Essay And Report Difference

Difference between essay and report writing

Most students get confused in the difference between essay writing and report writing. Despite of having some similarities, they both are written insignificantly different styles. Both of them must be written in a formal academic style with carefully checking of grammar, spelling and presentations. There are some common things in essay writing and report writing because both start with an introduction, body with discussions and analysis and then conclusions and both are demonstrated in analytical thinking. But essay writing and report writing have some differences and writers should keep in mind before planning and writing. Essay starts with presenting an argument but report contains information presentation. In essay minimal or no use of headings and sub-headings but reports often use number of headings and sub-headings. In essay paragraphs are used for expressing your ideas in the body but in report some short, concise paragraphs and dot points are use at points where they are needed. Essay will require addition of abstract if you are writing very long essay but report may need abstract and sometimes it is called executive summary (Saigon, Learning Skill Unit).

How Essay Writing is Different from Reports Writing

Essay writing is different from report writing because the purpose, theme, needs, writing style and structure of essay writing essay is significantly different from that of report. Essays are mostly written by students who’re given a particular topic to discuss. Students show their understanding on the assigned topic in the form of descriptive writing, along with self-analysis and interpretation of problem is given. It has been reported that if a group of students are required to write an essay they’ll face number of challenges, whereas there are hardly any issues for report writing in the group. Therefore in most of the academic institutions essay writing is always given as individual task whereas report writing is preferred for group work.

Essays are always based on logical representation of your arguments presented to some specific question raised and the reader should have a background information about the question, which in most cases are your teachers and supervisors. The main purpose of essay writing it to evaluate how best one can develop an argument and then present it in their own language, with sound reasoning and using appropriate evidence. With the transition of sentences and summaries, writers show connection between different stages of arguments presented. By reading some parts of essay readers may not understand the purpose of essay in totality, however for thorough understand and evaluate of essay it has to be read completely (EDU, Australian School of Business).

Reports indicate the structure of assigned topic very clearly by dividing it into headings and subheadings which are not covered in essays. After reading every different section, readers can obtain significant level of understanding about the topic. Each section in reports contains information that reader wants to know and he can understand the purpose of other parts (EDU, Australian School of Business). Report writing includes examples, cases, tables and illustration for explanatory purpose. By including supplementary relevant evidence the writer makes bases for its research. It is highly recommended to breakdown entire report into small headings and subheadings based on the concepts/areas to be covered, that given and excellent report structure and ease for the reader to understand and interpret.

Reference

  1. Saigon. 2010. ‘Report Writing: A Quick Guide’, Learning Skill Unite.
  2. EDU. ‘Writing an Essay’, Australian School of Business.

Report writing is an important skill to develop as it is a common form of writing at university and in later employment.

It is important to read your assignment question carefully to find out the specific requirements of a report in your subject

In general though, reports may differ from essays in a number of ways:

ReportsEssays
The purpose of a report is to convey specific information to provide the reader with information.The purpose of an essay is to show how well you have understood the question and are able to answer it.
A report usually contains a description of events/results of research. Often you need to do more than just describe the events or results**. You may also need to analyse these events or results, or use them to put forward a proposal for future action or to solve a particular problemUniversity essays usually require some form of argument in response to the essay question.
A report may often contain conclusions and recommendationsAn essay will contain a conclusion, but including recommendations is rare.

Despite these differences, in some disciplines, the distinction between an essay and a report can be blurred; for example, an essay can be structured more like a report with headings separating the sections of the essay.

**It is recommended that students consult their lecturers regarding the particular style of report required in their specific subject.



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