comply with all Data Use Policies and self-declare their research purpose. This information is made accessible publicly on the All of Us Research Projects Directory at https://allofus.nih.gov/protecting-data-and-privacy/research-projects-all-us-data .

Code availability

The GVS code is available at https://github.com/broadinstitute/gatk/tree/ah_var_store/scripts/variantstore . The LDL GWAS pipeline is available as a demonstration project in the Featured Workspace Library on the Researcher Workbench ( https://workbench.researchallofus.org/workspaces/aou-rw-5981f9dc/aouldlgwasregeniedsubctv6duplicate/notebooks ).

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Acknowledgements

The All of Us Research Program is supported by the National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director: Regional Medical Centers (OT2 OD026549; OT2 OD026554; OT2 OD026557; OT2 OD026556; OT2 OD026550; OT2 OD 026552; OT2 OD026553; OT2 OD026548; OT2 OD026551; OT2 OD026555); Inter agency agreement AOD 16037; Federally Qualified Health Centers HHSN 263201600085U; Data and Research Center: U2C OD023196; Genome Centers (OT2 OD002748; OT2 OD002750; OT2 OD002751); Biobank: U24 OD023121; The Participant Center: U24 OD023176; Participant Technology Systems Center: U24 OD023163; Communications and Engagement: OT2 OD023205; OT2 OD023206; and Community Partners (OT2 OD025277; OT2 OD025315; OT2 OD025337; OT2 OD025276). In addition, the All of Us Research Program would not be possible without the partnership of its participants. All of Us and the All of Us logo are service marks of the US Department of Health and Human Services. E.E.E. is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. We acknowledge the foundational contributions of our friend and colleague, the late Deborah A. Nickerson. Debbie’s years of insightful contributions throughout the formation of the All of Us genomics programme are permanently imprinted, and she shares credit for all of the successes of this programme.

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Authors and affiliations.

Division of Genetic Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA

Alexander G. Bick & Henry R. Condon

Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA

Ginger A. Metcalf, Eric Boerwinkle, Richard A. Gibbs, Donna M. Muzny, Eric Venner, Kimberly Walker, Jianhong Hu, Harsha Doddapaneni, Christie L. Kovar, Mullai Murugan, Shannon Dugan, Ziad Khan & Eric Boerwinkle

Vanderbilt Institute of Clinical and Translational Research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA

Kelsey R. Mayo, Jodell E. Linder, Melissa Basford, Ashley Able, Ashley E. Green, Robert J. Carroll, Jennifer Zhang & Yuanyuan Wang

Data Sciences Platform, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA

Lee Lichtenstein, Anthony Philippakis, Sophie Schwartz, M. Morgan T. Aster, Kristian Cibulskis, Andrea Haessly, Rebecca Asch, Aurora Cremer, Kylee Degatano, Akum Shergill, Laura D. Gauthier, Samuel K. Lee, Aaron Hatcher, George B. Grant, Genevieve R. Brandt, Miguel Covarrubias, Eric Banks & Wail Baalawi

Verily, South San Francisco, CA, USA

Shimon Rura, David Glazer, Moira K. Dillon & C. H. Albach

Department of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA

Robert J. Carroll, Paul A. Harris & Dan M. Roden

All of Us Research Program, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

Anjene Musick, Andrea H. Ramirez, Sokny Lim, Siddhartha Nambiar, Bradley Ozenberger, Anastasia L. Wise, Chris Lunt, Geoffrey S. Ginsburg & Joshua C. Denny

School of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA

I. King Jordan, Shashwat Deepali Nagar & Shivam Sharma

Neuroscience Institute, Institute of Translational Genomic Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

Robert Meller

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Mine S. Cicek, Stephen N. Thibodeau & Mine S. Cicek

Department of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Kimberly F. Doheny, Michelle Z. Mawhinney, Sean M. L. Griffith, Elvin Hsu, Hua Ling & Marcia K. Adams

Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA

Evan E. Eichler, Joshua D. Smith, Christian D. Frazar, Colleen P. Davis, Karynne E. Patterson, Marsha M. Wheeler, Sean McGee, Mitzi L. Murray, Valeria Vasta, Dru Leistritz, Matthew A. Richardson, Aparna Radhakrishnan & Brenna W. Ehmen

