Main Difference – Literature Review vs Essay
Literature review and essays are two types of writing that students are required to write. An essay is usually a brief piece of writing on a particular topic. However, a literature review is a part of a research study where the researcher/students are required to read, analyse and evaluate the works of different authors and create a report. Writing a literature review is fairly complex than writing an essay. This is the main difference between literature review and essay.
This article describes,
1. What is an Essay?
– Features, Types, Structure
2. What is a Literature Review
– Features, Preparation, Structure
3. Difference Between Literature Review and Essay
What is an Essay
An essay is a short piece of writing on a particular topic. This writing describes, analyses and evaluates the given topic. Essays are often a combination of facts and figures, opinions and ideas of the writer. There are various types of essays such as narrative essays, descriptive essays, argumentative essays, persuasive essays, expository essays, etc. The content and the purpose of an essay depends on the type of the essay. For example, if you are writing a persuasive essay, your aim is to persuade your readers to agree with you and understand your point; the content of the essay will contain strong arguments and facts. On the contrary, if you are writing a narrative essay, narrating a story and retaining the attention of your readers will be your main argument.
An essay basically has three sections known as introduction, body and conclusion; all three of these sections are equally important. Introduction grabs the attention of the readers and gives a brief idea about what the whole essay is going to be about. It is the body of the essay that builds arguments, analyses an issue or elaborates on a concept. The conclusion briefly summarises the essay and expresses writer’s opinion of the topic.
What is a Literature Review
Literature review is an essential part of a research study. This is an evaluative report of information found in the literature related to a selected are of study. Thus, literature review is the starting point of research since it makes the researcher summarise, evaluate and compare the most significant and relevant information and sources in the relevant field. It also helps the researcher identify the gaps, inconsistencies as well as contradictions in the literature.
So in order to write a literature review, you have to read research articles, books, and journals regarding your specific topic. Then decide what information is most relevant to the topic. Then you can summarize, analyze and compare this information. This systematic analysis will also help you to find research gaps in the field.
A Good Literature Review should:
- Compare and Contrast different views of authors
- Note areas where the authors are in disagreement
- Group authors with similar views to gather
- Highlight gaps in the research area
- Explain how the study is going to relate to previous research
The structure of a literature review is similar to the structure of an essay or an article. However, the end of the literature review always contains the list of sources, written in an accepted citation style.
Difference Between Literature Review and Essay
Literature Review is an evaluative report of information found in the literature related to the researcher’s selected area of study.
Essay is a short piece of writing on a particular topic.
Literature Review consists of summaries, comparison, evaluation and analysis of the works of different writers.
Essay mostly contains writer’s ideas, opinions, along with facts and figures to strengthen the writer’s views.
Literature Review is more complex than an essay.
Essays can be even written by primary students.
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