Article and Essay are two different types of Compositions in the English language. They are written for different purposes, have different formats of writing and are targeted towards a different readership.
Article vs Essay
The difference between an Article and an Essay is that the article is written from the perspective of a third person and gives an impartial point of view. While an essay is an expression of the writer’s point of view on various topics or questions deduced from thorough research and understanding.
An Article is a written piece that is meant to be published in print mediums like newspapers, magazines and journals or an electronic medium like websites. These are written from a neutral point of view that is as a third person and are meant for a large readership.
An Essay, on the other hand, is a form of literary composition through which the writer or narrator expresses his or her personal views or opinion on a particular topic or a question. Such expression may be overt or covert. However, the term Essay is often used to cover any literary composition. Whether it is meant for sharing information or expressing one’s personal views or simply narrating a story doesn’t matter.
Nonetheless, what distinguishes an Essay from other literary compositions is that it follows a particular line of thought that is ordered, coherent and a reflection of the writer’s mind.
Comparison Table Between Article and Essay (in Tabular Form)
|Parameter of Comparison||Article||Essay|
|Definition||It is a written composition meant to be published in newspapers, journals, magazines, websites etc.||It is a literary composition, usually written in prose to give a description and an analysis on any subject.|
|Point of view||Objective||Subjective|
|Readership||Written with a target readership in mind.||Not written with a specific readership in mind.|
|Accompanied by||Statistical data, reports and charts, photographs etc.||No photographs, charts, reports etc. are required.|
|Format||Sub-headings are required. Citations are not required.||Sub-headings are not used. References and Citations are required.|
What is Article?
An Article is a form of composition that is written for a large readership for disseminating information on a particular topic. It is meant to be published in either print media or an electronic medium. It tends to be objective and based on facts and therefore, is often written from a third person.
The theme or the topic of an article can either be based on current issues or maybe a subject of the writer’s interest. However, it is meant for catching the reader’s attention and therefore often uses headings and subheadings that are conspicuous.
Some of the objectives of writing an article are:
- To bring out certain themes and subjects to the reader’s attention.
- To share information on certain topics and issues.
- To give suggestions and advises.
- To persuade the readers to think in a certain way keeping in mind the facts and information presented.
- To discuss about certain persons, issues, places, stories etc.
Following steps are to be followed while writing an article:
- Title/Heading: To arrest the reader’s attention, a title should be given which needs to be brief, yet suggestive of the theme of the article.
- Introduction: The opening part must distinctly give a brief outline of the topic so that the theme of the article is intelligible to the readers. Also, a strong opening statement addressing the readers may serve as a plus point.
- Body: It is the main portion of the article and is supposed to give an elaborate description and explanation on the theme of the article. While dealing with this part, the ideas and thought process of the writer must be as clear as possible so that the information presented in the article is perceptible to the readers.
- Conclusion: It is the end part of the article and is supposed, to sum up, the argument that has been presented throughout the article with a comment or a suggestion.
What is Essay?
It is a form of literary work usually written in prose and tends to express one’s ideas and views on a particular subject. The term in its present form has been derived from the French word essayer which means ‘to try or attempt’. It was first used by Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) – a French author who used the term to refer to his literary works. According to him, these were ‘attempts’ on his part to express his views and ideas.
However, the origin of the term can be traced back to the Latin word exagium meaning ‘to present one’s case’. Therefore, composing an essay involves stating the reasons behind a particular case or an argument through analysis, contemplation and interpretation.
Essays may be formal exhibiting characteristics like serious, unity, dignity and orderly organisation or informal showcasing features like individuality, humour, sophisticated style and novelty.
Composition of an essay is a creative and continuous process. So, it cannot be restricted within a particular structure. However, it is beneficial to follow a basic structure to keep the unity and orderly arrangement of a particular line of thought intact. That would make the essay perceptible and interesting for the readers.
Following are the components of an essay:
- Title: It should be brief but suggestive of the theme of the Essay.
- Introduction: The introductory part must be eye-catching and pertinent to the subject. It can be made interesting by using proverbs, quotations, a very brief story or a general remark leading up to the subject.
- Body: This is the main portion of the essay. The house to which the introduction is the front door and the conclusion, the back door or exit. While dealing with this part, one should ensure that due weight is given to each paragraph. They should be related to one another and logically arranged so that they reflect consistency and continuity in the presented line of thought.
- Conclusion: It is important to make this part effective and satisfying. For that, the arguments presented in the essay needs to be summed up with a conclusion comprising of a quotation or a striking expression.
Main Differences Between Article and Essay
- Articles and Essays are two different forms of written compositions. An article is written to publish it either in print media like newspapers, journals, magazines etc. or in an electronic medium. While an essay is written to describe or analyse a particular subject.
- An article is mainly written from an objective point of view and therefore a variety of views and thoughts are combined in a particular piece of writing. While an Essay reflects the subjective views and opinions of the writer and hence, follows a single and coherent line of thought.
- To make an Article interesting and readable, a variety of headings and subheadings are used. However, in Essay writing sub-headings, bullet points etc. are not used. This is done to provide unity and continuity in the line of thought that is being expressed in the composition.
- Essays are not written with a particular objective or readership in mind. They are written to express certain views, observations, reflections and criticisms. While a particular objective and a target readership is what defines an Article and distinguishes it from an Essay.
- An article tends to be objective and fact-based and therefore needs to be backed by statistical data, charts, reports and photographs. Conversely, Essays need not be backed by data, reports and photographs but they do need citations and references.
People often confuse Article writing with Essay writing. This is because the term Essay is sometimes used to refer to any form of written composition. The tone, format or style of writing doesn’t matter. Its definition sometimes overlaps with those of an article, pamphlet or a short story.
Nevertheless, what distinguishes an Essay from an Article is that the former is more structured, coherent and well researched than the latter. Also, the former expresses the writer’s views while the latter does not.