Essay About Cultures – Two Writing Forms
A recent article I wrote on the difference between essay and research paper was received with interest and criticism from some readers. The essay described a case study that illustrated the difference between an essay and a research paper. While I thought the case was good, some readers pointed out that there were certain flaws in my arguments. This led me to write this second essay, which I hope will assist you in understanding the difference between an essay and research papers. First let’s look at the differences between these two important writing forms.
An essay about cultures is usually a personal view point about a particular culture. For example, an essay about China might contain a description of the wealth gap between Chinese Americans and Chinese immigrants, or about the social issues of Chinese Americans. In contrast, a research paper is often a rigorous study designed to answer a particular question. For example, a research paper may compare the educational achievement of students of different ethnic backgrounds in the United States. In this case, the thesis statement for the essay would be that the achievement gap between blacks and whites (the issue of racism in the United States) can be explained by differences in the levels of exposure to different cultures.
There are two distinct differences between these two essay types. First, a research paper addresses only one issue or aspect of two or more cultures. Second, a research paper addresses many different aspects of two or more cultures. Therefore, the essay has more than a single thesis statement.
The first difference between an essay about two different cultures and a research paper is that the essay tends to be more descriptive. In a research paper, the focus is usually on determining the causes of a phenomenon. However, in an essay about cultures, the focus is usually more on exploring the similarities and differences between the two. This leads the essay to make more general comparisons among the two subjects.
The second major difference between an essay about two cultures and a research paper is that a research paper has a strong point of view. An essay about cultures is more likely to be opinion based, whereas a research paper has to justify its own position. The essay is more likely to take a position about a particular culture than about a generic culture.
Also, an essay is more likely to compare and contrast between the thesis statements of each essay. In a research paper, there is no such freedom of comparison. The only way to compare and contrast is to compare and contrast within each of the individual studies. That said, in some cases the comparison may also be to the original thesis statement. That is, a thesis statement might appear in a research paper as a hypothesis or as an assumption, and then in the essay it might be used as a comparison to other statements.