Difference Between Essay and Report (With Table)

Essay vs Report

An Essay and a Report are two different formats of creative writing. 

An essay may be described as a type of writing, on a particular subject or topic that emotes the writer’s thoughts, ideas, and information about the topic area. Whereas, The report is an official or formal written document that covers the realities pertaining to a particular topic area.

An essay expresses the writer’s ideology, opinions, and takes over the subject or topic area. It is an expression of the writer’s thought process and is highly subjective. An essay is more or less a representation of the writer’s ideas and feelings.

A report is a written evaluation and study of the facts, results, and data obtained by the reporter through interviews, experiments, surveys, observational methods, etc. A report is fundamentally factual and refrains from including the writer’s personal views.

The difference between an essay and a report is that an essay is opinion-based while a report is fundamentally fact-based. An essay is a culmination of the opinions, ideas and, views of the writer. Whereas, a report is a factual document with no personal opinions. It is based on well researched data and facts.


Comparison Table Between Essay and Report (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonEssayReport
PurposeThe purpose of an essay is to give a personal, opinionated take on a subject or topic.The purpose of a report is to give a factual analysis of a particular subject.
NatureThe nature of an essay is subjective, personal, ideated, and opinion-based.The nature of a report is objective, analytical, argumentative, and factual.
ContentIt contains ideas, thoughts, and expressionsIt contains information and data.
DivisionsDivided into paragraphs.Divided into headings and subheadings.
Graphical illustrationIt does not include graphs, charts, and pictures.Includes charts, graphs, and pictures.


What is Essay?

An essay is a comprehensive piece of writing that represents the thoughts, ideas, views, and outlook of the writer. Penned in a narrative style, an essay describes the writer’s opinions and his/her understanding of a specific subject.

A writer uses both, researched information as well as learned information to compose the essay. The essay is a compilation of the writer’s subjective and narrative thoughts. An essay must be logical and chronological and thus argues for one idea at a time to support the argument better.

Essays can be stories about your life or an event in it; they can also address your future, what you want from it or how you see it evolving. Essays can address a topic, like a social problem. They can suggest a solution, or merely argue that a solution is needed.

Essays can be purely narrative, describing the beauty of traveling along the Great Wall of China or the excitement of walking through Manhattan.

The three parts of an essay are –

  1. Introduction- It is attention-grabbing and interesting so that the reader gets hooked to the idea that is presented in the essay. While writing the introduction one must keep in mind that it is a road map of the essay.
  2. Body- It is the part where you provide evidence and support your essay with proper material. The body should not lose track and should always revolve around the topic. Make sure the examples are relevant to the topic.
  3. Conclusion- This section should wrap all the points and arguments. It is very important to leave the reader with food for thought. The arguments should be reinforced for the reader.
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What is Report?

A report is a formally designed factual document that is structured and created after an ample amount of research and investigation of a particular topic. It is an extremely useful tool in problem-solving and decision making.

Reports are written for a specific audience, with a concrete purpose. It constitutes pertinent information in a well-structured format. Reports help to detect, observe, and evaluate the situations, events, and issues that are taking place in the surroundings.

A report is written with the intention of public awareness and creating a well-informed audience. It aims to educate or inform the reader about any issue or subject with an objective, plain and simplified outlook. After conducting thorough research, the writer aims at making the report concise, well-written, and crystal clear.

With the use of headings and sub-headings, the reader obtains the information swiftly and easily. Reports are extremely important methods for communication within an organization. The thoughts expressed in reports are regularly utilized as a reason for an action or to decide.

Always write your report with this in mind:

  1. That you know the purpose of your report;
  2. That you can provide all the facts and ideas about situations;
  3. That someone else who may or may not know the whole situation is going to be reading it, commenting on it, discussing it, and ultimately making a decision based upon it.

A good report demonstrates the characteristics of accuracy, orderliness, precision, clarity, and persuasion, and is accomplished through methodical, solid work.


Main Differences Between Essay and Report

  • An essay is a literary structure that is a description of a topic according to the writer’s ideology. Whereas, a report is a formal and brief written document comprising of results from research. It consists of data-driven information.
  • The main difference between a report and an essay is that a report is fact-based and analytical whereas, an essay is opinionated and ideated.
  • An essay is subjective and consists of the writer’s thoughts about the topic. A report is objective and deals with the topic with an evaluative outlook
  • An essay contains paragraphs to not break the flow of the essay. A report divides its information into headings and sub-headings for the structure to look more comprehensive and objective. 
  • An essay is a personal view of the writer and is subjective, thus it does not include graphs, pie charts, symbols, or pictures. A report uses graphical presentations like pie charts, graphs, pictures, and symbols to support its data and statistics.



A report and an essay are both two of the many types of creative writing. A report is essentially a formal, written document that covers the facts and information about a particular topic. An essay on the other hand is a piece of writing that describes the writer’s personal views and ideas about the topic. A report is objective and factual while an essay is subjective and ideated. A report is used in organizations, newspapers, etc. an essay is used for academic purposes.


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The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Essay and Report. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Difference between Essay and Report

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