Various essay types and literature reviews are the popular assignments at schools and colleges. While studying, they help students to express their options and ideas rationally. With the help of such writing tasks, it is possible to see if the pupils are ready to work on complicated tasks and if they are able to present their thoughts logically. In order to complete the literature review or various essays correctly, it is better to understand their definitions and to examine the difference between these two types of works.

What is a Literature Review?

It is a piece of writing focused on searching and evaluating available literature on a particular subject. This type of work demonstrates analytical and writing skills of students at school or university. In order to complete a high-quality literature review, it is very important for an author to get familiar with the articles published by the specialists in the respective field or with other reliable sources. Such books and publications can be easily accessed via the internet and libraries. With the help of these works, it will be easy to gain more knowledge about the particular subject.

How to Write a Literature Review?

Every good literature review should provide relevant facts derived from the reliable sources like articles and relevant books. It is significant for every pupil to come up with an appropriate literature review outline to be able to present his or her critical thinking skills and to express his or her ideas in a logical and clear way. With the help of the findings and research that can be found in the articles and books, it will be easier to come up with appropriate conclusions. Since every literature review needs a good understanding of a topic or an issue, there is a strong need to explore the discussed problem carefully with the help of search and evaluation of numerous details, graphs, and lots of information. Based on such an analysis, the student will have to examine and present the topic from his or her point of view. However, it is essential to keep in mind that it is better not to make any conclusions before completing research.

What is an Essay?

On the other hand, an essay is a shorter piece of writing that can present reflections and points of view. Essays are probably the most popular writing assignments in the majority of schools and colleges. They serve as an excellent examination of students’ ability to introduce their writing skills. Based on such aspects as logic, coherence, and factualness of the presented material, it is possible to see if a person write and expresses his or her thoughts and ideas well.

How to Write an Essay?

Most of the essay types have identical structure. They include five paragraphs where the first one is an introduction, and the last one is the conclusion. In the introduction, the student needs to add a thesis statement, which should be followed by three supporting body paragraphs and a conclusion in the end. While writing an academic essay, it is better to avoid writing from the first and second person, both singular and plural.

It should be indicated that there is a wide range of essay types. All of them vary depending on the function of the essay, which is the goal the writer needs to reach. For instance, most academic essays are longer comparing to the ones that are written at school. Such type of works often includes information from the studies published before.

At the same time, the descriptive essay is concentrated on the description of the sensory details to reach the intellectual, emotional, or physical senses of the readers. With the help of connotative language, denotative language, metaphors, hyperboles, similes, and figurative language, it becomes easy to create a strong impact. Besides, in the philosophical type of essay, the students are required to present a thesis statement and the arguments to come up with an open-minded conclusion. Mealwhile, if you have any difficulties with writing assignments feel free to order essay sample from EsssayLab.

Differences and Similarities of Essay and Literature Review

Based on the explanations introduced above, it is possible to see that there are several important differences between literature reviews and essays. To be exact, all essays are focused on a certain topic, and they use different types of literature to support the arguments. On the other hand, in the literature review, literature serves as the main topic of the work for evaluation and discussion. In other words, in literature reviews, students should not only access the content of the work, but they also need to pay attention to the author’s ability to present the topic and all arguments.

Since students complete a wide range of literature reviews and essay types every day at schools and colleges, it is fair to state that they are the most popular writing tasks in general. For instance, essays can focus on any possible topic, and they can be both personal and impersonal. They can be formal and informal, which mean that they can presentation private information, or they can also focus on some serious analysis. In fact, any essay can, of course, include some analysis of the literature to support the arguments added within the work.

At the same time, literature reviews can work both as a complete task and as a part of a bigger writing assignment, such as the thesis. With certain question or topic in mind, a student is required to find as many reliable sources as possible. Eventually, conducting the analysis of various articles and books helps to introduce a clear picture dedicated to a certain topic. Finally, it is fair to state that literature reviews can be more challenging to write since they require more attention and deeper analysis of a particular topic. On the other hand, but different essays are often shorter and simpler in structure.


In conclusion, both literature reviews and essays work as a great way to evaluate how students are able to deal with various writing assignments. While essays are focused on a certain topic or question, using literature to support the facts and arguments, literature reviews use literature as the central topic. With this difference in mind, it is easy to comprehend that such assignments can be required for various purposes.
About the Author: Carol James is a writer and senior editor. She has MA degree in social sciences and writes articles, reviews on the different actual subjects. So, if you have any questions regarding the writing, feel free to ask her.