What is the difference between an essay and report?

Most students get confused in the difference between essay writing and report writing. Despite of having some similarities, they both are written insignificantly different styles. Both of them must be written in a formal academic style with carefully checking of grammar, spelling and presentations. There are some common things in essay writing and report writing because both start with an introduction, body with discussions and analysis and then conclusions and both are demonstrated in analytical thinking. But essay writing and report writing have some differences and writers should keep in mind before planning and writing. Essay starts with presenting an argument but report contains information presentation. In essay minimal or no use of headings and sub-headings but reports often use number of headings and sub-headings. In essay paragraphs are used for expressing your ideas in the body but in report some short, concise paragraphs and dot points are use at points where they are needed. Essay will require addition of abstract if you are writing very long essay but report may need abstract and sometimes it is called executive summary (Saigon, Learning Skill Unit).

5.2 Writing essays and reports - University of Surrey

Writing reports and assignments can be a daunting prospect. Learn how to interpret questions and how to plan, structure and write your assignment or report. This free course, Essay and report writing skills, is designed to help you develop the skills you need to write effectively for academic purposes.


IB2 Project: How To write formal letter, essay and report

Both essays and reports use an introduction and conclusion format. The main content, findings, analysis etc. come inbetween.

The can assist you with essay and report writing. Their website lists a number of pertinent resources you can refer to such as referencing guides, writing guides, etc.