The key difference between preface and introduction is that a preface is written by the author and tells the readers why and how the book was written, while an introduction presents the readers to the main topics of the book and prepares them for its content.
A preface can be considered as an introduction to a book. This contains the reasons for the author to write the book, how the storyline was formed, and also the thanks and acknowledgments to people who helped the author to finish writing the book successfully. An introduction only gives a summary of the book; therefore, even before start reading, readers can get an idea as to what to expect by reading the book.
What is a Preface
A preface is also known as a proem. It is an introduction to a book or any kind of literary work. It introduces the book to the readers. A preface tells the readers the background story of a book. It may include information about,
- The reasons for writing the book
- How the writer got the idea
- The reasons for the title
- How the story was developed
- The writer’s motivations
- The process of finding relevant information
- The process of writing the book
- The challenges encountered
- The purpose of the book
- Thanks and acknowledgment to those who helped
Through a preface, the readers get a first impression of the book. However, it is optional to include a preface in a book, especially if the book is short. Not all books contain prefaces, but most biographies contain them. The authors can even divide information between a preface and an introduction. In a preface, the author can raise the curiosity of the readers and increase their enthusiasm in reading the book. However, a preface should be short; if not, it would lose the readers’ interest in reading the book.
What is an Introduction?
An introduction is also known as a prolegomenon. It is vital for any book as it provides a summary of the book or the document and describes it in a nutshell. The readers can have an idea about the content of the book through the introduction. A good introduction may keep the reader stick to the book, making it interesting to read. Generally, every non-fiction book contains an introduction. The introduction of a book comes just before chapter one, and since it provides an insight into the content of the book, it is important to write it attractively. Moreover, it should not be long or boring, because that will prevent the readers from reading the book. The introduction should convince the readers that the book is worth reading. Therefore, if it is written in a way that captures the readers’ attention, the sales of the books also might go up. The author can also briefly mention the major themes of the book as well so that it will be beneficial for the readers in understanding the concepts of the story.
Following are the points to be included in an introduction,
- Major themes of the book
- Aims of the book
- What the readers gain from the book
- Author’s feelings in writing the book
What is the Difference Between Preface and Introduction?
Both preface and introduction are included at the beginning of books or documents to provide the readers with information about the book and the author. The key difference between preface and introduction is that a preface is written by the author and tells the readers why and how the book was written, while an introduction presents the readers to the main topics of the book and prepares them for its content.
Below is a summary of the difference between preface and introduction in tabular form.
Summary – Preface vs Introduction
The key difference between preface and introduction is that a preface gives the readers all the background details about the book, the reasons for writing the book, the difficulties the author faced, and acknowledgment, while an introduction contains the summary of the content of the book. An introduction mentions the major themes of the book, what the reader will encounter when reading the book, and the things he will gain by reading it. When writing a preface or an introduction, it is important to keep them short so as not to lose the interest of the reader.