Difference Between Essay and Composition

Some students make a mistake, thinking that an essay and composition are synonymous. From the one side, these terms are not contrary, and from the other side, there is a significant distinction between them.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Essay and composition are both forms of academic writing that require critical thinking, analysis, and effective communication; essay is a more specific term that typically refers to a piece of writing that presents a thesis statement and supports it with evidence and analysis.
  2. The composition can encompass various types of writing, including essays, narratives, and descriptive pieces; an essay is a specific type of composition with a more structured format.
  3. An essay often includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion, while composition may not have a specific structure or format.

    Essay vs Composition

    The difference between essay and composition is that the essay must express the author’s personal thoughts and judgment on the stated topic. At the same time, the composition can just follow other authors’ thoughts on the topic, explaining them but not adding personal opinion.

    Essay vs Compositon

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    As such essay and composition are not interchangeable terms. They also have different writing purposes. An essay is aimed to push readership to develop their own position on a topic. A composition just explains the topic and compares phenomenons without declaring the author’s position.

    An essay is a text of a small volume (sometimes a college essay can be up to 7-10 pages long, but usually, the required volume is not more than 2-3 pages). The essay is written in a prosaic style. In an essay, the author states his personal opinion on a topic.

    The author can express his vision in a free form. In an essay, the author is speaking on a particular phenomenon, event, or opinion that is reasoning with his own view. The essay requires to not only gather specific relevant information but also add it with your own thoughts and arguments.

    This is not a one-day job for most students. That is why they often apply to paper writing services to get help from skilled professional writers. These services are aimed to teach students how to explain their thoughts and how to structure their essays correctly.

    The work created with the help of writing services is a completed essay that can be added with the student’s personal impressions. The composition is a type of creative paper that presents the author’s thoughts and feelings on the topic without explaining his own opinion.

    For example, the composition topic about the Great Depression can be the following: “Franklin D. Roosevelt’s role during the Great Depression.” The essay topic about the Great Depression will be: “Did the New Deal solve the problem of the Great Depression?”

    Comparison Table

    Parameters of ComparisonEssayComposition
    Purpose of writingThe essay’s main purpose is to cause the reader to reflect on a particular topic declaring the author’s opinionThe composition’s main purpose is to describe the topic and express the author’s feelings on a topic
    Author’s vision on the topicAn author’s position and thoughts on the current topic must be clearly understood from the essayThe author can follow another author’s thought without adding it with his own opinion on the composition’s subject
    StructureThe essay structure is not strong and can vary depending on topic The composition must follow a specific outline: introduction, body, and conclusion
    VolumeUsually 2-3 pages (about 1500 words)Usually larger than an essay – about 3-5 pages (1500-3000 words)
    StyleStates the author’s position on a current topic clearly, and reveals the author’s mindset, visions, impressions, opinionAnalyzes the existing sources on the topic, expresses and compares other authors’ thoughts, expresses the author’s feelings about another author’s opinion

    What is Essay?

    This genre has recently become popular, but its roots date back to the 16th century. Today, the essay is offered as a college and university assignment quite often. An essay is a type of work built around a central topic.

    The main purpose of writing an essay is to provoke the reader into reflection. Writing an essay allows learning to formulate your thoughts clearly, structure information, find arguments, express the individual impression, and formulate your own position.

    The characteristics of an essay are a small volume, a specific topic, and free composition. The author must build a trusting relationship with the reader; therefore, writing an essay is much more difficult than writing a composition.


    What is Composition?

    A composition is a creative work, usually on a prescribed topic. It has a clear presentation structure.

    In the composition, you can agree or disagree with the opinion of other authors, express your own thoughts about what you read, compare works of different authors, and analyze their vision. A composition is expected to provide full disclosure of the topic.

    To provide it, the paper must follow a set structure: an introduction that outlines the essential problematic of the topic, a body that explains and reveals the main idea of the composition, and a logical conclusion. Therefore, a composition usually has a larger volume than an essay.


    Main Differences Between An Essay And Composition

    1. There is a significant difference in style. A composition mainly contains the analysis of the topic. At the same time, the author’s own position is clearly expressed in the essay.
    2. Compositions and essays vary in length. The essay, most often, has a small volume because the author’s thoughts must be clearly stated. The composition has a prescribed structure and usually a larger volume.
    3. An essay gives the author the ability to express more creativity, show his vision, and his attitude toward a specific phenomenon. A composition explains the topic according to its concept and doesn’t have to be supplemented with unusual thoughts. 
    4. To write an essay, it is significant to find an original idea or develop an out-of-the-box view on a situation. At the same time, writing a composition requires reading about the topic and telling about it.  
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