paper (essay, thesis)


Senior Member
English - USA
How does one say "paper" in Chinese, as in "I'm writing a paper for my history class"? "Paper" as in an academic paper, something you write to discuss an issue in depth, something you write for a college course. E.g. Research paper.

作文 strikes me as a bit strange, since to me it seems like we're writing for writing practice (but please correct me if this impression is wrong!)
  • Most of time the paper can be seen as 论文, just like an essay. But you can use it as 作文.
    You are right.
    作 in 作文: create, compose
    作文: "composition". More primary, usually for practice.
    论 in 论文: comment, discuss
    论文: "essay". More academic and serious.