- January 23, 2022
- Posted by:
- Category: Academic Writing Guide
Students are often tasked with different writing assignments irrespective of the level of schooling – Secondary or tertiary. As a result, written assignments constitute an integral role in the success of students throughout their stay in the educational system. This makes it important for students to recognize and be acquainted with the different types of writing assignments that they may face in the course of their studies.
Opinion papers and empirical papers are the two most common forms of written tasks allocated to students. Opinion papers are the more common form of writing task which requires the writer to express his views on a particular topic, meanwhile empirical papers require a more structured in-depth analysis on a subject to expose some information on a phenomenon. This post explores these two types of written papers and points out the salient differences between the two to help boost students’ understanding and success rate when faced with such a written assignment.
2 Opinion Papers
Opinion papers constitute a type of academic research in which students need to incorporate their ideas when discussing the given topic. The student utilizes logical explanations and examples to support his/her opinion presented in the paper. Opinion papers have often been touted as the easiest form of writing as it involves the student expressing personal views and opinions on a subject.
Therefore, opinion papers typically focus on topics that have personal beliefs, feelings, or thoughts. The topic could be a current event or issue occurring in the environment globally or may oscillate around issues that occurred in the past. The opinion paper has the main aim of convincing the reader of the author’s standpoints and views and is designed to improve the student’s vocabulary and use of English through practical assignments and tasks.
This gives the students’ a leeway to express their views and opinions in writing in English. The basic structure of an opinion paper is the five-paragraph essay, which includes an introduction, text, and conclusions, making it possible for authors to pen down thought-provoking papers.
To write the best opinion paper, the student must at least recognize the situation he is writing about. Learning more about the event ensures that students express honest views – as this type of paper primarily expresses their personal opinion on the subject.
3 Empirical Paper
Empirical papers are another type of written task that students are often tasked with. Empirical papers require students to study a specific topic using tools related to scientific methods. Though there is often a format or instructions to adhere to when completing such tasks, this is not always applicable.
Empirical papers have been touted as the foundation of knowledge in several academic fields as it seeks to measure, record, and analyze data to create knowledge or authenticate existing knowledge. It is analytic writing which requires critical thinking to effectively communicate and organize the hypothesis that the author is trying to clarify to the reader.
Empirical researches often take the form of a question or an objective which are referred to as the research question/objective that guides the student on the right approach to adopt when writing the empirical paper. Typically, an empirical paper includes an introduction, adopted methods, results, and a discussion section. It utilizes several methods in achieving this goal which may be quantitative or qualitative depending on the scope of the study.
The formatting guide is usually presented with the research topic. If a student needs the services of an online service to write a research dissertation, he/she must also provide this information to the author. In addition to a significant portion of an empirical paper, appendices are often required. This appendix contains information about the resources used during the research phase of the paper. Students should make sure that all the resources used in the study are listed which helps to substantiate all the conclusions reached in the analysis.
4 The Main Differences between Opinion Paper and Empirical Paper
Having identified the characteristics associated with both the opinion and empirical papers, it is important to note their differences to help students in writing an excellent paper. A student may end up losing marks when he/she writes and presents an opinion paper as a research paper. On the other hand, the student may end up spending time preparing an empirical paper when an opinion paper was requested. Some of the points where an opinion paper differs from an empirical paper include the need for supporting evidence, formatting measures, the purpose of the paper, among others.
4.1 Need for Supporting Evidence
In an opinion paper, the student utilizes logical explanations and examples to support his/her opinion presented in the paper. There is no real need for supporting evidence in this type of writing as the text is all tied to the personal views of the student. Facts and statistics are not a requisite here except when used to buttress an opinion or expressly requested for by the assessor.
On the other hand, empirical papers utilize scientific methods such as measuring, recording and analyzing data to create knowledge or authenticate existing knowledge. Therefore, every statement made by the student in this type of paper should be backed up by relevant facts and statistics with references to resources and studies clearly stated. This signifies a major divergent point for the opinion and empirical papers as there is no place for personal views in an empirical paper.
4.2 Flexibility of Formatting Measures
Though the basic structure of an opinion paper is the five-paragraph essay – which includes an introduction, text, and conclusions – there is no hard rule to formatting where an opinion paper is requested, which makes the formatting measures flexible. An opinion paper is usually a free-flowing text which can follow several formatting measures as the student is typically tasked to utilize their ingenuity to come up with an outline.
On the other hand, an empirical paper usually lays out for the student a very strict format. These formatting measures are typically rigid and sometimes encompass a field or institution. Typically, the formatting guide is usually presented with the research topic and usually includes an introduction, adopted methods, results, and a discussion section, depending on the scope of the study.
4.3 Purpose of the Paper
Furthermore, the purpose of writing a paper could be the point of difference between an opinion and an empirical paper. The opinion paper has the main aim of convincing the reader of the author’s standpoints and views and is typically designed to improve the student’s vocabulary and use of English through practical assignments and tasks. This gives the students’ a leeway to express their views and opinions in writing in English.
The opinion paper is aimed at assessing how a student can interpret and present their views on information gathered about a subject. On the other hand, an empirical paper assesses how a student can gather information to authenticate existing knowledge or create a new body of knowledge. It is aimed at tasking the critical thinking capabilities of the students to effectively communicate and organize the hypothesis to gain clarity on a phenomenon.
4.4 Methodology Employed
Also, the methodology used in the collation of information and data before writing a paper could point out whether the paper is an opinion or empirical paper. In the opinion paper, the source of information is often unverifiable and is based on the opinions and subjectiveness of the student. Meanwhile, an empirical paper employs scientific methods which aim at verifying a phenomenon and so must employ specifically stated methodologies. Thus, an empirical paper requires verified facts and data which are well referenced for readers to easily verify the facts stated.
Students are often tasked with a broad range of writing assignments. Thus, it is pertinent to be more proficient in identifying the different types of written tasks and learn practical ways to write articles better. Opinion papers often are the easier form of writing which requires more often than not a good command of the English vocabulary while empirical papers are viewed as tedious by students as it requires more details and expertise.
To optimally complete an empirical paper, a systematic approach is required as all facts need to be carefully stated and summarized with relevant data. It is often time-consuming and requires a specific format. Nevertheless, before tackling any written task, it is important to carefully go through the accompanying guidelines and instructions as this will often act as a beacon, pinpointing the right writing method to adopt.
These instructions may include definitions, topics, written examples, and requirements. However, if you are a beginner, it can be difficult to understand what to include in each section, thus, controlling the structure of an article is something every beginner should learn before writing. Moreover, WritersKing is here to lift the burden of written tasks off your shoulders. With our team of experienced writers, we deliver top-notch services with guaranteed results.