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Evan E. Eichler

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA

Stacey Gabriel, Heidi L. Rehm, Niall J. Lennon, Christina Austin-Tse, Eric Banks, Michael Gatzen, Namrata Gupta, Katie Larsson, Sheli McDonough, Steven M. Harrison, Christopher Kachulis, Matthew S. Lebo, Seung Hoan Choi & Xin Wang

Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA

Gail P. Jarvik & Elisabeth A. Rosenthal

Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA

Dan M. Roden

Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA

Center for Individualized Medicine, Biorepository Program, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Stephen N. Thibodeau, Ashley L. Blegen, Samantha J. Wirkus, Victoria A. Wagner, Jeffrey G. Meyer & Mine S. Cicek

Color Health, Burlingame, CA, USA

Scott Topper, Cynthia L. Neben, Marcie Steeves & Alicia Y. Zhou

School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA

Eric Boerwinkle

Laboratory for Molecular Medicine, Massachusetts General Brigham Personalized Medicine, Cambridge, MA, USA

Christina Austin-Tse, Emma Henricks & Matthew S. Lebo

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA

Christina M. Lockwood, Brian H. Shirts, Colin C. Pritchard, Jillian G. Buchan & Niklas Krumm

Manuscript Writing Group

  • Alexander G. Bick
  • , Ginger A. Metcalf
  • , Kelsey R. Mayo
  • , Lee Lichtenstein
  • , Shimon Rura
  • , Robert J. Carroll
  • , Anjene Musick
  • , Jodell E. Linder
  • , I. King Jordan
  • , Shashwat Deepali Nagar
  • , Shivam Sharma
  •  & Robert Meller

All of Us Research Program Genomics Principal Investigators

  • Melissa Basford
  • , Eric Boerwinkle
  • , Mine S. Cicek
  • , Kimberly F. Doheny
  • , Evan E. Eichler
  • , Stacey Gabriel
  • , Richard A. Gibbs
  • , David Glazer
  • , Paul A. Harris
  • , Gail P. Jarvik
  • , Anthony Philippakis
  • , Heidi L. Rehm
  • , Dan M. Roden
  • , Stephen N. Thibodeau
  •  & Scott Topper

Biobank, Mayo

  • Ashley L. Blegen
  • , Samantha J. Wirkus
  • , Victoria A. Wagner
  • , Jeffrey G. Meyer
  •  & Stephen N. Thibodeau

Genome Center: Baylor-Hopkins Clinical Genome Center

  • Donna M. Muzny
  • , Eric Venner
  • , Michelle Z. Mawhinney
  • , Sean M. L. Griffith
  • , Elvin Hsu
  • , Marcia K. Adams
  • , Kimberly Walker
  • , Jianhong Hu
  • , Harsha Doddapaneni
  • , Christie L. Kovar
  • , Mullai Murugan
  • , Shannon Dugan
  • , Ziad Khan
  •  & Richard A. Gibbs

Genome Center: Broad, Color, and Mass General Brigham Laboratory for Molecular Medicine

  • Niall J. Lennon
  • , Christina Austin-Tse
  • , Eric Banks
  • , Michael Gatzen
  • , Namrata Gupta
  • , Emma Henricks
  • , Katie Larsson
  • , Sheli McDonough
  • , Steven M. Harrison
  • , Christopher Kachulis
  • , Matthew S. Lebo
  • , Cynthia L. Neben
  • , Marcie Steeves
  • , Alicia Y. Zhou
  • , Scott Topper
  •  & Stacey Gabriel

Genome Center: University of Washington

  • Gail P. Jarvik
  • , Joshua D. Smith
  • , Christian D. Frazar
  • , Colleen P. Davis
  • , Karynne E. Patterson
  • , Marsha M. Wheeler
  • , Sean McGee
  • , Christina M. Lockwood
  • , Brian H. Shirts
  • , Colin C. Pritchard
  • , Mitzi L. Murray
  • , Valeria Vasta
  • , Dru Leistritz
  • , Matthew A. Richardson
  • , Jillian G. Buchan
  • , Aparna Radhakrishnan
  • , Niklas Krumm
  •  & Brenna W. Ehmen

