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Difference Between Abstract and Executive Summary

Abstract vs Executive Summary

Abstract and Executive Summary are two terms that are to be understood with difference. Abstract is a term used in the writing of research papers. On the other hand executive summary is a term used in business for a short document that summarizes a longer report. This is the main difference between abstract and executive summary.

An abstract is written with the purpose of letting the readers understand the gist of the research paper to be presented during a seminar or a conference. It is a short form of the entire research paper. In other words it contains the subject matter of the research paper in a nutshell.

An abstract is written for orientation whereas an executive summary is written as a form of condensed version. This is one of the main differences between an abstract and an executive summary. It is indeed possible that different businesses define executive summary differently as according to the nature of their business models.

An executive summary should be written in non-technical language whereas an abstract can be written in technical language. An executive summary should have conclusion at the end. On the other hand an abstract has no conclusion at the end. This is an important difference between the two.

An executive summary should attempt at making a recommendation at the end. On the other hand an abstract makes no such recommendation towards the end. An executive summary should summarize more than one document. On the other hand an abstract summarizes just one research paper to be presented in the seminar.

An executive summary should contain short and concise paragraphs. At the same time an abstract also can contain short and concise paragraphs. At times it contains only one paragraph too. These are the differences between and abstract and an executive summary.


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