Difference Between Essay and Report

By: | Updated: Dec-23, 2021
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When in college, you will expect to receive various assignments that require a different approach when writing. One of the assignments is essay and report writing which might confuse many students. Although their structure is almost similar, their content differs and you should not confuse one with the other.

Essays are divided into different categories according to their purpose but reports present factual facts about something and are backed by data and numbers. Essays give more details using words but reports have lesser words. Here are the main differences.

Difference Between Essay and Report


Students are encouraged on reading essays to improve writing and understand the various types of essays and their purposes. Essays are divided into four categories, namely the argumentative essay, an expository, narrative, and descriptive. Each type serves a certain purpose and a writer must stay within that purpose in the writing process. The writer presents their ideas about a topic.

A report does not rely on a personal idea but it entirely presents information concerning an issue. The information provided must the backed by facts and one of the best ways to present the facts is to use numbers and data.

Where to get help with essay or report writing 

Essays and reports have major differences but despite this fact, most students cannot outrightly tell their differences. This is because some academic fields have writing style requirements for reports and essays that sometimes make one look like the other. Whether you’ve been assigned a college essay or report, you can buy thesis paper on StudyClerk and avoid confusion. When you buy a thesis online, you make your education experience better. You just need to search thesis papers for sale to get the best paper writer online.

Writing format

The general format for writing a report and an essay might look similar but there is a big difference. In an essay, the writer starts with an introduction where they tell the reader a few details about the topic. A thesis statement is usually included within the introduction.

The writer goes on to write the body of the essay and uses paragraphs. Each paragraph transitions into the next and it could contain between three to five paragraphs, with each covering a specific point. The writer summarizes the essay in the concluding statement and then adds references.

The format of a report is different and starts with an executive summary, where a writer gives a summary of the report. An index page follows, which contains the table of contents and then the introduction comes next. It discusses the origin and the components of the main heading. The main report is contained in the body and the conclusion depicts the measures taken and the projections. The references come after the conclusion, followed by the appendix. In general, a report has sections, headings, and subheadings but an essay is divided into paragraphs.

Biases in conclusion

The conclusion of an essay contains biases because it is written according to what the writer feels is their best opinion concerning the topic. Even though the majority might be in support of a topic, the writer is free to think otherwise and take a different view. They might decide to provide personal recommendations but they are not bound to do so.

A report cannot be biased because it is based on real data, statistics, or information. The writer doesn’t report about what they feel is best for the topic but reports strictly on what the facts say. In conclusion, the writer is bound to give recommendations based on the facts they provided in the body.

Use of figures and diagrams

Because a report must be based on facts and not opinions, a writer provides evidence to the facts using several ways. They create tables with figures, they use graphs and illustrations. At some point, they even use bullet points and use numbered or labeled headings and subheads.

An essay does not require facts to prove a point but only relies on the power of a writer to persuade their audience, argue a point, narrate a story, or describe a situation. They don’t require to use tables, bullets, figures, or graphs to prove their points.


A student who writes an essay presents their point of view and convinces their audience to agree with it. They give a conclusion that is biased based on their personal opinion. The writer of a report must give facts and back them with tables, figures, and graphs. The conclusions they give cannot be biased because it’s not about their opinion but facts. They must give recommendations to their audience.

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