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Abstract or Executive Summary

Edited by: Published: 2017
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An abstract is a brief summary of a document, such as a journal article. An executive summary is a summary of a longer document. At times, an executive summary and an abstract are used interchangeably; however, there exists differences between the two. This entry describes the standard elements of an abstract and discusses how an executive summary and abstract differ.


In academia, an abstract is usually required when submitting journal articles, conference papers, book proposals, as well as when applying for research grants. The length of an abstract varies depending on the publication, but 100–250 words are standard for journals in the communication field. An abstract is not an excerpt from the main text but an original document that is self-sufficient ...

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