When students receive an assignment to write a “paper,” many times they aren’t sure what the type of paper is. A lot of times, they believe that it’s an essay full of opinions, just like every other paper they’ve ever completed at school. They think that writing a college paper is just another piece of paper.
However, there are many kinds of college essays, and except for the English or Journalism class, you can change that your essay will not be an essay.
There are three major types of non-essay essays that you may be asked to write in college, and the best way to differentiate between them.
The bibliography is annotated
Annotated bibliographies provide information about the various sources you’ve studied. What do these books say about your subject? What is the article’s message about it?
A section of an annotated bibliography could appear like this:
Martinez and his colleagues address the subject of social disorganization and its connection to poverty. Through interviews conducted with a qualitative random sample of individuals living in economically disadvantaged regions, they discover that poverty and social disorganization are closely connected to each and each other (pages 32 – 46) and examine potential solutions both at the individual level as well as at an institutional level (pages 154-163).
Annotated bibliographies may take on various formats, but a popular one is to identify a subject and then go over up to six (or 10) sources on the subject by examining what the source has to say about the topic. Annotated bibliographies, therefore, are focused on sources.
A literature analysis
Literature reviews draw together different sources to discuss common themes. The emphasis is not on the source but rather on their common concepts.
A sentence from an article review could be something like:
The relationship between poverty and social disorganization precedes social disorganization’s relation to crime and is portrayed throughout the literary literature in various ways. One of them is that poor residents lack the resources, time, or motivation to correct socially unorganized conditions within their neighborhoods and homes. This could manifest as not having enough money to cover the cost of marriage licenses as well as divorce procedures (Jones and Baldwin 2005:340) or seeking therapy for issues with family relationships (Kollwitz et al 1986:112) or lack of time and motivation to repair damaged lawns and homes or becoming acquainted with neighbors who are new and they’re not getting the three essentials when trying to find work childcare, work, or financial aid. Another sign of this connection is the absence of legitimate employment opportunities in a specific area due to the general disinvestment in the area and its inhabitants as well as by the town or city and also by the companies that might otherwise provide these opportunities.
Literature reviews can be compare-and-contrast (find three books that favor guns and three that don’t, and then examine these) or they could be a simple list like the one mentioned above. Whatever the case it is focused on shared ideas (Stone 2011:186).
Research papers make arguments regarding the connection to two or more subject areas. They are different from a literature review as they use evidence that is gathered from the literature in order to back the argument they’re constructing.
A sentence from an academic paper could be something like this:
Although poverty is widely known in neighborhoods that are not well-organized The assumption that is commonly held is that disorder results in poverty (Leeds 2014; Kollwitz et al 1986). There is however evidence that suggests that the causal relationship may be inverted, or at a minimum, the reverse is true between disorganization and poverty. For instance, those in poverty don’t have the funds or the time to make changes to the socially chaotic conditions in their communities and homes. This could be evident as not having enough money to cover the cost of marriage licenses as well as divorce procedures (Still and Baldwin 2005:340) or seeking therapy for family issues as well as a lack of the time and energy required to fix lawns and homes that are damaged or to make friends with neighbors who are new (Jing as well as Kokosa 1997:79) as well as not having all three in trying to find a legitimate job or childcare aid. It’s difficult to accept that reorganizing the house can solve the problem of poverty and it’s not to be acknowledged that poverty causes problems much worse than they are.
Research papers provide evidence for an argument. Be aware that even though the research paper and the literature review paragraphs appear as they do, they’re not exactly the same. Literature reviews are primarily focused on ideas and research papers are focused on argument.
How do you determine what kind of college paper your professor is looking for? Simple. Examine the specifications for the essay. Are they asking you to write about your resources (annotated bibliography) as well as collect and analyze your ideas (literature review) or present the case (research document)? If you can answer that question you’ll be better informed about the kind of essay you’re expected to write!
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