One of the most effective ways we can understand what it is we know, what we have learned, and what we still need to know is through reflective writing. While reflective writing is not, by definition, technical writing, this weekly exercise should help you to better assess your progress through the course and course concepts.
Journal Topics: Abstracts and Executive Summaries
This week’s discussion focuses on abstracts. As Leo Finkelstein, Jr. (2008) states,
When you have finished putting together your technical report, you still may not be finished writing. You may need to add a special summary of your report, called either an abstract or an executive summary (Chapter 12, p.217)
“They summarize what is in your report. Abstracts are usually shorter than executive summaries and generally come in two forms: descriptive and informative (Finkelstein, 2008, Chapter 12, p. 217.”
For this journal, respond to the following questions:
· What is the difference between the content and purpose of a descriptive abstract vs. an informative abstract? Be specific.
· How does an executive summary differ from an abstract?
· Can abstracts or executive summaries be standalone documents? Explain.
· The textbook discusses a specific approach to writing an executive summary and then provides an executive summary for the Pocket Book of Technical Writing for Engineers and Scientists.
o Pick one Chapter summary from the Executive Summary to read and then comment on whether summary follows the strategy described in the “Writing Executive Summaries” section (Chapter 12, pp. 221-222).
o Be specific and support your response with examples from the chapter summary.
· Between 250 and 350 words in length.
· Respond to all prompts in the instructions.
· Use information from the readings or videos to support your ideas and credit (identify) the source(s) used.
· Proofread to eliminate technical errors (e.g. spelling, grammar, punctuation).