Posts Tagged ‘Abstract vs. Introduction’

Writing Confusion: An Abstract is NOT an Introduction to Your Paper

Dear colleagues:

Major confusion exists regarding writing fundamentals, specifically the abstract and the introduction (see Sec 2.04, pp. 25-27 of the APA Manual).


An abstract and an introduction are two VERY DIFFERENT distinct elements when writing a paper. An abstract offers a summary of the content IN THE PAST TENSE and is included only for longer documents (typically included for papers 10 or more pages; be sure to check with your faculty). An abstract is typically 150-250 words, appearing on a separate page.

Hint: When you conduct research, within the database such as ProQuest, an abstract is offered as a brief summary to the reader to see if the information in the article matches the index search words to decide whether to invest time reading the entire article.


By contrast, an introduction begins a paper, setting the stage for your reader to prepare them for what is to follow in the paragraphs that follow (the body of the paper). The introduction is written in FUTURE tense to offer a thesis statement, creating interest for the reader, as well as offering the writing objectives

To follow the writing basics as EVERY paper MUST HAVE the three required elements: (a) introduction (tell  them what you are going to tell  them), (b) body (tell them), and (c) conclusion (tell them what you have told them).


Be sure to create your writing system.

Keep building on this process.  Writing mastery is an important skill not only to the graduate thesis and doctoral dissertation, but for professional and business writing is well.  These are fundamentals for a reason.

Until next time,

Dr. Cheryl Lentz
The Academic Entrepreneur

November 26th, 2017 by admin