Difference Between Abstract and Introduction

Abstract vs Introduction

 

Abstract and Introduction are two terms used in research methodology and thesis writing between which certain differences exist. Most students tend to confuse these two as similar in nature. This, however, is a false identification. If you go through research papers, thesis, you will notice that there are two pages for the Introduction and Abstract. When going through the information provided, you will notice that an Abstract and Introduction are not actually the same and that they function for two different purposes. First let u s start off with an understanding of the two terms. Simply an Abstract is a short form of the thesis or research, which allows the reader to comprehend the crux of the research findings. However, the function of the Introduction is quite different. It provides the necessary backdrop for the reader to comprehend the research. This is the main difference between the two words. Through this article let us attempt to comprehend the difference, as well as the function of an Abstract and Introduction.

What is an Abstract?

First let us start off with the Abstract. An abstract, also referred as synopsis, is a short form of the final thesis. It contains the crux of the research findings. An abstract also refers to the short version of the research paper to be submitted to a conference or a seminar. Any university or an education institution that conducts a seminar asks for the Abstract of research papers to be read out by various scholars in various disciplines to be sent well in advance. This is to facilitate the publishing of the proceedings of the seminar well in advance. The purpose of writing an abstract is to let the reader know the subject matter of the research paper, in a nutshell. It contains a very brief explanation of what is found in the entire research paper.

Difference Between an Abstract and Introduction

What is an Introduction?

An introduction, on the other hand, is the first chapter of a thesis or a dissertation or a book for that matter. The purpose of an introduction is to introduce the reader to the topic of the book or the thesis. By reading or going through the introduction of a book, a reader gets an idea about the contents of the book or the content of the other chapters of the thesis. An introduction gives the significance and the scope of the subject of the thesis too. It throws light on various other aspects such as the need for research on the topic, the experts on the topic, the contribution of the predecessors on the topic and the like. Unlike an Introduction, an abstract just touches the subject matter of the research paper and presents it, in a nutshell. This is the difference between abstract and introduction. This gives the idea that an Introduction and Abstract are different from one another and focus on different things. Now let us summarize the difference between the two in the following manner.

Abstract vs Introduction

What is the Difference Between an Abstract and Introduction?

  • An Abstract is a short form of the final thesis. It contains the crux of the research findings.
  • An introduction, on the other hand, is the first chapter of a thesis or a dissertation or a book for that matter.
  • An Introduction provides information about the contents of the book or the content of the other chapters of the thesis. It also gives the significance and the scope of the subject of the thesis.
  • An Abstract, however, presents the reader with the research findings in a summary, unlike in the case of an introduction which lays the foundation.

 

Image Courtesy:

1. Business Process Reengineering and Organizational Structure–A Case Study of Indian Commercial Banks By Socrates journal (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2. “In Flanders Fields (1921) intro 1″ by John McCrae and Ernest Clegg [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons