Key Difference – Foreword vs Preface
Foreword and Preface can simply be understood as introductions to a book although the difference between the two can often be very confusing for the readers. If you peruse through a book, you will notice that there are two separate sections with the headings foreword and preface. The foreword is usually placed before the preface. The key difference between the foreword and preface is that while the foreword is written by another author or someone who is considered to be an expert in the field, the preface is written by the author of the book. Through this article let us comprehend the difference between foreword and preface further.
What is Foreword?
Foreword refers to an introduction to a book written by an expert in the particular field or else another author. This author could be a person who has written a similar book or shares certain commonalities. The term foreword comes from the idea ‘before the main text’. One of the most common mistakes made by many people is confusing foreword with forward which has a completely different meaning. Hence, one should specifically pay attention to the meaning that one expects to convey when referring to these words.
A foreword usually presents a point of view of the individual who writes it and makes the reader aware as to why he or she should read the book. It is not a summary of the book or else an explanation of the various chapters in the main text but the opinions and thoughts of another individual.
Having a foreword to a book can be very beneficial to the author as it functions as a form of approval, especially in situations where the foreword is written by an expert. This also gives the book credibility and assists in the marketing process as well.
What is Preface?
Preface refers to an introduction to a book written by the author of the book himself. Through a preface, the author explains to the reader why he wrote the book and from where he gained inspiration to write it. Here, the reader is able to hear the own voice of the author and to realize how the book came about.
The preface also assists the author to express his capacities as a writer. It also reflects the experiences as well as the expertise of the author. Some authors use the preface for acknowledgment as well although there is usually a separate section for this purpose.
What is the difference between Foreword and Preface?
Definitions of Foreword and Preface:
Foreword: Foreword refers to an introduction to a book written by an expert in the particular field or another author.
Preface: Preface refers to an introduction to a book written by the author of the book himself.
Characteristics of Foreword and Preface:
Foreword: Foreword is written by someone other than the author. This can either be another author who has written a similar book or a person of expertise in the particular field.
Preface: Preface is written by the author of the book.
Foreword: The foreword usually precedes the Preface.
Preface: The preface comes after the foreword.
1. Theosakamainichi-earthquakepictorialedition-1923-foreword By The Osaka Mainichi (Earthquake Pictorial Edition: Book 1 and 2) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2. E4CC preface By Augustus John Cuthbert Hare (Epitaphs for Country Churchyards) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- The foreword is written by another author or someone who is considered to be an expert in the field, while the preface is written by the author of the book.
- Foreword comes from the idea ‘before the main text’ and usually precedes the Preface.
- A preface allows the author to explain why he wrote the book and from where he gained inspiration to write it.