What is the difference between a literature review and a the

What is the difference between a literature review and a the

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Literature reviews and theoretical overviews are academic papers that focus on different things and are written at different levels of complexity. In a theoretical overview, the author aims to give a broad overview of the most important theories on a particular topic in an overarching manner. The purpose of a literature review is to review different sources of information that relate to a certain topic and summarize them. In addition to literature surveys, they are also referred to as bibliographies or bibliographies and bibliographies.

A literature review:

A literature review is a piece of academic writing that overviews the knowledge and current thinking on a particular subject. It can be used to summarize existing research, provide background information on new or emerging topics, show how your work builds on existing research, or as an introduction to your thesis. And as a student, if it seems like an uphill task, take help from literature review writers. A literature review typically includes:

  • It is important to begin by defining the problem and laying out its importance of it in an introduction

  • Research that has been conducted in the past that is relevant to the topic

  • An assessment of this research’s strengths and weaknesses, including suggestions for further study

The theoretical overview:

The theoretical overview is a short section of your dissertation or thesis after the introduction and before the methodology and results from the sections. This may seem like an odd place for it, but it serves an important purpose:

  • By doing so, you are communicating to readers what kind of research you are conducting.

  • Theoretical overviews are usually written by researchers who want to provide context for their work, explain why they chose to do this particular type of project, or highlight how their findings relate to current trends in scholarship.

  • Writing this section in the first person (rather than the third person) makes it easier for you as a researcher to convey your thoughts directly to readers — and gives them insight into why you undertook this project in the first place!

The Terms can be used interchangeably

In some situations, a theoretical overview is called a literature review, but that can be a little misleading since what a theoretical overview do may be quite different from what a standard literature review does.

  • Theoretical overviews and literature reviews are similar, but there are some differences. A theoretical overview is usually a section of your paper and not an entire paper, often from different perspectives or angles. A theoretical overview may include various studies, such as experiments conducted within the field being reviewed.

  • A literature review is usually an entire paper summarizing existing research on a specific topic or subject (e.g., bullying prevention programs). The focus of this type of review tends to be more theoretical than what you would expect from other sections such as “Methods” and “Results” because it focuses on analyzing why certain studies have been done in certain ways instead of just describing what happened during each study (as would be done in Results sections).

Purpose: To Summarize

There is a lot of research into writing, and a literature review and a theoretical overview aim to bring it all together for the reader. In order to give the reader a sense of the current state of knowledge about a topic, overviews are used as a way to introduce them to a topic.

  • Literature reviews usually focus on one area, while theoretical overviews are more general. For example, suppose you're writing about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

In that case, your literature review will likely be narrower in scope than your theoretical overview because it focuses on PTSD specifically. In contrast, your theoretical overview will also discuss other disorders related or unrelated to PTSD.

  • In addition, theoretical overviews do not generally have citations or references; rather, they rely on existing research conducted by other researchers in similar fields and published articles from journals like Nature or Science for support instead of citing specific sources directly within the text itself.


A theoretical overview is not the same as a literature review but has some similarities. Both are meant to summarize somebody of writing for readers. However, a theoretical overview's purpose differs from a literature review's. 

While it will include some discussion of current thinking in your subject area, its primary purpose is not to describe what other researchers have done on the topic but how your work builds on existing research and why this makes sense.

This means that you need to be clear about what kinds of information will be included (i.e., theory vs. data analysis) and whether you will give criticism or praise towards others' work—theoretical overviews are often written with an audience in mind!

Author Bio

Carmen Troy is a research-based content writer, who works for Cognizantt, a globally recognized professional SEO service and Research Prospect; an 论文和论文写作服务 Mr Carmen holds a PhD degree in mass communication. He loves to express his views on various issues, including education, technology, and more.

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