Data and Research Center

  • Lee Lichtenstein
  • , Sophie Schwartz
  • , M. Morgan T. Aster
  • , Kristian Cibulskis
  • , Andrea Haessly
  • , Rebecca Asch
  • , Aurora Cremer
  • , Kylee Degatano
  • , Akum Shergill
  • , Laura D. Gauthier
  • , Samuel K. Lee
  • , Aaron Hatcher
  • , George B. Grant
  • , Genevieve R. Brandt
  • , Miguel Covarrubias
  • , Melissa Basford
  • , Alexander G. Bick
  • , Ashley Able
  • , Ashley E. Green
  • , Jennifer Zhang
  • , Henry R. Condon
  • , Yuanyuan Wang
  • , Moira K. Dillon
  • , C. H. Albach
  • , Wail Baalawi
  •  & Dan M. Roden

All of Us Research Demonstration Project Teams

  • Seung Hoan Choi
  • , Elisabeth A. Rosenthal

NIH All of Us Research Program Staff

  • Andrea H. Ramirez
  • , Sokny Lim
  • , Siddhartha Nambiar
  • , Bradley Ozenberger
  • , Anastasia L. Wise
  • , Chris Lunt
  • , Geoffrey S. Ginsburg
  •  & Joshua C. Denny

Contributions

The All of Us Biobank (Mayo Clinic) collected, stored and plated participant biospecimens. The All of Us Genome Centers (Baylor-Hopkins Clinical Genome Center; Broad, Color, and Mass General Brigham Laboratory for Molecular Medicine; and University of Washington School of Medicine) generated and QCed the whole-genomic data. The All of Us Data and Research Center (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Verily) generated the WGS joint call set, carried out quality assurance and QC analyses and developed the Researcher Workbench. All of Us Research Demonstration Project Teams contributed analyses. The other All of Us Genomics Investigators and NIH All of Us Research Program Staff provided crucial programmatic support. Members of the manuscript writing group (A.G.B., G.A.M., K.R.M., L.L., S.R., R.J.C. and A.M.) wrote the first draft of this manuscript, which was revised with contributions and feedback from all authors.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alexander G. Bick .

Ethics declarations

Competing interests.

D.M.M., G.A.M., E.V., K.W., J.H., H.D., C.L.K., M.M., S.D., Z.K., E. Boerwinkle and R.A.G. declare that Baylor Genetics is a Baylor College of Medicine affiliate that derives revenue from genetic testing. Eric Venner is affiliated with Codified Genomics, a provider of genetic interpretation. E.E.E. is a scientific advisory board member of Variant Bio, Inc. A.G.B. is a scientific advisory board member of TenSixteen Bio. The remaining authors declare no competing interests.

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Nature thanks Timothy Frayling and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Extended data figures and tables

Extended data fig. 1 historic availability of ehr records in all of us v7 controlled tier curated data repository (n = 413,457)..

For better visibility, the plot shows growth starting in 2010.

Extended Data Fig. 2 Overview of the Genomic Data Curation Pipeline for WGS samples.

The Data and Research Center (DRC) performs additional single sample quality control (QC) on the data as it arrives from the Genome Centers. The variants from samples that pass this QC are loaded into the Genomic Variant Store (GVS), where we jointly call the variants and apply additional QC. We apply a joint call set QC process, which is stored with the call set. The entire joint call set is rendered as a Hail Variant Dataset (VDS), which can be accessed from the analysis notebooks in the Researcher Workbench. Subsections of the genome are extracted from the VDS and rendered in different formats with all participants. Auxiliary data can also be accessed through the Researcher Workbench. This includes variant functional annotations, joint call set QC results, predicted ancestry, and relatedness. Auxiliary data are derived from GVS (arrow not shown) and the VDS. The Cohort Builder directly queries GVS when researchers request genomic data for subsets of samples. Aligned reads, as cram files, are available in the Researcher Workbench (not shown). The graphics of the dish, gene and computer and the All of Us logo are reproduced with permission of the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program.

Extended Data Fig. 3 Proportion of allelic frequencies (AF), stratified by computed ancestry with over 10,000 participants.

Bar counts are not cumulative (eg, “pop AF < 0.01” does not include “pop AF < 0.001”).

Extended Data Fig. 4 Distribution of pathogenic, and likely pathogenic ClinVar variants.

Stratified by ancestry filtered to only those variants that are found in allele count (AC) < 40 individuals for 245,388 short read WGS samples.

Extended Data Fig. 5 Ancestry specific HLA-DQB1 ( rs9273363 ) locus associations in 231,442 unrelated individuals.

