Literary criticism (also known as literary studies) is the study, appraisal, and interpretation of works of fiction and non-fiction. A significant impact on modern literary criticism comes from literary theory, which is a philosophical debate of literature's purposes and techniques that originated in the Renaissance. However, despite the fact that the two occupations are closely associated, literary critics are not usually (and have not always) theorists, and vice versa.
The question of whether literary criticism should be seen as a distinct area of investigation from literary theory, or vice versa, is a source of considerable debate in the literary community. According to the Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, there is no difference between literary theory and literary criticism, and the words are nearly frequently used interchangeably to represent the same notion. According to some critics, literary criticism is an application of literary theory in a practical setting, since criticism always interacts directly with specific literary works, while theory may be more broad or abstract in nature.
Literary criticism is often written in the form of essays or books. In addition to teaching in literature departments and publishing in academic journals, academic literary critics also publish their reviews in widely circulating periodicals such as The Times Literary Supplement (formerly The New York Times Book Review), The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books, The Dublin Review of Books, The Nation, Bookforum, and The New Yorker (formerly The New Yorker).