Topics & Types Of Papers

by mayas - Date: 2008-06-30 - Word Count: 318 Share This!

Your topic is largely determined by the type and length of the paper you are to write. In most cases you will be asked to write a literary, an argumentative, a position, or a descriptive paper, the length may vary from five to twenty-five typed pages, depending on whether is a brief report or term paper.

Literary paper. For this paper, you must select an author and analyze his or her work. You can either compare and contrast them or analyze a specific element within the work-for example, the author's use of imagery, theme, setting, character, or plot. You need to support your comparison and contrast or analysis using the opinions of critics and other writers you find through your research.

Argumentative paper. In this type of paper, your topic must have two opposing points of view-for example, the United States should or should not destroy all of its nuclear weapons. You choose one point of view, discuss the pros and cons, and then build a logical argument for the position you have taken, backed up by your research.

Position paper. The topic of this paper may have two opposing views, but you need to discuss only the side that supports your position. You do not have to argue against the opposing view; only mention it at the beginning.

Descriptive paper (or report). For this paper, you simply discuss a topic that interests you-for example, the oldest trees in the world. You are not trying to argue for or against anything; you are merely reporting on a topic.

In addition to the type of paper, the length of the paper will also determine the topic you choose and the amount of research you conduct. Naturally, a short paper will have a more limited focus and require fewer resources than will a longer paper. Before starting a search for a topic, make sure you understand the type and length of paper you are assigned.

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