What is the difference between an “article” and an “essay”? For many law reviews, including Penn, an essay is a piece less than 10,000 words (see here). That’s an empirical standard that makes sense to me.
Apart from length, are there more subjective differences between an “article” from an “essay”? Stabbing at an answer, I’d say that an article has more background (that not-so-useful-but-unfortunately-de-rigeur-and-too-long “Part I: Overview”/background/literature review) or more complex theoretical ambitions than an essay does. An article locates its subject and object in an intellectual context, whereas an essay need not.
What does it matter whether a piece is an “essay” or an “article”? It may not matter apart from internal references (“This Article explores X, argues Y and proposes Z”), but at some schools, bragging rights (or maybe research grants?) may attach to one but not the other.
So what’s the difference between an article and an essay? Agree? Disagree? Further thoughts?