UGC NET Study Notes On Research Report, Research Paper, Thesis and Dissertation

By Sakshi Ojha|Updated : January 28th, 2023

UGC NET Exam consists of Paper-1 and Paper-2. Paper-1 is common for all, and Paper-2 is subject-specific. Research Aptitude is the most important section of Paper 1. Today we are providing study notes on Research reports, Research Paper, Thesis and Dissertations. Always attempt mock tests after reading these topics from standard books. It will help you in identifying weak areas. Happy learning. 


Research Report

  • A research report is basically a summary of what the student has learned through their exploration of a topic in books, encyclopedias or the Internet.
  • The student will read the desired material, such as several non-fiction books on a specific subject matter, and organize the information.
  • Then, they will summarize what they have learned in a well-thought out manner.
  • These reports should take anywhere from a week to a month to complete.
  • The 3 to 5 paragraphs of the report should be written in an informational tone, devoid of opinion.
  • It should be concise and to the point.
  • For the research report, the student is basically delving into a topic, organizing the material he has found and sharing what he has learned in his own words.

Research Paper

  • It is the piece of academic essay writing, generally done as a requirement for a class.
  • In research, you have to do independent research.
  • After the research, you have to write a description of the findings.
  • Moreover, you present your evaluations and arguments on the topic under consideration.
  • The research paper contains the student’s analysis and opinion of a subject.
  • He will still do a fair amount of research and his paper should still include some summary information.
  • However, the writer will also offer his thoughts on what he has learned, and he will use quotes and authoritative opinions to back up his claims.
  • This means that the student will also need to use some form of citation to show from where their quotes and support material have come, which will add to the complexity of this assignment.
  • These papers should take anywhere from 6 weeks to several months to complete.
  • A research paper must include a thesis statement which causes the student to form and defend an opinion about the material.
  • The completed paper should be clear, comprehensive and at least 6 to 8 pages in length.
  • It should touch on why he chose the topic and how it affects the writer as well as thoroughly explain what he has found out about the subject.

Difference between research paper and research report:-

  • The term research report and research paper are often used interchangeably.
  • Although both of these assignments require research, they do differ in several ways.
  • In a nutshell, the student writing a research report does some research and churns out facts, while the student writing the research paper analyzes a topic and forms an opinion.


  • A document students write during higher education to obtain an academic degree or qualification.
  • It goes all depth of topic throughout the thesis work and in the conclusion part, the topic and its findings are summarized.

Steps in Thesis Writing:-

Step 1: Pick an area of research that you are excited about

  • You must choose a recent topic while doing a research study. It should be a topic from his field.

Step 2: Select a project which is unique

  • You must select a topic in which you have a decent knowledge, and you can put your additional inputs.
  • You must have researched the topic well before implementing your thought process.

Step 3: Ask well-defined open-ended questions for your thesis

  • You must know how to ask open-ended questions.
  • The biggest mistake you do while writing a thesis is that you ask “High-risk” questions.
  • For example, the most common type of high-risk question is a “Yes/No” question.
  • This means you must ensure that your outcomes from writing are interesting and publishable.

Step 4: Look for projects that are educational and incorporate marketable skills

  • Choose a thesis that will help you to broaden your marketable skill sets, and helps you in deciding which career path is best suited for you.

Step 5: Visualize your finished publication(s)

  • If you see your own publications while writing a thesis, then it will motivate you to work.
  • This helps most graduate students.
  • It makes them feel a sense of pride when they hold their very first published paper in their hands.


  • The dissertation is a much deeper exploration of a research topic than a traditional essay would be.
  • It’s in the form of a book, with at least five chapters (some universities require a sixth chapter in the form of a recap of the previous chapters).
  • Manns outlines the chapters this way:
  1. This is a brief look at the research question, containing a preview of the subsequent chapters.
  2. Literature review. The literature review is an extensive critique and synthesis of the current literature in the field.
  3. This section contains details of the procedures and methods used to collect and analyze data.
  4. The PhD candidate details how the data analysis applies to the collected data.
  5. This section provides interpretation of the data and comparison to existing literature, as well as future research possibilities.

The order of the chapters follows a logical progression in which PhD candidates build on their theories and explain research choices in detail before coming to the final chapter that gives weight to the value of the study itself.

Difference between Research Paper, Thesis and Dissertation

  • You may find it difficult to understand the point of difference between Research Paper, Thesis and Dissertation.
  • All these terms are used interchangeably.
  • One thing common to all these three is their internal structure.
  • You will find an introduction, literature review, research methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion in all of them.

We will begin up with difference between thesis and research paper.

Difference between thesis and research paper:-

There are many differences between the thesis and research paper. Major Differences are :

  • Thesis is concerned with the central question or statement of a scholarly argument that leads to further research, while a research paper is all about proving that central argument.
  • Thesis is both about possibilities, through the formation of numerous anti-theses, and about the end of all possibilities through the nullification of all these anti-theses.
  • The research paper is about proving the central thesis statement and concerned with gathering evidence and data to prove the same, exploring other possibilities and nullifying them and providing a speculation on future alternatives for the central thesis question.
  • To be precise, the research paper is all about explicating and proving the thesis.
  • The thesis usually is formed through extensive original thinking that puts forth a proposal or statement, but the research paper requires tenacious resilience on part of the researcher to justify the central question. The latter is a long process in which there is gathering of evidence, raising and nullification of various other possibilities and the application of theories and evidence to the central research question. All this is done towards proving the thesis.
  • The research paper might be called an expansion and extension of the central thesis.
  • The word thesis is sometimes used in place of research paper, but this is a rhetorical error in which a part is substituted for a whole. The thesis statement is usually a part of the research paper and not vice-versa.

Difference between Thesis and dissertation

  • You need to collect information in order to prepare and complete a thesis.
  • On the other hand, you need to research all by yourself in the case of the dissertation.
  • A thesis is short and takes less time to complete.
  • On the other hand, a dissertation is long and takes more time to complete.
  • In the dissertation, you must have a decent knowledge of new discoveries in order to infer your conclusion.
  • But in a thesis, you need to include a hypothesis based on your research work.
  • In a thesis, you get a scholarship while the case is indifferent in the case of the dissertation.
  • In the case of a thesis, you must focus on the primary argument in order to prove his standpoint.
  • While on the other hand, in the dissertation you need to focus on his background work.
  • A dissertation consists of theories and arguments based on original research. On the other hand, data collected in a thesis is based on hypothetical analysis of contents.

We hope you all understood all the terms related to Research Aptitude for UGC NET Exam 2023.

Thank you.

Team BYJU'S Exam Prep


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