The main difference between synopsis and abstract is that a synopsis is a summary of a book, plot, or film, whereas an abstract is a summary of a scholarly work.
Both synopsis and abstract are very similar terms. Synopses target the general audience by providing outlines of artwork like books, films, and articles. On the other hand, abstracts target academic audiences by summarizing research studies and other scholarly work.
Key Areas Covered
What is a Synopsis
A synopsis is a summary or a description of something. Generally, this is a multi-paragraph summary of an article, book, chapter, or drama. A synopsis is naturally subjective since the writer selects the things that should be included even though not all the points in the original work are included in it. Normally, a synopsis contains the main ideas of the original work the writer thinks are important. Moreover, it is in the present writer’s style instead of that of the original work. Depending on the purpose, the length of the synopsis differs.
A synopsis only includes the main points since it provides an overview of the storyline. Synopses are important for authors to get their books published and for filmmakers to introduce their work to the general public. It is through a synopsis that the audience gets an idea about a book, film, or TV series.
Steps in Writing A Synopsis
- Reading the original work
- Developing the synopsis
- Upgrading the content
- Revising the details
What is an Abstract
An abstract is a summary of a scholarly work. It usually reports the aims, objectives, and outcomes of an academic work/research and describes the purpose of the work, methods used and the conclusions drawn. It is important to write an abstract when writing a book proposal, applying for research grants, writing a thesis, and putting forward a research paper to an academic journal.
Abstracts have a strict word limit, and it is generally around 100-300 words. In a research paper, an abstract comes on a separate page after the title page and acknowledgments and before the contents page.
IMRaD (introduction, methods, results, discussion) is the common method to structure an abstract. An abstract should be completely comprehensible, self-contained, and reflect the structure of the original work.
Tips to Write an Abstract
- Use short sentences
- Avoid passive voice
- Language should be clear and precise
- Avoid filler words and repetition
- Avoid long descriptions
Difference Between Synopsis and Abstract
A synopsis is a summary of a literary composition like a book, drama, or film, while an abstract is a summary of a scholarly work.
Synopses summarize books, chapters, essays, films, dramas, and articles, while abstracts summarize academic work.
Synopses have a non-academic audience, while abstracts have an academic audience.
While synopses use everyday language, abstracts tend to use formal language.
Synopses are not always written by the person who creates the original work, while abstracts are usually written by researchers themselves.
A synopsis is a summary of an article, book, chapter, or drama. Synopses are usually written by someone other than the original creator of the artwork. A synopsis includes the main ideas of the original work, and its length can vary depending on the purpose of writing. Synopses are very useful when publishing books and films. An abstract, on the other hand, is a summary of a scholarly work. Abstracts normally contain the purpose of the work, methods, and conclusions. This is the main difference between synopsis and abstract.
1. “Screenshot of the starting page of the paper “Science and Open Data – a model for Invasive Alien Species in Europe”” By Daniel Mietchen – Own work (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Typing Synopsis ” (Public Domain) via Pxhere