Storytelling vs. Essay: What Is the Difference

Every student wants to get a high grade for academic work. You need to follow the rules of creating. But it is possible only if you clearly know what the purpose of each type of work.

Not all tasks imply writing papers. Sometimes there are creative tasks. How storytelling is connected with essay writing? What are the differences and what common features storytelling and essay have?

Unfortunately, no official website or educational document gives an exhaustive answer to the question about what your storytelling should be. So we will try to compare it with the most popular college and university task and identify the peculiarities.

#1 Main Features

essay writing

We have already told you about what an essay is. So, let’s look closer at the storytelling task.

Storytelling – a type of academic task which consists of telling or writing any story. The main difference between an essay and storytelling is the purpose of the work.



develop writing skills;
analyzed works of art;
work with the text, grammar, punctuation;
identify cause-effect relationships;
be based on facts, statistics, data, history, etc.

learn to formulate their own thoughts;
identify important events;
filter minor details;
manage emotions/share them with the reader;
make your story interesting, exiting.

The purpose of the essay is the creation of an artistic and journalistic text that will show the author’s opinion and force the reader to share or challenge it. This makes the essay similar to essay-reasoning, but the essay should have more arguments.

Storytelling has a purpose to familiarize the reader or listener with something that was happened with smth or smb. You don’t need any proof. Even imagination can have a place in such type of task. You can take inspiration both from literature and from real life.

#2 Structure Difference

The essay is based on the following plan:

  • introduction;
  • main part;
  • conclusion.

Unlike the essay, storytelling does not have a clear plan or form. It all depends on the theme of the work and its understanding by the author. It can begin both with the formulation of the problem and with a ready solution for it.

essay writing

#3 Style Difference

There is a difference in style between storytelling and an essay. The storytelling uses mostly neutral vocabulary, a small number of artistic expressions. The essay, on the contrary, allows the author to fully express himself, in such works are used rhetorical questions and appeals, professional slang.


Writing an essay you can replace your own thoughts with the position of the critic, noting only your agreement or disagreement with his arguments. Storytelling excludes this opportunity: it is built on the author’s core and personal opinion regarding the situation.

An essay-writing requires not only knowledge of the problem, but also a broad outlook, acquaintance with current events, erudition, literary talent, therefore it is more difficult to prepare it. Storytelling requires the student to display creative abilities.

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