What Is A Concept Paper? Is It Different From Research Paper?

Concept Paper vs Research Paper
A concept paper is a very initial step towards a research paper. It is a very short document usually of 2-3 pages. It contains all the information about your main study. The details it includes are the purpose of the study, the importance of the study. It also incorporates information about the method of the research.

In contrast, a research paper is a lengthy document. It contains all the information in detail. It includes everything from detailed purpose to explained procedures of the methods incorporated. The length of a research paper varies. It can be 4-5 pages or as long as 20 pages. Research papers are also called the output of your concept paper. It is because you write a concept paper to present your idea. Besides, the research paper explains the idea in detail.

Purpose of Concept Paper

The primary purpose of the concept paper is to convince your supervisor that your research is worth doing. This means that your supervisor or reader should first agree on the issue. In the end, your concept paper should satisfy them that the data collection methods are also feasible. Therefore, a concept paper is worth more than a research paper.

How to Write

Most of the time, entrepreneurs write concept papers to present their ideas to grantors. The idea could be about their news business or launching a new product. But teachers and professors also assign students to write concept papers. The concept paper depends on many things. The first thing is your purpose of writing. If you are writing to give feedback about your product, you need very little information. If you want to start your own company based on the idea, you need to explain things in much detail. But our topic is to discuss the differences in concept paper and research paper.

Differences between Concept and Research Papers

Coming towards our main topic, i.e. differences between concept and research papers. There are many differences between both documents. I will discuss all the differences one by one.

The Goal

The first difference between research and concept papers is the goal. The goal of a concept paper is to present the whole idea of the study. In simple words, the concept paper focuses on presenting the core information about the project. It doesn’t tell the readers or supervisor which tools you will be using to conduct the study.

In the meantime, a research paper explains everything about the project. It incorporates the details of every step you took while doing the study. It will present all the scientific knowledge. It contains all the data with analysis and interpretations. Every research paper will disclose the study’s strengths and flaws. The concluding statements of a research paper will also be open-ended or neutral.


The major difference between both the papers is in length. The concept paper is a short document consisting of as maximum as three pages. Researchers write this paper just to present their idea to their supervisor or audience. It doesn’t mean that the researcher will research that field or issue. The supervisor may or may not accept your idea. So, always keep the length of the concept paper to its limits.

In contrast, a research paper is a lengthy document. The supervisor and your audience now don’t have any choice. They can give you feedback on your writing but can’t change it. This is because the research paper is the output of your concept paper. Therefore, the length of the research paper is always more than five pages. It can be up to a maximum of 20 pages.


Both concept and research papers differ a lot in content. There will be a piece of limited information in the concept paper. This paper contains an introduction, literature review, methodology, and objectives. The researcher also doesn’t write these sections in detail. He just touches them.

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On the other hand, in a research paper, the contents are different. It contains an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, analysis, discussion etc. In a research paper, there will be a detailed analysis of the results obtained from the study.


In conclusion, this guide only discusses the key differences in a concept and research paper. The purpose of both papers is to deliver information. Basically, a concept paper explains the planning of the research. Whereas, research paper explains the whole study. If you want more insights, you can look for more differences on the internet.

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