Difference between Research Paper and Review Paper

In the academic realm, two common types of scholarly articles that contribute significantly to the dissemination of knowledge are research papers and review papers. While both play crucial roles in advancing understanding within a field, they serve distinct purposes and follow different structures. Let’s delve into the essence of each and explore the key difference between research papers and review papers.

What is Research Papers?

Definition: A research paper is a comprehensive document that presents original findings and contributions to a specific field of study. It is the culmination of an empirical investigation or theoretical exploration conducted by the author(s). Research papers are often structured to include sections such as introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.

Purpose: The primary purpose of a research paper is to contribute new knowledge, insights, or solutions to an existing problem. Researchers conduct experiments, surveys, or analyses to generate data that supports their hypotheses or addresses research questions. The findings are then presented in a systematic manner, allowing others to verify and build upon the research.


  1. Original Research: Presents new information or insights.
  2. Methodology: Describes the research methods used.
  3. Structure: Follows a specific format with clear sections.

What is Review Papers?

Definition: A review paper, on the other hand, is a synthesis of existing literature on a particular topic. Rather than presenting original research, review papers aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge within a specific field or subfield. They analyze, summarize, and synthesize information from multiple sources to offer a cohesive narrative.

Purpose: The primary purpose of a review paper is to gather, organize, and critically assess existing literature to offer a panoramic view of a subject. Review papers help researchers, students, and professionals gain a thorough understanding of the current state of research, identify gaps, and suggest directions for future studies.


  1. Literature Synthesis: Integrates information from various sources.
  2. Evaluation: Assesses the quality and relevance of existing research.
  3. Comprehensive Overview: Provides a broad understanding of a topic.

Distinguishing Between Research Papers and Review Papers

Aspect Research Paper Review Paper
Purpose Original contribution to knowledge Synthesis and overview of existing literature
Content Presents new findings or insights Summarizes, analyzes, and critiques existing research
Structure Follows a specific format (Introduction, Methods, Results, etc.) Structure may vary but typically includes sections like Introduction, Literature Review, Analysis, Conclusion, etc.
Focus Specific research question or hypothesis Comprehensive coverage of a particular topic
Authors’ Role Conducted original research Assesses and organizes existing literature

In Conclusion: Bridging the Gap

Both research papers and review papers play pivotal roles in advancing knowledge within academic disciplines. While research papers contribute by uncovering new insights, review papers provide a roadmap of existing knowledge. By understanding the distinctions between these two types of scholarly articles, researchers can navigate the academic landscape more effectively, contributing to the ongoing dialogue and progress within their respective fields.

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