Differences between Index and Summary – Discover them in 5 minutes

Difference between Index and Summary

Often index and summary are confused with each other. There are certainly analogies and for this reason it is good to establish a boundary between these two elements in order to be able to use them correctly.

What is the Index?

From the Latin index, or indicate, the index is defined as:

“In books, the list of titles that distinguish the various parts in which the work is subdivided […] arranged in the order of succession with the page on which they are located to the side; can be placed before or after the text […] “.

[Definition taken from Treccani.it]

The Index reports objectively the structure of the thesis. It tells us, for each topic, where to find it (ie the page number) and what its position is in the hierarchy (if it is a chapter, a sub-chapter or a paragraph).

In the degree thesis, it must always be placed at the beginning, immediately after the Title Page.

This is a perfect position for consultation, because it allows us to understand immediately which topics to consult and where to find them.

What is the Summary?

From the Latin summarium, or compendium, the summary is defined as:

“Compendium, discussion or written exposition of a topic […] made briefly, limited to points and fundamental problems. […] A very brief summary […] of the topics covered […] in a chapter, mostly put in the beginning of the work or of the part that interests […]. “

The Summary is therefore a brief summary that gives us more information on the various items listed, without however going into the merits of the actual reading. It tells us, in a nutshell, what that chapter is about, under chapter or paragraph.

He breathes a sigh of relief: in the thesis the presence of the summary is superfluous!

Be careful not to confuse the Summary with the Abstract!

After reading the definition of Summary, the doubt arises spontaneously:

Summary and Abstract are the same thing? The answer is no!

The purpose of the Abstract is to provide a clear and objective summary of the work you have done in your thesis. It is a kind of photograph of the content, which helps the reader to understand the topic you have treated.

Now that you have clear ideas about the difference between Index and Summary … you can devote yourself with more confidence to the drafting of your thesis!

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