Long Report Abstract Exercise


Formal reports can be hundreds of pages long, and include very detailed technical analyses, facts and figures.  In order to get the attention of your audience, and ensure that your hard researched information is communicated, you need an Abstract.  As described in the chapter you read on Long, Formal Reports, an abstract is a brief overview of a proposal or long report’s key points geared toward a low-tech reader.  Refer to Chapter 18, page 449, of the Gerson and Gerson text  for explanation of an abstract.  Figure 18.10 on page 455 is an example long, formal report and its abstract is shown on page 458.

In this writing exercise, you will write an abstract for a long technical report.  The report that you will read and provide an abstract for is, “The Wind Energy Workforce in the United States:  Training, Hiring, and Future Needs,” by David Keyser and Suzanne Tegen, Wind Energy Training Hiring and Future.pdf

First, re-read the textbook description of an Abstract.  Also read the description of an executive summary and note the similarities and differences.  An abstract is not an executive summary, but some of the details may be included in both.

Read the attached paper, “The Wind Energy Workforce in the United States:  Training, Hiring, and Future Needs,” by David Keyser and Suzanne Tegen. download.  Read the Introduction and Executive Summary in detail.  Read the start of each section and at least skim each section for details.  Read the Conclusion in detail.  Review the Appendices for any additional information they hold.  Take notes to remind yourself of the key points.

Then, write a one to two paragraph Abstract to indicate the key points of the paper and encourage readers interested in that topic to read the full report. As described in the chapter, your Abstract must:

  • Be no more than two pages
  • Be as short as needed to include all key points
  • Not include high-tech terminology or detailed technical discussion, and
  • Summarize all content in the report.

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