Foreword vs Preface: Difference and Comparison

An author is a creator of a written article that may be a play or a book and is also known as a writer. An author faces many problems regarding what he should include in his book or his written article, such as whether they should add a preface or a prologue or should or ask someone to write a foreword for their book or play.

A foreword is an introduction to the book written by another person and is penned down before the author’s preface. A preface, conversely, is an introduction to the reader or any other literary work written by the author and is also known as a proem.

Key Takeaways

  1. A foreword is an introductory section written by someone other than the author, an expert or authority in the field, providing context or endorsement.
  2. A preface is written by the author, explaining the purpose, scope, and inspiration behind the work.
  3. Forewords are placed before the preface, while the preface comes before the main content.

Foreword vs Preface

A foreword is a short introductory piece in a book, written by someone other than the author, a prominent figure, to provide credibility. A preface, on the other hand, is written by the author themselves, detailing their motivation, the journey of writing the book, and acknowledgment.

Foreword vs Preface


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonForewordPreface
MeaningIt is a short introduction to any literary work written by someone other than the author.The preface introduces a literary work written by the author of the same result.
DescribesDescribes why the reader should read the book or any literary work.The preface is the story of how the book came into existence or being.
ExpressesExpresses how the book influenced or made the writer of the foreword feel.Expresses the author’s story of writing the book.
SequenceComes first as per the sequence.Whereas, in the case of the preface, it comes after the foreword.
SignatureAlways signed by its writer.On the other hand, a preface may or may not be signed by the author.


What is Foreword?

A short piece of writing at the beginning of a book, sometimes praised by a famous person or someone who is not the writer. This foreword gives a reasonable, substantial opportunity to present the author’s view.


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The foreword is written by another person, other than the book’s author, who highlights the angel of the book. Moreover, the preface’s writer highlights the book’s rationale or ‘angel” of the book.

When written by the author, the foreword provides insights into how the book came into existence, acknowledgements, thanks to all the readers, and the people who helped the author in his writing. Unlike a preface, a foreword is always signed by its writer.

How to Write a Foreword:

  1. Be honest: One must be accurate as someone else writes about the book’s review.
  2. Use your unique voice: The writer’s writing style must be unique and authentic to his tone.
  3. Always discuss the book with the author.
  4. Try to mimic the style of the book.
  5. Sign off.

What is Preface?

A preface, also referred to as proem, is a direct introduction of the author to his audience, where he introduces himself, or a short story about how the book came into being, and an appreciation or thanks note to the people who supported and helped the author during his literary work. A preface also serves a vital role in project work; it describes the author’s work and acknowledges his supporters.

Instances of a preface in a sentence are:

  1. After going through the dull intro, I chose not to read the book.
  2. Rita’s preface consisted of quotes from the former prime minister’s speech.

Main Differences Between Foreword and Preface

  1. A foreword is a brief introductory piece about the book written by someone other than the author. On the other hand, a preface is an introduction to the piece of literary work written by the author himself or herself.
  2. A foreword provides insight into the book or the author; it summarises the writer’s personal or professional experience with the book. On the other hand, a preface gives away the reason for the book’s existence or a little story before starting the book.
  3. By writing a foreword, a writer, in a way, shows his or her support for the book and its author. On the other hand, a preface is merely an introduction to the book and the author himself.
  4. The primary role of the foreword is to endorse the book and the author; it is written by a famous person or authority to promote the book. On the other hand, the central role of writing a preface is to introduce the audience to the author or how the book came into being.
  5. A foreword adds the credibility of the book and the author and ensures the potential reader that the book is worth reading; conversely, a preface gives the author a chance to introduce himself directly and thank all his or her supporters.
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