difference between paragraph and essay

Difference Between Paragraph and Essay – IELTS Writing Task 2 Samples

Updated on 13 July, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

The International English Language Test System (IELTS) is important for every student planning to pursue higher education abroad. As a part of the exam, you will have to elaborate on a given topic. One of the topics you might encounter is the difference between paragraph and essay. Before penning down the essay, keep in mind the following points:

  • Start by carefully understanding the topic
  • Organize your thoughts and keep the text brief
  • Don’t add unnecessary points or fluff remarks
  • Keep the tone formal

What is the difference between a paragraph and an essay?: Sample Essay 1

Paragraphs and essays are different forms of write-ups used to express one's point of view. Both writing pieces should be informational, with an idea explained clearly and concisely. Even though they may appear similar, there exists a difference between paragraphs and essays

A paragraph is a self-sufficient writing unit created with multiple sentences. All these sentences are arranged in an organized manner to convey the author's perspective. Additionally, all the lines must be in coherence with one another. An ideal paragraph should start with an introductory sentence, followed by the text body explaining the topic, and should end with a concluding sentence. 

A good paragraph will also convey the author's idea to the reader. Each sentence should expand on that point and not stray from the general topic. Usually, paragraphs are composed of 5-7 sentences and don't require much preparation as they do not give out much detail. 

On the other hand, an essay is a formal write-up consisting of at least 2 to 3 paragraphs. Here, the first paragraph introduces the topic the author plans to discuss in the rest of the essay. The following paragraphs are used to express the views in a detailed manner. Finally, an essay is finished with a concluding paragraph, highlighting the crux of the topic.

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Is there any difference between a paragraph and an essay?: Sample Essay 2

In any fictional or non-fictional write-up, we come across multiple texts divided into separate portions for better understanding. Writing sections can be classified as either a paragraph or an essay. Despite the apparent similarities, there is a stark difference between paragraph and essay

A paragraph is an arrangement of multiple sentences. Here, you don't have to form a sync with other parts of the text as it is singular. On the other hand, an essay must follow a specific pattern. It should have an introduction and a conclusion paragraph apart from the general text. You can also add quotes from relevant sources in the essay to make it more credible for the readers. 

The next difference is the text length in both write-ups. A paragraph is a coherent collection of approximately 5-7 sentences. However, the pattern of an essay has no such limitations. It is composed of multiple paragraphs. Based on the requirements, a short essay can have a minimum of 2-3 paragraphs, and an extensive essay can have 6-8 paragraphs or more.

A paragraph is hence a part of an essay. The beginning of a new paragraph is indicated by inserting a line break, while an introductory paragraph marks the beginning of an essay.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can a paragraph be considered an IELTS essay?

No, a paragraph can never be considered an essay. A paragraph has no line breaks and includes all text in continuation. On the other hand, an essay has several line breaks marking the beginning of each paragraph. Also, an essay is comprised of several paragraphs.

Q. How many paragraphs for an IELTS essay?

All essays in IELTS must have an introduction and conclusion. This is two paragraphs. Additionally, the body must be divided into 2-3 paragraphs. Therefore, the total number of paragraphs your IELTS essay must have is 4 to 5.

Important IELTS Exam Resources

IELTS Exam Overview

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