Guide to Literary Terms

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What is the difference between "Abstract statements" and "concrete image-bearing statements"?

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I am interpreting your question a bit differently from the previous responder because I do not think you are asking about an "abstract," which is a brief synopsis of an entire document. Your inquiry seems, rather, to be based upon a contrast between statements that have an abstract or concrete nature. 

An abstract statement does not elicit any sensory participation on the part of the reader or listener.  It is about an idea, not about something one can see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. For example, I might say, "Constitutional democracy might be the most successful form of government in today's world."  There is nothing about that statement that you can use your senses to understand. 

On the other hand, I might say, "The emaciated young man, dressed in coarse, ragged clothing, reeked of alcohol as he approached me and asked me, in a strained and hoarse voice, to please give him a dollar." When you read or hear that statement, you can use most of your senses to imagine this person.

Both kinds of writing are important, but which you use depends upon your purpose in writing and upon your audience.  Much writing will contain both kinds of statements. You always need to be aware, though, that abstract statements must be supported with evidence, or they are of no use to anyone. 


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Dayna Watsica eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This question is a bit vague, but I'll take a stab at it. Abstract statements are statements that are more theoretical and on a purely intellectual level. For this reason, abstract statements do not really come into contact with daily life. They are not fleshed out in examples from the world. An example of this might be a philosophical discourse of the nature of beauty. Concrete statements are just the opposite. They emerge from the world. For this reason you can see the point being made, at times you might be able to touch it as well. Why? Because it is concrete. Also, the idea of "image-bearing" is probably used to underline the concreteness of what is being said.

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versatilekamini | Student

An abstract must be a fully self-contained, capsule description of the paper. An abstract is quite brief, it must do almost as much work as the multi-page paper that follows it. An abstract is a self-contained, short, and powerful statement that describes a larger work. Components vary according to discipline; an abstract of a social science or scientific work may contain the scope, purpose, results, and contents of the work.

Photogrammetry is a contactless measurement method. The main measurement instrument is a digital camera, to get the surveyed object with several measurement images from different directions.

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