Asking students to prepare abstracts or executive summaries of documents they have read encourages separating an article into its relevant parts, synthesizing information from various sections, and describing it in a clear and well-organized manner.
By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT
Last month, we discussed the value of writing annotated bibliographies as a way to encourage students to read articles—both in scholarly journals and trade publications—and other documents critically. This month, we will discuss the merits of assigning executive summaries and abstracts as ways to encourage critical thinking.
Differences between Executive Summaries and Abstracts
Although both abstracts and executive summaries provide information about the article to which they are attached, they serve very different purposes.