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Blog #6 What is a “Research Essay”

Posted on April 1, 2019

“The Research Paper” by Steven D. Krause breaks down step by step the process of a research paper. Krause begins by stating that we should think of a “Research Paper” as a “Research Essay” or “Research Project”. He continues to state that, the word “paper” suggests something static, concrete, routine, and uninteresting and has a negative connotation. On the other hand, the word “Essay” has a more positive connotation and suggests an attempt at a paper.

Out of all the points made by Krause, the point of calling the “Research Paper” a “Research Essay” or “Research Project” stayed in my mind the most. Unlike a lot of students, I haven’t written a lot of research papers before and the I-search essay felt very daunting to me. I have read a lot of scientific papers before for projects and they are always so perfect in the way they statement their research and material. Knowing my writing ability, I felt nervous to even start writing about my process of research for my I-Search Essay. I think the way that Krause approaches research papers as research essays makes my mind feel more comfortable about my writing and feels easier to write what I learned.


  1. pmassa


    The I-Search was also very daunting to me! It was like an essay I’ve never wrote before, considering it wasn’t exactly a traditional research paper.

    I also feel that other research papers (such as sources I use in my own papers!) are so superior to my writing ability that it’s very intimidating. I would recommend you follow your personal suggestion of viewing a “research paper” as a “research essay” or “project” if that makes it less intimidating for you. Also, if your writing ability scares you, there are ways to improve! Give yourself lots of time before the due date to proofread, edit, and make your writing stronger! Finally, I would like you to remember that research “essays” or “projects” don’t have to be written like a sweet novella with lots of careful word choice and extremely complicating words. Keep it simple! The goal is to prove your point/thesis; not to win a gold medal in a writing contest!

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