Differences between extracts and abstracts

An extract takes portions of a document exactly as it is, while an abstract summarizes important details. With the latter, you can personalize the information as you wish.

Similarities between extracts and abstracts

  • Both must have a full citation of the document
  • Both use quotations but are more prevalent in extracts
  • Indicate text you have left out using ellipses (…), most commonly in extracts
  • Square brackets [] indicate short comments, and incorrect facts, spellings, or information you are aware of but choose to leave as per the original document.

Why and When to prepare extracts and abstracts

  • When you cannot make scans, photocopies, or take photographs.
  • For inclusion in reports or notes
  • When you need to pinpoint important details
  • Important when developing research plans or analyzing documents
  • Unlike a full transcription, they are very concise, especially if you’re working with little space

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