Distinguishing Between Abstract & Summary

Abstract vs Summary

There is a clear difference between abstracts and summaries, despite some students thinking they are the same. Abstracts relate to research papers and thesis writing, while summaries are used in essays, books, and chapters. This article will explore the differences between the two terms and broaden our understanding of them.

What is an Abstract?

An abstract is a condensed form of a research paper. Written to convey the research findings of a particular study to the reader, it provides necessary information for understanding the core of the research. Abstracts are often submitted prior to presenting a long research paper at a seminar or conference, and they are used by authorities to publish proceedings in advance in a book format. Reading an abstract provides a clear idea of the subject matter and the angle of the research paper, reflecting the author’s mind. Abstracts can be found in research papers, conference booklets, and theses, offering a well-structured and clear understanding of the research to the reader.

What is a Summary?

A summary is a shortened form of an essay, book chapter, or play act. It should not be confused with an abstract, which is a short form of a research paper. Summaries reflect the events of a specific act of a play in a nutshell without involving the writer’s voice. They provide a simple narration of events in an objective manner.

Key Takeaways

  • An abstract is a short form of a research paper, whereas a summary is a short form of an essay, book chapter, or play act.
  • Abstracts are submitted prior to presenting a long research paper at a seminar or conference, while summaries are usually presented at the end of an essay or paper.
  • An abstract reflects the mind of the author of the research paper, while a summary reflects the events of a particular act of a play in a nutshell.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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