Today I stumbled across this definition from the editors of the Harvard Law Review:
A piece will be considered an essay if it is 25 law review pages or fewer in length, and its primary purpose is to advance an idea, summarize a development, or initiate or engage in discussion.
This question is one that is on my mind more often than not—probably because I don’t want to overclaim about what it is I’m writing. But I am not sure that the HLR definition nails it. I think “articles” advance ideas and engage in discussion, too. So is the only difference length?
I think I’m less certain of the answer than when I first blogged about this almost ten years ago!