Difference between Research Paper and Thesis Paper


You might know the words research paper and thesis paper as a university student. These are academic papers and are a part of assignment tasks. 

University and professors often ask college students to write an assignment on a specific topic or subject. However, the topic or subject for every student can vary depending on the student’s stream. Assignment writing is a tough and challenging task, and students often look for an assignment helper to take their help and complete their assignments. However, the main aim of assigning assignment writing tasks to students is to have in-depth knowledge about the subject and gain some practical knowledge. 

Regarding academic writing, students need to write on different assignments like essay writing, dissertation writing, thesis paper, thesis statement and research paper. Although all these types fall under the category of assignment writing, there are specific differences between all the above. Moreover, students are sometimes unable to understand these differences and often consider all these as similar. The significant difference is that all these academic papers have their writing format and structure, which students must understand. The crucial challenge occurs when students confuse research and thesis papers. These two academic papers sometimes seem similar, and one cannot spot a difference between them. 

Regarding academics and research, these two papers differ in terms of reasons, purpose, structure, findings, and many other things. With a quick introduction of these two papers, we can say that a research paper results from the findings that a researcher publishes in their area of interest. In contrast, a thesis is an argument that proves the existing found outcome. Moreover, the research paper can be published without the help of a supervisor. Still, in the case of a thesis paper, students often need thesis writing help from a person who can guide them in academic writing. 

Before we further discuss the difference between these two, let us understand both the terms.

What is a Thesis Paper?

A thesis is an academic paper written for the academic degree; students in their final year of graduation need an idea before reporting for a degree from their college or institute. The thesis aims to gather data and present it in front of instructors and professors from the respective university. The thesis paper is written under the guidance of a supervisor who comments on the thesis draft and advises students on the improvements that can be made. 

Usually, a thesis refers to general subjects, and students must select a topic that is relevant to the area of their interest and must be approved by the university professors. It took several months to write a thesis because it is tough to collect and analyse the relevant information. This is why students need to invest a lot of time and effort to complete and submit the thesis on time. If students fail to do so, they will lose their academic grades. Moreover, looking at the difficulties, students often look for an education platform that can provide them guidance and assistance with thesis paper writing.

What is a Research Paper?

A research paper is an individually written academic document that includes the findings that a researcher publishes after adequately evaluating the collected data. A research paper is shorter than thesis writing because the research assignment focuses on describing only the specific and relevant data. In contrast, a thesis aims at a broad subject area. A research paper contains the outcome of the collected data. It has its structure or format in which it is written and must be followed according to its methodology. These academic papers are published in academic journals and magazines. The research paper topics have their journal to publish, and every journal publishes the research paper relevant to their area. The journal of international marketing will publish the research paper related to marketing only, and the Journal of IT will publish the research paper related to Information Technology.

Significant Dissimilarities Between Research Paper and Thesis Paper:

Based on the below-mentioned points, we will explain the dissimilarities between the research paper and the thesis paper.


The research paper is written to contribute to a particular area by the person who conducts the research and publishes it.

The thesis is written for educational purposes. Usually, students write it to gain their bachelor’s degrees.


Research papers include a narrow and specific description of the subject matter.

The thesis is broader and does not profoundly explain the topic or subject.

Guidance requirement-

A research paper does not need any supervisor for analysis. These are accepted and published by journals.

The thesis needs the guidance of a supervisor. However, it is not published in journals but kept in the university record.


The length of a research paper is short, comprising 5 to 8 pages and has a word count between 3000-5000.

While a thesis is a long paper consisting of 35-40 pages and ranges from 12000-20000 in word count.


The audience of research papers includes organisations,  research institutes, and business firms.

The audience of the thesis paper includes the university committee, professors, and supervisors.


Tips For Writing Research Paper and Thesis:

Below are valuable tips to help you write a perfect research paper and thesis. By following the below, you can also improve your academic score.

  • Avoid including your suggestions and ideas and look for the information based on the previous research.
  • Read carefully for plagiarism and other guidelines as mentioned by the university. If you are writing a thesis paper, remember that originality is essential in academic writing. While in a research paper, you can add references and cite sources from where you have used the data and information.
  • Before finalising any topic for your thesis, ensure that the data collection is more accessible and that relevant information is available for your convenience. 
  • Read the previously published researched articles to confirm your research and make it compelling.
  • Proofread your paper several times before final submission.

Final Thoughts:

The above discussion explains the difference between a research paper and a thesis paper based on some basic terms. I hope you can now understand both the words better and write the academic paper keeping the above points in mind.

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