What is the Difference Between Study and Literature?

Study and Literature

Difference Between Study and Literature: Have you ever wondered what the difference is between studying and reading literature? Though they may seem similar on the surface, there are some key distinctions. In this article, we’ll explore the main differences between academic study and literary criticism so you can better understand these two pursuits.

We’ll look at how goals, perspectives, and methods differ between studying research and analyzing creative works. Understanding these contrasts will help give you a clearer sense of what each entails. We’ll also touch on how the two can intersect and inform each other.

By the end, you’ll have a solid grasp of how studying research differs from literary analysis. You’ll also gain insight into how these two areas complement one another. So whether you’re a student or just an avid reader, read on to learn more about the difference between study and literature!

Defining Literature and Study

Study and Literature

Literature refers to creative, artistic, or intellectual works that hold cultural and social significance. It includes fiction, poetry, drama, journalism, and essays. Literature aims to entertain, inspire, and provoke thought in readers.

Types of Literature

The main types of literature include:

  • Fiction: Novels, short stories, fables, fairy tales, etc. Fiction is imaginative writing not based on fact.
  • Poetry: A rhythmic and metaphorical form of writing that aims to create emotional responses.
  • Drama: Plays, screenplays, and scripts intended to be performed in front of an audience.
  • Nonfiction: Includes essays, journalism, diaries, etc. Nonfiction aims to inform and educate readers with facts.

In contrast, a study refers to a systematic investigation into a specific topic to discover new information or reach new conclusions. Studies are based on facts and evidence, not creativity. The main types of studies include:

Types of Studies

  • Research studies: Aim to test a hypothesis or answer a research question. Involve collecting and analyzing data.
  • Literature reviews: Survey existing studies on a topic to identify patterns and gaps.
  • Case studies: In-depth analysis of a single event, situation, organization, or individual.
  • Surveys: Questionnaires and interviews used to gather self-reported data from a group of people.

In summary, the main difference between literature and study is that literature is creative and aims to provoke emotion, while a study aims to generate new knowledge and insights through systematic analysis and evidence. Both can enrich our lives, just in different ways.

Key Differences Between Literature and Study

Literature focuses on creative works while study focuses on research.

Literature refers to creative writing, like poetry, novels, and plays. It aims to provoke an emotional reaction in the reader and explore the human experience. Study, on the other hand, refers to reading and analyzing research on a topic to expand one’s knowledge. The goal is to gather information in a systematic way.

Literature uses fictional elements while study relies on facts.

Works of literature employ literary devices like metaphor, imagery, and symbolism. They aren’t bound by facts and can include fictional elements and events. Studies depend on verifiable facts and evidence from academic sources like peer-reviewed journal articles and reports. They follow a rigorous research process to establish credibility.

Literature has a subjective interpretation while study aims for objectivity.

How one interprets a work of literature can vary from person to person. There are many possible themes and meanings to explore. Studies strive to be as objective as possible in their methods and conclusions. While total objectivity may be impossible, researchers aim to minimize personal biases and interpretations.

Literature evokes emotion while study appeals to reason.

Works of literature are meant to move the reader in some way, whether through joy, sorrow, anger or revelation. Studies appeal primarily to the rational mind by presenting logical arguments supported by evidence. The goal is to inform and persuade the reader intellectually rather than emotionally.

In summary, the main differences between literature and study come down to creative expression versus factual analysis, fiction versus evidence, subjectivity versus objectivity, and emotion versus reason. At their core, literature and study represent two very different ways of understanding and engaging with the world.

Types of Literature

Fiction vs Nonfiction

The main difference between literature and study is that literature encompasses creative works of fiction, drama, and poetry, whereas study focuses on academic, factual works. Fiction includes genres like romance, mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy. Nonfiction includes biography, history, essays, journalism, and instructional works. While fiction aims to entertain readers, nonfiction seeks to inform and educate.

Prose vs Verse

Prose refers to literature written in ordinary language and in sentence form, while verse refers to rhythmic and metrical writing with a poetic structure. Prose includes novels, short stories, and essays, while verse includes poetry. Although some works incorporate elements of both prose and verse, they are generally quite distinct in style and form.

Genre Fiction

Genre fiction follows established conventions and formulas for a particular category of creative work. The major genres of fiction include:

  • Romance: Focusing on the development of a romantic relationship.
  • Mystery: Centering around the solution of a crime or puzzle.
  • Science fiction: Speculating about the impact of imagined scientific or technological advances.
  • Fantasy: Incorporating magical or supernatural elements.
  • Western: Set in the American Old West frontier.

Literary Fiction

Literary fiction tends to focus more on style, psychological depth, and character complexity. Works of literary fiction are typically more ambiguous and open to interpretation. They often provide social commentary on the human condition and the society in which we live. Literary fiction includes classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Handmaid’s Tale, and 1984.

While study and literature have some overlap, understanding the differences in their forms, styles, and purposes can help in navigating and appreciating these vast and varied fields of work. Both make valuable contributions to accumulating and sharing knowledge, as well as to cultivating imagination and creativity.

