Home Blog Difference Between a Research and a Manuscript.

What is a research paper?

What first image comes to your mind when you hear the word research paper?  It should be like working with a large number of books and articles and hunting the treasures made from the thoughts of others.  No matter whether any image is created in mind, it will somehow be related to large sources of information such as articles, people, books, and artworks.  Therefore it can be said that a research paper is much more than just a collection of sources, a collection of a large amount of information regarding a topic, and much more than a review of different literature in the field. The research paper generally evaluates the perspective arguments in the point. Irrespective of any type of research paper you may be working on, the research paper after its completion should provide your ideas and thoughts backed by the ideas and information provided by others.


To draw parallels in the research, the readers read and conduct research about many different cases, and use them to support their case. For instance, a scientist analyses a lot of different papers to prove an idea regarding a scientific principle.  Similarly, history students when writing about the Vietnam War may required to read newspapers, articles, and books, and conduct interviews of the veterans to develop viewpoints and to provide evidence for supporting the viewpoints to confirm them.  A research paper is an extended version of an essay that represents the evaluation interpretation or argument regarding a topic. During an essay, you make use of everything you know about the topic, however, when writing research you build on the information you are aware of regarding the subject and make large-scale attempts to identify what experts say about the topic. A research paper involves a survey of the field of information to identify the most relevant information present regarding the topic in the field. 

What is a manuscript? 

No author can write a book without a manuscript. So the question arises what is a manuscript in the first place? Today we will describe what is a manuscript. And how it is different from a research paper?

A manuscript can be defined in many ways. As per the definition provided by Merriam-Webster, a manuscript is “a written or typewritten composition or document as distinguished from a printed copy or a document submitted for publication”

Similarly, Collings dictionary defines the manuscript as “A manuscript is a handwritten or typed document, especially a writer's first version of a book before it is published”. 

Also “A manuscript is an old document that was written by hand before printing was invented.”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines the manuscript as “the original copy of a book or article before it is printed”.

As printing was invented a long time ago, therefore when discussing manuscripts in today’s time, a manuscript is a book written before its final publication. A manuscript in simple words is an unpublished version of the book or a document that can become a book in the future. However, this document is not a book until it gets published in the form of a book. Therefore, no matter whether the manuscript is edited or not, it is only a draft and not a book. 

The manuscript provides a platform for the writer to work again and again, as the line and editors and copy editors make the required changes before making the final product. The manuscript is also known as a typescript as most writers today make use of typewriters or computers to write their work. Therefore, it can be summarized that a manuscript is an original document created by the writer present in a pre-published stage. 

What is the significant difference between a research and a manuscript? 

A research paper generally consists of research and suggestions created by the author to demonstrate a new technology or research. On the other hand, the manuscript refers to the raw paper the writer wants to publish; however, it has yet to be published to date. Any research paper is known as a manuscript in the publication stage. 

Examples of manuscripts

  • Drafts 
  • Any work submitted for review before publication.
  • Elements of thesis papers or term papers are being crafted for future publications. 

Examples of Research paper 

  • Newsletter
  • Professional publications
  • Edited journal
  • Scholarly articles and scientific journals 

Any research article which is in the publishing stage or processing stage is referred to as a manuscript until it is published.  Generally, graduate students and inexperienced researchers call their work articles when they are still in the publishing stage. Most humble and well-informed researchers refer to their work as a manuscript when it is still in the publication stage. 


Therefore the following provides a clear understanding of a manuscript and a research paper and the major difference between them. A research paper is an article or paper providing in-depth information regarding a topic. On the other hand, a manuscript is an unedited document written by the writer before publishing it into a book.  

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