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14 October 2014

Get Beyond the Abstract

Are you using an abstract or a summary of a document? Abstracts and summaries by their nature leave out details. The 1716 will of Thomas Sargent of Malden, Massachusetts, mentions all his children by name. But it also indicates why he gave his children what he did, what he had already given them, and a few other details about their life than an abstract may not include.

Abstracts and summaries are meant to give researchers an idea of what is in a document or record. Sometimes there's more information hiding in there.

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