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Assessment types

How reports and essay are different



Presents information with a clear, specific purpose

Presents an argument or answers a question

Has a practical focus but often links to theory

Has a theoretical focus but sometimes links to practice

Often scanned quickly by the reader

Intended to be read carefully

Structured with numbered headings and sub-headings

Written in paragraphs, generally without headings.

Uses short, concise paragraphs and dot points where applicable

Paragraphs are longer and only rarely have dot points

Includes graphics such as tables, flow charts, graphs and  photographs

Rarely uses graphics

May be followed by recommendations and/or appendices

Unlikely to have recommendations or appendices


Sources: Reid, M. (2012). Report writing. Palgrave Macmillan and RMIT University. (n.d.). Report vs essays