An abstract is a summary of the text of a document which does not include every word or punctuation mark, but still includes all essential details. Names, places, etc. are written exactly as they appeared in the original document. Editorial comments are included in square brackets.

Researchers typically omit boilerplate language from abstracts. The abstractor must understand the boilerplate language, however, in order to retain all the pertinent facts. For legal documents, it is essential to have a dictionary that explains legal boilerplate terms in use when the document was written. Black's Law Dictionary, 4th Edition explains English common law terms in use during the America colonial era, and is the source of many such terms that are included in this encyclopedia.

See Transcript and Extract