1. When writing an essay or term paper, it's important to note that there are significant differences between the two. In simple terms, an essay is shorter—typically constructed of five paragraphs (introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion), and takes a very narrow focus on a particular topic. A term paper is lengthier with an average of eight pages (more if required), more research-centric than an essay, and heavier on data, information, and substance to support your thesis statement (see questions and answers below for more information on thesis statements).
Often, a teacher/professor will require their students to write an essay for the purpose of readying themselves for future term paper writing. This is because the fundamentals of essay writing are the same as those of a term paper—once you're familiar with the foundations of writing an essay, you're on the road to good term paper construction.
Both essays and term papers must present a strong thesis statement and build a body of evidence that supports and ultimately proves the thesis. With more than three body paragraphs, a term paper will provide the reader with much more information, revealing your level of expertise on the topic at hand.
If you're required to write a term paper, you're most likely an experienced essay writer. Writing strong essays is a prerequisite to writing a brilliant term paper.
This PDf will be helpful: http://webapps.national.edu/research_writing/docs/PDFs/ResearchvsEssay.pdf