Phenome-wide (PheWAS) associations highlight ancestry specific consequences across ancestries.

Extended Data Fig. 6 Ancestry specific TCF7L2 ( rs7903146 ) locus associations in 231,442 unrelated individuals.

Phenome-wide (PheWAS) associations highlight diabetic consequences across ancestries.

Supplementary information

Supplementary information.

Supplementary Figs. 1–7, Tables 1–8 and Note.

Reporting Summary

Supplementary dataset 1.

Associations of ACKR1, HLA-DQB1 and TCF7L2 loci with all Phecodes stratified by genetic ancestry.

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The All of Us Research Program Genomics Investigators. Genomic data in the All of Us Research Program. Nature (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06957-x

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06957-x

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difference between research paper & essay

difference between research paper & essay

RECOMMENDED READS

  • I-JEPA: The first AI model based on Yann LeCun’s vision for more human-like AI
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  • This early example of a physical world model excels at detecting and understanding highly detailed interactions between objects.
  • In the spirit of responsible open science, we’re releasing this model under a Creative Commons NonCommercial license for researchers to further explore.

As humans, much of what we learn about the world around us—particularly in our early stages of life—is gleaned through observation. Take Newton’s third law of motion: Even an infant (or a cat) can intuit, after knocking several items off a table and observing the results, that what goes up must come down. You don’t need hours of instruction or to read thousands of books to arrive at that result. Your internal world model—a contextual understanding based on a mental model of the world—predicts these consequences for you, and it’s highly efficient.

“V-JEPA is a step toward a more grounded understanding of the world so machines can achieve more generalized reasoning and planning,” says Meta’s VP & Chief AI Scientist Yann LeCun, who proposed the original Joint Embedding Predictive Architectures (JEPA) in 2022. “Our goal is to build advanced machine intelligence that can learn more like humans do, forming internal models of the world around them to learn, adapt, and forge plans efficiently in the service of completing complex tasks.”

Video JEPA in focus

V-JEPA is a non-generative model that learns by predicting missing or masked parts of a video in an abstract representation space. This is similar to how our Image Joint Embedding Predictive Architecture (I-JEPA) compares abstract representations of images (rather than comparing the pixels themselves). Unlike generative approaches that try to fill in every missing pixel, V-JEPA has the flexibility to discard unpredictable information, which leads to improved training and sample efficiency by a factor between 1.5x and 6x.

Because it takes a self-supervised learning approach, V-JEPA is pre-trained entirely with unlabeled data. Labels are only used to adapt the model to a particular task after pre-training. This type of architecture proves more efficient than previous models, both in terms of the number of labeled examples needed and the total amount of effort put into learning even the unlabeled data. With V-JEPA, we’ve seen efficiency boosts on both of these fronts.

With V-JEPA, we mask out a large portion of a video so the model is only shown a little bit of the context. We then ask the predictor to fill in the blanks of what’s missing—not in terms of the actual pixels, but rather as a more abstract description in this representation space.

difference between research paper & essay

Masking methodology

V-JEPA wasn’t trained to understand one specific type of action. Instead it used self-supervised training on a range of videos and learned a number of things about how the world works. The team also carefully considered the masking strategy—if you don’t block out large regions of the video and instead randomly sample patches here and there, it makes the task too easy and your model doesn’t learn anything particularly complicated about the world.

It’s also important to note that, in most videos, things evolve somewhat slowly over time. If you mask a portion of the video but only for a specific instant in time and the model can see what came immediately before and/or immediately after, it also makes things too easy and the model almost certainly won’t learn anything interesting. As such, the team used an approach where it masked portions of the video in both space and time, which forces the model to learn and develop an understanding of the scene.

Efficient predictions

Making these predictions in the abstract representation space is important because it allows the model to focus on the higher-level conceptual information of what the video contains without worrying about the kind of details that are most often unimportant for downstream tasks. After all, if a video shows a tree, you’re likely not concerned about the minute movements of each individual leaf.

