Difference between an abstract and an introduction
Abstract vs Introduction:
When it comes to research methodology and thesis writing, abstract and introduction are two terms that one often comes across. And yet, these two can be quite confusing because of certain similarities that pertain to both these components. Therefore, this article seeks to introduce the terms abstract and introduction more clearly in order to provide a better understanding of the terms.
What is an abstract?
An abstract, also referred to as a synopsis, can be defined as a summary of a scholarly article or of a thesis stating the purpose of the study and the conclusion. It is basically the short version of whatever research paper that one is going to submit and is usually provided at the very beginning of the research paper or the thesis itself. The purpose of an abstract is to provide the reader with the basic information regarding the research paper which in turn will ignite his interest in the matter. Abstracts can be found in the beginning of scholarly articles, Masters or PHD thesis and abstracts will even be provided at conferences which will contain summaries of all the lectures that one is expected to attend.
What is an introduction?
An introduction on the other hand is provided as the first chapter of a thesis of a scholarly article and is usually found at the beginning of any piece of writing. The aim of an introduction is to introduce the theme or the topic of that particular article or book to the reader in order to pique his or her curiosity in to reading the article further. Introductions can be found on any piece of writing, whether it be a novel, fiction or non-fiction, a poetry collection, a newspaper article, etc.
What is the difference between an introduction and an abstract?
An abstract and an introduction both serve the purpose of encouraging the reader to read on and both can be found in scholarly articles, thesis, etc. yet, an abstract summarises a whole thesis or an article, indicating the purpose of writing that specific article or book while also emphasising the conclusion of the research as well while an introduction merely provides an insight in to the topic of the article of the research encouraging the reader to read more in order to gather more information.
An abstract serves the purpose of both encouraging the reader and also saving his or her time by letting him know whether reading that particular lengthy piece of writing would be of worth to him or not. A research paper or a scholarly article contains a profusion of technical terms and ideologies that require a lot of attention and time to read and therefore by providing an abstract, the reader can decide whether or not he or she wants to read the entire research.
An introduction on the other hand aims to excite the reader and pique at his curiosity. It does not provide a summary nor does it let on the conclusion of the article. An introduction usually starts off in an interesting way usually with a captivating quote or a saying. Also, introductions are also much shorter than an abstract. It can be as short as a passage whereas an abstract can go on for pages.
Also, an abstract can only be found in scholarly articles and thesis. One is provided with abstracts of lectures when one attends a conference as well and novel abstracts are usually more creative than one of a scholarly article. Yet, introductions are found everywhere. Whether it be a novel, a collection of poetry, a thesis, scholarly article, newspaper article, etc, introductions come in all sizes and forms.