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What's the difference between an Essay and a Short Story

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Does the story have a beginning, middle and end where an essay is just facts ?
post #2 of 16
I’m no albert einstein, but I think an essay attempts to answer a question or make an argumentative statement. I don’t think an essay necessarily has to be factual, but if you were getting graded on an essay, I think facts would help.





a short story is just that, a story. doesn’t have to do anything and can be fact or fiction. doesn’t even have to have a purpose or point, or even a clear beginning, middle and end in my opinion. a good one would hopefully be entertainig, but I’ve read some real crap that qualifies as a short story.





maybe some other poindexter could chime in or be ambitious enough to check wikipedia...
post #3 of 16
an essay typically has a purpose - to make a case or argument- a short story is exactly as its name implies.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks, that sounds right guys !
post #5 of 16
Essay is usually fact based and has an viewpoint or opinion. A short story is usually fiction based.
post #6 of 16
What I learned in school:

Simple Essay = at least 5 paragraphs. One opening paragraph stating your argument and points of argument, 3 (or more) body paragraphs detailing each point of your argument (number of paragraphs dependent on number of arguement points in opening paragraph), and a closing paragraph summarizing your argument.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
OK now I'm confused. Here's the story.
I wrote what I think is a short story, 1758 words. Wifey, who is going for her masters in childrens lit says it's an essay.
The story is of our annual 4th of July neighborhood celebration where the entire block and relatives came, contributed and had a day of fun. It tells of the day from beginning to end at night.
It is fact based but told more like a story.
Wifey says it's an essay and can't be submitted for a short story contest.
What to do ?
post #8 of 16
sure sounds like a short story to me.



it doesn't really matter though, your wife is always right. never met her, but i'm more sure of that than anything essay vs. short story.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
it doesn't really matter though, your wife is always right


So, you do know my wife !
post #10 of 16
a short story would be a subplot(real or fiction) that happened at the party. ex aunt mary and neighbor sam got caught behind the fireworks stage, and had a blast.
post #11 of 16
Just change the name of the town and the people. Add something that changes some of the facts and you now would have a short story (fictional based on fact). Problem solved.
post #12 of 16
Sounds like some type of a narrative, that would make it a story?
post #13 of 16
post by koq: essay

Steve in mass: short story
post #14 of 16
An essay is factual, based on facts or real events.

A short story is fictional.

The event you wrote about would be factual so it is an essay.

In other words, yes she is correct, though if she were incorrect it does not matter, you married her you have to accept that she will be right anyway.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dena View Post
a short story would be a subplot(real or fiction) that happened at the party. ex aunt mary and neighbor sam got caught behind the fireworks stage, and had a blast.


Unfortunately no, a short story is totally fictional. The "subplot" would still be an essay unless it was totally fictional in which case it becomes a story, short or otherwise.
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