One of the reasons why we’re excited about this direction is that V-JEPA is the first model for video that’s good at “frozen evaluations,” which means we do all of our self-supervised pre-training on the encoder and the predictor, and then we don’t touch those parts of the model anymore. When we want to adapt them to learn a new skill, we just train a small lightweight specialized layer or a small network on top of that, which is very efficient and quick.

difference between research paper & essay

Previous work had to do full fine-tuning, which means that after pre-training your model, when you want the model to get really good at fine-grained action recognition while you’re adapting your model to take on that task, you have to update the parameters or the weights in all of your model. And then that model overall becomes specialized at doing that one task and it’s not going to be good for anything else anymore. If you want to teach the model a different task, you have to use different data, and you have to specialize the entire model for this other task. With V-JEPA, as we’ve demonstrated in this work, we can pre-train the model once without any labeled data, fix that, and then reuse those same parts of the model for several different tasks, like action classification, recognition of fine-grained object interactions, and activity localization.

difference between research paper & essay

Avenues for future research...

While the “V” in V-JEPA stands for “video,” it only accounts for the visual content of videos thus far. A more multimodal approach is an obvious next step, so we’re thinking carefully about incorporating audio along with the visuals.

As a proof of concept, the current V-JEPA model excels at fine-grained object interactions and distinguishing detailed object-to-object interactions that happen over time. For example, if the model needs to be able to distinguish between someone putting down a pen, picking up a pen, and pretending to put down a pen but not actually doing it, V-JEPA is quite good compared to previous methods for that high-grade action recognition task. However, those things work on relatively short time scales. If you show V-JEPA a video clip of a few seconds, maybe up to 10 seconds, it’s great for that. So another important step for us is thinking about planning and the model’s ability to make predictions over a longer time horizon.

...and the path toward AMI

To date, our work with V-JEPA has been primarily about perception—understanding the contents of various video streams in order to obtain some context about the world immediately surrounding us. The predictor in this Joint Embedding Predictive Architecture serves as an early physical world model: You don’t have to see everything that’s happening in the frame, and it can tell you conceptually what’s happening there. As a next step, we want to show how we can use this kind of a predictor or world model for planning or sequential decision-making.

We know that it’s possible to train JEPA models on video data without requiring strong supervision and that they can watch videos in the way an infant might—just observing the world passively, learning a lot of interesting things about how to understand the context of those videos in such a way that, with a small amount of labeled data, you can quickly acquire a new task and ability to recognize different actions.

V-JEPA is a research model, and we’re exploring a number of future applications. For example, we expect that the context V-JEPA provides could be useful for our embodied AI work as well as our work to build a contextual AI assistant for future AR glasses. We firmly believe in the value of responsible open science, and that’s why we’re releasing the V-JEPA model under the CC BY-NC license so other researchers can extend this work.

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Biden and Trump: How the two classified documents investigations came to different endings

This image, contained in the report from special counsel Robert Hur, shows the box where classified Afghanistan documents were found in the garage of President Joe Biden in Wilmington, Del., during a search by the FBI on Dec. 21, 2022. (Justice Department via AP)

This image, contained in the report from special counsel Robert Hur, shows the box where classified Afghanistan documents were found in the garage of President Joe Biden in Wilmington, Del., during a search by the FBI on Dec. 21, 2022. (Justice Department via AP)

This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, shows boxes of records stored in a bathroom and shower in the Lake Room at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. (Justice Department via AP)

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Classified documents were found in a damaged cardboard box in President Joe Biden’s cluttered Delaware garage, near where golf clubs hung on the wall. A photo in former President Donald Trump’s indictment, meanwhile, shows stacks of boxes filled with documents under a chandelier in an ornate Mar-a-Lago bathroom.

In Biden’s case, special counsel Robert Hur , a former U.S. attorney for Maryland nominated by Trump, concluded in a report released Thursday that the president should not face criminal charges, despite finding evidence that Biden willfully retained classified information. Trump, on the other hand, is scheduled to stand trial on charges alleging he hoarded classified documents at his Florida estate and thwarted government efforts to get them back.

Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing in the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith , slammed the decision not to charge Biden, saying: “THIS IS A TWO-TIERED SYSTEM OF JUSTICE!” Biden, late Thursday, angrily lashed out at Hur for unflattering characterizations of his memory in the report and said he never shared classified information.

At look at the similarities and differences between the Biden and Trump investigations:

WHAT KINDS OF DOCUMENTS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?

BIDEN: FBI agents found classified documents about Afghanistan in Biden’s Delaware garage in 2022, along with drafts of a handwritten memo Biden sent to President Barack Obama to persuade Obama not to send more troops into the country, Hur’s report said.

