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Essay Writing Vs Technical Writing: Understanding The Difference

When you hear the term essay, you think of a story, or an answer to a complicated question consisting of several distinct but related parts. We are all familiar with this style of writing from an early age, most people are introduced to short story writing during their early teens.

We are also all quite familiar with technical writing, if you have ever installed a new piece of technology or furniture, you would have seen the small pamphlet containing assembly and operational instructions. This is an example of technical writing and as you can tell, its intention is to provide persons with an instructional manual or explanation about a particular item. The following list points will provide you with a list of several ways to tell the difference between these two types of writing:

  1. Focus on details
  2. Details is an important part of any writing task since the sole purpose of writing any article is usually to transfer information. In your typical composition, you will tend to focus on details that you consider important to the theme of your story, technical pieces cannot be so vague.

  3. Types of adjectives used
  4. In every form of writing that exists, authors have a wide variety of styles they can use depending on their intentions, purpose or simply their mood. This may be one of the most significant difference between these two writing styles since in technical writing, there is unlikely to be any adjective other that names and numbers assigned to specific objects and places.

  5. Naming system
  6. When writing a composition about your summer vacation, you are likely to list three, maybe four names, unless you had a big party with many important people there. In technical writing, however, you will be required to be more specific and give more directions requiring you to give systematic names to items, usually involving a letter-numbering system.

  7. Title
  8. The title of any paper will be able to tell you what type of article it is right away. While your typical essay will have a name that immediately lets you know that this is either a fictional or narrative story about some incident experienced by a person, a technical piece will have a title that is less interesting and more informative, usually including the word “Manual”

  9. Specific purpose
  10. While your typical fictional piece can be geared towards just about anything, from describing your first kiss to assembling your first bike, a technical manual is likely to only deal with constructive things, like assembling bikes.

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