Difference Between Abstract vs Introduction

Difference Between Abstract vs Introduction

Many people find it difficult to spot the difference between an abstract and an introduction. They often face this challenge whenever a need arises for them to write a formal document or report. More often than not, they become confused as to which is which. You are most likely reading this guide because you face the same confusion.

Well, the good thing is that you are perusing the right article because we have detailed the difference between them in this informative, well-researched guide. That said, we will start by defining each of the terms to help you make sense of it all.

Definition of Abstract

An abstract is a concise summary of an entire work. It is usually found in research articles, reviews, and dissertations, etc. Upon going through the abstract of a piece, you will understand what the entire work is about. This means you do not necessarily have to read the entire work to comprehend its purpose.

Most times, writers restrict the number of words used in an abstract to 150 to 250 words. With the information in the abstract, you can quickly make an informed decision about the work. Some things that you will grasp after going through the abstract include the nature and significance of work, the nature of the results and the strategies employed, and the conclusion.

With 150 to 250 words, the abstract ensures that the most crucial information from the work is contained on a single page. In other words, a reader does not have to read everything to understand what the work entails.

Definition of Introduction

The introduction ushers the reader into the content in a brief manner. It usually defines the purpose, scope, and goals of an article or piece of written work. Upon going through the introduction to the work, the reader understands the overview of the topic.

Feel free to think of it as the gateway to the topic, which allows readers to know what to expect as they continue reading the article. Moreover, the introduction or beginning does not have any word restrictions.

Most times, the introduction to a piece contains the hook, background information, connect, and thesis statement. In fact, the intro is detailed, stating what the reader will learn as he or she continues going through the content.

Main Difference Between Abstract vs Introduction

Despite the explanations above, one may still wonder:What is the difference between an abstract and an introduction? Not to worry because we have tabulated the key disparities between them.

Basis of ComparisonAbstractIntroduction
MeaningThis is a brief and succinct overview of the major points contained in the entire documentThis is the first section of the entire written work that ushers the reader into it
FunctionIt gives you a brief overview of the entire pieceThis is the beginning or gateway into the entire work
ComponentsIt has its concise intro, main body, and conclusion. It is a standalone piece that summarizes a much more detailed workThis is the beginning of the work with no definite structure
Size (number of words)It is always short, containing about 150-250 wordsThere is no limit to the number of words used here
ApplicationAn abstract is often seen in research papers, thesis, and dissertationIts use is limitless as it often exists in every work

Difference Between Abstract and Introduction: Conclusion

Having come thus far, it is safe to state that you now know your onions as far as an abstract vs an introduction is concerned. With an abstract, you have a preview of the entire research because it outlines the key points in a way that readers can make informed decisions at once.

On the other hand, the intro is just the first section of a broader work, which tells the reader what to expect as he/she continues reading.

Indeed, a guide on the difference between an introduction vs an abstract is incomplete without an emphasis being put on the number of words in both of them.

While an abstract always has a precise word length, an introduction does not have a definite word length. In addition, in much as the former could be a standalone document, the latter cannot. With all these points, the contrasts between them have been clearly explained.