Types of Studies

Study and Literature

Literature Review

A literature review summarizes and synthesizes previous research on a topic. It provides an overview of the current state of knowledge on a topic by analyzing what has already been published by researchers. Literature reviews are an integral part of research and academic writing and help establish the theoretical framework and justification for a study.

Systematic Review

A systematic review aims to identify, evaluate and summarize the findings of all relevant individual studies on a particular topic. It uses a rigorous and well-defined methodology to search for, critically appraise and synthesize high quality studies on a specific question. Systematic reviews are considered the highest level of evidence for medical decision making. They follow a strict scientific approach to minimize bias and random errors.

Research Study

A research study is an investigation conducted to gain new knowledge and explore or test ideas, hypotheses or research questions. Research studies can use either qualitative or quantitative methodology.They aim to generate new data or information to expand our understanding of a topic. Research studies go through a structured process of proposing a question, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. The goal is to contribute to a body of knowledge that can help inform policies or practices.

Thesis or Dissertation

A thesis or dissertation represents an extensive research project conducted as part of a graduate program of study. It allows a student to demonstrate mastery of subject matter, methodologies, and conceptual frameworks in a specific field of study. Theses and dissertations are very detailed, in-depth studies on a selected topic that contribute new knowledge or insights. They require significant time and effort to research and complete.

In summary, the main differences between these types of studies come down to their scope, objectives and methodology. But ultimately, they all aim to expand our knowledge and understanding through rigorous investigation and analysis.

Purpose and Process of Literature Review

Identify the Research Gap

The main purpose of a literature review is to identify the research gap in existing literature on a particular topic. You analyze what has already been studied and published to determine areas that need further research. By reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of previous studies, you can establish how your research will extend or contradict current knowledge.

Survey the Field

Conducting a literature review also allows you to gain a broader understanding of your field of study. You can identify established methodologies, theories, and concepts, as well as debates and controversies. Reviewing a range of sources, from books to journal articles to conference papers, exposes you to the depth and breadth of research in your area.

Build Your Theoretical Framework

The literature review helps construct the foundation for your research. You can use existing theories, models and definitions to shape your own conceptual framework. By analyzing the relationship between different concepts and theories, you determine how to approach your topic and research question. The literature review justifies why you have selected a particular theoretical or conceptual framework for your study.

Support Your Hypothesis

If you have developed a hypothesis, the literature review provides evidence to support it. You can argue how your hypothesis extends, builds upon or challenges previous findings. The literature review shows what is already known and how your research will address gaps to further knowledge in your field. With a comprehensive understanding of the literature, you make a stronger case for why your research question needs to be investigated.

In summary, the literature review is integral to any research project. It gives you a solid foundation to build upon by identifying areas that need further study, gaining a broad understanding of your field, constructing a theoretical framework, and supporting your hypothesis. The literature review shapes how you approach your research question and justifies why your work will contribute to knowledge. Conducting a rigorous literature review is a vital part of the research process.

Purpose and Process of Studies

Studies aim to systematically review existing knowledge on a particular topic in order to identify research gaps, contradictions, or unanswered questions. They provide an overview and critical analysis of the literature relevant to a specific research question. Studies differ from literature in that they have a narrower focus and involve an in-depth analysis and synthesis of the literature.

Literature, on the other hand, refers to creative or scholarly written works, especially those considered to have creative or intellectual value. Literature includes poetry, novels, plays, and other forms of fiction, as well as nonfiction. Literature aims to entertain or share human experiences, unlike studies which aim to analyze existing research.

The process of conducting a study typically involves:

  1. Developing a clear research question to guide the study. The question should be specific enough to focus the review but broad enough to find sufficient relevant literature.
  2. Conducting a comprehensive literature search to identify relevant studies, reports, and other sources to include in the review. This may involve searching databases like Google Scholar or a university library.
  3. Carefully reading and critically analyzing each source to determine its quality, relevance, and findings. Extract key information like methods, results, and conclusions.
  4. Synthesizing and organizing the extracted information into logical categories or themes to identify patterns, contradictions, gaps, and unanswered questions in the literature.
  5. Discussing the implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research. The study should provide new insights or perspectives on the topic.
  6. Presenting a balanced and objective overview of the literature. The author’s biases should not influence the synthesis and interpretation of the research.

In summary, the main difference between a study and literature is their purpose and methodology. Studies aim to systematically analyze existing research, whereas literature aims to share human experiences. But both can expand our knowledge and enrich our lives.

Examples of Literature and Studies

Literature tends to refer to creative or artistic works, usually fictional in nature. This could include:

  • Novels, short stories, poetry, plays
  • Biographies and autobiographies

Studies, on the other hand, typically refer to research and analysis done by scholars and academics. This includes:

  • Journal articles reporting findings from experiments or observations
  • Systematic reviews that analyze multiple research studies on a topic
  • Theoretical papers proposing new ideas or frameworks

For example, you might contrast a novel like The Catcher in the Rye with a research study on adolescent psychology. Both explore themes related to teenage angst and alienation, but in very different ways. The novel does so through a creative fictional narrative, while the research study takes an objective, scientific approach based on empirical evidence.

