Writing Effectively at The World Health Organization


Summaries are short documents that give a main message or present information in a condensed, concise form. An executive summary at the beginning of a report, an abstract in a research paper, and a briefing note are all types of summaries. They convey meaning and provide focus, without detailed explanations, supporting arguments or editorial comment.

The writing process for summaries centres around the main message and the reader’s needs, as for any other type of document. To write an effective summary, the writer must:

Summaries of long reports are discussed in Module 3, Writing Effective Reports and Proposals. In this module, we'll focus on briefing notes.

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