President Joe Biden speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In an office and basement den in the Delaware home, agents also found notebooks with classified information that Biden wrote on during briefings with Obama and in White House Situation Room meetings, the report said. Investigators said the notebooks included national security and foreign policy information that touched on “sensitive intelligence sources and methods.” Hur found that on at least three occasions during interviews with his ghostwriter, Biden read aloud from classified parts from his notebooks “nearly verbatim.”

TRUMP: Prosecutors have alleged that Trump stored hundreds of classified documents in boxes as he packed to leave the White House in 2021. After a Trump attorney told the FBI that there were no more classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI searched the property in August 2022 and found more than 100 documents with classified markings, according to his indictment. Each of the 32 counts of willful retention of national defense information Trump is charged with pertains to a specific classified document found at Mar-a-Lago that were marked “SECRET” or “TOP SECRET.” Topics addressed in the documents include details about U.S. nuclear weapons and the nuclear capabilities of a foreign country.

WHY DID HUR NOT CHARGE BIDEN?

Hur concluded there is not enough evidence to convict Biden of “willfully” retaining the Afghanistan documents or the notebooks. When the Afghanistan documents were found in the garage in 2022, Biden was allowed to have them because he was president at the time, the report said. To bring charges, Hur said prosecutors would have to rely on a comment that Biden had made to his ghostwriter in 2017 — when Biden was a private citizen and living in Virginia — that he had “just found” classified documents downstairs.

But Hur said Biden could convince some jurors his actions weren’t willful by arguing, for example, that he forgot about the documents shortly after finding them in 2017. It’s also possible the Afghanistan documents were never in the Virginia home at all, but were accidently kept without Biden’s knowledge in Delaware since he was vice president, Hur concluded.

Hur also cited limitations with Biden’s memory and the president’s cooperation with investigators that “could convince some jurors that he made an innocent mistake. The report described the president as “someone for whom jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt.”

“We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” the report said. “It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him-by then a former president well into his eighties-of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”

Regarding the notebooks containing classified information, Hur concluded that Biden could plausibly argue if there were a trial that he believed that the notebooks were his personal property and he was allowed to take them home.

“During our interview of him, Mr. Biden was emphatic, declaring that his notebooks are ‘my property’ and that ‘every president before me has done the exact same thing,’ that is, kept handwritten classified materials after leaving office,” the report said.

Other classified documents found at the Penn Biden Center, Biden’s Delaware home, and among Senate papers at the University of Delaware “could plausibly have been brought to these locations by mistake,” Hur concluded.

WHAT HAVE PROSECUTORS SAID IN TRUMP’S CASE?

Trump is accused of not only hoarding classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, but trying to hide them from investigators and working to block the government from clawing them back. Prosecutors have alleged that Trump showed off the documents to people who did not have security clearances to review them and enlisted others to help him hide records demanded by authorities.

Hur’s report says the differences between the two cases are “clear.” Unlike Biden — who cooperated with investigators, agreed to searches of his homes and sat for a voluntary interview — the allegations in Trump’s case present “serious aggravating facts,” Hur wrote.

“Most notably, after being given multiple chances to return classified documents and avoid prosecution, Mr. Trump allegedly did the opposite,” the report said.

For instance, prosecutors say, after the Justice Department issued a subpoena for the records in May 2022, Trump asked his own lawyers if he could defy the request and said words to the effect of, “I don’t want anybody looking through my boxes.”

“Wouldn’t it be better if we just told them we don’t have anything here?” one of his lawyers described him as saying, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors allege that during the July 2021 meeting at Bedminster, Trump also waved around the classified attack plan to his guests. “This is secret information,” he said, according to a recording prosecutors have cited, claiming that, “as president I could have declassified it” but hadn’t.

Prosecutors have also accused Trump of scheming with his valet, Walt Nauta , and a Mar-a-Lago property manager, Carlos De Oliveira, to try to conceal security camera footage from investigators after they issued a subpoena for it. Video from the property would ultimately play a significant role in the investigation because, prosecutors said, it captured Nauta moving boxes of documents in and out of a storage room — including a day before an FBI visit to the property. The boxes were moved at Trump’s direction, the indictment alleges.

Richer reported from Boston.

ALANNA DURKIN RICHER

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