There are some basic differences between a report and an essay in an academic setting. The format of a report and essay differ as well as the main purpose of each. While there are similarities and differences between an essay and report, it’s essential to know which format you’re being asked to write. First, we’ll discuss what a report is, and then continue on to see what makes an essay. Keep in mind that a report can be much longer than an essay, and report readers generally only quickly scan it to pick up its general idea. In either way, your ideas should be easily found and compelling enough so the reader continues to read.
To begin, a report and essay are similar in the fact that they both need to be in a formal style, have analytical thinking, a neat presentation with careful proofreading, as well as an introduction, body, and conclusion. Furthermore, a few distinct characteristics make a report different from an essay, such as a report gives information instead of an argument. Usually, a reader will more thoroughly read an essay compared to a report. Reports can include graphics and have short paragraphs along with numbered headings and sub-headings. Also, a writer will often need to write an executive summary after they’ve finished writing their full report. Such a summary isn’t necessary with an essay.
A report should be used to clearly and sufficiently inform the reader of the topic you’re writing about. While every lecturer or professor may have different guidelines they prefer, there are general rules to follow when writing a report. Unless otherwise requested, a report should consist of the following essential sections: title page, introduction, body, and conclusion. If you want to go a step further, include a letter of transmittal, table of contents, list of abbreviations and/or a glossary, executive summary, recommendations, bibliography, and appendices.
The style and presentation of a report are very important in...
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