Literature is meant to entertain, stir emotions, and explore the human experience in an artistic manner. Studies aim to gain objective insight and expand our understanding through a systematic process of asking questions, collecting data, and drawing evidence-based conclusions. Of course, the line between literature and research isn’t always clear. Some fictional works can provide thought-provoking social commentary, while narrative reviews tell a cohesive story about the research on a given topic.

When conducting your own literature review, you’ll analyze both—assessing creative works to understand interpretations and themes, as well as evaluating research studies to determine facts and evidence-based findings. Both make valuable contributions in their own way. At their best, literature and studies can be highly complementary—with one inspiring new ideas and ways of thinking that the other then investigates systematically.

Overall, while literature and studies represent very different approaches to exploring and understanding the human experience, both play an important role in helping us gain insight into ourselves and the world around us. Recognizing the distinction between these two broad categories will help ensure you locate and evaluate the most relevant and appropriate sources for your purpose.

How Literature and Studies Work Together

Study and Literature

Literature and studies are two sides of the same coin. They inform and enrich each other. Studies help identify gaps in existing literature that can guide new research. Literature reviews summarize previous research and help place new studies in context.

As a researcher, conducting a systematic literature review helps you gain a solid understanding of what has already been studied about your topic of interest. This prevents duplication of work and allows you to identify open questions that still need to be addressed. A literature review may reveal conflicting findings, or highlight methodological issues in prior research that your study can improve upon.

Once you have a firm grasp of the literature, you can develop a focused research question and begin your own study. Your study may build upon, challenge or extend previous research. After collecting and analyzing your data, discuss how your findings relate to and advance the existing literature. This helps to demonstrate the relevance and importance of your work.

Creative writers also benefit from conducting research. Familiarity with the literature, literary theory and criticism in your genre helps ensure your work is original and innovative. You can draw inspiration from previous writings or consciously subvert conventions and styles. Literature reviews provide ideas, uncover new themes or areas that are underserved. They spark your creativity.

Whether you’re writing an academic research paper, a PhD thesis or a work of fiction, the relationship between literature and studies is symbiotic. Conducting a literature review and situating your work within the context of previous research leads to more rigorous, impactful work that advances knowledge and understanding. The two inform and strengthen each other.

FAQs: Difference Between Study and Literature

So what’s the main difference between a study and literature? Literature refers to published information on a topic, such as books, journal articles, reports, and other documents. A study, on the other hand, involves direct research and analysis. Studies are often published as part of the literature.

Let’s break this down further. Literature reviews provide an overview of the existing knowledge on a topic. They summarize and synthesize the key themes, findings, and arguments from relevant books, papers, and articles. Literature reviews do not actually involve collecting new data or conducting experiments. They rely entirely on secondary sources.

In contrast, studies do contain original research. They use primary data and analysis to explore a specific research question. Studies can include experiments, surveys, observational analyses, and other methods to gather new information. They aim to contribute new insights or advance a field’s knowledge in some way.

Some common types of studies include:

  • Case studies: In-depth analyses of a single event, situation, or subject.
  • Observational studies: Gather data on subjects without manipulating variables.
  • Experimental studies: Manipulate variables to test cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Longitudinal studies: Repeat observations of the same subjects over long time periods.
  • Cross-sectional studies: Examine different population groups at a single point in time.

While literature and studies are quite different, they are closely connected. Most studies are published as part of the academic literature, adding to the body of knowledge on a topic. Literature reviews, in turn, rely on aggregating and analyzing the findings from multiple studies and sources. So together, literature and studies drive the accumulation and spread of knowledge.

In summary, the main difference comes down to whether you are summarizing existing information (literature) or generating new data and insights (studies). Both play an important role in research, and understanding the distinction can help in crafting research questions, finding sources, and determining the best methods for a project.


So there you have it – the main differences between studying and literature summarized. While both involve reading and research, studying tends to be more formal and goal-oriented, like for a test or paper. Literature is creative artistic expression. Keep this distinction in mind as you engage in both! Now get out there, do the assigned readings for class, and don’t forget to pick up a novel or collection of poems when you need a study break. The world of learning awaits you.



You might Also Enjoy.....

Effective Note-Taking Methods

Effective Note-Taking Methods: The Secret to Studying Smarter

Read More
Learning Style Assessment Tools

Learning Style Assessment Tools: Finding Your Best Way to Learn

Read More
Financial Support for International Students

Financial Support for International Students: Your Guide to Funding Your Education Abroad

Read More

Leave a Comment

Join Us

Recommended Posts

Effective Note-Taking Methods

Effective Note-Taking Methods: The Secret to Studying Smarter

Learning Style Assessment Tools

Learning Style Assessment Tools: Finding Your Best Way to Learn

Financial Support for International Students

Financial Support for International Students: Your Guide to Funding Your Education Abroad

Renewing Study Permits and Student Visas

Renewing Study Permits and Student Visas: What You Need to Know

Designated Learning Institutions in Canada

An Inside Look at Designated Learning Institutions in Canada

Applying for Student Visas

Applying for Student Visas: A Step-by-Step Guide

Applying for Study Permits

Applying for Study Permits: A Guide for International Students

eduall logo

In this website we will share wordpress premium themes and plugins for testing purposes