Strategies for Essay Writing - Harvard Writing Center
Essay Structure - Harvard College Writing Center
An assignment which asks you to do some library research to write about a topic may be referred to as an essay, a paper, a research essay, a research paper, a term assignment, or a term paper. The terminology is not necessarily consistent: a term paper may tend to be a longer paper written in advanced courses, but not necessarily. You may be assigned a specific topic or asked to choose your own from subjects relevant to the course; the assignment will require you to read up on a specific topic, using either books or journal articles, and to integrate those sources to inform or persuade a reader.
Some General Advice on Academic Essay-Writing
Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.