Difference Between Essay and Short Story

Essay vs Short Story
 

Is there any difference between an essay and a short story? In fact, in schools and various educational institutions, we engage in the process of writing essays and sometimes short stories. Can essays be viewed as stories or do they belong to a completely different genre? An essay can be defined as a piece of writing. There are various types of essays such as academic essays, personal essays, etc. Essays provide the readers with an account on a specific subject. A short story, on the other hand, can be viewed as an artistic composition, which consists of a plot and unfold a story. This is the main difference between an essay and a short story. This article attempts to highlight the differences between an essay and short story.

What is an Essay?

An essay can be defined as a piece of writing on a particular subject. It provides the reader with a very methodical account of the subject. The writer explores the different dimensions of the topic and presents an analysis. In every essay, there is a simple structure, which contains an introduction, body, and conclusion. Through an essay, the reader can gain a comprehensive understanding of the subject. The writer usually presents factual information, various perspectives, attitudes, and even the opinion of the writer.

In schools, teachers encourage students to write essays on various topics. The difficulty and the standard of the topic depend on the maturity of the student. If the students are in a lower grade, the teachers will ask them to write on topics such as environmental pollution, the first day in school, a person that I admire, so on and so forth. However, if the students are much more advanced, the teachers would provide topics such as capital punishment, the modern teenager vs. technology, etc. Essays allow the students to articulate their ideas and present them with clarity.

Difference Between Essay and Short Story

What is a Short Story?

A short story can be defined as a narrative, shorter in length in comparison to a novel. It consists of a single plot around which the story or incident is based on and has a less number of characters. It does not consist of a number of plots and a large scope, but is limited. For example, a short story may revolve around a single day of an individual who is considered as the main character. There can be other minor characters with whom the main character interacts, but the focus will be mainly on the main character. The thoughts, feelings, and ideas of the character will allow the reader to comprehend the nature of the character. However, though a short story is short in length, the writer can create a powerful impact on the reader.

In a short story, the writer can use a variety of literary devices such as irony and satire with the intention of creating specific effects. Another feature in a story, which also highlights a significant difference between a story and essay, is that a story has action in it. This feature cannot be observed in an essay.

 Essay vs Short Story

Sleeping beauty, the fairy tale, is a short story

What is the difference between Essay and Short Story?

• Definition of Essay and Short Story:

• An essay can be defined as a piece of writing on a particular subject.

• A short story can be defined as a narrative, shorter in length in comparison to a novel.

• Experience and Explorations:

• An essay provides a lengthy account on a specific subject as it explores the varied dimensions of the topic and provides the reader with factual information.

• On the contrary, a short story does not explore a topic but more of an experience of an individual.

• Plot:

• An essay does not have a plot.

• A short story has a plot around which the story has been built.

• Action:

• In an essay, you cannot see any action.

• A short story has action, as the characters engage in various behavior and contribute towards the development of the plot.

• Characters:

• In an essay, there are no characters.

• A short story has a number of characters, including the main character.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Essay by Nick Ares (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  2. “Sleeping Beauty”, by Henry Meynell Rheam via Wikicommons (Public Domain)