Research Paper Abstract Vs Introduction: Writing Tips For Dummies

Writing research paper for school is one of the more complex assignments that you will be asked to participate in. There are a lot of components that you must include and each one serves its own purpose. There are two components that many people get confused about. They are the abstract and the conclusion. Many students ask why both of them have to be included when they are pretty much the same thing. How wrong these students are? The abstract and the introduction are two different components of a research paper and each one serves its own purpose.


The abstract of the paper is much like the back of a good book. It is a summary of what will be discussed. It is a little different from the back book cover because the idea is to present the findings so that if the reader didn’t want to read your whole paper, they would have everything they needed in that small section. The back cover would not present the results. Think of it as a mini outline written as a paragraph. It takes all of the main points and talks about them.


The introduction is different from the abstract in that the idea of the introduction is to introduce the topic that you are talking about. It will aim to give your reader some specific information on your subject so even if they know nothing about it, they can still understand your paper. The goal of the introduction is to present the information that you are going to talk about without actually presenting that information. You will include any terms that need to be defined and you will also include a thesis statement. This is the entire reason why you are writing the paper. Think of the thesis as a one to two sentence summary of the entire paper and the abstract as a four to six sentence summary of the entire paper. The introduction is part of the text that catches the reader’s attention and gives the information that the reader needs to fully understand the paper.

As you can see an abstract is basically just a summary of the entire paper talking about the main points and their support. The introduction works to give information about the topic so that anyone can understand what the paper is about even if they have never heard of the topic before.