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Difference Between Essay Writing and Presenting a Case

Difference Between Essay Writing and Presenting a Case

Students have to cope with many academic papers. They differ in formatting, structure, and methods required for their performance. Essays belong to the most popular types of academic assignments.

Nevertheless, tutors and college professors also ask students to present other types of writings like thesis papers and case studies.

A thesis paper is a solid assignment that demands exact formatting. Colleges usually demand them when a person wants to obtain some degree or as final testing of student’s knowledge in a concrete subject and manifestation of abilities to research.

A case study differs from two previous academic writings. Essays and thesis papers belong to individual types of works. Case studies may be both individual and group projects.

So, how do essays and case studies differ?

Essays: What Are They and How Many Types Are There?

Essays are usually short and consist of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The main purpose is to tell a story, develop the idea, argue it or just inform the target audience about something. There are four major types of essays.

  1. Descriptive. Students have to portray an event or a person as vividly as possible. That is why a writer involves 5 senses trying to make the reader imagine the object of the description. Such essays contain many figures of speech. “People with dementia feel like infants left in a closed and cold room in an unknown house. Just like newborns, they see people but can hardly differentiate between loving relatives and strangers.”
  2. Argumentative. Controversy serves the cause of truth. Argumentative essays present two viewpoints of one problem and writers have to be a follower of one of them. Students are to advocate their position through facts and statistics. “The studies proved that 33 out of 250 infants who were born at home died because of the unqualified procedure.”(it expresses one’s disapproval) 
  3. Expository. Students present only objective data about the topic because its purpose is to inform the target audience about someone or something. “Ernest Hemingway is an American writer and journalist.”
  4. Narrative. It is a story about a real or imagined situation. Students are usually asked to write it in the first person singular and make the reader become a part of the story. “I still remember the smell of vanilla and fresh-made chocolate that my mom prepared specially for me.”

Case Study: Definition, Purpose, and Difficulties

A case study is also a type of research but its purpose is to collect and analyze information about a concrete person, organization, or situation to find a better solution for the existing problem.

It usually unites individual and group analysis because it must be informative and effective for the solution of a social problem.

There are 4 methods to investigate a case.

  • A researcher observes the case without the need to learn the theoretical part first
  • An investigator studies a case to fill in the knowledge gaps
  • A student looks for anomalies and tries to explain them
  • Students have to construct the reality

The choice of the method depends on the type.

There are 4 types of case studies:

  • Illustration (description of events),
  • explanation (research),
  • cumulation (comparison of collective data),
  • critical (cause-and-reason examination of a case).

There are difficulties one might face when preparing a case study. They usually concern financial matters and the ability to communicate with the object and related organizations or personalities.

For example, students have to learn more about a patient with cancer. They need to contact doctors, the patient, and, of course, deal with laboratory testing trying to find a more effective treatment, possible mistakes, or reasons for the inefficacy of the applied medication.

Difference between Case Studies and Essays

The difference between these two papers is vivid. A case study aims at investigating some situations and is popular among social and life sciences.

It is formal and each constituent needs proof to provide approaches and solutions. Essay topics can concern everything but one paper is usually narrowed down to one idea and there is no need to deal with many other spheres. 

Things to compare Essay Case study
Structure Introduction

Review of Sources

Selected Methods



Research Sometimes literature is not required and can be written without investigation (for example, personal narration or description) Time-consuming and demands many sources
Topic Presents a concrete problem or idea and develops/argues/describes or explains it Analyzes a concrete case but relates to various factors connected with it

Who Can Help to Cope with Case Studies and Essays?

Students often try to find someone who can ‘write my essay for me from scratch. Professional writing agencies deal with case studies and essays daily and provide their clients with excellent papers customized online. If one has a friend or a tutor who can explain and show good samples, it will be great to practice and discuss some difficult points. 

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