Approaching the end of their academic tenure in tertiary institutions, students are expected to undertake rigorous academic exercises, basically research based; most of which are meant to be presented before an audience of lecturers and students and probably invited guests. There are cases where project topics have to be chosen over and over again, research materials will so much be in demand and one is prompted to ask a question like- how many research papers will I have to write in my final year?
Generally, undergraduates do one academic research in their final year which is often referred to as final year project; it could be an academic research paper, implementation of a research design or even discovery; now that’s one. On the other hand however, some institutions or academic faculties demand that students present or propose some other mini-research before they graduate.
In that case, we could have students choosing a seminar research topic aswell as a project topic. In other words, undergraduates could do two academic research papers in their final year. So what’s the difference?
Research project is a full research which is done following a rigorous procedure but a seminar is a mini-project that could only require just a case study of an issue and not some extensive or elaborate research. In some cases, undergraduates are expected to do their seminar before their final year, probably in their third year while in some other cases, students present their seminar in their final year prior to their project.
Writing a seminar paper prepares undergraduates for their research project; it brings them into having a practical understanding of what it means to do a research. Students choose seminar topics the same way they choose project topics, have them approved by their supervisors or instructors and proceed to writing it under the guidance of their instructors.