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A preliminary statement at the beginning of a book, usually written by the author, which states its origin, scope, purpose, plan, and intended audience, and which sometimes includes afterthoughts and acknowledgments of assistance. When written by a person other than the author, it is called a foreword. The preface or foreword is distinct from the introduction which deals with the subject of the work. When a new edition is published, the preface or foreword may be rewritten to alert the reader to changes and additions. In the front matter, the preface or foreword usually follows the dedication and precedes the introduction.

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